Our Brush with Greatness – And Now Back to Work

A month ago, my coauthor, Quraysh Ali Lansana, and I received notice of nomination for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Instructional Literature. We had been confident that we would be so recognized if we presented the book for consideration and that day affirmed our anticipation, as well as our belief that we have created … Read more

ODS Nominated for NAACP Image Award!

The NAACP Image Award nominations were announced in Los Angeles at 9:00 a.m. PST on Thursday, January 19, 2012. I am honored to share that my coauthor, Quraysh Ali Lansana, and I were nominated for our book, Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy, & Social Justice in Classroom & Community, in the category … Read more

Goodbye 2011 – It’s Been Good to Know Ya!

Every year, I find the transition from one year to the next unsettling. Perspectives change just in the passage of a day into another year. It is odd. This year, Samoa is losing a whole day as they switch to a time zone that is more in keeping with their primary trade partners. That is … Read more

Digging Yellow Dock Is Always A Potent Metaphor

Saturday morning, fairly early and definitely quiet. I am bearing witness to the slow waking of my neighborhood, the first weekend the students are back. Classes start Monday. The tone has changed. Still, over the trill of crickets and songbirds’ breakfast chatter, a church bell sounds in the distance, signal that morning mass is over. … Read more

No Crying in Baseball or Over Spilt Milk…

My week started with the disappointing news that I, among many who applied, did not receive a NY Foundation for the Arts Independent Artist Fellowship once again. I was so disappointed for any number of reasons and frustrations, not the least of which, the leg up that $7,000 of unrestricted funds would have provided at … Read more

And Now, Time for Some Poetry…

After being fully immersed for more than a year in drafting, crafting, thrashing, revamping, revising, and fine-tuning Our Difficult Sunlight, in general, I left poems by the wayside. I had initiated four cycles of poems, many of which will be united into book entities once the cycles are complete; however, once there was a contract with a … Read more

Saturday Morning after a Long Haul

The past few weeks have been a fabulous and exhausting flurry. After a January of teaching both middle and high school with just a few days off to process all that work had been, I headed to Washington, DC, with Jennifer Pashley for the annual AWP conference. Jennifer is a truly gifted fiction writer, author … Read more