Update from Jeanne Poland

BULLETIN: Please check my video on Facebook. “Double double, toil and trouble.” I was going to wait until Halloween but instant gratification got in the way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11tTOTPZtE0&feature=youtu.be

Hi everyone,

I asked for updates on writing experiences from anyone who has attended previous poetry workshops. One of the original SWAP 8+1 members, Jeanne Poland, was the first to respond. I am not surprised. Jeanne is always prompt and I relied on her to keep me on schedule at the workshops she attended. She is a former nun, retired teacher, gifted artist, and dedicated poet. Here are her own words. Thanks Jeanne!
Honesdale, David and Jeanne
1 David introduced me to a blog on WordPress, and to daily posting.
I was able to purchase media space and post high-res photos, films, links and marvelous graphics which satisfy my appetite
for illustrations.

2 The replies and comments on various poetry blogs enrich my days immeasurably.

3 Highlights Foundation is my new Writing, Illustrating and Publishing Academy.
The artists are a dignified social circle too.

4 Blurb, an independent author/publishing firm, has guided me in the publication of 13 books.
You can see previews of them for free at:


5 Working on-line has saved me much travel time, and linked me to the global world of art.

6 I continue to be stimulated by the networking with “live poets in live time” and the art shows held at the galleries here in NY.

7 Finally, my days are sprinkled with the joys of the 3 and 5 year old grand children, who also love to rhyme and initiate great art:


Jeanne Poland

Someone could win a book

REMINDER: Today is the first day of the Friends of the Library Book Sale. I posted about it a few days ago but here’s the link to refresh your memory. If you live in the area, try to get by and take advantage of the bargains. http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/good-books-for-good-prices/

BULLETIN: Here’s a reading must. It’s Cheryl Harness’s Nonfiction Minute about Dolley Madison. It’s history come alive as only Cheryl tells it. http://www.nonfictionminute.com/the-nonfiction-minute/the-wednesday-night-crush

Hi everyone,

Many of you know about a group called Teaching Authors (Six Authors Who Also Teach Writing). My thanks to one of their members, Carmela Martino, for featuring a Halloweenish poem of mine in her October 17 post: Reaching Reluctant Readers, Poetry Friday, and CWIM Giveaway. Here’s the link. http://www.teachingauthors.com/2014/10/CWIM-giveaway.html?spref=fb . Someone will win a copy of the book, BUGS, when the drawing takes place 11 days from now.

Carmela has written an article for 2015 CHILDREN’S WRITER’S AND ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET so you can also find out how you might win a copy of that.

My thanks to Carmela for choosing my poem to include in her post. If you haven’t gone over to become acquainted, this is a good chance.


Living and Dying with Grace

BULLETIN: Kenn Nesbitt, Our U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate, has joined the celebration this month of our 5th anniversary of Word of the Month Poetry Challenge. Not once but twice! With thanks to Kenn, I hope everyone will scroll to the bottom of the adult poems for excellent examples of Kenn’s winning humor!

REMINDER: We are also blessed this month with the first student poems we’ve seen in a very long time. Please read them and let the students know how much we enjoy their work and appreciate them and their teachers!

Hi everyone,

Let me tell you about a new book. It’s called LIVING AND DYING WITH GRACE: A CAREGIVER’S JOURNAL. and is written by Susan Carmichael. I met Susan when she attended my first poetry workshop in 2011. The Barn wasn’t built yet so we met in the farmhouse that once was home to the founders of Highlights.Poetry Workshop at Honesdale, 2011 024 The picture is of Susan (left) and Heidi Mordhorst having an animated chat. Eight poets attended that workshop and we named ourselves SWAP 8+1. Swap had to do “with us swapping poems, energy, problems and success, plus all the help we give each other.”

True to our name, the members of SWAP 8+1 have remained faithful with correspondence. We have shared sadness, job and address changes, and warming success. Quite a bit of publishing news has been shared and I continue to be impressed by the determination of these poets to find outlets for their work. I’ll report on everyone’s adventures in a blog this week.

But for now, back to Susan and her new book. This one is not poetry. It’s about Horace, her father-in-law, who was a fine man and her good friend. Toward the end of his life Susan was deeply involved in caring for Horace and learning from him, in the process, the grace of dying with humor, kindness, and consideration.

I began reading this book as a favor and ended it with appreciation, not to mention the lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I recommend Susan’s book for anyone who is caring for, has cared for, or might find themselves caring for a beloved family member. Susan, thank you for writing this.

If you want a copy of your own, http://www.livinganddyingwithgrace.com is the only place Susan is selling it. She says, “if a group would like several copies, e-mail her at susan@livinganddyingwithgrace.com and she will gladly fill the request.

What they’re missing

David's first fish

Hi everyone,

In the September issue of Language Arts, published by National Council of Teachers of English, I find a disappointing set of numbers. I quote: “In a survey of over 800 mothers in the US in the early 2000s, 71% of interviewed mothers recalled that as children they had played outdoors every day.IMAG1745 Comparatively, only 26% of these mothers reported that their children played outdoors every day.”Woods near The Barn[1]

Folks, this isn’t right. Why, in fourteen years, have children’s habits changed so dramatically? It’s always tempting to blame technology, the lure of staring at screens and thumbing off notes to pals and yelling through the latest computer game. What do you think? What else might be causing American children to eschew the pleasures of the outdoors to stay inside? More importantly, what are we going to do about it?


A rose for my friends


Hi everyone,

The white impatiens pedals have blown off and floated on the pool like a Japanese end of season ceremony. The geraniums seem to care less. Their blossoms have shrunk to save energy. Rose bushes are spindly and droop under the weight of existing. Yesterday I discovered one survivor, perhaps the last rose of summer.

I dedicate it to you. For who you are. For what you do. For never giving up.