From the Front of the Classroom: Antrim House Books

Full Circle: Hanover Press

If Only Red Could Talk (a writer’s discovery)

Hear Garrison Keillor read a poem from the book on Writer’s Almanac

Poems on YouTube

My Muse
Mother’s Work


I just love being around you! You bring a wonderful aura of peace and acceptance, and I know the students enjoy their time with you as well! ~ Middle school teacher

I hated poetry before you came to my class. Now, I don’t know what I’d do without it! ~ 7th grade girl

My name is E. We met many years ago, and as I am not sure that you remember me, I am writing to let you know that you are someone I will never forget. In 2003, I was a young poet, a high school student with enough passion to make a way for myself, but not enough direction to get anywhere doing it. What I expressed on the mic was all tone. I had very little structure back then and not a clue in the world of what was discernible in my work. I had rhythm, and as appealing as my enthusiasm could be, I was too loud to be coherent at times. As stubborn as I was, you still offered your support. You coached me as a member of a poetry team—though the name of it escapes me now—bought me poetry books that still sit on my bookshelf today and which I have researched many a times throughout the years. You gave me a glimpse of how many poets there were out there who came from similar places in life that I did. Never once did you try to change me, just help me grow. And even when I got in trouble with the police before one of our shows, you simply asked me if wherever I was going after the show was more important than being there. I said to myself, “Damn, this white lady is buggin. What she want from me?” and I was even slightly upset that you didn’t tell me I was fucking up. Strange huh? Poetry helped me, in all of the cliché ways that it’s romanticized in movies where kids need to get off of the streets and bring a little bit of the streets back into their poetry. In helping me understand it, allowing me to respect it more, you contributed to the impact it has had on my life. I want nothing more but to thank you. You helped me listen; you helped to get me heard. ~ High school poet, now all grown up

I just wanted to thank you again for last night. The audience was hanging on your every word – a great accomplishment since the age range was 10 months to probably over 80!!. I hope you enjoyed the evening as much I did. ~ Poetry series host

An adult learner who attended our May conference, wrote an article about her experience for her organization’s student newsletter. Regarding the sessions, she wrote, “One of my favorites was ‘Why Poetry.’ It was presented by Elizabeth Thomas. This workshop made me feel like I just woke up from a deep sleep into a new and colorful world, surrounded by great human beings who care for each other as we do for our brothers and sisters.” ~ FL Literacy Council

Thank you so much for the fine work you did yesterday with our kids. The clinicians are now fascinated by you and your poetry. Today they all commented on yesterday as one of the most positive experiences they have had with the kids. We will continue these gatherings and hope to have you back sometime in the future. ~ College instructor

If you would like a brochure listing some of the workshops offerings, please email upwordspoetryATgmailDOTcom to request a copy.