Monday, January 11, 2010
Poets Rock the Convent
I just returned home from a splendid three-day poetry retreat at St. Marguerite's Convent in Mendham, New Jersey, where I had the best students I could hope for. A Spalding MFA colleague and author of a Newbery Honor Book, Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Hitler's Youth), invited me to lead the poetry workshop sessions for sixteen of her closest and most talented fellow authors of Children's literature. I was thrilled to find myself "teaching" these amazing women including Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted), Joyce McDonald (Devil on My Heels) Pam Muñoz Ryan (Esperanza Rising), Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me). We worked hard, wrote lots of poems, read aloud to each other and were treated to the improvised Improv group "The Unaccomapanied Minors." Then we retreated to our tiny rooms. I slept sweetly in a little bed which looked out upon the snow and tall pines. I'm happy to have met them all and look forward to reading their fine poems in print soon!