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Heard on CultureShift

Author Peter Markus Talks New Book on Teaching Poetry in Detroit Schools

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Image credit: Kimberly Smith

Markus’ new nonfiction novel Inside My Pencil chronicles a “magical” year in a second grade classroom.

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Courtesy of Peter Markus
Courtesy of Peter Markus

Author Peter Markus has spent the last two decades as an Artist in Residence with InsideOut Literary Arts Project, teaching creative writing to students in Detroit Public Schools.

Courtesy of Peter Markus
Courtesy of Peter Markus

Dzanc Books released Markus’ new novel, Inside My Pencil, late last month. The book chronicles the blossoming relationship between Markus and a classroom of second graders over the course of a single school year. Markus explains the premise of the book and reads an excerpt in this interview with WDET’s Shelby Jouppi.

I think this book offers a different look at education when imagination and creativity are placed at the center of the classroom and not just as sort of a marginalized elective.”


Click the player above to listen to the interview


WHY WRITE THIS BOOK?

There have been all these narratives about Detroit Public Schools and children in those schools as being failed experiments of standardized teaching and things like that,” says Markus. ”So I think this book offers a different look at education when imagination and creativity are placed at the center of the classroom and not just as sort of a marginalized elective. … More than ever before this story desperately needs to be told.”


Shelby Jouppi, Multimedia Producer

Wielding media powers for good, Shelby produces stories for The Beginning of the End and CuriosiD.

shelby.jouppi@wdet.org Follow @shelbyjouppi

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