Monday, May 22, 2006

Weathered Pages, Part Two

Weathered Pages is an anthology of work that was gathered from The Pole. While reading this wide variety of work it is clear to see that this pole represents so many things for so many people, beginnings, ends, middles, and so much more for so many people. This pole was the part of a vision that has the potential to capture each individual that comes within reach. Weathered Pages begins with three essays done by Terry Martin, Dan Peters, and Rob Prout, all editors of the book. These essays lead into the poems very nicely in that it provides the reader with a picture of what the pole means to these individuals.

Terry Martin says that “The Poetry Pole is a living reminder that I’m not alone”, this I think is one of the keys to the theme or big idea of Weathered Pages. This anthology shows connectivity between readers, and writers of poetry, that this pole has connected them all. You can see the underlying connection that this pole has brought lives together that may not have entwined without The Pole.

A photo essay created by Rob Prout shows a photo of the keeper of the pole intently looking at the creations that have been left on the pole. When you look at the picture in the bush behind Jim you can see words of a poem subtly in the background. Below you can see writing that was from The Pole, this shows the underlying connection that The Pole has brought all these people together sometimes more subtly than other times.

To put your finger on just one symbol in this anthology is quite hard to do. Many of these poems are written by a poet who has already experienced it, yet as readers we are looking for the same experience. These poems are a collection of what we want to find within ourselves. Many symbols spread throughout these poems represent the stages of life, how we grow as individuals and how our lives begin and end. These symbols can include nature, weather (storms, sunshine, cold/hot), animals, insects such as wasps or bees, plants, and material objects, such as clothing. Many of the ones mentioned above are used throughout this book, in different forms. In the poem, “The Next Story,” by L. Martin (pg. 200), the poet uses nature as a way change. In conclusion, these poets in this anthology use objects that symbolize their love for something, or something they love.

Jim Bodeen
Jim Bodeen is a literature and writing teacher of Latino students at Davis High School in Yakima, Washington, the publisher and editor of Blue Begonia Press, and the author of several books of poetry including Whole Houses Shaking, Impulses to Love (poems set in North Dakota, Chile and Vietnam), and most recently, This House: A Poem in Seven Books. His plan with This House was to write a single poem about a single morning spent in his garden, listening to "In This House, On This Morning" by the Wynton Marsalis Septet. The poem, an epic narrative, is based on dreams, interactions with his wife, his children, his students, his friends–- but it evolved into a book that took ten months to write.
Jim, who writes in both English and Spanish, edited the book, With My Hands Full, a bilingual anthology of transformational poems by thirty-five young Latino writers. These pieces are witness to loss, migration and arrival. They explore border crossings that are geographical, political and personal. Jim calls these writers abrecaminos–-those who make a way where there is no way.
Jim received a BA in Education and a BA in History, plus a Masters in English from Central Washington University and a Master of Religious Education from Seattle University. As part of the Lincoln County School District Goals 2000 grant, Jim taught a workshop yesterday at Waldport High School.
Bodeen says of his work, "Being called to poetry is being called to listen. It is listening to the deepest sounds. The principles are basic–-extreme sobriety, practicality and courage."
Jim Bodeen and his wife Karen, his book designer and typesetter, have devoted their lives to poetry and poets.

Terry Martin
ELLENSBURG, Wash.-- "Probably my greatest strengths as a teacher are my commitment to lifelong learning, my willingness to try new things and the spirit with which I approach the work." So says Dr. Terry Martin, Central Washington University English professor.
For those reasons along with her "extraordinary dedication to teaching, commitment to students and innovative teaching methods," Martin has been named the 2003 Washington state Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
She was recognized today (Thursday, Nov. 13) during an awards luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and at a Congressional reception on Capitol Hill. With 25 years' teaching experience, Martin, 46, has been in education for more than half of her life. After graduating from Western Washington University in 1979, she taught in Bellevue and La Center schools. She joined the Central faculty in 1986, after earning her Ph.D. in English education from the University of Oregon. Martin was named the university's Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2000 and received the CWU Presidential Award for Leadership in 2002.
In nominating her for the Professor of the Year award, Central President Jerilyn S. McIntyre, who called Martin the "consummate teacher-scholar-mentor," noted, "She has been a leader in moving our institution from one in which lecture is the primary pedagogical technique to one in which students, working cooperatively and in authentic settings, discover their own knowledge and understanding of important topics."
CWU English faculty colleague Paulus Pimomo echoes those sentiments, labeling Martin, "the teacher's teacher."
"Like many of us in the profession, Dr. Martin is familiar with and works hard to meet the demands of the fast evolving curricula and student body," Pimomo pointed out. "But unlike most of us, she has gone on to become a leader in meeting those demands."
Current and former students also are quick to credit Martin as an exemplary teacher and mentor.
"Dr. Martin has an innate ability to motivate students," Jessica Carter, a 1995 CWU graduate, says. "She causes students to dig deeper, think at higher levels, reach into depths of creativity they didn't know existed, and produce work at a quality they didn't know they were capable of. I have heard students say more than once, 'I want to be Dr. Martin,' and there is no hint of jest in that statement."
Martin says she enjoys working at Central because "teaching is the very heart of its mission. CWU offers me the opportunity to teach an interesting mix of general education, major and graduate classes. I enjoy the challenges inherent in attempting to address the diverse interests, needs and abilities of a wide range of students."
Patsy Callaghan, CWU English department chair, says: "I am not aware of another professor whose student evaluation results can compare with Dr. Martin's, yet her standards and expectations are some of the most challenging in the department, contradicting a general assumption that asking students to work hard will often elicit critical comments and negative responses."
About eight years ago, Martin, a native of Spokane who now lives in Yakima, began branching out from publishing scholarly and academic articles to also writing personal essays and poems. During the past several years, her creative writing has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Blue Begonia Press, as part of its Working Signs Series, published her first book of poetry, "Wishboats," in 2000.
Now, she says her creative writing has become a vital part of her teaching.
"I'm a learner; I try things that scare me," Martin points out. "Taking these risks helps me remember there's dignity in being a beginner."
That risk-taking spirit has also helped make her the very best Washington state has to offer its students in the collegiate classroom.

Rob Prout
Rob Prout teaches high school photography courses at Davis High School in Yakima, Washington. His personal work concerns intimate details of the natural and man made environment. His work is represented in private and corporate collections. An award-winning photographer, his combined vision is helping to shape the press through book design, and digital imaging as well as photography. Prout is re-inventing the poetry broadside with photography in the way he combines image and text.
Prout loves the collaborative process and what it contributes to original work.

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