Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poem of the Week

Yesterday my poem, "Lutherans" was Poem of the Week at Salmon Poetry! "Lutherans" also appears in Dogs Singing, Salmon's just-published anthology of canine poems.

Schwartz at Pilgrim

Today I was back at Pilgrim after the Thanksgiving break. Here are the 5th and 6th graders' poems inspired by Delmore Schwartz's "The Foggy, Foggy Blue."

Zenith Beast page on Facebook

Continuing my Facebook onslaught, Zenith Beast now has its own page as well. Please like if you do!

Friday, November 19, 2010

"The Foggy, Foggy Blue"

This week at Solomon Elementary, we read Delmore Schwartz's "The Foggy, Foggy Blue." I have used Schwartz in classes in the past, but for some reason this particular poem has slipped under the radar until now. It's amazing how poems strike us (or fail to) over time; perhaps the accumulation of personal experience has something to do with it. Regardless, I was happy to introduce this poet and his work to my students.

As I normally do, I created a rather sophisticated lesson plan (or cheat sheet) for discussing the poem, but midway through the 3rd grade class I realized that simply getting to the heart of it would work best, not just for the littlest kids but for other grades as well. I took that same approach for the 4th and 5th graders, and let their own questions and comments spark discussions in the classrooms. It was a smart move on my part.

Here are Solomon student poems. A bit more on the poem and process is also included.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Eyes Have It

Take a look (pun intended) at these poems, written today by 5th and 6th graders at Pilgrim Lutheran School in response to David Ignatow's "I Close My Eyes."

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Me Decade group page on Facebook

The Me Decade now has a Facebook page.

Please 'like' The Me Decade, and pass on the word!

Post Office now on Facebook

Another of my early Chicago-era bands is now on Facebook -- Post Office. Check out our group page and don't hesitate to like what you hear!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Folk You! 9th Anniversary

As some of you may know, I've been hosting a singer-songwriter round robin (guitar pull, showcase, or whatever) since December 2001 called Folk You! We've been in residence at a few places in the city, such as Beat Kitchen and The Hideout, but for the past three-plus years we've been happily ensconced at The Horseshoe. (Thank you, 'shoe!)

I've made efforts to more aggressively promote Folk You! over the years, but more or less we get along just swell on word-of-mouth from both guests and audience members. Still, even considering my reading engagements and band shows, Folk You! in many ways remains my most constant pleasure, whether performing to an intimate handful of attendees or a boisterous throng. As befitting my character, I've tried to make the experience low-key and loose, and while it gives me a chance to try out new material, or fumble through unearthed chestnuts from my troubadourial vault (cheat sheet required), my favorite part of each show is inevitably when I can lean back in my chair and watch the other performers. It's quite a vantage point, and enviably the best seat in the house.

So while our milestone-y 10th anniversary is still a year off, big, big thanks to Mike Felten and Chicago City Buzz for this post from yesterday -- and hope you can make it to this month's edition of Folk You!, November 19th at The Horseshoe.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Fussbudgets group page on Facebook

Phase two in an ongoing attempt to migrate information previously available only on My Space to Facebook: a Fussbudgets page, about my San Francisco-era "savant pop" band. This is in anticipation of digitization of the Fussbudgets oeuvre, finally making it available via iTunes and other digital providers, as well as (hopefully) hard copy as well.

Friend The Fussbudgets!!

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