I asked Inspired Mic presenters to send me a little something about themselves and what they write. I gave them free reign to pick and choose material about themselves that would be informative and promotional. As The Inspired Mic grows, potential audience participants would like to know something about those who steel their nerves and get up in front of a live audience to present their creativity. In the following days leading up to the October 21st event, each of the October readers who send me their info will be In the Spotlight:
I love reading. I love writing. I love learning. They were great engaging and entertaining resources for me while growing up on the farm in Center Point, a small town in southwest Arkansas. I am the youngest of four female siblings. Educational opportunities weren’t as fluid for my parents as they were for their four daughters, so they made sure each one of us had the opportunity to go college or to pursue our career choice.
Daddy reminded us, “I want each one of you to be able to sufficiently take care of yourself whenever the need arises.” So, at the end of each laborious feat, I look out into endless space and release this message to my parents: You are the reason I am. You are the reason I continue my mission-to invest in the education of others.
After high school, I attended Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education. My first teaching job was in Kansas City, Missouri, where I taught high school English and where I received a master’s in Reading Education from the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC).
I experienced many awe-inspiring years teaching high school students until I activated the next phase of my career – to teach at the college level. It began at Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City. I also trained and became a volunteer for Literacy Kansas City. I adored both experiences. I went on to make meaning of my writing files that had lain dormant while I passionately pursued my teaching journey and received a master’s in Creative Writing, with a poetry focus, from the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). There, I gave birth to my first three poetry manuscripts: It’s Okay: Poetic Memoirs, Clear Velvet, and Under a Daylight Moon.
During the defense of my final manuscript, the one that would determine my poetry fate, a profound question entered my mind: Does birthing really get easier after the first one? My poems have appeared in literary journals and newsprint including Kansas City Voices, The Mountain Troubadour, Rougarou, And/Or, Everyday Poetry, Touch Poetry, Kansas City Star and Of Poets and Poetry.
My recognition and awards include Excellence in Teaching, Crystal Apple, and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. My current book, Rotating Reflections: A Poetry Trio, is a three-book poetry volume that include some of the poems from previous publications. It is available at Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble and Amazon Books.
I moved to Palm Coast in January 2014 with my husband, a retired Sargent Major and ROTC instructor from Jasper, Florida, my Black Lab, and yellow tabby. I am grateful to everyone who helped lessen the stress of the monumental move from Missouri to Florida, and who supported and granted me the opportunity to continue doing what I adore doing in a new state.
I enjoy reading poetry at The Inspired Mic at the Beach House Beanery in Flagler Beach, Florida. On September 18, I had an amazing opportunity to read with three other poets at a Palm Coast Arts Foundation event during Arts in Education Week. I teach at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. I continue to love reading. I continue to love writing. I continue to love learning. And, I continue to love making positive differences in the lives of students who pass my way.