Best Practices for Finding Poems to Share in the Classroom


August 09, 2017


on Teaching Poetry
Printer-friendly version

Poems are the perfect art form for our digitally-driven present. They're compact and easy to share, and that makes it even more important to consider how they're presented online. Unfortunately, there are a number of websites that feature poems without obtaining proper permission from poets or publishers. And all too frequently the poems on these sites include typographical and other errors, giving students the wrong impression of what a poem is and the qualities of the art form.  

To protect the artistic integrity of poetry, we strongly recommend that educators only share poems from online publications and organizational websites that:

  • publish poems without invasive advertising (such as commercial videos and animated, flashing or distracting advertisements adjacent to the poem);
  • proofread their presentation of the work, ensuring that there are no typographical or other errors; 
  • do not have bots voicing poems, as bots make mistakes and can't convey human emotion and the beauty of language;
  • identify the editorial and other senior people who manage the website and provide contact information for their editorial office; and
  • comply with U.S. copyright law in all respects.

By modeling these best practices for finding poems, educators can be confident in the accuracy of the poetry they share and can help students learn to identify legitimate sources in the changing digital landscape.