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The Reading Series in the Classroom: Eloise Klein Healy

This week, in continuation with our series, “The Reading Series in the Classroom,” we here at Wordplay will introduce your students to the writing of Eloise Klein Healy. She will read at the Poetry Center, along with Peggy Shumaker, this Thursday, March 21st at 7 p.m. Klein Healy’s reading will be best suited for high school students, but her poetry also appeals to a K-8 audience. Please print and read Klein Healy’s poem, “Wild Mothers,” with your students, and then follow the writing prompts below. Hope to see you all at the Reading!

1. The speaker begins the poem with this line: “wild kitty sneaks up my stairs with two wisps of tiger behind her.” From the get-go, what can you infer about this animal, based off the description?

2. The speaker lists a number of wild animals that live around or near her home. List at least five of these animals. Do you think these images depict wildness? Explain.

3. The speaker says, “wild mothers always find me” and “three bowls of dry food every day and their tribes in proscribed circles waiting for me.” What can you infer about the speaker, based off of these details?

4. At the end of the poem, the speakers says, “I have needed that they weren’t mine, that they would only come that close.” What can you infer about the speaker in terms of her relationship with these animals and with motherhood?

Also, to encourage your students to attend the Reading, we've included this Extra Credit Worksheet, which you can download, print, and hand-out to your students.

Finally, as an extension activity, feel free to check out this great interview on Wordplay. Local poet and teacher, Christopher Nelson, shares his insights about teaching the Poetry Center's Reading Series in the Classroom.

Eloise Klein Healy is the author of six collections of poetry, including The Islands Project, Ordinary Wisdom, Passing, Artemis in Echo Park, Women’s Studies Chronicles, and A Packet Beating Like a Heart. Her collection, A Wild Surmise: New & Selected Poems and Recordings, is forthcomingfrom Red Hen Press in 2013. She is professor emerita at Antioch University Los Angeles, is the founder of Arktoi Books, and the co-founder of Eco-Arts. She lives in Los Angeles.

Created on: 
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Arizona Board of Regents