So far so good

Hi everyone,

The new year seems to be off and running. It’s high time. We only have 360 days left!
So far I’ve named my new wagon, with your help (It’s officially BENTLEY. Thank you, Sneed Niederriter), submitted one manuscript, one book proposal, and worked with Mary Jo Fresch to submit a presentation proposal for NCTE in November.mary-jo-fresch2
Today I hope to concentrate on another book idea. I’m working on this project with Sandy Asher and we’re in the very early stage of trading ideas and reactions. Sandy Asher poses outside her Lancaster City Home.  Photo:Shahan
I’ll start by making a list of potential subject matter based on a theme and fiddle with that until some sense of it emerges clearly enough that I can draft a poem or two to share with Sandy. This one might or might not get off the ground but you have to start somewhere and this is usually how it works for me.

I don’t know what the rest of this week (today and Friday) will hold, but so far so good.


Vegas and Boston

Hi everyone,

Here’s a shot of the Las Vegas Marathon while we were there. I heard that it involved 35,000 runners.
At NCTE I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get any pictures but Linda Baie was kind enough to take one of Sandy and me Sandy and Davidand someone else took a picture of Georgia Heard and Laura Purdie Salas with me at Do I know how to pick glamorous women or what!

Back to work

Hi everyone,

My first visit to Boston was a good one even though I didn’t have a chance to do any sightseeing. I enjoyed many visits with other poets and a highlight was being part of a team that made a vocabulary-based presentation that we called “Let the Words Rain Down.” Many thanks to my friend and collaborator, Mary Jo Fresch, for orchestrating the event. We had a good turnout and are already planning to submit a proposal next year in Washington, D.C.

It’s back to work for me now. Lots to do and I’m running out of year. I MUST complete a book that is now past the halfway mark and already some new possibilities are wanting attention.

Thanks for your patience while I’ve been in and out lately. I’m home for several weeks so hopefully things will settle down a bit.


Report on NCTE

Hi everyone,

I’ve about caught up on the e-mail backlog and can focus on other things for a while. Then it’s back to the wheel. I want to tell you a little about the conference in Chicago.

This year I heard that total attendance at NCTE was around 7,000 so that’s a good crowd. Friday night Sandy and I ate with a group that included Janet Wong, Mary Jo Fresch, Peggy Harkins, Rebecca Dotlich, Heidi Mordhorst, Laura Purdie Salas, Elaine Magliaro, Arnold Adoff, and others.

Earlier that day I co-presented with Mary Jo and Peggy. Our subject was using nonfiction picture books in the classroom. We were blessed with an overflow attendance with people sitting on the floor, standing along the walls, and listening in from the hall. We ran out of handouts but Mary Jo is posting them on the NCTE site for those who didn’t get theirs and would like to obtain copies.

On Saturday I was among the authors featured at the Authors’ Luncheon and was pleased to visit with those who purchased tickets to attend. Each author was seated at a table for eight. Also at my table were author Larry Dane Brimner and Boyds Mills Press editor Carolyn Yoder. J. Patrick Lewis, our current U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate, was honored with NCTE’s 2011 Excellence in Children’s Poetry Award.

I spent time Friday and Saturday signing books at the Scholastic and Boyds Mills booths, wandering the exhibit floor now and then to meet and greet, and attended a fine presentation Saturday morning by Janet Wong, Sylvia Vardell, Laura Salas, and Stephen Young.

Other friends I saw and/or visited with included Ruth Culham, Laura Robb, Lester Laminack, Jim Blasingame, Joyce Sidman, Sara Holbrook, Dona Rice, Wendy Murray, Joanna Davis-Swing, Allan Wolf, Ralph Fletcher, Suzy Capozzi, Michael Shaw, and Jan Greenberg (whose book, BALLET FOR MARTHA, won this year’s Orbis Pictus Award). Larry Dane Brimner won honors for his book, BLACK & WHITE.

Sandy came with me, which made the trip even more special. After the conference we saw some of the sights, of which Chicago has many. One thing we might not do again was to become ensnared in the crowd of onlookers lining both sides of Michigan Avenue to watch the Christmas parade. There were an estimated one million people. All we wanted to do was get through them to reach the restaurant where we had reservations. It took a lot of work but we eventually got there even though we had to walk an extra ten blocks out of our way to get around the parade route.

That’s my report. Next year the conference is in Vegas. I’m already thinking about a presentation that will get me there!



Hi everyone,

I’m in Chicago at NCTE where it is my pleasure to co-present with Mary Jo Fresch and Peggy Harkins. Our subject? Nonfiction. Mary Jo is showing me how to work with PowerPoint. I’ve tried in the past but kept wandering off the path and losing my way back to the outline. This time I’m in good hands and feel optimistic. My big breakthrough!

I look forward to seeing many friends and making new ones. I’ll take my laptop and hope for the best in keeping in touch.

Back Monday evening.


By davidlharrison Posted in NCTE Tagged