Poetry Workshops

imageChase a thought down into a garden of sense memories...

pinpoint a feeling with the perfect word. . .forge a golden vessel for what just doesn’t fit the language you know. This is the thrill of poetry. Imagine giving this gift to others -- passage through an intriguing inner landscape, magic spectacles to illuminate an ever-newer world, tools to create beauty and understanding from pain.

This is what we do in my poetry workshops. Safe in the knowledge that poetry is as natural as breathing, we find our voice and learn tools to make our writing resonate with imagery and sensuous sound. We invite our total being into this dance, creating new awareness and intelligence as our cells, muscles, thoughts, and spirit freely interact. We stand before the world as whole beings. . . “real” poets with a story to tell.

In my twenty years of teaching poetry to my public school students, I learned what “works” to enable even the most basic learners to create work that sparkles with originality. My workshops use a variety activities tailored to your individual situation. These could include any combination of music, movement, free and blank verse, poetic forms, games, group writing, magnetic words, and/or exercises that help free one’s natural voice.

The workshops are ideal for senior facilities, school settings, home-schoolers, and community groups.

While more frequent workshops are recommended, even one-time or sporadic sessions can give participants ideas and motivation to continue on their own (it is recommended that these be at least an hour and a half).


"Naila Schulte has singlehandedly brought poetry to Mighty Writers West with her workshop, 'My Poetic Voice'. Through the workshop, Ms. Naila has coaxed her students' inner visions onto the page in magical language that warms the senses and the heart. Indeed, if you ask her Mighty Writers how Ms. Naila has helped them, they will undoubtedly reply the she has guided them into discovering their true poetic voices."

--Annette John-Hall, Program Director, Mighty Writers West


"The poetry workshop that I attended, facilitated by Dr. Naila Schulte, was such an impactful broadening of my creative boundaries...and it was just one workshop! Dr. Schulte cultivated in us as workshop participants, a creative range that allowed us to use the many aspects of our lives-- pleasure and pain, triumph and tragedy, etc., to tap into our natural talents and expand the limitless possibilities of our writing. I was able to take away techniques that allow me to overcome "writer's block", and also explore different ways of using my writing. I now try to incorporate poetry and creative writing into every aspect of my personal and professional being -- from journaling to incorporating writing into my workshops, and even with teaching my undegraduate students!! Much thanks to you Dr. Schulte, for helping me to tap into what was there all along. Looking forward to future dynamic and awe-inspiring writing workshops with you!"

--Annette Owens-Johnson, MSW, LCSW Boundary Span~ Spanning Boundaries, Building Bridges

"We were lucky enough to have Naila come to our campus in Langhorne, PA to lead a poetry workshop in September. We had a large group of 25 students ranging in ages from 12-30 years. Naila was fantastic! She had a very open and warm personality that made our students feel welcome and accepted. Everyone was encouraged to write and share as Naila led the group in her Entering Poetry Workshop.

"The students had a great time and the workshop sparked a new interest in poetry for many of them. She was kind enough to leave us with packets full of activities and ideas so we could continue exploring poetry in a fun and meaningful way. We look forward to having another workshop with Naila in the future!"

--Beth O’Toole, Woods Services

"During her poetry workshop, Naila led us through a meditation which took me back to some vivid childhood memories and enabled me to express them in verse. The sensory resources led me to new places with my creativity. Naila has rich resources and guides participants skillfully."

Annabel Grote, February 2011

“ Naila opened my soul with her poetry workshop. She made poetry such a fun experience, full of intriguing new directions and possibilities.  Can't wait for the next one!”

Rabbi Rayzel Raphael

"During the time that we taught together at Bartram in the ESOL department, I was always aware of Dr. Schlulte's connection to the arts. She amazingly had managed to get ESOL students who really couldn't read all that well and whose vocabulary was extremely limited to write beautiful poetry. Every year Claudia had a booklet 'published' of their work. Each student received a copy.

"I truly could not believe the thoughts and images these students, along with Dr. Schulte's guidance, put on paper and that were displayed outside her room for all to see. If you only knew the pain these refugee students suffered due to civil strife in their countries, you would have thought it a miracle for them to open up and write so beautifully what they felt in their hearts. And, after reading their works you would have thought the poems were generated by advanced students, not by students who had limited formal educations.

"Additionally, she took students on a regular basis to poetry readings and workshops outside of school, and had a poet come to speak to the classes.

"She is a kind and compassionate soul who is passionate about having students experience the arts through theater, poetry, and art. Frankly, I couldn't think of anyone else who would be more qualified for this job than she."

Sharon Breslow, ESL teacher, John Bartram High School

"Naila Schulte did a poetry workshop with my 5th-graders for an Earth Day celebration. She guided the students to use imagery and senses in their writing about favorite places, evoking both memory and invitation. Her encouragement motivated them to take the time to revise and weed out unnecessary words, in these and other poems that accompanied pictures they had taken. Naila had a very gentle, calming approach to the activities, and the students were disappointed when it was time to leave."

Rita Sorrentino


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