Huffin’ and puffin’ away

Hi everyone,

My thanks to TINA HACKER for making and posting this announcement yesterday on a site maintained for Hallmark folks, past and present. It would be special to see some people I worked with, back in the day, when I speak at The Writers Place in November. Tina, thank you for sponsoring me for that event. I am looking forward to being back in Kansas City! Maybe some friends from the Springfield area and elsewhere will make plans to attend the free evening that is open to the public.

Yesterday I agreed to make a pre-recorded video with LAURA ROBB, JANAY BROWN-WOOD, and MARGARITA ENGLE for the NCTE conference in November. We’re already set to present at 10:30 a.m. the morning of November 21 in Anaheim.

On today’s agenda, I’ll pick up some pictures I ordered from photographer RANDY BACON from his recent exhibit in partnership with Ozark Literacy Council, “Words and Pictures.” Later in the day I’ll meet with an editor via Google. For now, it’s back in the wheel.

Going to NCTE this fall?

Hi everyone,

We now know that our proposed panel on poetry has been accepted for National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) in Anaheim in November. If you plan to attend this year’s national conference, I hope you will make an effort to come to our session. I’ll tell you where and when as details are published.

Thanks to LAURA ROBB for getting us organized and to


and MARGARITA ENGLE for making this such a dynamite foursome.

Our title is, “Poetry: Lights Our Imagination and Humanity.”

More Joy

Hi everyone,

Yesterday my new issue of NCTE’s Council Chronicle arrived. And there was our pal JANET WONG, recipient of the 2021 NCTE Excellence in Poetry for Children Award, with a delightful article — More Joy — about getting poetry into the classroom. And how does she propose we start? With a suitcase!

What is a Poetry Suitcase? She explains. It contains a “bunch of stuff I never use in everyday life.” And how do you use this bunch of stuff? “When a student chooses something out of the suitcase of props, you share a poem that goes with it.”

It’s an article as stuffed with good ideas as a, uh, a poetry suitcase. I hope you get a chance to read it. It’s free and available to the public at: Thanks, Janet. Great job!

Found in Language Arts

Hi everyone,

My new issue of “Language Arts” just arrived from National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) and I’m happy to see a full page ad on the inside back cover for EMPOWERING STUDENTS’ KNOWLEDGE OF VOCABULARY, LEARNING HOW LANGUAGE WORKS, the recent book that MARY JO FRESCH and I wrote for classroom teachers. If you or a teacher you know for grades 3-5 might like to order a copy, now might be a good time.

Featured on Kathy Temean’s blog

Hi everyone,

Kathy Temean just posted a feature of EMPOWERING STUDENTS’ KNOLWLEDGE OF VOCABULARY, LEARNING HOW LANGUAGE WORKS, co-written with Mary Jo Fresch. My thanks to Kathy. I hope you will visit her blog at and see how to register to win a free copy of the book.