Such rage as winter's reigneth in my heart,What a grumpy stanza that is. Edmund Spenser published his description of January in 1579, but I guarantee that the weather he was complaining about was not anywhere close to twenty-below-zero in England or Ireland or wherever he was at the moment. I will admit that his central heating was much worse than mine is. What could be more unpleasant than a dank 16th-century castle?
My life-blood freezing with unkindly cold;
Such stormy stours do breed my baleful smart,
As if my year were waste and woxen old.
And yet, alas, but now my spring begun,
And yet, alas, it is already done.
Nonetheless, winter is unquestionably kicking our collective ass this year. With that in mind I've changed this blog's opening photo to a June rainbow over Lafayette Mountain. This, believe it or not, is the view from Frost's front porch. I am exceedingly ready to see it again.
The application is up on the Frost Place website, and I also want to introduce our inaugural teaching fellow, Alyssa Kelly, who will be helping Teresa and me manage important stuff like coffee and conversation. Despite her youth, Alyssa has been a long-time participant in the conference, and we are thrilled to have her back in this new position.
Alyssa Kelly is a high school English teacher, poet, and singer-songwriter. She has ten years of overall teaching experience in grades 7-12 as well as at the college level. Her educational passion lies in poetry instruction, particularly among students who struggle to find success in a traditional language arts classroom. She has developed a year-long poetry curriculum aimed at engaging vocational high school students in the study and composition of verse. Her own poetry was recently published in Uncommon Core (Red Beard Press), a collection of contemporary poems meant for classroom use. A three-time attendee of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, she considers it to be “an ideal professional development community for teachers seeking practical resources, refreshing inspiration, and genuine support for the relevant integration of poetry in the classroom.” Alyssa teaches at Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.