A great way to end poetry month. A rerelease of The Missouri Reader’s poetry issues by Dr. Sam Bommarito.

A great way to end poetry month. A rerelease of The Missouri Reader’s poetry issues by Dr. Sam Bommarito.

You may know that one of the hats I wear is that of the Co-Editor of The Missouri Reader.  The Missouri Reader has been publishing for over 40 years now.  We publish between two and three issues a year. We are peer edited and have a highly qualified review board.  We do publish some very well-known literary leaders, but we also give teachers a chance to publish right alongside them. Most often, those teachers are graduate students at one of our state’s universities, though we do accept articles from all over the United States (and Beyond!). Details on how to submit are always found on the last page of each issue of the journal.  

Here is an excerpt of what I had to say when we first released this special poetry edition:

“Readers. I now want to editorialize a bit.  Please indulge me. It relates to the theme of our special issue, Poetry- a Path to Literacy.   Lately, I’ve been wondering aloud why we have so many people writing about the need to return to joy in the reading and writing field (lots of titles about that lately). Why do we have a famous video called Don’t Read Like a Robot.  Why are some so determined to turn reading into a race?  Do we really need a nation of Robot Readers and Auctioneers? Or do we need a nation of students who know how to read like Storytellers? Storytellers around those long-ago campfires were the beginnings of what we now call civilization.  The historian in me thinks they were at the heart of the movement that separated humankind from the rest of the living creatures on our planet. To read a story like a storyteller, you’ve got to understand the characters, know what they act like, and what they should sound like. I think that is why Rasinski calls prosody the gateway to comprehension. To read like a storyteller is to return to the most basic of basics.  All the authors contributing to this very special issue of our journal hope that our readers find the ideas and resources in this issue that will help them get back to the real basics. Learning to read poetry well is one of the key things that make up what I call the real basics. I also hope the readers of this issue will find much of what they need to help create a nation of readers who know how to read like storytellers. Perhaps then we would not have to worry about how to bring joy back to all aspects of literacy. The answer is so very simple. Read (and write) because you want to. Let your children do the same.

Pardon me, it’s nighttime and I suddenly feel the urge to build a very nice campfire. Then I think I’ll get out a copy of the new journal. I hear there are some wonderful things to read in it, poems and such. I hear that there’s a whole world of joy to find if you’re just willing to look. Please do have a look. You deserve some joy and so do your children.


Here is the link to the poetry issue of The Missouri Reader:  https://joom.ag/o1ta

It has been four years since we first released the poetry issue. We also followed up with another special issue on poetry which gave 55 ideas on things to do during poetry week LINK.

As I share these two special editions with you, I want to take the time to give a very special thank you to David Harrison. Doing these two issues was his brainchild. Over the past two decades, David has made numerous submissions to our journal.  Of course, the most significant involves our most read issue of all time, the poetry issue, which is the topic of this blog post. He has published numerous poetry collections and collaborated with Tim Rasinski on widely used scholastic books that allow students to use poetry as part of doing word ladders  LINK, LINK. David does a regular poetry activity for teachers and students on his blog/Facebook page LINK. Not only is David a well-published poet, but he also advocates for using poetry in education both in our state and on the national level. He is a widely recognized leader in literacy. Because of his work in literacy, he has a school named for him in Springfield, Missouri. He is the recipient of this year’s literacy award from the state’s ILA organization, The Missouri Literacy Association. In sum, David is a well-published poet, an advocate for using poetry in education and has many recognitions for his literary work. As we rerelease these two issues of The Missouri Reader, I want to give a shout-out to David for all he has done for our journal and all he has done over the years to help folks see how very important poetry is.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka, the storyteller/poet/singer-songwriter)

P.S. Next week, I will resume doing interviews beginning with an interview with Dr. Andy Johnson about his new book and his latest podcast.

Copyright 2023 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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