Thanks again to recent guests

Hi everyone,

Sometimes in my rush forward I forget to pause to really thank those who have done me the favor of appearing on my blog. Over the past couple of months I’ve had notable guests who have shared their wit and wisdom here and today feels like a good time to say once more that I’m grateful. To revisit their appearances, click on the links with their names and pictures.








Gary Dulabaum tomorrow

REMINDER: I leave Friday for NCTE in Orlando to present Word of the Month Poetry Challenge. The second part of my program will feature two-voice poems selected from handouts and read by members of the audience. In addition to my own two-voice poems I’ve included some by Georgia Heard, Paul Fleischman, and Bobbi Katz.

We’ll have a lot of fun and I hope to see a good turnout. I’m on from 8:00 – 9:15 Saturday morning in the Coronado/Yucatan Room. Come if you can and/or tell others who might be attending the conference to come to my session.h4

Hello everyone,
You are about to meet one of America’s best known proponents of music education. That is a very simplified statement of what Gary Dulabaum is all about so I’ll let you read his bio today and his great article tomorrow. Here’s what Gary sent to share about himself. Thanks, Gary.


Gary Dulabaum is an author, educator, poet, songwriter and recording artist of children’s music and he understands first-hand the power of music and the performing arts as teaching tools in the everyday classroom. In fact, in a perfect world, Gary believes music would be integrated into the whole curriculum. Personal creativity, emotional development, self-expression, good decision making, and the development of the whole child/student would be just as important as any test score.

In this perfect world, language arts instruction would include reading, writing, music, movement, drama, dance, performance poetry, the visual arts, and the study of rhythm and how rhythm affects and relates to language. These subjects are all celebrations of language and are the true tools that people need to be able to clearly and creatively communicate throughout their lives.

Gary has been called an innovative educator who knows how to put the arts back into the language arts. Through the years he has seen the joy that music and the performing arts bring to the classroom and how it levels the playing/learning field for all students.

Whether it be a song/movement activity for preschoolers and kindergartners to help them make the link from oral to printed language; or a second grade class writing a song about their favorite book that they’ll later take from the page to the stage; or maybe some fifth graders singing historical songs about subjects they are studying with the intent on re-writing and updating with a more modern message and presentation; music, rhythm, performance poetry and songwriting are Gary’s main teaching tools.

As an educational Consultant, author and performing artist, Gary has visited several thousand schools across the nation and beyond and has keynoted, presented and entertained at many local, state, regional and national conferences. He has been a regular presenter for the International Reading Association since 1993.

Gary was a Guest Lecturer in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney for 12 years teaching a series of classes for pre-service and practicing teachers that included using music and the arts not only to expand, enhance and further develop fluency and comprehension skills but to also demonstrate how music is an effective everyday teaching tool that can be used across the curriculum.

He is author of professional teaching guide My Teacher Rides a Harley: Enhancing K-5 Literacy through Songwriting and has released six recordings of his original music. Gary also has two of his songs in Nile Stanley’s book, Creating Readers with Poetry.

Gary is also a full-time professional musician who grew up in that rich Northeastern Ohio music scene where bluegrass, old timey, country, rock, punk, jazz and folk were all being played, Gary’s earliest musical influence was his guitar, banjo, bass, keyboard & ukulele-playing father, Marion, who also sang tenor in a quartet. As a young boy, Gary also found musical inspiration from two great aunts: Ruth and Helen Chapel of Akron, Ohio. Ruth was a jazz pianist and poet who loved to play Gershwin tunes and Helen was a folk ballad singer whose singing was collected by the late Ohio folklorist Mary Olive Eddy. Helen’s version of the folk ballad “Mary Maid of the Moor” appears in the Ballads and Songs from Ohio collection.

So there’s a little bit about a very busy guy. Come back tomorow to read his thoughts and suggestons.David

This week at a glance

It has been a good week.

Monday I introduced a new challenge for anyone interested in composing Found Poems using pre-existing prose found in all sorts of publications. We have read several excellent poems so far and they continue to come in. Please don’t forget about this opportunity. Georgia Heard is checking that post to see if she can spot poems she could use in her upcoming book.

Tuesday I summarized our ITCH poems posted so far. Here they are again.


Steven Withrow: The Witch’s Itches
Mary Nida Smith: Bewitched
Gay Fawcett: Itch (written by Laura C., a former student)
Ken Thomas Slesarik: Itchy Dilemma
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater: Why Me?
Jane Heitman Healy: In the Mirror
Jane Heitman Healy: Letting Go
Barbara Turner: Mr. Poe’s Itch
Julie Krantz: Blood Brothers


Taylor McGowan: Little Nuisance

Since then we have received these additional poems.

Gay Fawcett: A Lady’s Fame
Liz Korba: Which Itch?

Wednesday it was my pleasure to feature Wendy Singer’s remarks and poem. Wendy continues to receive many comments from fans old and new. She was my 6th Guest Reader.  These Canadians are doing all right for themselves! Where are my poets from other countries?

Thursday I re-featured the pictures of all six of my Guest Readers so far. That made a great looking page with talented people from New York, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, and Montreal.

Friday I gave you a link to my three-day poetry workshop next June in Pennsylvania and announced the coming appearances of Nancy Gow (July 21) as my next Guest Reader and Gary Dulabaum as a Featured Friday Guest.

Not a bad week, considering that I’m supposed to be taking time off this summer to write more.

Poetry workshop next June


Recently I mentioned that I’ll do a three-day poetry workshop next June in Honesdale, Pennsylvania as part of Hightlights Foundation’s series of Founders Workshops. The information is up now at this link:

For specific information about my workshop, scroll down to this and click on my name. It would be great to see some of you there. Workshops fill up quickly because there is only room for ten or twelve people.

June 2–5, 2011
Somebody Ought to Write a Poem
Workshop Leader: David Harrison

We leave in the morning for a week in Florida. I’ll take my laptop but you never know how much will get done on a family trip. Look forward to seeing Nancy Gow next Wednesday, the 21st, as my next Guest Reader. Gary Dulabaum is coming up soon as a Featured Friday Guest, maybe as soon as next week.

I hope that everyone is having a good summer.


Announcing upcoming guest: Gary Dulabaum

BULLETIN: Tomorrow I’ll post Poetry Tip #7: THE QUATRAIN. I hope you will find it useful.

On April 2, Nile Stanley appeared as my guest and one of those who commented on Nile’s fascinating contribution was Gary Dulabaum. I’ve met Gary and enjoyed his enormous talent as a writer, performer, musician, wit, and all-around charismatic personality so I asked if he would be my guest sometime when his schedule allows.Now I can tell you that Gary has agreed. It may be a while before we get him posted here on a Friday but I’m already looking forward to hosting him when he’s ready.

Don’t forget to vote for your selections for May Hall of Fame Poet and May Hall of Fame Young Poet. Polls close on May 30. Here’s the link: