Tributaries: B Dance

B Dance
Someone just sent me this video of two young ladies dancing to “B.” When I was a kid, the only babysitters I ever had were always modern dancers and as a result I thought anyone who wore a black leotard was really cool. This theory has yet to be disproved. Click the photo to see the video!




Tributaries: Proposal

A Proposal
When Phil and I performed at “Sweetalkers” in Melbourne, Australia, we were told that there were two guys who wanted to perform a duet poem to introduce our feature. Abdul Hammoud and Meena Shamaly had introduced themselves to me earlier in the evening, but had said no more than a few words to me the whole night. Phil and I were happy to have an opener and sat back to watch their duet. The resulting poem was equal parts surprising, flattering, horrifying, and awesome. Click the photo above to watch their performance, and understand why this is what I was doing in the corner.




Tributaries: Carmel H.S.

Carmel Winter Guard

I recently received this email from “Rosie Q.”:

“I am the director of the Carmel H.S. Winter Guard from Carmel, Indiana. We dance, spin flags, rifles, and sabres to recorded music. Last year we were the 2011 Scholastic World Class Champion at the WGI World Championships. Groups come from all over the world to compete. We saw your TED talk and fell in love with your work and decided to use your poetry for the 2012 production called “Word”. I am attaching a video link to our performance and would love you to take a look. The high school ladies have been working their tails off trying to perfect this show and make your words come to life. They are some of the hardest working, talented, strong young ladies you will ever meet! This video is from a competition from last weekend in Cincinnati where the girls placed 1st at this Regional. Our season is about to come to an end soon… we have about 3 weeks left of competitions with the WGI World Championships approaching on April 12-14th when we will conclude our season and defend our World Title.”

I have never seen a Winter Guard performance before, so I might not be the best judge, but this sure looked pretty darn impressive to me. It took me a little while to figure out that the girls were actually saying the words into microphones during the performance. I can’t believe how much concentration and practice that must take. Just remembering the words is usually a challenge enough for me. Having to run, dance, jump, and spin flags at the same time? Wowzers. Click the photo to watch their performance.




Tributaries: Lungs Tattoo

Remind Your Lungs

K.M. writes:

“I first found out about you in my psychology of women class in the spring of 2011. My professor played a video of you speaking at the TED conference and I fell head over heals for your poem “B”. It really spoke to me; as I watched I tried to write down and capture all my favorite parts. When it finished I had that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you find art that you just cannot live without! I spent a year sharing it with all my friends, scribbling my favorite line all over notebooks and white boards; “getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air”. I find it so inspirational that I got that line tattooed on me this weekend so I always have it.”

I can’t decide what my favorite part of this is: the spelling mistake that resulted in “head over heals” or the fact that I somehow wound up on a Psychology of Women class syllabus. This is also a pretty hefty tattoo to get. I’ve heard side tattoos are some of the most painful and this one is big. Here’s a closer look:

Tributaries: Graphic Recorder

Graphic Organizer

In teacher world, folks love to talk about “Graphic Organizers” as helpful learning tools for students. Today, someone sent me this:

I don’t know the folks that made it, but it’s certainly sweet. I’m a little confused about the pine tree, but I’m a big fan of the girl in the hoodie. Click the image to go to the site it’s from.

Tributaries: UBC SLC

I’ve known for a while that I will be the keynote speaker at the Student Leadership Conference at the University of British Columbia. But nobody else knew it. Until the UBC student organizers posted this cheerful, whimsical video to announce it. Click the image above to watch.

Tributaries: Point B Tattoo

B for Boy
Samantha W. sent me this photo with the following note:

“Your poem “Point B” is so significant to me and my relationship with my birth baby, even though he was adopted out, I consider myself his point b because we are close and he knows how much I love him. Thank you for writing this poem, it helps so much. I am getting “Point B” followed by his birthday tattooed on me, and I wanted you to know that because you should always credit yourself for doing things like this for people like me. Thank you.”

I cropped out the birth date for privacy’s sake, but I wanted to post this photo because this is the first tattoo someone’s ever gotten of a line from one of my poems. (That I know of.) I also like this email because some people ask about the poem “B”: What will happen if you have a son? I’m glad the poem is still relevant for folks who don’t have daughters.