Thanks to author J.C. Elkin for stopping by and sharing the inspiration for her new book, World Class: Poems Inspired by the ESL Classroom. Enjoy!
World Class Journey by J.C. Elkin
“I teach English as a Second Language to adults, but I wrote this book to teach America about my students. In a land founded on the immigrant dream, they are often disparaged or misunderstood. World Class: Poems Inspired by the ESL Classroom is a collection of character sketches inspired by the personal and professional travails of modern immigrants, telling their stories through narrative accentual verse.
It all began with an optimistic haiku about camaraderie across language barriers, a theme that continues through later stories, yet the individuals who most inspired me were facing bigger challenges than finding friendship:
Young, the mature, slow learner: (random words tumble from him like poetry magnets in heaps, and he has lost most of the verbs).
Fernan, the timid youth who must return home to bury his mother, causing me to reexamine my thoughts on illegal immigration.
Hala from Peshawar, who sacrificed her health to teach girls in substandard conditions in a culture that doesn’t value their education.
Alma, the janitor who wanted nothing more than a full-time job and Paz Maya, who works double shifts at McDonald’s…playing dodge ball with her health.
Fazilah, who slumps at her desk, black nylon hijab a puddle, only her hennaed fingers peeking out from the veil, whose Ramadan fast in August uncovered my own religious intolerance.
Verdad, who must learn to swear in order to keep up with her son’s budding language skills.
The language is not always politically correct, which has shocked some readers, but that’s the point. Immigrants are often painted in shocking stereotypes. If I never publish another word but change one thousand minds with this book, I will have accomplished my goal.
So far, the reaction has been positive. One WYPR listener who caught my interview on The Signal actually tracked down my phone number to thank me for writing the book, which she ordered for a friend. Mission accomplished.”
To learn more about J.C. Elkin visit: http://www.broadneckwritersworkshop.com/jane-c-elkin.html
World Class by J.C. Elkin is available from Apprentice House Publishers as well as at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com.
Thanks again to J.C. Elkin for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests, Quotable Wednesdays, blogs from me, and occasional Readers & Writers Recipes. Have an inspired day! – Vonnie