Winter Term teaching

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Young Philadelphians respond to One Book One Philadelphia's 2014 choice, The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers. Thanks my Penn Creative Writing class for leading middle- and high-school students in poetry and prose exercises based on Powers' fiction. Thanks to the Free Library for linking the students' site to One Book's "Resources for Teachers."

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Featuring...

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Last Spring, my residency at at Philadelphia Montessori Charter School brought delight as I worked with young artists and former North Stars Matthew Palmer and James McQueen and Ms. Habib's Sixth graders. Thanks to Principal Kries for the invite to return, and to Ms. Habib, who said that Free! "allowed the students to think about their own freedom from a different perspective."

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Community

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Working on a church website with parishioners at St. Mary's, Wayne, PA, where my husband, the Rev. R.C. Smith, serves as Interim Rector. For the first time in years, I'm singing in the choir. They are generous and I don't sing too loudly. "Who would write," my mentor, writer Kristin Hunter Lattany used to say, "If writers could sing?"

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At his reading for teens at the Free Library, Kevin Powers says of this profound and complex book that The Yellow Birds "explores what happens to a young soldier who makes a promise he cannot keep."

The war tried to kill us in the spring....While we slept, the war rubbed its ribs against the ground in prayer. When we pressed onward through exhaustion, its eyes were white and open in the dark. While we ate, the war fasted, fed by its own deprivation. It made love and gave birth and spread through fire. --The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers