School visits on my mind

Hi everyone,
David Harrison Elementary2 307
It has been ages since I adjusted my fee for school visits. I love to do them but my price is higher than a lot of budgets can handle. My friends Roland and Marie Smith just returned from a 20,000 mile jaunt around the country making school visits, which is what got me thinking about the subject again.

I haven’t decided for sure yet, and I’m booked for the rest of this year anyway, but I might drop my fees for next year to get closer to the going range. I can’t get away to make extended trips like those whippersnappers the Smiths, but I would enjoy seeing a few more students than I have been lately, maybe on the order of half a dozen or so more schools. Decisions, decisions.

David

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Poetry workshop update

REMINDER: If you are interested in participating in my poetry workshop at the home of Highlights in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, there are 5 spots left. I set an upper limit of 12 and I believe we’re already up to 7 who have been accepted.

We’ll kick things off at 3:00 PM on Thursday, June 2, with a tour of HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN (R) and Boyds Mills Press. I’ve published 27 books with Boyds Mills and love my occasional stays at the original home of the founders of the company. The workshop takes place on the grounds and inside the comfortable house.

We’ll be together all day Friday and Saturday and wind things up after lunch on Sunday, June 5. I’ll mix the menu so you’ll have plenty of time between group sessions to be alone with your thoughts and court your muse against a peaceful, forested backdrop.

Group activities will include:

1) Sharing favorite poems and exploring why we like them
2) Reading poems with alternating voices to build teamwork and camaraderie
3) Brainstorming ideas for poems using a variety of practical techniques
4) Discussing what makes poetry poetry
5) Arguing the pros and cons of verse and free verse
6) Debating the relevance of children’s poetry
7) Participating in four useful workshops on key aspects of conceiving, writing, improving, and marketing poetry

Individual activities will include time to:

1) Practice writing what you’re learning
2) Be still with your thoughts
3) Start something new
4) Have me critique your work
5) Meet and chat with me one-on-one

What we will accomplish:

1) Write poems!
2) Work on fundamental elements of poetry
3) Send you home loaded with ways to find and develop ideas
4) Help make you a better poet

If this workshop sounds right for you and you want more information, contact the Foundation directly by telephone at 570-253-1192. Or, e-mail the director at contact@highlightsfoundation.org . I’ll hope to see you in Honesdale.

Hi everyone,

Over the months we’ve been enjoying Word of the Month Poetry Challenge, many of you have become accustomed to seeing good poems consistently posted by students of Jana Smith and, more recently, students of Nanette Valuck, who teach at Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo, Ohio.

One of the nice things that has happened because of my blog is that Jana and the administration of her school have invited me to fly to Toledo and visit with the students and teachers at MVCD. I leave tomorrow morning. I’ll meet with parents tomorrow night during a program designed to demonstrate some of the many uses of poetry. On Friday I’ll visit students in each grade from 1st through 6th. I look forward to the opportunity.

I’m already impressed by all the work going into the preparations for my visit and I’m sure I’ll come home with good stories and fond memories. Stay tuned.

David

My Word of the Month poem and With kids in Paterson, New Jersey

BULLETIN: This morning my blog registered its 60,000th visit. Thanks to all!

REMINDER:Tonight at 10:00 CST is cutoff for this month’s Word of the Month poems!!!!

Hello everyone,

Here’s my Weather poem. I nearly missed the cutoff! I can’t seem to get my mind off storms. The published poem I posted earlier was stormy and so is this one.

Birth of a Monster

It had a birthing place
a dimple in a wave
in a vast sea

where air rose
and pressure dropped
above warm waters

where winds quickly
gathered forces
recruited might
around its one eye
that whirled toward its destiny
lying defenseless in the east

where this demonic freak
unleashed its fury upon the land
ripped off roofs
drowned cows in their fields
bobbed cars like colored marshmallows
down enraged streams

until spent at last it wept a final rain
destroyed one last village
died un-mourned
but well remembered.

Here are some pictures taken when I was working with students in Paterson last week. I’m home now for several weeks and look forward to enjoying the holidays with my family and catching up on answering and filing 1,000 e-mails.

School 29

School 29

School 26

Headed to Paterson

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow I leave for Paterson, New Jersey to spend three days in schools. I look forward to meeting students and working with their teachers. My thanks in advance to Dennis Vroegindewey for writing a successul grant that includes me as poet for the project. I look forward to meeting Dennis in person as well as seeing Bill and Beth Johnson again when they drive to Paterson for part of the event. Bill spent many years with Highlights before joining Zaner-Bloser and Beth was an elementary school teacher. If you are familiar with my “Poetry Basket” from Boyds Mills Press, Bill was instrumental in selecting titles and Beth wrote activites for them.

On Monday I’ll be in School 24 where Steve Rodriguez is principal. Jennifer Reynolds is principal of School 26, where I’ll be on Tuesday. Wednesday is School 29 where Carlos Ortiz is principal.

It’s a safe bet that I’ll do my best to entice a few more teachers to join us in the Word of the Month Poetry Challenge!

David