I’ve been doing a little housecleaning around my blog, focusing for the first time in ages on those little boxes above my head. See them? All in a row? ABOUT. ADULT “W.O.M.” POEMS. TALKS AND SCHOOL VISITS. VIDEOS AND INTERVIEWS. YOUNG POETS “W.O.M.” POEMS. If you’ve started following my blog recently you might not have clicked on all those boxes. But I forget to click on some of them too. I just took down one that wished my grandson a happy birthday that had been there for a long time and I don’t know how it even got there. Probably me trying to put it somewhere else.
My bio, under ABOUT, was out of date, by seven years or so. A lot has happened during that time. You can read about me on my website, of course, but this is a little shortcut to some information. You may not care at all about watching me on a video or reading another interview, but in case you’re newish to me, that box might be helpful. I put it there mostly for people who might want me to speak at a conference or go to a school.
There’s also a box about school visits. I’m not a road warrior so I don’t map out parts of the country and send promotional materials to potential school sites. Some of my friends do. They are gifted writers and speakers and I know they do a great deal of good as classroom resources as they inspire students. I began visiting schools some time ago, in the 1970s to be exact, so over the past 40 years I’ve seen my share of students, too, and I love to do it. When someone tracks me down and wants to talk about bringing me to their school, I’m always flattered and ready to listen.
The last box is for teachers to post Word of the Month poems by their students. That box used to receive quite a bit of attention. That was back before high stakes testing obliterated most classroom flexibility, back when it was still feasible to have kids write poetry for the delight of it and then take a few more minutes to post their best efforts here so an adult audience could enjoy, learn, and offer congratulations. I really, really miss those times, and I hold out hope that somehow they will return.
Over to your right are some other boxes. I think some of them got there when Kathy Temean and I were envisioning this spot in 2009. We were going to list other sites, began with Eileen and Jerry Spinelli, and Kathy, and somehow got bogged down. But one of the side boxes will take you to my website where you’ll find all sorts of information, including a guest book in case you’d like to leave a note to tell me you came by.
Below that you come to a rather long list of topics I’ve talked about over the years. We’ve covered a lot of ground since this adventure began. When I look to see what visitors to my blog are viewing, I often note that the list of past posts gets quite a bit of play.
So there you have the tour. Thanks to all for your visits, comforts, and inspirations. I still haven’t decided what I do here nearly every morning. I used to write more in my journals. These morning ruminations seem to have taken over some of the duties, except that my journal entries are more or less private thoughts and my blog turns out to be an open book, parts bully pulpit, news updates, things that drive/motivate me, and . . . just me.