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Blog Excerpts

Don't Be Afraid to Sound Genuine

Building Rapport is a blog that advocates plain language and clear writing -- and offers concrete advice on how to get there. It recently featured an entry called, simply, "Simplify," where it lists a half-dozen or so ways to get to the heart of whatever matter you're writing about. Read the post here.
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Hal Sirowitz's special education students in the New York City public school system were doubly lucky: Their devoted teacher was also an award-winning poet. Now retired after 25 years as an educator, Hal is the author of four books of poetry including Mother Said and Father Said -- delicious dry humor based on his parents' harping. From 2001 to 2003 the borough of Queens honored Hal by naming him their "Poet Laureate." We spoke to him about his poetry and how he incorporated it into his teaching.

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Dog Eared

Books we love

Hal's Poetry Books

Prizewinning poet Hal Sirowitz, who we interview in this week's "Word Count" feature, recommends these books of poetry and teaching poetry:

"For new haiku enthusiasts, read Basho and Issa. After you read them you'll understand why they only had one name. Michelangelo only needed one name, too. Need I say more? I also recommend Kenneth Koch's book Wishes, Lies, and Dreams for teaching poetry."

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Blog Du Jour

Books, Books, Books

These blogs talk about books, publishers, writers and more:

The Litblog Co-op

Book Square

Conversational Reading

Shaken & Stirred

The Reading Experience

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There's a great post on Creating Passionate Users about user delight and the guy from the train phenomenon. My old French teacher, who was also a poet, used to come out with things like: "and now Matthew will give us his translation of this paragraph with acrobats and high kicking." I don't know where he got it from but the fireworks of his everyday speech in the classroom are still with me 20 years later. Anyhow, here are my top tips for writers to create the same kind of surprise and delight:

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I wrote Cures for Heartbreak over a period of eight years, though when I started writing it I had no idea that it would take so long to finish.

Cures for Heartbreak is a very personal story for me: the fifteen-year-old narrator, Mia Pearlman, loses her mother to melanoma days after the diagnosis, just as I did. It seems that many writers are drawn to personal material for their first books, and when I started writing fiction, the material that I couldn't keep away from was about my mother's death.

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Blog Excerpts

Buzzword Blends

Coworkers afflicted with BBS? "You've seen it in meetings. Someone who's addicted to incorrectly using business jargon. It's known as Buzzword Blending Syndrome, or BBS," explains a cheeky website from Babson College. Click here to help decipher those buzzword blends -- or let the website create new ones for you!
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 29 Articles