Friday, February 22, 2008

Feathers and Verses in Kearney at the Nebraska State Reading Associatoin Meeting

This Friday and Saturday, February 22 and 23, I gave a couple presentations of my Feathers and Verses program at the Nebraska Readers Association Conference in Kearney. As the group's logo duplicated here indicates, this association works to promote literacy in Nebraska and holds a state conference every two years. Click here to learn more about this important advocacy group and the works its members do throughout the state.

Two years ago at this conference, I did my first program using PowerPoint and digital images instead of the slide projector. To create digital images, I had scanned in my photographs and slides of birds.

Over the past couple years, a lot has changed with my program, including the content, for now all the photographs in the program come from pictures I have taken using my digital camera. And I have also added a few electronic features, including bird songs.

Feathers and Verses remains part of the Nebraska Humanities Council's Speakers Bureau; click here to view a brief description of the program.

I have in one form or another given creative writing workshops connected with bird images for the past twenty years. My most recent events include Prairie Discovery Day at Fertig Prairie. As clicking on Prairie Discovery Day indicates, each fall for the past four years, I have given presentations on birds and creative writing outdoors in support of the Wachiska Audubon Society's program. This year, nearly 100 5th graders from Schuyler took part in the program; among other things, they learned a lot about insects of multiple varieties.

Of course, doing the program outdoors precludes much of the computer and projector fun but does suggest the program's flexibility.

This October, I also took part in the second of St Patrick's impressive Literature
Festival and look forward to the next gathering. At the festival linked here, I joined with luminaries such as Nebraska State Poet Bill Kloefkorn and Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and gave four presentations to fourth and fifth graders; we all enjoyed a grand time.

I enjoy giving programs for audiences of all ages. In Falls City last spring, for instance, I gave a presentation in the afternoon for youngsters and then another show later that evening for adults, though the adults did not write any poems (this time around).

At the Nebraska Reading Association, I also showed for the first time in public a bird video I created as part of what I call The Trace Trail Trilogy, films of the Sherman Memorial Area near Peru, of birds common to the area, and of flowers and other sights along the trail; to see an early version of the video on You Tube, just click below or visit the Trace Trail page of the blog linked above.

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