There are two love stories we’re honored to share with a world that needs love—one by Callie Feyen and one by William Shakespeare, that’s annotated by Callie Feyen.
We first met Callie when she read Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing and thought to thank the author for writing it. That was several years ago. Since then, Callie has become a popular article writer here at Tweetspeak and elsewhere. Now, we’re so pleased that she’s also become one of our T. S. Poetry Press authors, twice over in a single week.
And? This is the week, with the release of two very special books that are each, in their own ways, love stories.
The first is a poignant memoir called The Teacher Diaries: Romeo & Juliet. The second is Romeo & Juliet, by William Shakespeare, which Callie has provided two accompanying essays and activities for, as well as personal annotations throughout. In this special volume of the Shakespeare play, Callie is joined by three other women: Sara Barkat, as the volume’s editor and essay contributor, and Hannah Haney and Karen Swallow Prior as essay contributors.
You can find both titles available in print editions on Amazon, and we hope you do—and share them with a world that truly needs love. Also, please join us in offering a big congratulation to Callie, Sara, Hannah, and Karen.
Praise for The Teacher Diaries: Romeo & Juliet
This is a book about being a teacher, and about being a mother, and, in its way, about being a writer. But it is most fully a depiction of living with a work of literature, about the conversations literature can spark and the memories literature can hold and reconfigure. The acknowledgments suggest that writing this book helped Callie Feyen remember why she loved teaching. Reading it made me remember why I love to read.
—Lauren Winner, bestselling author and Associate Professor, Duke Divinity School
Callie Feyen’s warm, funny, and deeply felt reflections on teaching Romeo and Juliet to eighth graders took me back to that moment where my own junior high teacher’s line-by-line slog through the play led to my conversion experience to the wonders of great literature. Here is a book that will not only encourage and inspire other teachers but thrill anyone who knows how profoundly literature can awaken and shape the soul.
—Gregory Wolfe, Editor, Image
Callie Feyen is not just a writer, she is a weaver. She seamlessly threads her past, her students’ experiences, and the timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet into a story of growth and remembrance. She brings the ache of early teenhood to life, and I was transported along with her students every step of the way. Honestly, 8th grade would have been better if she had been my guide.
—Stephanie Stearns Dulli, Director Listen To Your Mother Show DC
Callie Feyen’s students are blessed, as are the teachers who will read her book (and their own students, who will in turn benefit from it). But more than that, there’s the special excitement of reading the first memoir of a young writer with a compelling voice. Brava!
—John Wilson, Editor, Books & Culture, 1995-2016
Educators and parents alike are desperate for ways to engage students in meaningful ways, while also fulfilling their obligation to meet standards and produce outcomes. And this is why a book like this one matters.
Feyen weaves memoir with educational strategy, presenting it with humor, empathy, and an urgency that helps us see the relevance of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy. Presented with love, kindness, and sympathy, the book is a valiant corrective for so many of the worst trends in contemporary educational policy.
If you are a teacher who wants to do more than teach to the test, Feyen will give you hope: there is a way to give yourself fully, to be creative in the classroom, and to honor the material as well as the outcomes.
—Cara Gabriel, Assistant Professor, Department of Performing Arts at American University