When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?
I say, “I teach preschool,” and then wait to see if more explanation is needed. It usually is. Teaching doesn’t always sound like enough for some people, especially in early childhood education. But there is plenty more to the story. I like the way I spend my days, making art projects, reading picture books, talking about the basic things we do every day to be good friends to each other. Teaching at such a hands-on, fundamental stage keeps me paying attention to very simple things. It also keeps me outside myself for the day. It balances out the ponderous poet tendencies. I like to keep the writerly parts of my life much quieter.
What's your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?
Rhythm. My relationship to time. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the smallest, quietest part of the day that I don’t want to let it go, even when it means I lose out on something else. I often move at a very slow pace. It can be hard to make space for being slow, between working full time and doing all the necessary life things. Teaching is wonderful though because I am creating opportunities for those expansive moments to occur for my students within the structure of a 35-minute lesson or a 20-minute storytime. It’s what I try to do and what I love about poems too. It’s my favorite struggle. The legwork of getting things moving and then getting so caught up that you just stand still in the middle of it all.
Sitting in a semicircle... the members of Drop Leaf Press gathered last week to discuss their first book, Tomasetti’s “Prima Vera” collection of poems, which they launch on Friday, March 20.
The five — Amy Bell, Jennifer Cheng, Sarah Heady, Lauren Peck and Tomasetti — met at San Francisco State University and for the past two years have been meeting, within a larger group, for what they call “crafternoons.”
“We’d just get together and bring whatever craft things we were working on, just to hang out and sort of talk and craft,” Bell said. Tomasetti added, “I think that’s a really huge factor in our approach to the press. We all consider ourselves makers in some way, and being a writer informs how I make things. Just bringing the two impulses together, to books. … What if we made the things that we really care about?”Read More
these two writers, Justin, Etc. and Jason Schenheit, are very dear to me from my time at San Francisco State. i was lucky enough to do a reading in May with poets published by Jason Schenheit's The Gorilla Press: Justin, Etc, Amy K. Bell, and Rod Roland.
check out THIS interview with them by Evan Karp!
I've just signed up for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators summer conference in LA!Read More