Saturday, July 02, 2011

A Blast with Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

I took my handy dandy FlipCam with me to the 8th annual ALSC Poetry Blast and made short one minute (more or less) movies of the poets reading their works to share with you. Next: Tracie Vaughn Zimmer.

Here's the short, lovely intro written and presented by host and poet Marilyn Singer and used with permission. Tracie Vaughn Zimmer proclaims: “I'd like to be a Poetry Preacher--I truly believe that poetry can transform children's reading skills (fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension), but even better than all that, it grabs the hand of its reader and changes the way we see the world.”

Someday, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer would like to live in Brooklyn, NY or on a remote Caribbean island. But for now, she’s happy to be in Ohio, around the corner from her twin sister. A literacy specialist and English teacher, she has presented at schools and conferences across the country, but now teaches for Lakota, in the same district where she grew up. She has written hundreds of guides about children’s and young adult books, as well as six critically acclaimed books of her own, most recently Cousins of Clouds. Among her works, 42 Miles was voted the best book for grades 4-6 by children in Alabama during the 2009-10 school year, and Reaching for the Sun won a Schneider Family Award.

When asked what advice she offers to young writers, Tracie says, “Read. Everyone says it, but it's true. Reread the books that haunt you and figure out why (and keep a journal or blog about what you learned). Carve out time to write until it is a habit then you won't be. Able. To. Stop. (Like me with Hershey's Kisses.)”

Tracy read from two works-- her latest (and one of my favorites of 2011), Cousins of Clouds as well as from Steady Hands. In honor of ALA (she calls it "pandering," but I thought it was perfect!), here is her "Librarian" poem from Steady Hands.

Image credit: 

Sylvia Vardell

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

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