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Laura Shovan is a Maryland poet, author and educator. Her alter ego is the popular Mrs. Poems, who delights in teaching poetry workshops in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the region. She was recently awarded the Clarinda Harriss Poetry Prize.
Visit Laura's blog Authoramok.com
Why make time for poetry?
Writing poetry, particularly with elementary schoolers, is often limited to holiday acrostics and “easy” forms like haiku, or limericks. During a residency, I spend between three and six days at a school. It is a big commitment of time and resources for schools -- but when we work deeply with poetry, students’ writing leaps off the page. Children begin to see themselves as poets, and many of them bring this new confidence to their classroom writing.
Poetry in Elementary School
Many Maryland elementary schools recently adopted the 6+1 Trait Writing Model (see source note below). Some of the teachers I work with have been amazed at the way their students synthesize several of these traits when writing poetry. Read more
Now available: Laura's new book, Voices Fly: An Anthology of Exercises and Poems from the Maryland State Arts Council Artist-in-Residence Program will be published by CityLit Press and available as a free PDF online. Laura was co-editor with Virginia Crawford. Read more about Voices Fly.
Life in Me like Grass on Fire
Maryland Writer's Association Anthology
April 1, 2011
Love does more than make skin tingle and cheeks flush. It creates an interior heat that can stoke the furnace of inspiration and communion, giving us fuel to get through our daily lives. That heat can also be wild as grass on fire, burning us to ash.
The Maryland Writers' Association, editor Laura Shovan, and fifty poets guide us through a seven-fold expression of love Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems. This collection explores:
First Love, Lost Love
Love of Art and Work
Friends and Family
Love of Nature
Love Floods the Senses
The Madness of Love
Love as We Age
Without the dreaded saccharine of so many love poems, these reveal a depth of experience, fresh and unexpected perspectives, and no lack of pain and joy. With insight, wit, and honesty, Life in Me Like Grass on Fire creates a view of love that is playful, resigned, passionate and, ultimately, hopeful.
"This collection offers dazzling variety…riches to the senses, an abundance of wonderful 'stuff.' I [HEART] Life In Me Like Grass On Fire." —Clarinda Harriss, author of Mortmain, co-editor of Hot Sonnets: An Anthology
"Life in Me Like Grass on Fire is the confluence into which the many streams of love flow. Ride the current of these words through rapids and still waters to places new yet familiar with these poets as your able guides." —Gregg Wilhelm, Executive Director, CityLit Project
Listen to Laura read from her book Life in Me Like Grass on Fire on WYPR's The Signal.
". . . I loved the sharp and warm observations of the small crucial shifts within a moment that are the heart of change. Dishes in the sink. Cars parked beside porches. “A cup of light upstairs.” A six year old scaling a snow bank to meet his father. Picking peaches. Listening to plants. Noting them listening back." - Jeannine Atkins, poet and children's author Read the review on her blog.