Poets Salinger and Holbrook To Visit
SSMS Campus Wednesday and Thursday

Courtesy of Educational Foundation




From SSISD Educational Foundation



The SSISD Education Foundation recently awarded a classroom grant in the amount of $3,300 to Ms. Garner, Ms. Moss and Ms. Roberts, English Language Arts teachers at Sulphur Springs Middle School.  They used their grant funds to bring in poets Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger. The poets will spend two days at SSMS meeting with each 8th grade Language Arts class as well as leading faculty in staff development about teaching poetry in their classrooms.

The opening General Session will be held on Wednesday March 2nd from 8:00 am to 9:30 am at Sulphur Springs Middle School. We would appreciate any press coverage you could give us to help further educate the public about our foundation and how our funds are benefitting the students and staff of SSISD.


Michael Salinger



Michael Salinger is a poet, performer, and educator, living in Northeast Ohio. He is one of the earliest participants in the National Poetry Slam, former board member of Poetry Slam inc., and current director of the organization's summer writing and performance conference. He is the author of teacher professional books and frequent speaker at teacher conferences and schools in the U.S. and abroad, where he uses performance poetry as a means to better literacy and comprehension skills.

He was is the founding instructor of the Slam U program for the Playhouse Square Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. The second largest performing arts institution after Boradway.

Salinger began performing his poetry in the mid 1980's in and around Cleveland, at venues such as the Pearl Road Auto Wrecking Junkstock festivals, and Macs Backs paperbacks in the eclectic Coventry neighborhood. He gravitated into the poetry slam scene by default as it was just starting. He stage appearances became more elaborate taking cues from the Dada movement and eventually began involving a cast of characters and makeshift scripts and stage direction, resulting in the performance art troupe, The Nova Lizard Project, during the late 1980's and early 1990's.

He lives in Ohio with children's author and poet, Sara Holbrook.






Sara Holbrook


I didn’t dream of being a poet when I was young. All the poets in the library at my school were dead.  Who wants to grow up to be a dead guy?  I grew up before youtube, before the time when kids poetry books were shelved with the joke books in the library, and before schools started having author visits.  There were no poets in my neighborhood or my family.  I knew a kid could grow up to be a doctor, a teacher, or a grocery store clerk, but a poet?  

Still, I started writing poetry.  Periodically at first.  And then I got more serious about it when my two daughters were young, continuing through their middle and teen years. The first audience for one of my poetry readings was a slumber party. 

Since that time, the poems and my audiences have increased. I am now the author of a dozen poetry books for kids and two for adults, plus four professional books for teachers (see tabs above for more info).  I have performed in poetry slams, on school stages in almost every state in the USA and over 30 different countries, in a coffee shop in Nigeria and a boxing ring in Stockholm.   I am a performance poet, I don't think a poem really comes to life until it is read aloud. 

I write about two things, mostly -- what I know and what I wonder about. Reading and writing poetry helps me understand my life, the world, and the people I care about. Whether I am writing funny or serious poems, writing poetry helps me see what's true.

I have had many jobs in my life. I am a graduate of Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio where I received a degree in English. I have done some part-time teaching, but mostly I have made my living writing. Before I became a full time poet, I worked in the area of public relations in the fields of law, drug prevention and public housing.

As many poets before me, I began by self-publishing.  I named my little publishing company Kid Poems for the not-so-bad because I write for kids who are like I am -- maybe a little ornery, but really not-so-bad.

Sharing my passion for poetry with audiences and student writers is the best job I've ever had.




Thanks to the generous contributions to the SSISD Educational Foundations, "extra's" for continued learning can continued to be brought to SSISD students and enhance their classroom studies!