Rita Dove was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 1993 when she was just forty years old. By then, though, she had written a few novels and several collections of poetry, including Thomas and Beulah (1986), which won the Pulitzer Prize. The poem below is not an example of how Dove confronts complex historical issues in […]


At Every Wedding

Not many young adult authors launch their novels with a poem, much less a two-page piece that transcends their target demographic. So I was surprised to find the poem below on the very first page of bestselling YA author Sarah Dessen‘s novel “That Summer.” The poem is by South Carolina author Dannye Romine Powell, an award-winning poet, writer […]


How It Sounds

  I was quite surprised last Sunday when a few readers wrote me asking how the mantra I posted that day is supposed to sound.  So, I did something I normally avoid at all costs, sing out loud. Here is a recording of me saying the mantra. I learned it to a lovely rhythm, which […]