Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fairy Tale Adventure

This is going to be a year filled with fairy tales for me.

I've been working on what I hope will be a series of young chapter books that have a fairy tale theme. The children in second grade at Grimm Elementary are studying fairy tales; each child is assigned a fairy tale of his or her own, charged with retelling it in some new and different way. But as the children work on their retellings, they find that their own lives start to parallel their fairy tale in uncanny and illuminating ways. So far I've written Priscilla and the Pea, and now I'm working on Jeremy and the Beanstalk, while waiting to hear from the publishing powers-that-be if the idea is a go.

I'm also writing a poem every Thursday to share with two poet friends from last year's poetry retreat, and I've decided to write fairy tale poems, as poems of doomed love are not to my taste this year. I want to write them in all different forms: sonnet, pantoum, sestina, haiku.

I'm going to be teaching children's literature in the English Department here at DePauw this fall, and of course we'll cover fairy tales.

So when I saw that Harvard is hosting a one-day extravaganza this weekend to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of the Grimm Brothers' collection of fairy tales, I thought, maybe I should go to this. And so I am. I'm flying on miles, I'm staying at a darling bed-and-breakfast right off Harvard Square, and I'll be rubbing shoulders with all the greats of the world of fairy tales, Jack Zipes, Maria Tatar, Jerry Griswold, and so many others, at the Harvard symposium for Grimm Legacies.

Land of fairy tales: Here I come.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful series. I'm sure the publishers will love it. Have fun at Harvard symposium.