The West Windsor Art Center is the closest thing to a consistent outside the home workplace that I have had since coming to live in America, and, really, since the birth of my younger child.
Please note: this is not because I haven’t worked! As my loyal readers will know, I have been editing literary journals since 2005, beginning with the Barefoot Muse (Currently on hiatus). In the fall of 2008 I took over the editorship of the print journal, The Raintown Review, and more recently became the online editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal. Last summer my husband and I also started Global Bridge, an International Sales & Marketing Consultancy in which I am the Junior Partner.
I have also taught children’s poetry at various times in these schools and libraries, among others: Hainesport Elementary School, Elizabeth Haddon School, Lumberton Middle School, Burlington County Library, Cinnaminson Library.
But most of my work occurs within the home–sometimes on the kitchen table, occasionally in the basement office (although this depresses my 3 year old golden retriever, Sammy, who sits and whines at the top of the basement stairs) and lately in the newly redecorated front room, where I now I have a desk between two glorious bookshelves holding all my files, poetry and reference books in easy reach.
Since last September, though, I have been teaching poetry at the West Windsor Art Center, a refurbished firehouse close to Princeton which provides a wonderful space for the creative arts and has a visionary Program Director. I only teach 2 hours a week, but I have an excellent group of students who keep signing back up each time I offer a new class, and with whom I have in-depth discussions of poetry that inform us all.
Today I was there again, teaching a one-off ninety minute workshop–a challenge, because participants ranged from a couple of bright sixth graders to mature and well-published local poets with books–followed by a reading with Elyse Fenton. It was another excellent experience.
I am starting another 4 week workshop series this coming Friday, May 6th (1-3 p.m.) should any reader be inclined to sign up. But I am particularly happy that both my daughters came to this afternoon’s post-workshop poetry reading. Becky had to, because we made it conditional on her taking last Thursday off for “Bring Your Daughter To Work Day.” (She spent an hour learning about Global Bridge from her father, and we agreed she had to do some poetry too!) Lorna decided to join her.
Both of them came out of the reading saying, Hey Mom! You’re pretty good! 🙂