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Resources for training doves, dragons, and little bears in the arts of the Christian imagination

For advanced training, visit our STUDY GUIDES.
For Dragon-level training, go BEHIND THE SCENES.
We sail even deeper waters on the MOSAIC ARK.
Professor Rachel Fulton Brown reads Act I of Aurora Bearialis

“Blessed are the men of Noah’s race that build

their little arks, though frail and poorly filled,

and steer through winds contrary towards a wraith,

rumour of a harbour guessed by faith.”

— J.R.R. Tolkien, “Mythopoeia”

Writing Christian Poetry

Why Christian poetry?

Handbooks on Meter and Stanza Form

  • Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Traveled: Unlocking the Poet Within (London: Arrow Books, 2007)—good for exercises and not worrying overmuch about theme, but NB that Mr. Fry is known to have written some, um, somewhat spicy verse, albeit not published in this book. Here he concentrates on meter and stanza, not subject matter.

  • William Baer, Writing Metrical Poetry: Contemporary Lessons for Mastering Traditional Forms (Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, 2006)—Catholic professor of creative writing, exercises in writing traditional verse forms including blank verse, quatrains, couplets, and sonnets.

  • Robert Pinsky, The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998)—elegant discussion of poetry as a type of performance, intended to be read aloud.

  • Philip Davies Roberts, How Poetry Works: The Elements of English Poetry (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986)—useful discussion of meter as stress and the importance of reading poetry out loud.

  • John Martineau, Trivium: The Classical Arts of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric (New York: Bloomsbury, 2016)—excellent overall reference for basic stanza forms and meters. Also a dictionary of logical terms and rhetorical figures and tropes. The chart on p. 131 of different meters is essential.

  • Jeffrey Burghauser, The Heavy Lifting: A Boy's Guide to Writing Poetry (Nashville: New English Review Press, 2023). In case you’re not persuaded that writing poetry is the coolest things ever, a boys’ introduction to the craft of tinkering with meter and rhyme.

Model Christian Poets—A Selection

Reading and Talking About Poetry

Syllabus for Professor Fulton Brown’s course on “Writing Christian Poetry” at the University of Chicago

More resources and models archived in Dragons’ Keep

Sample lesson: The Professor and co-poet Kilts Khalfan read stanzas 1-5 of Aurora Bearialis
Donkey Storytime
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From Colleen C. Coggins, the illustrator of Aurora Bearialis, two enchanting stories of the donkeys who served Our Lady and Lord.

The Donkey Who Carried the Ark follows Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem where the Christ Child is born.

The King’s Colt carries Mary’s Son into Jerusalem—and beyond.

Fully illustrated, lovingly told.

Available through Amazon in both e-book and paperback.

School Library


Study Guides

Further Resources for Lessons and Exercises

Videos at (subscribe to Logos & Tolkien for access to the whole platform)

Schools and Associations

Here be dragons. And doves.
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