Write Back Soon! Teacher’s Guide (meets Common Core Standards for 6th grade and up!) PDF HERE
(Roost Books/Shambhala, 2015; 240 pgs; $16.95)
WBS! is for anyone who likes hand-written notes. Contributors include Neil Gaiman, Ruth Ozeki, Jane Hirshfield, Norman Fischer, J. Ruth Gendler, Natalie Goldberg, Ava Dellaria, Jon J Muth, Wendy Mass, Albert Flynn DeSilver, Claire Dederer, Gary Snyder, Alison Luterman & Lucille Lang Day. Written during a year when I was far from friends and family, the simple act of penning notes and letters reminded me how everyday news sent via snail mail re-connects us to one another and to ourselves. In this digital age of texts, emails and instant messaging, writing by hand slows us down long enough to create a space for calm to awaken us to the endless wonder of the present moment. WBS! is a great resource for parents, English teachers, anyone who wants to write/receive a letter.
(Roost Books/Shambhala, 2010; 246 pgs; $14.95)
Aimed at 7-12 year-olds, Rip the Page! is your go-to guide of wacky writing experiments guaranteed to get you to pick up a pen. As a Poet in the Schools, I’ve learned a few tricks about how kids like to play with words. Now in a third printing, young writers say they love RTP! because “There aren’t any rules or grades and you get to write & rip pages…& just have FUN!” They like the Notes of Encouragement written from favorite authors: Annie Barrows, Lemony Snicket, Gary Soto, Avi, Patricia Polacco, Naomi Shihab Nye, Betsy Franco, Elizabeth Singer Hunt, Karen Cushman, and Lewis Buzbee… Homeschooling communities choose RTP! for its playful approach. Elementary school teachers use RTP! for the engaging prompts & mini lesson plans. College level instructors keep RTP! around to de-traumatize incoming freshman. Education Departments include RTP! on reading lists for pre-service teachers.
(Roost Books/Shambhala, 2013; 282 pgs; $16.95)
I wrote LEAP! to stretch and surprise my mind during a time of transition, when my heart needed some extra attention and I needed more of a body-based approach to my writing life. Middle school students assisted me in crafting the open-ended experiments that LEAP! offers and weren’t shy about expressing what prompts, poems, stories held their interest. LEAP! contains a rippling memoir (mine) throughout and invites readers to remember/create their own real life stories of surprise. LEAP! also offers an abundance of starts and student examples that invite the most reluctant to explore the territory of the heart. This book begs you to trust yourself, be your own writing guide, reach for a pen and write it all down already.
(Conflux Press, 2004; 41 pgs; $10)
Sister is an ode to childhood that explores the love and loss between siblings. Jane Hirshfield had this to say: “…These are tactful, beautiful poems of grief-acknowledgment and deep connection, each holding a clean-cut wedge of the clearly seen, the precisely felt, the fully lived.” This small collection is often purchased for friends and for sisters. I’m happy to inscribe a copy and send it wherever you like. To order Sister, please contact me via email.