Update on Wordy Goodness & a New Adventure


Hey everybody,

Luke & I have been volunteering at Workshop Houston since our move back to Texas. I’ve parlayed my poetry teaching skills into uncharted territory – lyric writing for hip hop & rap songs in the Beat Shop! I also volunteer in Scholar Shop & the Bike Shop. Workshop Houston is dedicated to serving the youth of Houston’s Third Ward. And as usual the kids love Luke 😉

If you live in the Greater Houston area, I cannot think of a better way to spend some time getting involved in our community. Check it out: www.workshophouston.org

In other exciting news, I’ve embarked (pun intended) on an entirely new & different kind of adventure – without Luke. Which is probably a challenge to conceive of since I don’t usually leave home without the trusty & devoted, wiggly & fluffy Wonder Dog. Thing is, this new activity involves me pedaling around on 3 wheels instead of holding on to Luke for guidance, balance, momentum & support.

You won’t believe what I’m up to now.

To find out how I’ve managed to reclaim a dream I thought I’d relinquished long ago (when I was diagnosed w/multiple sclerosis) – and just how it is that a woman like me is fighting her way back to earning the designation of “athlete.”

All of this has culminated into something I can still hardly believe myself. I’m participating in the 2010 NYC Marathon!

Come along to my other/new blog where the story is unfolding. Consider subscribing to the blog & sharing it with your friends; perhaps you’ll support me by leaving a few words of encouragement or even help me raise funds & awareness for my chosen charity team, Leary Firefighters Foundation.

The new blog is called Wonky Woman On A Bent Trike, I hope to see you there.  It’s going to be a wild ride to the finish line on November 7th, that’s for darn sure!



About deniselanier

I am an educator & advocate, poet & performer, speaker & storyteller who believes in the power of narrative to transform & transport, create & connect. I was the shy, awkward girl who didn’t fit in, was often bullied, happiest with my nose in books, whose best friend was my dog. After being cast in a play in my teens I discovered a way to be comfortable in my own skin, bringing to life the words of a character. Costumed in make-believe I dared to be more of myself than I ever allowed off-stage; I claimed my voice. I spent most of my adult life teaching others to raise their own voices, through acting, creative writing, even slam poetry. When the diagnosis of MS intervened in my 30s I had to let go of acting, which is why most of my storytelling is now expressed through page and less “formal” interactions with stages. I devote much of my time to kids, teaching them to use words & imagination, developing authentic, resilient, remarkable voices. I endeavor to grow in my students the belief, the truth, that we are all artists & the change-makers in our own stories. My best friend still has fur & four legs. My mobility assistance dog is my constant companion, teaching assistant & muse to many. Luke is also chief partner in crime; I’m getting a reputation for stealing things. As inventor of a poetic form called klepto-collaborative, I pickpocket words & phrases from others, reshuffling & reshaping the puzzle-pieces into a colorful, storied mosaic of diverse voices. Taking something from every speaker at a conference in real-time, I craft a collective poem that highlights the messages of the day, repurposing ideas & refashioning stories, weaving them together in a manner that never loses the originality & spirit of the speakers’ themes. So while I may be a word thief, I figure being eco-conscious makes up for it. I’m available to facilitate wordy goodness in your community, school, workplace or play space. I like to think I have way of transforming annual meetings into something interactive, cooperative & memorable. Through my klepto-collaborative poems I aim to delight, to ignite conversation, and maybe even incite innovation. I earned an MFA from Florida International University, where I edited Gulf Stream Literary Magazine. I’m the founder of WordPlay, a poetry-in-the-schools project inspired by Dave Eggers. My poetry has appeared in Bloomsbury Review, Cake, Luna, Best American Poetry blog (a collaborative poem with the phenomenal Denise Duhamel), Wicked Good Life, and various anthologies. My non-fiction has appeared in the Miami Herald and my fiction has been nominated for Best New American Voices. www.deniselanier.wordpress.com & www.wonkybent.wordpress.com

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