WHISPERshout Writing Workshop is now OPEN for business!

WHISPERshout Writing Workshop is now open for business! Click here to learn more.

* college essay coaching * creative writing coaching for ages 4-8 * * small group classes coming soon!  *

about me

FOR KIDS

My first book, Squeeze, was born in 2005--here I am signing a copy at its Book Birthday Party!  Who is older, you or Squeeze?  I myself was born in 1964 and started writing poetry in about 1972.  I wrote poems all the way through college, took a long break, and began writing again in 1999.

I grew up mainly in Richmond, VA, on the Northside.  Many of the poems in Squeeze are about places and experiences I had there between the ages of 5 and 17.  The poems in Pumpkin Butterfly come mostly from the time after I grew up and became a mom, between 1999 and 2009.

To find out what I mean about poems coming from places and experiences, click on this for young poets link.

Fun Facts
Favorite color:
Turquoise--could you guess?  It took me a long time, but I finally made the commitment at age 32.

Least favorite food:
Green peppers, although I like other green vegetables--even Brussels sprouts. 

Most favorite food:
Yes! 😊

Favorite poetry books:
In the Night Garden by Janet Wong
stone bench in an empty park, collected by  Paul Janeczko
A Lucky Thing by Alice Schertle
all the small poems by Valerie Worth 
Climbing Shadows by Shannon Bramer
One Last Word by Nikki Grimes
A Place Inside of Me by Zetta Elliott 

Favorite Verse Novels:
 Voices by David Elliott (for older readers)
 
Favorite picture books:
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig;
Hazel's Amazing Mother by Rosemary Wells
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran;  
and almost all books by Ezra Jack Keats
I once had a writing friend in New York whose family had known Ezra Jack Keats, and she had an old green sofa that belonged to him. I used to sit on it during meetings of writing group.  Much later I found signed copies of Peter’s Chair and A Letter to Amy in a church library giveaway box, and even later I discovered that we share the same birthday, March 11!

Favorite chapter books:
From when  I was a kid:
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner Chandler
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
My Side of the Mountain by Jean George
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

More recent additions: 
The Mysterious Benedict Societyby Trenton Lee Stewart
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
 
 
 


FOR ADULTS

Over the years I've enjoyed choral singing, improvisational comedy, quilting and salsa dancing in addition to poetry.  I'm a Wesleyan Alpha Delt, a UU and an ENTJ, if you're interested in that sort of thing!

I hold a Master's in Language and Literature in Education in addition to my graduate degree in teaching and that still-useful B.A. in American Studies. This extensive training has served me well throughout 35 years of classroom experience, during which I've taught children ages 3 to 14 in schools from East Harlem to Inner London to the DC suburbs.  I've conducted inservice development for teachers in Writing Workshop, a literature class for ages 4-7 called Books for Beginners, and freelance workshops in classrooms throughout the DC Metro area, especially through Arlington, VA's wonderful Pick-a-Poet program.

After eight years teaching part-time at a local cooperative nursery school, in 2007 my spouse and I moved with our two children to Vincennes, just outside Paris, for a year-long adventure. Between 2008 and 2011 I held several part-time positions in Montgomery County Public schools and worked on an effort--unfruitful--to establish a public charter school. Since 2011 I've been teaching full-time in Montgomery County Public Schools--first Kindergarten, then 2nd, and now PreK.  Our daughter and son, now 22 and 18, are off to adulting adventures, giving me a bit more time to work on writing and on taking urgent action to protect our Planet Earth from the effects of global warming and climate change.