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.

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Julie Hedlund interview and Renee LaTulippe’s Poet-a-Palooza

BULLETIN: For fans of POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL, you’re in for some fun at Renee LaTulippe’s No Water River today. With her usual mastery of the form, Renee has put together a thoroughly entertaining presentation that includes an interview with Mary Skelly, a wonderful teacher who is passionate about teaching poetry to her fourth graders PLUS new videos by some of the poets in the book: George Ella Lyon, Joy Acey, Heidi Bee Roemer, Heidi Mordhorst, and me (playing my trombone — sort of). Click here to visit Poet-a-Palooza (Part I). http://www.nowaterriver.com/national-poetry-month-the-poetry-friday-anthology-for-middle-school-poet-a-palooza-part-1/#comments-wrap

REMINDER: In case anyone missed it yesterday, the word for April is FRAGRANCE. Let the sweet smelling poetry begin!

Hi everyone,

Today it’s my privilege to be interviewed by Julie Hedlund who, hardly two hours after posting her effort, left the country for Italy. She called the other day on Skype and we had a pleasant talk. Later she divided our discussion into segments according to theme. If you care to check the interview on her site, I hope you’ll find something to enjoy.  Here’s how.

http://www.juliehedlund.com/julies-blog

Available Now! A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS
Creator, Template for Storybook Apps
Founder, 12 x 12 in 2012 PB Writing Challenge
Leader, Writer’s Renaissance Retreat in Florence, Italy

Many of you know Julie and follow her site. She also attended the poetry workshop last year that was co-led by Eileen Spinelli, Rebecca Dotlich, and me. Julie, many thanks. I had a good time visiting with you and hope you enjoy Florence.

David