Lois Lowry's Blog

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A new book. No, not by me.

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Sunday, 16 November 2014 in Uncategorized

I got back late last ngiht from Savannah, Georgia, where I had spent all day yesterday at the outdoor Savannah Book Festival. Savannah is a gorgeous city which I have not visited often enough, so I had been happy to accept that invitation. But who knew that the internet weather forecast would lie as profoundly as it did when it said the day of the festival would be 75 degrees?  I loved heading toward that forecast when I left my Maine home in snow on Friday morning...heading south, smugly taking with me a cotton sweater and a lightweight jacket.  OMG, I was cold in Savannah!!!!  As was the audience, whom I had to try to entertain during two different one-hour events. Me on a wooden platform, shivering, they unable to sit on the grass as planned...instead, standing, hands in armpits, attentive but miserable.  Then two hours of sitting at a table, signing books...my hands went numb.  Temperature? I'm guessing 48? The warmth of the people involved...festival organizers, volunteers, and attendees ALMOST made up for it.  And Savannah, dear beautoful city, I do hope to see you again, but please, on a warmer dayi

Several things warmed me mightily when i got home. The cat, left alone, was very happy to have me back. And the dog, when I picked him up from the kennel this morning, was friskily delighted to come home.  The NY Times crossword puzzle was fairly easy today, and fun. I still had some homemade chiucken soup in the fridge and have just made my lunch from it. And in the waiting mail was a book that is making my day and will make my month and year.  It is a new collection of poems..."Splitting an Order" by Ted Kooser, Nebraska poet, former US poet laureate.

I love his work. I have met him only once, at a dinner in Nebraska where I was the speaker and he was in the audience, and it was one of those ignominious times when one's Power Point doesn't work. He was gentle and forgiving of that, and later sent me a book of his poems, and I sent him a thank you note, but he would remember neither that nor me and it doesn't matter.

Kooser collects the tiny quotidian details of life and then presents them in a way that both heightens your own awareness and also creates a significance, a greater and more unversal context. A poem called "Swinging frm Parents" describes a child between mother and father, swinging from their hands—and it so brilliantly creates both the present and the future of the child..I wish I could copy the whole poem here but it would violate copyright law.  Go buy the book.

That particluar poem followed immediately after the one called "Bad News" which sent an ice pick into my gut with its familiarity. The familiarity of the phone call that comes in the night..."In the flare of the light you've snapped on"...and brings the news that is "thrown over your shoulders like a threadbare robe."...most of us have experienced such a call.  It is oddly comforting to be reminded of that; he shapes it into a familiar form.

 

 

Isn't this a lovely man?  Wouldn't you like to sit by a fireplace and just talk with him? Reading his book will have the same feeling.  Part of me wishes he would google his own name and find his way to this blog and learn how much I admire his work. But the wiser part of me knows that one of the reasons I appreciate him is because he is the kind of guy who would never google his own name.

 

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Kimberly
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Kimberly Monday, 17 November 2014

Hello Mrs. Lowry!

I am a middle school teacher at an International School in Israel. My students are children of diplomats and come from all over the world. They are a very innovative, philosophical, and special group. My 6th grade students just finished reading The Giver. I didn't think it would be possible to enjoy that book any more than I had when I was a 6th grader myself, but teaching your novel was perhaps the highlight of my teaching career thus far. I couldn't find an email address, and I'm sorry to leave a message unrelated to your post. However, I will be looking into Kooser's work after reading your praises of him.

I would love the chance to e-mail with you. My true hope is that you would be able to skype with my students here in Israel. But either way I am just happy to tell you how much of an impact, even 20 years later, your work has on students of all different backgrounds, from all walks of life. Thank you for the gift of your words, your stories, and characters, who transform learning into such a meaningful experience.

My email is kimberlyp26@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you.

Sincerely,
Kimberly

Lois Lowry
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Lois Lowry Saturday, 27 December 2014

Kimberly, I am scrolling through past blog posts and comments and cannot recall if I replied to yours. Sorry! IN any case: I'm afraid I do not do Skype visits. But your students can email me by clicking on the righthand side of my website page where it says EMAIL ME. If there are a lot of students with questions, it is much better to include all the questions in ONE email because if I find there are 27 separate emails it is a bit daunting and they don't get answered as promptly as they should. :(

brenda wyckoff
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brenda wyckoff Monday, 17 November 2014

Now I have to find Ted Koser's work! What a warming and encouraging post you wrote! Thank you!
Enjoy the new winter!
Brenda

t noble
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t noble Tuesday, 25 November 2014

hello ms lowry,
i am just now reading "the silent boy", and thought it was inconsistent that katy as a young person didnt make an effort to visit her friend at the asylum, and later as a professional, do everything she could to make her friend's life better? don't you think so?
terry noble,
editor of wycliffe's bible

Bouzigon
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Bouzigon Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Dear Lois Lowry. Forgive my English more approximate. I just wanted to tell you that your book "The Giver" was one of the novels that helped give me the pleasure of reading when I was young. The universe you created and emotion to which you have given life touched me deeply. I hope you see this message and thank you again for writing this book. PS: The adaptation of Phillip Noyce also moved me deeply. Again thank you from the heart!

Bouzigon
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Bouzigon Tuesday, 25 November 2014

If you could contact me to tell me if you have at least received my message, would be for me a great honor and a special joy. kind regards

Bouzigon
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Bouzigon Tuesday, 25 November 2014

PS: my email adress is: alexisbouzigon@hotmail.fr. One more time, a great thanks !

Lois Lowry
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Lois Lowry Friday, 28 November 2014

Yes, I have read your comments! Thank you! :D

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