• Year of New Voices – A Reading with Immigrant Writers

    I’ve been working with the talented staff of New Hampshire Humanities to create the New Voices project. We were matchmakers. We matched many New Hampshire poets with immigrant writers to work together with the goal of creating a community reading. Here’s one story.

    Writing united us.  But could we actually pull off a reading? Yes, with help from some poets before us.

    Back row: Tammi Truax, Portsmouth Poet Laureate, Pedro, Leidiane Gabi, Sarah Cristina Clemar, Pilar Nadeau, Terry Farish, front row, Cynthia Chatis, and Carolyn Hutton
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  • Art Lesson for Joseph’s Big Ride

    Ken Daley illustrates Mama, Joseph, Whoosh in Joseph’s Big Ride. “The narrative, which focuses on building a friendship, is paired with Daley’s vibrant illustrations, which depict just how fast the minds, and bikes, of young children can go.”   School Library Journal

    The wish Joseph has in Joseph’s Big Ride finally comes true, his wish to ride a bike. The bike ride came to life in a school in Westbrook, Maine. Master’s of Education students at the Maine College of Art made it happen with an Art Lesson they presented with the students. They began with drawing lots of kids’ hands and the connected hands become the spokes of the bicycle’s wheels.  Like this….

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  • Year of New Voices – Inviting students to tell more

    In 2018 and  2019 I worked with New Hampshire Humanities to create a reading and writing project with English learners.  We called it The Year of New Voices.

    In the Year of New Voices, professional writers met with English learners from many different countries. They read and wrote together.   Then English learners, alongside professional writers,  read their poems, stories, and memoirs in readings in New Hampshire communities.

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  • “I hope I will learn to dance a different dance I’ve never danced before.”

    “This is how we’re gonna do. We’re gonna dance the Nepali song. Cross left leg over right. One – two – three – go.” Then the movie song,  Kale Dai, blasted from the instructor Pujan Wagley’s phone through the school gym. Over the weeks, we moved from the Nepali dance into “Whatcha Gon Do With That Dessert.” And  Pujan, a student at Worcester State and a Bhutanese dancer, taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders hip hop moves to rapper Darwin’s song.  Students end with a flowy, traditional dance to  Ki Chhori hu ma.  This is a story about working with Pujan at Concord, NH’s Broken Ground School where I brought a poetry workshop, too – so together Pujan and I offered poetry and dance.  Our work was supported by a grant to the 21C After School program by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. READ MORE

  • Year of New Voices begins with U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera

    The 21st U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera visits a classroom of international English language learners at the Adult Learning Center in Nashua on April 12, 2018. (Photo by Elizabeth Frantz)

    This is a version of an article I wrote for New Hampshire Humanities about the day the Council hosted Juan Felipe Herrera at the Nashua, NH Adult Learning Center.  Thank you Maren Tirabassi and the students of the class and Juan Felipe for their lines of poetry I include. READ MORE