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Glen Grunberger

Unleashing Young Poets

by Glen Grunberger

Glen GrunbergerGlen Grunberger worked for many years as a somewhat sane, relatively stable attorney in Austin, Texas before committing the decidely un-sane, entirely destabilizing act of moving to Tucson last summer to enroll in the University of Arizona's MFA program in Creative Writing.  He has just completed his first year as a fiction writer in the program, and while he's quite certain he's no longer certain of anything, he loves being able to say he hangs out with poets.  Glen is accompanied by his fearless wife Sara, who teaches biology at Cholla High School in Tucson, and their dog, Maya, who teaches them both how to be human.

Of all the lessons I taught this past spring in my residency at Corbett Elementary, one of the easiest and most fun was writing poems "by" the children's pets.  I introduced poems from the book Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs[1] as a springboard for the children to channel their favorite animals' voices.  The goal was to tap into the ready enthusiasm and imaginative connections kids have for their pets and write poems from the first-person perspective of the animals.    The lesson turned out to be a great way to exercise the young writers' skills with personification and dialogue and to develop that most essential of writerly muscles, empathy.

Created on: 
Monday, June 7, 2010
Arizona Board of Regents