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$20 per class
$10 for members 
Poems provided.  No advanced reading required!
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Our poetry series explores American poetry related to a particular theme -- see below for monthly themes. Samantha brings historical context to the work and walks us through the poems to make them accessible and interesting. No advanced reading required!  Chances are you're a poet and you didn't even know it! 

Upcoming dates and themes:


About this series

Our poetry series has looked at a range of themes from "Narrating America during the time of Stephen Tyng Mather" to winter poems of early America and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Authors discussed include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Wallace Stevens, Robert Hayden, Emma Lazarus, Claude McKay, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and more. The spirit in the room has been lively and engaging with no prereading required!  

About Samantha Gault

A career educator, Samantha taught high school English at Greenwich Academy for eight years and at The Dalton School for five. She currently teaches ninth grade English at New Canaan Country School, where her own children – William, age 8, and Georgia, age 6 – are students. She holds a Bachelor's in English from Dartmouth College and a Master's in English from Middlebury, with a specialty in poetry and American and modern literature.


Samantha and her family live in Darien and are pleased to welcome the Mather Education Center to the neighborhood!

No upcoming events at the moment
American Poetry with Samantha: Emma Lazarus
Lazarus new Colossus manuscript
American Poetry with Samantha: Claude McKay
America: Claude McKay
American Poetry with Samantha: Robert Frost
Robert Frost: The Gift Outright
Samantha Gault

Past discussions:

April 26, 2023 - Poem in Your Pocket!

March 9, 2023 - Emily Dickinson


February 27, 2023 - Walt Whitman

October 27, 2022 - Transcendentalism

September 21, 2022 - John Muir

June 27, 2022 - Protest poems for Juneteenth

May 18, 2022 - Celebrating Mothers


April 27, 2022 - Spring poems

What is it that stirred Eliot to call it the "cruellest month"? and Millay to say it "comes like and idiot, babbling and strewing flowers"? For McKay the April night is "wonderful" and for Hopkins, "Nothing is so beautiful as Spring." Whatever your persuasion on the season, we hope you will join us for this look at Spring poems. 

March 29, 2022 - Celebrate Women's History Month!

Browning and Dickinson return in good company alongside Anne Bradstreet, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Sexton, Syliva Plath, Lucille Clifton, Sharon Olds, and Rita Dove - women who have made their mark on poetry and history, written their names in the "book of myths."  

February 16, 2022 - Classic Love Poems!

We'll look at traditional poems from such well known names as William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the ways they influenced early and modern American poets, from Emily Dickinson to E.E. Cummings.

January 19, 2022 - Inaugural Poems

One year after Amanda Gorman's memorable reading of "The Hill We Climb" we'll look at the cultural impact of her poem and read it alongside the inaugural poems of Maya Angelou, Miller Williams, Elizabeth Alexander, and Richard Blanco.... perhaps Frost too

December 14, 2021 - Winter Poems and Holiday Cheer

We honored winter poets through the years, from John Greenleaf Whittier to Wallace Stevens.  PLUS a close look at 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to get us in the holiday spirit! ​


November 17, 2021 - Narrating America:  Making Ourselves through Poetry - part 2
Stephen Mather helped craft and define an American identity by creating the National Parks system. In this workshop, we considered how writers of his time were helping write an American identity.

Our second workshop in this series will discuss Robert Frost's 1930 poem, “The Gift Outright.” (no advanced reading required! also no poetry skills required! and you don't need to have attended the other workshops!)

October 20, 2021 - Narrating America:  Making Ourselves through Poetry - part 1

Stephen Mather helped craft and define an American identity by creating the National Parks system. In this workshop, we considered how writers of his time were helping write an American identity.

The first workshop will look at the following three poems and also address the sonnet form:

“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, 1883

“America” by Claude McKay, 1920

“The Gift Outright” by Robert Frost, 1930 


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