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Give Me a Break December 27, 2009: It happens during every break from school: I am suddenly overcome with rich, vivid, dreams, like something out of a Vision Quest. I wake up with images and lines I scribble down as quickly as I can. [...] by

Sliding Doors December 23, 2009: Many people use the final days of December to take stock of the year — counting their blessings or wallowing in regret. Maybe this is because, as Dana Gioia writes in Summer Storm, “Memory [...] by

True/False December 12, 2009: When I say begin, open your test booklet and begin reading. When you finish reading, write your own list poem. I have always loved Dean Young’s poem “True/False” from his brilliant [...] by

Learning to Teach/Teaching to Learn December 6, 2009: Last weekend my son announced that his 6th grade class was about to start a poetry unit. I thought I knew what this meant, having done guest spots in my kids’ classes since they were in nursery [...] by

A/Musing: On Creativity November 28, 2009: Part I. She entered with a flourish – a leather suit, staccato stilettos, and a hand-held computer device with which she may have been commanding the International Space Station. No time for [...] by

Singing the Blues November 21, 2009: I love blues music — singing the blues, listening to the blues. That’s why I was so excited to get a call from my friend Pierre Lacocque, a wicked blues harp player and the band leader of [...] by

Spoken Words November 14, 2009: Last week we held our annual Literary Festival at school. We had an amazing line-up (including Harold Ramis; 2-time Newberry winner, Gary Schmidt; the rock band, The Handsome Family; and sports [...] by

Poemsinging November 6, 2009: Like many people, my interest in poetry grew out of my interest in music. As a listener, I love the thoughtful lyrics of songwriters like Joe Henry, Rennie Sparks from The Handsome Family, Chuck D, [...] by

A New View on Haiku November 1, 2009: Like many people, I was taught that haiku were poems that followed a 5-7-5 syllable count. In fact, I taught haiku that way for years myself. I’ll even own up to the fact that I used haiku as my [...] by

Poetry Noir October 27, 2009: This year I’m teaching a new class called Literature and Film. Since I’m always thinking of ways to use poetry in the classroom, we started the year by screening Run Lola Run while we [...] by