The Voice: Spring 2002

The Voice

Two English majors published in recent English Journal

Two Dordt College graduates are having an influence on English teachers across North America through their articles in the January 2002 issue of the English Journal, the magazine for English teachers in the United States and Canada, according to Professor David Schelhaas, who says it was the first magazine he ordered as a beginning English teacher. Others he knows refer to it as their “Bible” for teaching ideas.

Dr. Laura Apol (’85) and Nicole (Vander Vliet) Baart (’99) were published in back-to-back feature articles in a 140-page issue devoted to teaching and writing poetry.

Apol’s “What Do We Do If We Don’t Do Haiku? Seven Suggestions for Writers and Teachers” is an excellent article on how to write poems, says Schelhaas, who has had three pieces published in the English Journal. Apol urges would-be writers to read the poetry of others, to begin writing and let the process take its shape, to keep practicing, to be concrete, to invent if necessary, to revise, and to find their own voice. These tips are written in an engaging style using many examples and illustrations. Apol teaches writing at Michigan State University.

Baart’s article “Saying it More Intensely: Using Sensory Experience to Teach Poetry Writing” tells how she uses sensory experience workshops to help her students learn to write poetry. She describes four workshops, one each on scent, taste, listening, and sight that help students change their stereotypes about what poetry is and help them begin to write poems of their own. Baart teaches secondary school English at the Mennonite Educational Institute in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

The English Journal is published six times per year by the National Council of Teachers of English.