• Eleven Days Before I Go




    Paul Winter, of the organization Scottie’s Place, posted this photo on a blog.   It is dated December 13, 2012. You can read the post, Life in Kakuma Refugee Camp.  Scottie’s Place is an American-based nonprofit organization working to support the education of girls and young women in the camp, as well as many other sites. Paul Winter’s blog post is terribly sobering.

    I am preparing to go to Kakuma Refugee Camp  – in eleven days.  From here on out, I am devoting this blog to my journey to Kakuma.  It will become a more personal story. Follow my blog at http://goodbraider.com where I’ll write about Kakuma when it is possible.

  • OD Bonny Writes “A Girl From Juba”

    South Sudanese American rapper OD Bonny opened our launch event for The Good Braider on a blustery night in Maine. Then he stunned us with a new song he has written to tell the story of Viola,  the heroine of the novel.  OD is still working on the song and is creating a book trailer with scenes from Juba and Portland.  Here’s a sneak preview of  OD singing A Girl From Juba.The cover song of his new album, Kwo I Lobo Tek  stays in my mind.  The Portland Phoenix called it “an infectious pop-hip-hop carousel ride.” “Kwo I Lobo Tek” is Acholi, meaning roughly,  life is a hard journey.  But the song feels like hope.


  • Braiding the Verse Novel: Jeannine Atkins

    Jeannine Atkins’ poems that recreate the lives of people in history are a part of “Braiding the Verse Novel.”  These are a series of interviews I did with writers of novels –  and this biography  – in verse.  I’ve written articles about verse novels that draw on these conversations in different ways.


  • EarthView – WorldView

    I gave a talk to students who are studying to become teachers at the University of Maine in Farmington at their annual Diversity Conference.  At the same time, the New England Geographical Society  was meeting on campus.  And a part of that conference was a 20-foot inflatable balloon, hand-painted to look like a globe, and set up in the university gym.  It happened that the talk I gave had the title, Center of the World. I’ve been fascinated by the Buddhist idea that wherever we are, anywhere in the world, we are in the center.  Wherever we walk, everybody is walking in their own sacred space.  Of course where READ MORE

  • The Verse Novel: Caroline Starr Rose

    “Braiding the Verse Novel”  is a series of interviews I did with writers of novels –  and one biography  – in verse.  We had our conversations over the summer of 2012. I’ve written articles about verse novels for School Library Journal and NH Writer which draw on these conversations in different ways.  Here, I’m posting the generous responses from each of the writers who allowed me to ask them questions.

    Caroline Starr Rose, author of the award-winning middle grade novel May B.,takes readers into a culture of poverty on the Kansas frontier of the 1800s. Here’s our conversation.

    Terry:  Would you select a few lines from your novel and tell about a choice you made in the craft of those lines?