Award-winning writer to work with Jonesport students

Posted Nov. 01, 2012, at 5:58 a.m.

JONESPORT–Students in Jonesport are about to get “A Kick In The Head” — and that’s a good thing!

“We’re very very excited,” says Jonesport Elementary School principal Danielle Fagonde.

Award-winning Maine writer Paul Janeczko will visit the school on Monday, Nov. 5, and all students in third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades there will get their very own copy of his book “A Kick In The Head: An Everyday Guide To Poetic Forms,” courtesy of Island Readers & Writers (IRW), which is sponsoring the visit.

“Writing is definitely a major focus of ours,” says Fagonde. “Our school kids really haven’t had too many opportunities to meet real life authors, so this is wonderful.” Janeczko, a former English teacher, will conduct writing workshops for third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders at Jonesport Elementary, along with a presentation for the entire school.

In “A Kick In The Head,” he offers examples of 29 poetic forms, demonstrating not only the (sometimes bendable) rules of poetry, but also the spirit that brings these forms to life.

The book was named one of the best children’s books of the year by Publishers Weekly and the School Library Journal, and won the Parents’ Choice Awards Gold Award. The New York Times called it “wonderfully engaging, and delightful for browsing or serious study,” and in a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly called it “a joyful poetry lesson.”

Janeczko is the author of more than 40 books including poetry, fiction, nonfiction and anthologies for children, as well as books for teachers. His volumes of poetry “Worlds Afire” and “Brickyard Summer” each was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

He says, “You never know what’s going to happen once you put that pen to paper. That’s one of the great things about writing. The surprise of it.”

Last year, he worked with students at Pemetic Elementary in Southwest Harbor.

“His warmness embraced my students and they fell in love with poetry in return,”

said teacher Carol Null.

Jonesport has been chosen as an “inland island” by IRW, a Maine nonprofit dedicated to inspiring a passion for reading in children from Maine’s islands. This visit is the first of many IRW plans to share with the children of Jonesport.

“We’re so thankful, and we couldn’t be more excited,” Fagonde said.

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