On this Father's Day, 2023, I'd like to share two excerpts from my forthcoming novel about the Chinese immigration experience through Angel Island in the early 1900's (Bridge Across The Sky, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Fall 2024) that were inspired by memories of my father.
The opening stanza of the novel is based on the only story I ever heard my father tell about his younger days.… [more]
In the course of the protests sweeping our nation, police in many cities transformed potentially incendiary standoffs into powerful visions of unity and hope by kneeling, marching, and mourning with the protesters they swear to serve and protect. Not all of them maintained that stance, but many did. I've written this anthem to celebrate the moments they created. It can be sung to the tune of our national anthem.… [more]
A poem I wrote 30 years ago, in the days following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Oakland, October 17-19, 1989
On this day of the March For Our Lives, I'd like to share an excerpt from my current work in progress, Matoaka, a novel of Pocahontas, John Smith, and John Rolfe.
The entire novel is written in the form of prayers by Pocahontas (who is a daughter of the high chief of the Powhatan nation, and whose true name is Matoaka), diary entries by John Smith (one of the leaders of the Jamestown settlement), third person narratives from Smith's point of view, and letters by John Rolfe, a tobacco farmer who arrives at Jamestown late in the book.… [more]
A poem for the 4th. (The day Thomas Jefferson died, in 1826, on the 50th birthday of the nation.)
Bodies of every size falling
at the same rate, no one
more or less anxious
to achieve the finality
of ground, all
or ineffectively resistant
First, read this courageous comment on the bombing and shooting in Norway.
We had our own "Oslo moment" here in the U.S., of course: the 9/11 attacks. In the aftermath, there was a lot of talk about tightening national security even at the cost of compromising our freedoms. A point that was often made in defense of more, and more extreme, measures was that no matter how strong our security was already, the terrorists would only need to find one crack in the wall, and they'd be in again.… [more]
A few months ago, after I submitted my YA Joan of Arc novelization to yet another publisher and was feeling like I was moving into a wait-and-see phase concerning all my YA novels, I decided to turn my attention to picture book texts. I had already written a few over the years, but they needed a lot of work, and so I plunged into that, and wrote a few new ones, too.… [more]
I just learned that today is International Pi Day and thought I'd share this poem I wrote a while back: