You Can Write Whatever You Want: Creative Writing from the Perspective of Two Elementary School Writers

by Laynie Browne & Benjamin and Jacob Davidson

Laynie Browne & Benjamin and Jacob DavidsonLaynie Browne is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently The Desires of Letters (Counterpath Press, 2010).  She is Elementary Education Coordinator for the Poetry Center and is currently developing an interdisciplinary outreach program to connect scientists and writers at University of Arizona and in the greater Tucson community.

Benjamin Davidson just finished 5th grade.  His hobbies include writing, fossil hunting and spending time with his pet rabbit, Bunny Bunkins.

Jacob Davidson just finished 3rd grade.  He loves math, bionicles, mechanical pencils, drawing  and writing adventure and science fiction stories and comics.  He also likes to take apart machines.


Benjamin DavidsonAn Interview with Benjamin

Laynie: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Benjamin: A writer.

Laynie: Why?

Benjamin: It's fun.  You can write whatever you want and it can never be wrong.

Laynie: Tell me about something you are writing.

Benjamin: I particularly like to write pantoums because they repeat lines.  I used to be writing a few books, but now my biggest book is a non-fiction book about bugs.  I normally like to write fiction, but I love bugs, so I decided to write a book about all sorts of cool bugs in the desert. One of my fiction books, is about a futurized empire creating robots to serve as their army that were turned against them by the unknowing rebellion.

Laynie: What is your favorite bug?

Benjamin: That's hard to say.  I like a lot of bugs, but I think my top bug would be a praying mantis or a centipede.  The praying mantis is special. They won't hurt you, even though they've got really cool claws.  They just have a certain special feeling about them.  In China, the mantis represents good times and wealth.  I also love centipedes. You would think tarantulas are the biggest hunters in the desert, but there are some centipedes that could easily kill a tarantula here in Tucson.

Jacob DavidsonAn Interview with Jacob

Laynie: What do you like about writing?

Jacob: I like that you can make up whatever you want.

Laynie: What are you working on now?

Jacob: The book  I'm writing is called "Legends of Skyres."  This book is about the stories me and my brother tell to each other.  There is magic, wizard-knights fighting monsters and stuff.  So far I've written about four page sides, so about two pages. The next sentence I'm going to write is "the heat was unbearable."

Laynie: Why was the heat unbearable?

Jacob: Because the person who is thinking that is a slave in a forge.  He has to work with all the slimy scrawny little green goblins that are called "bodgers."

Laynie: Tell me about your collaborations with Benjamin.

Jacob: We just say weird things.  We have certain traditions.  We like to make lists.  We make valentine's day poems and send them to our grandparents and family and friends.  We come up with ideas about things we love.

Laynie: You read your poems on KXCI radio.  What was that like?

Jacob: The microphone is so huge and puffy it just makes it fun to be there.

Collaborative Poems by Benjamin and Jacob Davidson


On lakes

On the sun

In our extended math folder

In eyeballs

In gloves

In thermoses, toasters or frothers

In bookcases, bunny cages, wine goblets, or balloons


In the hole in my penne pasta

In bunny Bunkin's ear

Between the bristles on my toothbrush

In a root beer bottle tipped over and emptied

In a lego castle

In swiss cheese

Through tiger fur


He ate an aphid

He petted a cactus

He ate rotten salami

He ate mold

He drew a 3-D hologram of a long-horn beetle

He popped a balloon with his tooth. BAM!

He wanted rotten carrots

He asked for "synonyms", "cinnamon", and "cinema" when he wanted persimmon

He turned on the blender with the lid off

He wanted a brandy pear

He played with the plunger

He ate his tooth (by accident)

He likes pickle omelets

He put the napkin on his head like a bandit

He got on his pajamas when he was supposed to brush his teeth and go to school

He thinks cauliflower is the evil albino twin of broccoli

He loves brussel sprouts and cauliflower

He thinks "weird" means awesome

He gave a British kiss to his brother

He drinks balsamic vinegar

He squeaks

Created on: 
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Arizona Board of Regents