Empowerment through Language...

Our Difficult Sunlight

Meet My Coauthor: In partnership with Chicago poet, professor, and former director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center, Quraysh Ali Lansana, we now present our book for teachers and teaching artists, Our Difficult Sunlight (see above). Click on Quraysh's name above for a link to learn more about the talents of my esteemed colleague and collaborator.

Contact us for bookings, consulting, professional development for your school or organization's programming, etc.:

Experience ODS:
Preview an excerpt from Amistad, Howard University literary journal, foreword by Dr. Carol D. Lee, and authors' prologue. The link above directs you to the site; excerpt starts on page 99.
Harvard Educational Review's Spring 2012 issue features a lovely review; read for yourself:

Praise for Our Difficult Sunlight:
"The authors have taken a very difficult thing—social justice—and worked it into teachable lessons. Classroom teachers will get this book, especially in this climate of intolerance and cruel bullying. More and more teachers are asking for cross-curriculum writing lessons, and the “Baseball Game Persona Poems” lesson fits that bill, delving into history, science, etc. The book has done a good job capturing the notion that teaching poetry is relevant and important."
      —Bao-Long Chu, Writers in the Schools, Houston, Texas

"All teaching artists, veteran teachers who will work in partnership with them, and especially administrators in schools that host them should consider this a “must-read” text. Teachers will glean so much from this wonderful explanation and simple guiding directions. The lesson plans presented are complete and user friendly. They could be used in any school anywhere and make an impact. The rich vocabulary throughout the book pushed even me to look up words and increase my word bank!"
      —Paula Amaditz, elementary school principal (retired), Forestburgh, New York

"One of the most powerful and obvious strengths of the work are the two voices coming from uniquely different experiences (Black/White, female/male, Hip-Hop Generation/ Boomer). Both writers bring not only a wealth of experience in urban, suburban, and rural schools, but also profound respect for the craft and for students and teachers as well. The manuscript is ripe with examples of respect and therefore a “listening” to the voices and experiences of the students. I have no doubt the book will be enthusiastically received for years to come."
     —Jackie Warren-Moore, poet, playwright, and teaching artist, Syracuse, New York

"A real strength is the passion with which both writers write. It’s interesting to read a book written by two different authors; I got the feeling I was getting a more well-rounded picture of the teaching artist’s life by reading two perspectives. Their deep experiences as teaching artists come through. It’s clear that both are excellent teachers who are very successful with students and teachers. Their lesson plans are clear, well written, and interesting."
      —Mary Rechner, Literary Arts Writers in the Schools Program, Portland, Oregon

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