Some interesting things for you to check out this week...

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Spoken Word

Last week, I “attended” a Zoom held at Gramercy Books in Bexley, Ohio, (an utterly fabulous bookstore) to celebrate the publication of Respect the Mic: Celebrating 20 Years of Poetry from a Chicagoland High School. (Yep – apologies for the link to an utterly accessible but not so fabulous bookstore… i.e., In any case, the poets and writers who are co-curators and authors are a kind of pantheon of contemporary greats. Yesterday, Paul Kahn was featured on the “brief but spectacular” segment of PBS to further celebrate and encourage spoken word poetry.  He also pays tribute to teachers in ways that I just love and admire.  Enjoy! 

… and maybe we can use this space to share some ideas about bringing spoken word into the AP classroom. 


Paul Farmer

Since many of you also teach (or have taught or might teach) AP Lang, I want to suggest acquainting your students with one of my heroes -- Paul Farmer, who passed last week at age 62.  Several of the appreciations and obituaries are quite moving (e.g., Emily Langer in The Washington Post).  But the NYTimes reprinted a piece by Tracy Kidder, who wrote the wonderful book Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World.  

For those of you who teach fiction by Edwidge Danticat, there’s a connection because the two of them were great friends. His work in Haiti is legendary, and here’s one of his articles from 2003:  “Haitian Refugees, Sovereignty and Globalization.”  

For more info about Farmer and a bibliography of his books … I suggest the Harvard faculty website.