Ross School - Senior Projects 2011


Student: Matthew Hollander

Mentor: Shelby Raebeck

Domain(s): English/ Writing




Title: A Collection of Poems


For my Senior Project I studied the art of poetry in order to advance my skills in the subject and create a book of the poems I wrote during the time of my studies. I read instructive books on poetry, such as The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo, and from this I learned things that I never knew about the strategies and mindset involved in writing poetry. I learned new techniques, new ways to inspire myself, and basically how to write a more professional poem. Throughout this project, I was revealed to the difficulty of having to create story after story, and editing them for hours to create the perfect jewel of a poem.




Book (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)







I believe that I have improved vastly since the beginning of this project; my writing is clearer with better meaning, and I found a focal point in my writing, which is the moon. I actually made a poetry book that I will have for the rest of my life, which may just be the beginning to a life of poetry. The difficulties and time involved with editing definitely triggered the advancement in my poetry writing skills, but it was stressful at times. From editing I learned to write using less filler words, with more meaning, and clear mental pictures. This was called “finding the gem,” and through hours of sifting through words and sentences, the perfect poem would be uncovered.

This project was a way for me to do something that I wanted to do, and accomplish it well. I had always wanted to immerse myself more into poetry, but I never had the time. I wanted to involve myself in an art form other than visual, and poetry is art expressed with words. I was able to describe stories, scenes, and images through creative word formations, and not with a pencil or paintbrush. The Ross School gave me the time and direction to accomplish something that I may have not done without the motivation of it being a graded project. This project has given me the confidence that I am able to create something as significant as a finished book, and this confidence will help me succeed in my future beyond The Ross School. I plan to write more books and poetry, yet explore many other fields until I find the one that suits me best. With the faith that came from this project I believe that  my future is filled with endless possibility.


Works Consulted


Dickinson, Emily, Mabel Loomis Todd, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson. New York: Avenel, 1982. Print.

"Emily Dickinson: Poems." Poetry Archive | Poems. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <>.

"Famous Poems." Casa Poema Redirect Page. Casa Poema Inc. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <>.

Frost, Robert. "Poetry of Robert Frost." The Ketzles. 2010. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <>.

Hughes, Langston. "Langston Hughes - Poems, Biography, Quotes." Famous Poets and Poems - Read and Enjoy Poetry. Famous Poets And Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <>.

Hugo, Richard. The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing. New York: Norton, 1992. Print.

Owen, Catherine. "Editing One's Poetry: What to Listen for in Shaping the Perfect Poem." Online Magazine and Writers' Network. 2008. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <>.

Pheifer, Todd. "How to Beat Writers Block Online - by Todd Pheifer - Helium." Helium - Where Knowledge Rules. Helium Inc. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <>.

"Writing Exercises: Poetry." The Poetry Resource Page. Feb. 2011. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <>.


Outside Consultant


Scott Chaskey: Poet/ Farmer

Scott Chaskey gave me advice on my writing and editing skills, and also helped me with the layout of my book.