Of all places, Syracuse, New York.
If I can have a literary son, I like to think it is Kwame Alexander. Hard worker; truth seeker; soul sharer. —Nikki Giovanni (below, with Kwame)
I arrived to the NYSRA simply to present with a wonderful teacher, Rhiannon Berry, and to see my family. Then Sandy hit. I was stranded and campus was cancelled. So, I stayed a little longer. Rhiannon, who attended Kwame Alexander's workshops after we co-presented, somehow arranged for the two of us to do a presentation at Liverpool High School. The two of us met yesterday morning at the hotel, drove to Liverpool and introduced ourselves, then realized we had a lot in common. Later, we went to a mall and learned more about writing, teaching, crafting and literacy. I'm pretty pumped about two YA books Kwame has coming out in 2014. It is pretty exciting work and it was rather coincidental to work with him all day.
I would not have guessed this event in my short stay in CNY, especially as CT hurts. Ah, but it was a good thing to have happened. Kwame studied with Nikki Giovanni who I've admired from afar for many, many years (since I was 19). Her compliment of his work is well deserved and the family grows larger. Kelly Chandler-Olcott mentored Rhiannon Berry, I coached her while student teaching, and Rhiannon introduces me to Kwame today. Small world. Enormous possibilities.