VILONIA — Poets from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville spent time last week in Vilonia teaching some students the rules of writing.

"The best thing about poetry is that it shows us a world in a way we may not have thought about before," said Erin Jones, who is studying at UA to achieve a master’s degree in creative writing. "We want you to describe the things that are going on in your head."

Others who taught during the two-day workshop were Katie Nichol, Kathleen Heil and Kim Driggers. Third- and fourth-graders from the elementary and primary as well as fifth- and sixth-graders from the middle school attended one-day sessions.

During the workshop, students had the opportunity to write several poems. For instance, they were told to close their eyes and imagine an adult they are close to, and what they were doing the previous night, and write a poem. 

In a volunteer opportunity, the poets are funded through a federal program allowing them to travel across the state teaching and collecting poems from students. From the collection, 12 will be placed in a publication that comes out yearly.

When asked about the reasons for traveling the state, Jones said, "We do it because we love it. We want kids to love to write as much as we do."

Poetry rules, according to the UA poets:

1. Be concrete. Describe your ideas.

2. Use your senses—smell, touch, hearing, taste, and sight. Tell exactly what kind of flower or smell you are talking about.

3. No rhyming. You could get stuck.

4. Be weird but not gross. No boogers or toilets.

5. Be specific.