School visits

As Poet Laureate of South Carolina, Marjory Wentworth has taught poetry at dozens of schools as an artist-in-residence. She was a creative writing teacher at an arts magnet school and an inner city high school. She has also taught poetry and healing workshops for over a decade in a hospital setting and has taught college writing and literature courses.



Elementary Schools

She can do a variety of events, depending on your needs: writing workshops, full-day author visits meeting with multiple grade levels, and teacher workshops. Her goal is always to make students think about language in a new way, and to simply have fun with words. That’s the best way to begin teaching poetry to anyone! Creative writing engages students completely, because when they use their imaginations, they invest more into the learning process.  Grammar and punctuation skills improve automatically.  Acute attention to language results in accurate expression.  She believes that arts education is a cheap, effective way to improve test scores and academic performance. Poetic devices that are stressed– lists, repetition, line breaks, syllabics, imagery, specific image detail, using the 5 senses, metaphor and simile.  For sample lesson plans please contact Marjory at



Children’s Book Author

Marjory would love to present her most recent book Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets.  She wrote this New York Times Best Seller and ALSC Notable Children’s Book with Newbery Medal Winner Kwame Alexander and poet/teacher Chris Colderly.  Illustrated by the award-winning artist Ekua Holmes, the book was created to inspire young students to get excited about poetry and hopefully discover their own wonder. “This unusual and successful volume is a valuable addition to school and classroom libraries for writing workshops and reading pleasure.”  School Library Journal “…a fresh new way to interest children in poetry.” Booklist “A nourishing and delicious feast for eyes and ears, this book belongs on every bookshelf…” Kirkus Reviews

She has a Teacher’s Guide for the book, which includes Common Core Connections for students in grades 3-8, Discussion Questions and numerous writing exercises.


Based on a true story, Shackles, by Marjory Heath Wentworth, illustration by Leslie Darwin Pratt-Thomas, describes what happens when a group of young boys search for buried treasure in their backyard on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, and dig up a bit of history – a set of shackles used centuries ago on slaves who were held on the island. According to Foreward Magazine, “It’s great material for use in schools as an early introduction to slavery in America because the narrative works much in the same way as good history: there’s adventure, then a mystery, then discovery, disbelief, explanation, and at the end, the need to run out and tell someone.”  Shackles, has won the Silver Medal in the national 2009 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for multi-cultural children’s books.

An integrated unit for teachers inspired by the book is available upon request. It is called Exploring South Carolina and the Civil War Through Social Studies, Visual Art, and Poetry. The themes of the Civil War, slavery, discrimination and prejudice are evident in this book. Marjory designed five poetry lessons that are infused with social studies and visual arts.




Marjory has taught undergraduate courses in poetry writing and literature at advanced and introductory levels. She has also taught courses on banned books and writing about the immigrant experience, English composition, African-American literature, public speaking, the role of the exile in literature, literature and the natural world, literature and medicine, poetry and witness.

She and the co-authors of the book We Are Charleston, Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, Dr. Bernard Powers and Herb Frazier are currently touring colleges with their presentation College Conversations on Race and Hope.



Poetry and Healing

During the twelve years she taught journaling and writing to cancer patients and their families at Roper St. Francis Cancer Center, Marjory has witnessed the immeasurable benefit of applying creativity to the healing process.  Poems help patients and caregivers during periods of intense emotional vulnerability and bring solace and meaning to the stress-filled world of the hospital.  She also taught literature and medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina and she would love to help your hospital establish an arts and healing program.