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Commenting on Comments October 23, 2009: The only thing worth saying in a book review, Raymond Carver once said, is Good job, keep writing! Some people hearing that line assumed he was soft-hearted if not soft-minded – but Carver was [...] by

Users of Word Magic, Makers of Poems October 19, 2009: I’m always stealing ideas from other poets to bring to my classes. This summer I read a very interesting poem by Anna McDonald originally published in The Paris Review. The poem, called [...] by

The Tree Inside My Head October 16, 2009: Several years ago, around Halloween, I was informed of a sickening and racist story while leading a workshop at an affluent, mostly white, local high school. As part of a writing exercise on persona, [...] by

Once More, in English Please October 12, 2009: The recent announcement that Herta Muller won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature came as a huge surprise to me as I’m sure it did to many Americans. While Muller has written twenty books, only 5, [...] by

Making Room for Poetry October 8, 2009: In the past year I’ve talked about poetry with a few hundred classroom teachers and heard one overwhelmingly common complaint.  Given the demands of required texts and standardized tests, [...] by

Pledging Allegiance to Poetry October 3, 2009: school— take out the “sh” and it’s cool Starting is often hardest – the first gesture determines so much of what follows. This is true for poems, for personal introductions, even for [...] by