Poetry as Protest and Sanctuary: Jane Hirschfield’s Magnificent Poem Against the Silencing of Science and the Assault on Nature

If you like poetry (and literature in general), then you need to know about Maria Popova’s BrainPickings site/project. The link above is from her weekly (every Sunday morning) newsletter – “interestingness digest” in her words. I originally found out about it from an article about William Gibson (father of cyberpunk), in which he recommended it. Enjoy!

(Note the additional poetry-related links in the last paragraph of her post.)

While not current (I’m working on that), there are a number of new and interesting articles in the Poetry folder since I last posted a link to it last October.


Colorado Rules

While this posting is mainly for my team, this information applies to anyone in Colorado.

The following link is for the CHSAA handbook governing speech and debate in Colorado. It’s long – 86 pages (down from 124 last year, when it covered Tournament and Festival rules) – and much of it is of interest only to coaches in the state. CHSAA rules govern only the district tournaments that qualify competitors for the state championship tournament, and for the state championship tournament. While they do not officially apply to invitational tournaments, those tournaments traditionally use the CHSAA ballots.The qualifying tournaments for Nationals (NSDA/NFL) are a whole different matter and this information does not apply to those tournaments.

(For my team: Colorado is divided into two levels – Tournament and Festival – with each having their own specific set of events offered. Broadly speaking, larger schools do Tournament events, and smaller schools do Festival events. Schools are allowed to ‘compete up’ – and we’re one of those. Our enrollment numbers put us in the Festival category, but we choose to compete as a Tournament school – in no small part to have the full range of debate events available to us.)

2016-17 CHSAA Speech Tournament Handbook

Note that this is the Tournament handbook; there is a separate Festival handbook.

The sample ballots and event descriptions start on PDF page 58:

Drama 58-59, Humor 60-61, Poetry 62-63, Duo 64-65, POI 66-67, O.O. 68-69, Informative 70-71, Extemp 72-73, NX 74-75, IX 76-77, PF 78-79, LD 80-81, CX 82-83.


From NPR’s Here & Now program:

Through Poetry And TED Talks, Clint Smith Probes Racism In America

I admittedly haven’t judged much poetry recently, and don’t recall having heard anything by this author, but the poems and excerpts in the story are quite good and might be worth considering for a Poetry interp piece.

There are also links at the end of the page leading to other poetry stories (which I haven’t had a chance to listen to yet).


Coaching a speech team means coaching everything, including the Interp events. This post is to make the link for my Poetry folder available – primarily for a student on my team, but for anyone else that might find it useful.

Most of the articles are about specific poets or books, as possible inspirations for cuttings. There are a few general articles on poetry as well; such articles often contain comments about poetry that may be useful in constructing the intro to a cutting.