Welcome.

 Thanks for visiting my blog, Dr. Sasslyn’s Thoughts.

A little about the name — when I was in Hamline’s MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, my cohort found out that I had a PhD. They encouraged me to embrace my Dr. They also saw me go from a shy, quiet, not talking person in the back row, to a strong individual with a lot of opinions. Thus, my nickname was born. Dr. Sasslyn. 

I hope to post every two weeks or so with a combination of opinions about the world, writing thoughts, book observations and an on-going discussion of my favorite — verse novels and poetry. I hope you’ll come back and check it out!

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How Ms. Shimkus and Pre-Calc Taught Me About Me

This one’s not about writing. Not exactly anyway. But it is about me. And a lesson I learned a long time ago. I was sixteen and in Pre-Calc. My junior year of high school. Math was never my best subject and I hated it. It was like a strange language and I...

read more

Vomiting the Poems Up

Some of my poems deal with my own traumatic experiences. I get the question often - how do I write about my trauma? Before I answer that question, let’s talk about what it’s like BEFORE a traumatic memory becomes a poem. Phase One: I start to feel anxious....

read more

My Black Lives Matter Sign

This was first published as a guest column in the Prescott Journal on June 28, 2018 under the title, “I Still Have a Black Lives Matter Sign.” You might wonder why I’m including this on a writer/poet blog. A more political blog. Here’s why. My moral core – my belief...

read more

Brilliant Memoirs of Jacqueline Woodson and Marilyn Nelson

Jacqueline Woodson and Marilyn Nelson wrote extraordinary memoirs, which are also verse novels. If you haven’t read them, you should. Right now. Brown Girl Dreaming won the 2014 National Book Award and is Jacqueline Woodson’s autobiography told in free verse. Covering...

read more

Some of my favorite historical fiction verse novels!

One of the things verse novels do best is bring the reader into the mind of the character. That ability renders difficult subjects like rape and abuse intimate and painful to read. In Blood, Water, Paint Joy McCullough writes about an Italian Renaissance...

read more

Margarita Engle – Poet, Historian, Transformative

Margarita Engle is the 2017-2019 National Young People’s Poet Laureate. She's a Cuban-American poet whose work is grounded in Cuban history. Her language is evocative and beautiful - I think that’s what makes these stories transformative. Part of why I...

read more

Welcome.

 Thanks for visiting my blog, DR. SASSLYN’S LOG/BLOG! 

... read more

A little about the name — when I was in Hamline’s MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, my cohort found out that I had a PhD. They encouraged me to embrace my Dr. They also saw me go from a shy, quiet, not talking person in the back row, to a strong individual with a lot of opinions. Thus, my nickname was born. Dr. Sasslyn. 

I hope to post every two weeks or so with a combination of opinions about the world, writing thoughts, book observations and an on-going discussion of my favorite — verse novels and poetry. I hope you’ll come back and check it out!

Latest Posts:

How Ms. Shimkus and Pre-Calc Taught Me About Me

This one’s not about writing. Not exactly anyway. But it is about me. And a lesson I learned a long time ago. I was sixteen and in Pre-Calc. My junior year of high school. Math was never my best subject and I hated it. It was like a strange language and I...

read more

Vomiting the Poems Up

Some of my poems deal with my own traumatic experiences. I get the question often - how do I write about my trauma? Before I answer that question, let’s talk about what it’s like BEFORE a traumatic memory becomes a poem. Phase One: I start to feel anxious....

read more

My Black Lives Matter Sign

This was first published as a guest column in the Prescott Journal on June 28, 2018 under the title, “I Still Have a Black Lives Matter Sign.” You might wonder why I’m including this on a writer/poet blog. A more political blog. Here’s why. My moral core – my belief...

read more

Brilliant Memoirs of Jacqueline Woodson and Marilyn Nelson

Jacqueline Woodson and Marilyn Nelson wrote extraordinary memoirs, which are also verse novels. If you haven’t read them, you should. Right now. Brown Girl Dreaming won the 2014 National Book Award and is Jacqueline Woodson’s autobiography told in free verse. Covering...

read more

Some of my favorite historical fiction verse novels!

One of the things verse novels do best is bring the reader into the mind of the character. That ability renders difficult subjects like rape and abuse intimate and painful to read. In Blood, Water, Paint Joy McCullough writes about an Italian Renaissance...

read more

Margarita Engle – Poet, Historian, Transformative

Margarita Engle is the 2017-2019 National Young People’s Poet Laureate. She's a Cuban-American poet whose work is grounded in Cuban history. Her language is evocative and beautiful - I think that’s what makes these stories transformative. Part of why I...

read more