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Up North — The Upper Peninsula Reading Association

Traveling from Florida to the Upper Peninsula is like going from the nation’s left ankle to its eyebrow. When I was a kid growing up outside of Deeetroit, we used to call everything above Flint, “up north.” But this trip took me REALLY up north, about as north as you can go without taking a

Fern Creek Elementary

This picture was taken at the end of the school day. Notice who is looking tired and who is looking bright as sunshine.
I LOVE visiting the classrooms of my friends (that goes for Katie aka Mrs. Lufkin, too). You know someone in a certain setting. You can see him/her as a person

Atlantic High School, Daytona, FL

Two photos — both taken by teacher Meg Roa who was kind enough to invite me to her school. Although this is common place in Southern climes, it still seems odd to me that the school hallways are on the outside of the buildings, the classroom doors opening to the elements like Motel 6. Atlantic

IUP — which is not in Indiana

This is Dr. Lynne Alvine’s adolescent lit class at IUP (that’s Indiana University of PA) where I had the privilege of speaking on Thursday. Not only were they patient enough to sit through my poetry, they even sat through readings from unpublished manuscripts and in one case a rejected manuscript. On Friday

Ben turns 8

Ben had his 8th birthday today.
He is the oldest of Kelly’s three sons, a sportsman, football player, soccer player, basketball player who has electric guitar dreams and a GREAT imagination for stories. I love Ben’s stories and for his part, he is patient with mine. He seems to take my idol worship in

Where is Suzi?

Here’s a hint — we were at Dempsey Middle School in Delaware, OH, a very happenin’ place. Only insiders, however, can tell where Suzi is in this picture. For more information on Dempsey, follow the link above.
Okay, these were the best prepared students for a visit that ANY author could hope for. Here

St. Thomas Aquinas/St. Phillip School Cleveland

LOVE this photo. The woman who took the picture was disappointed and took a couple more, explaining I wasn’t in the first one. But this is the shot. Not only because I don’t particularly like looking at myself (which I don’t) but because I’m hoping this is a representation of how my poetry impacts

The basecoat

“It was my Granny who taught me to sew”
That’s a line out of a poem I wrote on the occasion of my grandfather’s 100th birthday. Thinking back on their house, the sweet smell of bacon, whir of the manual lawnmower, rose garden, and the goodie drawer, the memory of Granny was stronger. I think

Back to School in Houston

Today I visited three elementary schools in Sheldon ISD. My thoughts about foreign language skills fresh in my mind, I asked every group, “How many people here can speak two languages?” In every case, the majority could! I let them know how much I admired their skills. I think it’s important to let kids

Hable Espanol?

Here’s something I don’t get and it’s come up in casual conversation twice in the last two days — once with a guy buying aspirin for his bad knees in the check-out line at Drug Mart, me holding my soon to be new hangers. “All these people speaking Spanish. They should just learn to speak

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