Poetry and young writers

Congratulations to Mary Biddinger, poet and assistant professor at the University of Akron. She is featured in the “Book Talk” column in the Akron Beacon Journal this morning.

Mary just published a new collection of poems, Prairie Fever (available at http://www.steeltoebooks.com). And she is the editor for the Akron Series in Poetry at UA. She’s also an excellent teacher.

I know Mary because of my daughter, Jessica, also a poet and teacher.

Admittedly, this is a plug for Mary and her book. But I’m also trying to make a point. I wrote last week about studies documenting the decline in writing among young people because of the widespread use of text messaging. I’m sure there is some truth to this. But c’mon folks. How many of us can still do any math problem without using a calculator?

The problem isn’t text messaging. The problem is that we no longer teach at an early age the fundamentals of writing and grammar. And we don’t encourage young people to read. When we do, the result is some really excellent writing.

Don’t believe me? Check out some of the young writers listed on Mary’s blogroll.


One response to “Poetry and young writers

  1. Thanks so much!

    I didn’t even realize the review was in there until a colleague brought it to work. (That’s what I get for only reading the Sunday Times…)

    Thank you for your kind words!

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