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and freedom

Feeding the Roots of Self Expression and Freedom

Jimmy Santiago Baca collaborated with two National Writing Project Fellows and literacy professionals, Kym Sheehan (Florida) and Denise VanBriggle (Pennsylvania) on his latest teaching tool, Feeding the Roots of Self-Expression and Freedom. Using poems from Baca’s incarceration as a young man, Sheehan and VanBriggle have crafted curricular activities and probing questions designed to take readers on a personal journey plumbing both the depths of pain and the promise of joy.


Kym Sheehan and Denise VanBriggle have captured details of Jimmy’s thinking and teachings in ways that allow you to support the teaching of writing in diverse instructional settings. Kym and Denise, the poet-teachers who wrote this book, have provided detailed descriptions, exercises, sample poetry and food for thought for teachers and students in the writing process. As our world continues to change and sustainability becomes an issue, more rapidly than at any other time of our Earth’s history, our students today will need to find ways to build resiliency to face the challenges of their future. Kym and Denise dig deep into aspects rarely addressed in the writing classroom, to help students heal through self-expression, moving themselves into the worlds of freedom and creativity.


— Dianne Torres, Associate Professor, University of New Mexico




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