If you read yesterday's post, then you know that the Frost Place has just announced some changes in its educational programs. Baron Wormser, who founded the Conference on Poetry and Teaching and has directed it for the past 13 years, will step into a newly created position: director of educational outreach. I will be taking over as director of the Conference on Poetry and Teaching.
To say that I am excited is an understatement. For the past 5 years I have been associate director of the conference; and as I tell the participants every year, it's the best job I've ever had. Each summer I get to spend a week burrowing into poetry with a raft of brilliant, idealistic, pragmatic, eccentric people who are not know-it-alls jockeying for prestige but thinking, feeling, curious colleagues in search of intense conversation. Of course, Baron's leadership has been integral to the joy I've gained from this conference, and I will miss his presence. But in his new position he will still be closely involved in promoting the conference while being able to concentrate on extending the Frost Place influence into classrooms, libraries, and other venues around the United States. Thanks to the generosity of the Schafer Foundation, the Frost Place now has funding to support the kinds of educational outreach that Baron and I have been dreaming of for years.
In the coming weeks, as the summer frenzy winds down, I'll announce more details about the Frost Place's educational programs, staffing, scholarships, and partnerships. For now, I'll simply assure you that my goal as director of the Conference on Poetry and Teaching is to maintain its spirit and rigor while continuing to respond to the changing needs of its participants. I dearly love our week in the White Mountains, and I hope to be sitting beside you in Robert Frost's barn next June.