Spring 2015

Looking into the spring issue.

After a long, cold, and snowy winter, we are delighted to be sending the Spring issue of Teachers & Writers Magazine—the second in our new online format.

We are gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response to the Winter issue, and to our weekly postings to the magazine website. To be sure you receive notifications of what’s new, subscribe now.

Each year we look forward to celebrating National Poetry Month in April. Of course, poetry is celebrated year-round at T&W, and we are pleased to be partnering with the New York State Council on the Arts to manage Poetry Out Loud—a national recitation competition for high school students—statewide. Nichola Metzger, the 2015 New York State Poetry Out Loud Champion, is pictured above at the state final. You can watch Nikki and students from around the country recite at the national final, April 28–29 in Washington, DC.

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Spring issue includes On Swagger, Wildness, & The Color Red—Matthew Burgess’ interview with poet and educator Dorothea Lasky, whose commitment to careers as both teacher and poet has resulted in what poet Eileen Myles terms “punk rock pedagogy.”

Poet Michelle Chan Brown’s exploded lesson plan, Making It New: Using Surprise To Make Poetry Come Alive, offers four approaches to teaching students to avoid cliché by incorporating surprise in their poetry.

Susan Karwoska interviewed author and illustrator Maira Kalman about her latest book, My Favorite Things, a meditation on memory, family, and the passage of time inspired by a variety of objects in her life. In addition to the interview, A Gasp of Delight: On Daydreaming, Falling in Love with Objects, and Toscanini’s Pants, you will find several lesson plans for engaging your students in writing work inspired by objects that are important to them.

Adam Fitzgerald offers insights into the intersections among poetry, popular culture, and other art forms, and how those multiple influences can engage even those students who have been most resistant to poetry in The Cannibals.

In his essay, Living Your Revisions, Michael Gervais shares how dealing with his father’s death led him to embrace a new approach to his own writing and to teaching writing to his fifth-grade students.

We continue our examination of the connections among writing, teaching, and social justice that were the focus of the Winter issue in three essays in which participants in a writing workshop reflect on being robbed during one of their classes. A few students lost their laptops and iPads, and much of the writing in them. In these essays, Soniya Munshi (After The Robbery: Week One), Bushra Rehman (The Man Walked In), and Nina Sharma (What I Saw: Notes Of A First-Year Teacher) offer perspectives on the robbery and its aftermath from women of color who are students, teachers, and activists.

Please let us know what you think about this issue, and all the articles and resources in Teachers & Writers Magazine. Look for the comments box under “Would You Like to Share Your Thoughts” at the bottom of every article, or send us a message at editors@twc.org.

Happy spring!


The Teachers & Writers Magazine Editorial Board

Matthew J. Burgess
Jordan Dann
Susan Karwoska
Bushra Rehman
David Andrew Stoler
Amy Swauger
Jade Triton

Teachers & Writers Magazine is published by Teachers & Writers Collaborative as a resource for teaching the art of writing to people of all ages. The online magazine presents a wide range of ideas and approaches, as well as lively explorations of T&W’s mission to celebrate the imagination and create greater equity in and through the literary arts.