Transformations: Evolving Approaches to Teaching, Poetry, and the Natural World

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
The West Chester University Poetry Center
contact email: 

The West Chester University Poetry Center 

Call for Papers 


Evolving Approaches to Teaching, Poetry, and the Natural World 

A Virtual Conference 

November 11-13, 2021 

Submission Deadline: August 15, 2021 

The West Chester University Poetry Center is pleased to announce this Call for Papers and Poems for our virtual poetry and pedagogy conference, Transformations: Evolving Approaches to Teaching, Poetry and the Natural World, to be held November 11-13, 2021. During the lockdown, many of us became even more aware of our symbiotic relationship with nature. Being on perpetual stay-cation inspired some to garden. Breaking away from commuting and routines helped all of us to appreciate the impact of our carbon footprint. Unexpected opportunities to socialize outdoors inspired us to reset our relationship with the more-than-human world. Returning to face-to-face instruction gives us the opportunity to use this awareness to shape our approach to teaching poetry. Please join us for our virtual gathering. Our Keynote Speaker and Featured Reader will be Anna Lena Phillips Bell, the 2019-2022 Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for eastern North Carolina. She teaches creative writing at UNC Wilmington and is the author of Ornament, winner of the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, A Pocket Book of Forms, a fine-press guide to poetic forms, and the chapbook Smaller Songs, from St. Brigid Press. She is the editor of Ecotone, the award-winning journal that seeks to reimagine place. 

We invite teachers, scholars, and poets on all levels (primary, secondary, undergraduate, and post-graduate) to submit proposals for virtual presentations (creative and critical), workshops, lesson plans, roundtables, panels, and readings. We would welcome abstracts that include, but are not limited to, the following topics: 

  • • Nature /Ecology and Teaching Poetry 
  • • Children’s Literature and the Natural World 
  • • Approaches to Teaching Poetic Form 
  • • Ecopoetics 
  • • Meter and Embodied Poetics 
  • • Our Bodies in/and Nature 
  • • Oneness/Our Universal Bodies 
  • • Indigenous Poetics and the Natural World 
  • • Poetics and the Climate Crisis 
  • • Poetry of Social and Environmental Justice 
  • • Sustainability and Poetry 
  • • Young Adult Novels in Verse 
  • • Poetry about Teaching 
  • • Poetry, Pedagogy, and the Pandemic 
  • • Poetry Workshops for Teachers 
  • • Poet/Teacher Open Mic 


Critical proposals should include a 200-400 word abstract along with a short CV (no more than 5 pages). Creative proposals should include 3-5 poems accompanied by a 150-word abstract and a short CV (no more than 5 pages). Please send proposals to with Transformation in the subject line. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Cherise A. Pollard ( 

We are pleased to announce The Shirley Geok-lin Lim Award, open to K-12 teachers from the United States who actively teach the writing of poetry. For information regarding the application process, please consult the WCU Poetry Conference Webpage.