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SC Features

Sumter Professor: Poetry Workshops Build Students’ Confidence, Help Other Subjects

Poet Ray McManus conducts a poetry workshop at a high school in Blythewood.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio
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Poet Ray McManus conducts a poetry workshop at a high school in Blythewood.

University of South Carolina – Sumter English Professor Ray Mcmanus is a poet who can’t sit still. He travels the state conducting workshops in poetry much as a missionary would: But the message he brings to the people – that is, students from elementary to high schools – is that poetry isn’t the exclusive realm of artsy, smart people; it’s accessible to everyone, and it’s already in their lives if they take notice. When students read poetry they’ve written, he says, their confidence increases, and the discipline learned in writing poetry spills over into other subjects, from math to science, as a Midlands teacher and one of her students attest.