Poetry Walk?

Meet my friend and mentor, Barbara – Bookmaker, Artist, Writer and Teacher with a capital T! I met her while I was a student at the University of San Francisco. Barbara taught me everything I know about bookmaking and inspired her USF students by showing us how to apply Dr. Alma Flor Ada and Dr. Isabel Campoy’s writing ideas to a huge array of book designs. And we took these ideas back to our perspective classrooms and used them with our students. (See blog post – So you Want to Be an Author)

Barbara has a “fabulous” victorian home near Fillmore Street in San Francisco. Barbara describes many wonderful things with the phrase, “isn’t that fabulous?” so it is only fitting to use this word multiple times in a blog post about Barbara.

So, in this fabulous house, Barbara has a fabulous kitchen that she uses as a work space. Her kitchen has high, high ceilings, a long table, and french doors that open up to a gorgeous backyard. Barbara invited me over to make paste paper on her back porch one sunny San Francisco morning – we should all be so lucky to get this invite – and while taking a break, she said, “Let’s go on a poetry walk.”

Here is her “fabulous” work space.

Writing work space
Writing work space
Writing work space
Writing work spaceImagine creating here!

What’s a poetry walk, you ask? I had to ask the same question.

Poems of the Middle EastShe grabbed a poetry book by Naomi Shihab Nye, 19 Varieties of Gazelle and out the door we went. She stopped at the bottom of her stoop, read the first few lines and then began our walk down the city sidewalk. While waiting to cross the street, she read a few more lines. And on we went until we reached the bakery taking in, one of my now favorite poems, “Red Brocade.”

Thanks to Barbara for teaching me a “fabulous” way to read poetry – poetry books are not only enjoyable curled up under a blanket – but also in the middle of a city sidewalk or on a long hiking trail – with a friend….taking it in….line by line….while moving

Invite someone on a poetry walk!

Imagine the effects a poetry walk can have on an energetic child that doesn’t enjoy sitting still- to take in a poem while moving!

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