These thoughts represent my life as a poet and my questions, amazing moments, poignant exchanges, compassion, and outrage at times, gathered as I work in public school and community settings. My goal is to instill a passion for language, reading, writing, and the art of poetry in anyone willing to suspend belief that they cannot express or interpret for themselves.
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.:
"The authors have taken a very difficult thing—social justice—and worked it into teachable lessons. Classroom teachers will getthis
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
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
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
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