Everything in NYC is bigger, faster, brighter. After a day’s work in Brooklyn, Louisa, Kelly and I supped at a little Italian (yummy) place and went to see Spring Awakening, which would later sweep the Tony Awards. Here’s the truth — I didn’t love it. I liked it. But I wanted to LOVE it.

A Long Way Gone

Just back from a Janet Allen Institute in Florida. The skies were blanketed heavily with what looked to be rain clouds but turned out to be clouds of smoke. Florida is on fire, and you can smell it everywhere, even in the hotel room. Made me add a line to a poem

IRA Toronto

Once a year reading teachers from all over gather at the International Reading Association meeting — this year in an attempt to fulfill its name, the conference was moved across the border to Toronto — a town with great theater, efficient public transportation and terrific restaurants that just happens to be in Canada. I wish

Mother’s Day Proclamation

Arise then…women of this day!Arise, all women who have hearts!Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!Say firmly:“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,For caresses and applause.Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearnAll that we have been able to teach

And sometimes they steal your heart . . .

It’s that time of year when every kid, teacher, custodian and fraying folder starts crying RECESS. Summer break is breathing hot and heavy on the other side of June 1st and everyone wants to answer the call. Assemblies are restless, teachers are checking their watches and writing workshops slip (skip?)into silliness without even mentioning underwear.

and again . . .

Yesterday at an elementary school came this question from a fifth grader, “have you ever written a poem about the idiot president?”
Excuse me?
He smiled impishly. A few around him proclaimed the Bush to be the greatest president of all time (all time to a nine-year-old is a somewhat limited perspective.)

Do you write politcal poems?

The eighth graders were restless this afternoon. Every poem inspired a volley of verbal fire with the cannons to the right of them, cannons to the left. Not at all sure that I was connecting with any of the 250 of them crowded onto the library floor. Questions and answers went better

Washington Post, NCLB, & Charles Waters

Yesterday, I read an article in the Washington Post that said that the Justice Department is conducting a probe of a $6 billion reading initiative at the center of NCLB on allegations of financial conflicts — meaning people on the committee chose their own programs despite weak or non existant research on the capabilities of

sad week

This was such a sad week — I was in a hotel all last week where the story of the killings at Virginia Tech dominated my room in a constant moan, continuing after I had turned off the news. Even the walls were weeping. So tragic, words fail. And the bloodiest week in Iraq. Too

Jack in the Pulpit?

I remember when my daughter Kelly was getting married, her husband to be, Brian, wasn’t all that thrilled about going with her to pick out china patterns and such. But he was emphatic about her not going alone because he was afraid he would wake up the day after the honeymoon sleeping on ruffled

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