Thursday, May 5, 2016

AuTHor Thursday: Nancy Devine

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Nancy Devine, a three time Pushcart Prize nominee, is a writer, whose poetry, short fiction and essays have appeared in a number of online and print literary magazines and journals, including Bellevue Literary ReviewMidwestern Gothic-A Literary JournalStirring-A Literary CollectionBerfoisReferential Magazine and Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal. She loves to cook, garden and figure things out. She teaches high school English in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where she lives with her husband and their rambunctious rescue collie.

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Nancy Devine is not only a dedicated writer, but her involvement in the Red River Valley Writing Project has helped to encourage other teachers to write and to share their writing as well. Thus, we join with her in celebrating the forthcoming publication of her poetry chapbook, The Dreamed. A chapbook is a short collection of writings, which might be poems, prose or even a combination of both.

Pam Fisher provides a glimpse into Nancy's chapbook:
 "In this haunting and heart-rending series of interconnected poems, Nancy Devine’s readers accompany the narrator after her brother drowns himself. Tightly phrased evocative lyrics move each poem to explore the “questions unanswered” as together reader and narrator inhabit the family’s tragedies." 

Nancy's chapbook is being published by Finishing Line Press, and pre-orders can be purchased here. Advanced sales are April 18, 2016-June 17, 2016. The pre-orders affect the press run, so if you are intrigued by Nancy's poetry, consider pre-ordering a copy! The official release date is August 12, and pre-orders are slated to be shipped August 22, 2016. 


In celebration of her upcoming publication, Nancy graciously shared a glimpse into her writing world by answering a few questions for the blog. 

Why do you write?
Sometimes I write because some thought nudges me. Other times, especially if I'm reading around, I come across an idea or term that I want to consider, so I write about it. For me, playing around with language is pure delight. Quite often, the sheer pleasure of hanging out with words makes me write. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Check out Pose, Wobble, Flow program on NWP Radio

I was introduced to the book Pose, Wobble, Flow as I learned about the College-Ready Writers Program. NWP radio has done a show with the authors of the book, Cindy O'Donnell Allen and Antero Garcia. If you are looking for a little "Wednesday Wisdom," check out this show at the following link: Pose, Wobble, Flow: A Culturally Proactive Approach to Literacy Instruction



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weekend Writing: Influential Person

Write about the person who has had the most influence on the person you are today.

How could you thank them?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Announcements

Tuesday, April 26th:          Grand Forks Book Club meets from 5:30-8pm

Wednesday, April 27th:     Minnesota Council for Teachers of English Conference in Glenwood, MN
                                           Flyer for MCTE Spring Conference
Friday, April 29:                Young Adult Book Club with Dan Dooher

Saturday, April 30:             Fargo Moorhead Writing Group, 9am Dunn Brothers Coffee
                                           Leadership Meeting 11am-1p, Location TBD

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Weekend Writing: If I Could Change...

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

(If you can't think of anything you would change, explain how you achieved perfection.)

Friday, April 22, 2016

AuTHor Thursday: Linda Sand

Linda Sand has graciously shared part of her writing world with the Red River Valley Writing Project blog.
Thus, without further adieu, welcome Linda to the blog!

An Introduction to her Writing World
Linda Lee Sand

I have always written, but it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve dared to call myself “a writer.” I have a political science degree from MSUM and a master’s in Communication from Marquette University. I was a Junior Great Books leader and drama coach for many years. I was thrilled to be a winner in the Writer’s Digest poetry awards, and I’m currently writing for children. I’ve published the tall-tale “Melodious” in Cricket magazine, and it’s featured in audio version on their campfire stories website. And I have a poem in this month’s issue (April 2016) of Babybug.

Why do you write?

I recently heard an author on the radio say that when you’re younger you strive to write something beautiful, but as you get older you write to get at the truth. I’m at the point where I’m trying to get at the truth. It’s grand, though, when the truth is beautiful!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Weekend Writing: Food Metaphor

This book [or insert object] is like ________ (food) because ____________.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Rejuvenation Friday: Magic Lessons, a Podcast

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, recently wrote a book entitled Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.  After writing the book, she extended the creative project into a podcast entitled "Magic Lessons."  In most of the podcasts, Elizabeth talks with someone through their creativity conundrums and offers guidance and encouragement to live a creative life. If you are wanting encouragement to be creative or are simply interested in creativity, either check out the book or the podcast.


Podcasts can be a rejuvenating way to learn and de-stress at the same time.  Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Have a relaxed and creative day!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

AuTHor Thursday: To the Local Poets

April is National Poetry Month.

Here on AuTHor Thursday, we have featured a few local poets. Thus, today, I invite you back to those local poet features.


Denise Lajimodiere
She is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Pembina Chippewa, a poet, and Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership at North Dakota State University. Her poetry collection is entitled Dragonfly Dance.

Madelyn Camrud
She asks some excellent poetic questions:
Finally, I want to ask some questions. Doesn’t being a poet have as much to do with how you view the world as with it does with writing poetry? Isn’t it possible you’ve always been a poet though you might not have written poems?  Do you think you’re too busy to write poems? Isn’t poetry a place to go early mornings, at bedtime, and on Sundays?  Will there ever be enough time to live the introspective life you crave? Meanwhile, isn’t it enough to look in and out the windows of your life, to look forward and backward in your mind? Symphonic music in the background, birds, trees, and flowers in season, aren’t those lovely human faces and hearts, family and a few close friends, all you need to write poems?
Cindy Nichols
Her poems have appeared in a variety of national journals, including The Kenyon ReviewMid-American ReviewCimarron Review, and Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics.

Heidi Czerwiec
She is a poet, essayist, translator, and critic who teaches at the University of North Dakota, where she is the poetry editor of North Dakota Quarterly. She is the author of two recent poetry collections – Self-Portrait as Bettie Page and A Is For A-ké, The Chinese Monster – and the forthcoming lyric essay sequence Sweet/Crude: A Bakken Boom Cycle, and the editor of North Dakota Is Everywhere: An Anthology of Contemporary North Dakota Poets.



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Angie's Adventures with College-Ready Writing, Part III

This Wednesday, Angie shares Part III of her adventure into bringing College-Ready Writing into her classroom. In case you missed it, read her Part I and Part II first!
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“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.”  - Henry Miller


“I think that a fundamental belief is that for us growth is a way of life and we have to grow at all times.” - Mukesh Ambuni


April 6 - Today, after a class, I was trying to politely usher a kid out of my classroom by asking him what he was working on. He stopped typing, looked at me, and said, “I just have to authorize this last piece of evidence and then I’ll be done.” What! Authorize! Did I hear that correctly? Nevertheless, I was pleased that the vocabulary had made its way to students and that they were using it. This minor victory happened on the day that my student teacher introduced countering.


According to Harris’s book Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts, countering is defined as suggesting “a different way of thinking” (56). It is used to move a discussion forward, to move it in a new way. It is not to prove someone wrong. It differs from forwarding because while forwarding is “Yes, and,” countering is “Yes, but” (56).

Harris states that there are three ways to counter:
#1 ARGUING THE OTHER SIDE: This shows “the usefulness of a term or idea that a writer has criticized. Or, it can note problems with a text that the author has argued for” (57). To argue the other side, you must attach “a positive value to something another writer denigrates or a negative value to what another writer applauds” (60).