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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

My summer has been full to the brim of this and that.

This: Hobnobbing with my fellow wizards at ALA conference over the weekend. I bought a floor pass only and quickly realized it was a bargain. I walked more than 3 miles each day back and forth through the exhibit hall meeting new people and visiting with my author heroes. Luckily I had driven and parked close to the Convention Center because I made a few trips to the car to drop off loads of books I had collected. I got to know the barista serving espressos at aisle 2400. His coffee sustained me.

Top left, meeting Eloise Greenfield. Top right, a hug from Jason Reynolds. Bottom left with Kwame, and bottom right with Marilyn Singer.

A highlight was giving Kwame Alexander a copy of my book, and he asked me to sign it. He saw me a few times after that and always called me by name. Kwame exemplifies who authors are. They care about their readers.

Signing Bayou Song for Kwame!

While passing by the National Geographic booth, I got a peek at my poem inside the Poetry of US forthcoming anthology with J. Patrick Lewis. The page is stunning!

Click to pre-order. Release date Sept. 25.

Another highlight was reading at the Poetry Blast. I was honored to be a part of this group of amazing poets: Marilyn Singer, Margarita Engle, K.A. Holt, and Lita Judge, and Joy McCullough. And afterwards some of us went to Mulate’s. After a delicious blackened red fish, I danced with Steve, Marilyn’s husband. I thought I’d teach him the two step, but he took to the music immediately and we swung all over the dance floor.

That: Research for my work in progress. I took the opportunity on Monday before leaving New Orleans to visit Dillard University. I was met there in the library archives by John Kennedy. He was intrigued by my project and was very helpful in bridging some gaps in my research. I’m surprising myself at how much I enjoy historical research.

Please visit Catherine Flynn’s post about Bayou Song, the blog tour continues. Catherine’s review is beautiful.

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