Friend and Colleague John Miller recruited me to contribute to his teaching unit on Medieval Japan a couple of years ago. Some of the tanka I wrote turned out pretty well and one just got published in the Tanka Journal # 3. Here’s a link to the online journal:
and here’s one to the book:
Mardin – Photo by Jon Walton
Sometimes actually playing a piece of music leads to new understandings of the piece, new appreciation of the genius who created it. This happened for me a few years back when our Hartnell Community Orchestra played In the Steppes of Central Asia by Borodin. A poem came to me unbidden and I didn’t mess it up with too much writing. The Ekphrastic Review just published Borodin and a link to a performance of the wonderful music.
I come up with two or three “keeper” poems a year. Quail Bell Magazine just published my favorite from 2015. I dedicate it to all the beautiful grandmothers in my acquaintance!
John Miller has ten thousand irons in as many fires. He took a bit of time from his busy schedule to help me update my Tanka unit on TPT. I’ve added more poems by his students and a couple of new activities. If you have a moment, check out the revised unit.
Former student Denise Park and I climbed South Crack in Tuolumne Meadows last July. Here’s a photo of Denise on the third pitch. A number of my poems concern the stretch of rock she’s navigating. Check them out on Verse Virtual: http://www.verse-virtual.com/robert-walton-2016-february.html
I taught Robert W. Chambers’ The Pickets many times and found it a great story for 8th graders – either as an entry into other CW topics or as a stand alone unit. I’ve refined that unit and put it on TPT. I checked with Perfection Learning (who published the story in “A House Divided”, their excellent CW anthology) and determined that it’s in the public domain. I included extensive excerpts from it and included links to the complete text of the story. Please take a look when you have a chance.