• Christmas Visits With The Cat

    A child from Pittsfield, NH retells the story of The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup.

    I have enjoyed Christmas class visits.  I went to New Durham School in New Hampshire and met all the children, grades 1 -6.  They are very fun to puzzle out with about what’s really going on in THE CAT WHO LIKED POTATO SOUP.  The children are savvy. They see the truth about the old man who in the story claims to have no affection for his old cat. He complains about her. He calls her a “worthless cat. Never caught nothin’ Not a mouse, nothin’.”  But the children read between the lines. They see the old man let her sleep on his electric blanket and  he takes her bowls of potato soup.  And they see the READ MORE

  • 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