The after glow

Hi everyone,

It was a good conference. Mary Jo Fresch and I presented on making classroom “recording stars” of young students to help them become more aware of the sounds they hear and their connections with the words they see. More than 100 people came to our session so we were pleased.

That night at least that many came to the Poetry Olio and nearly everyone stayed throughout the 7:30 – 10:00 event. Sunday morning Mary Jo and I made a second, much shorter presentation (at Shell Education).

One of the nicest benefits of these conferences is the chance to see old friends. At such a large conference you can’t see everyone you want to but you never know when you’ll bump into a pal.

Kent Brown and I were asked to leave a small cafe (with limited table space) for lingering too long over our coffees so I now have a distinction that few people can claim. Only moments before that our waitress went on and on to Kent about how much she loves Highlights Magazine and raised her children on it.

On the exhibit hall floor I happened to see Pat Brisson, one of my favorite people and Christopher Award winning picture book author. While we stood in an aisle and visited, Kenn Nesbitt (current U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate) walked up to say hello. Soon Steve Swinburne showed up. You may know Steve through his great books about nature.

It will take a while to send notes to all the people on my list but it will be a pleasant task. Oh yes, on the plane trip going I finished Ruth Culham’s new book, THE WRITING THIEF. It’s wonderful. Teachers and authors will all enjoy the book and learn from it. On the return flight I read J.B. Cheaney’s newest YA novel, SOMEBODY ON THIS BUS IS GOING TO BE FAMOUS. I loved it and heartily recommend it to one and all.

Today I’m trying to remember what I was doing before we left. By tomorrow I hope to be back in harness.


Come see me at IRA

Hi everyone,

I know that some of you, Susan Hutchison, Linda Baie, Deb Wooten, and others will be attending IRA in New Orleans and I hope to see you there. If you’re looking for me, here are some places I’ll be.
2:00-3:00 p.m.–Signing, Holiday House at Publisher Spotlight Booth #1331

4:45-5:45 p.m.–Presentation with Mary Jo Fresch, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room: 245

7:30-10:00 p.m.–Poetry Olio, Marriott Hotel, Canal Street
10:00-11:00 a.m.–Presentation & Signing, Shell Education

11:00-12:00 a.m.–Signing, Boyds Mills Press

Pack a raincoat everyone. Looks like we’ll need one.


Getting set for IRA

David giving brief remarks

Hi everyone,

I’m trying to decide which poems to read at the Poetry Olio this Saturday night at the IRA conference in New Orleans. There are eight or ten featured poets and the program lasts from 7:30 – 9:30 so I’ll probably have time to read six to ten poems. I’ll take more than I think I need but choosing which ones is always hard. If anyone has a favorite of mine, let me know so I can add it to the list of candidates.



IRA is next month!

Hi everyone,

International Reading Association will be here before we know it and I look forward to meeting friends old and new in San Antonio. For those of you who will attend the conference, I’m posting my signing schedule and hoping that you’ll come by to say hello.

2013 IRA schedule
San Antonio, Texas

Saturday, April 20

10:30-11:30 Sign at Highlights booth, #1730

11:30-12:30 Sign at Phoenix Learning, #1514

1:00 – 2:00 Exhibitor Session Presentation; EX12, Room 214A, capacity: 200
Mary Jo Fresch and David Harrison
Use Poetry to Connect Language Learning with Early Childhood Content Areas; Category: Early Childhood/Head Start

2:00 – 3:00 Sign at Shell/TCM, #2513

3:00 – 4:00 Sign at Boyds Mills Press, #1726

4:00 – 5:00 Sign at Overlooked Books

Sunday, April 21

9:00-10:00 Sign at Phoenix Learning, #1514

10:00-11:00 Sign at Highlights booth, #1730

11:00-12:00 Sign at Overlooked Books

Engage, the new IRA blog

Hi everyone,

International Reading Association has established a new blog, ENGAGE, that is sustained by a group of people who have been invited to contribute to it. My first contribution, which is about Word of the Month Poetry Challenge, appeared May 10. You have to be a member of IRA to access the site but I recommend it to you if you are a member or decide to become one.

Current membership of IRA is over 70,000 worldwide and includes teachers, administrators, reading coaches, librarians, authors, and many others who are interested in researching, teaching, or writing in the field of children’s literacy. More than 9,000 attended the annual conference in Orlando. In my audience were teachers from thirty states, Netherlands, Trinidad, Canada, and Columbia.

I consider my dues to organizations like IRA to be part of my responsibilities as a writer. Those who write for children are involved in partnerships with those who raise them, nuture them, and teach them. Part of what I’ll talk about during my poetry workshop next month in Honesdale, Pennsylvania is what children’s writers need to understand about these partnerships and take our places in them.

The link will take you to the place where you have to belong to IRA to go further. Click on Teacher to Teacher under the Blog button. Either way, I wanted to provide the first step.

My heart goes out to everyone who is reeling from the storms and flooding that are doing such awful things to so many people. We have ten straight days of rain in our local forecast and no doubt this means more trouble for those who live downstream from rivers already above flood stage.

For those who have not yet written a poem this month, the word PROMISE seems especially appropriate for the times.