Literary Disco Goes Back to School with Poet and Teacher Bree Rolfe
On the Syllabus: Jamaica Kincaid, Roddy Doyle, and Assaf Gavron
On this episode of Literary Disco, Julia, Rider, and Tod head back to school with special guest Bree Rolfe, a teacher from Austin, Texas, where she helps high school students discover literature and creative writing. She is also a poet, whose collection Who’s Going to Love the Dying Girl is out now. She is also a dear friend of Literary Disco, a fellow graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars and exactly one semester ahead of the rest of us. Bree was involved in a lot of the late-night drinking and debating sessions that became this very podcast.
From the episode:
Bree: I have students who love to read, but the majority of my students in my academic classes do not enjoy reading.
Julia: I think meeting them where they are and admitting that is obviously why you’re connecting with them. And choosing pieces that are both up to your literary standards and something that can connect with them, and short enough to get through reading in one class period—that is a trifecta that is really admirable.
Bree: It’s super difficult.
Tod: Finding good short pieces like that—for me as a young person who first had trouble reading because I was so profoundly dyslexic, a short piece like that that moves me makes me want to go find more stuff that moves me, you know? So it’s really smart to pick something that a kid can read in 30 minutes and have such a profound effect. I mean, your students are going to remember “New Boy” for the rest of their lives. That’s going to stick with them, which is cool.
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