If -Rudyard Kipling
September 14, 2016, 12:49 pm
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writing curriculum and remembering how much my students and I loved loved loved this poem when I was in the classroom.

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Bill Bullard
September 10, 2016, 8:55 am
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“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”

My Name is Memory
August 29, 2016, 4:02 pm
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Poems Hold the Mysteries of the Present, Dreams of the Future David Biespiel

“Does poetry matter? Yes. Can poetry be more relevant? No. It is the song of song, the language of language, the utterance of utterance and the spirit of spirit.”

more here

“My Reality”
May 28, 2016, 8:33 pm
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Here’s my student, Kevin, reading his poem “My Reality”

SO proud of him!



All Things Considered
May 25, 2016, 4:57 pm
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NPR is featuring my little poetry contest winner on All Things Considered this weekend. The two of us just got done recording his poem in my classroom, the only quiet spot we could find in the facility.. (it only took him a million tries and numerous gulps of water, because, y’know, THIS IS A BIG DEAL). Be sure to tune in!

link to their post a few weeks ago with other recordings: http://www.npr.org/2016/04/30/476205460/poetry-behind-bars-the-lines-that-save-lives-sometimes-literally

Words Unlocked
May 20, 2016, 7:05 pm
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just drove back to work to wake up one of my students and tell him that he tied for FIRST PLACE in a poetry contest! ‪#‎WordsUnlocked‬ is a poetry contest for incarcerated youth across the country and HE WON. he worked so hard on this piece, and this kid has probably never won a thing in his life.. SO EXCITED! (we’re poem #2 in the link below!)