Meeting Mary Lee

For those of you who don’t follow the Poetry Friday loop, this week one of our Poetry Friday crew is retiring, after 37 years in the classroom. Wow. That’s a lot of passion and creativity – and kids inspired!

Mary Lee’s friend and blog partner, Franki Sibberson, invited us to help celebrate Mary Lee’s dedication with a Mary Lee-themed round of Poetry Friday posts!

Meeting Mary Lee

March Madness sparked our 'meeting'
And if I'm correct inΒ 
Recalling your bio,
You didn't call yourself a poet.

Let's be clear;
Even then you were a poet!
Even moreso now.

How time flies to NCTE 2019;
Amid a sea of faces, you
Happened past, and I knew – 
Not a stranger; "Mary Lee!"

NCTE 2021, after that magical moment of recognition and meeting IRL – with the lovely Margaret Simon in the middle.

Congratulations, Mary Lee. Hoping this last day in the classroom is wonderful beyond all imagining, and you embark on this new stanza of your poem with many more memories to cherish.

Christie Wyman at Wondering And Wandering is hosting the roundup today. You’ll find lots to celebrate (and that’s not just poetry!) on her blog. πŸ₯³


  1. Kathryn, it is nice to read your acrostic about how you met Mary Lee. I love the natural and flowing language, even though the letters in her name had to keep you constrained. It is lovely, as is the picture of you both with Margaret.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the photo AND the poem…it’s so your voice. It’s a poem that looks easy but an acrostic like that is not. What a wonderful way of remembering Mary Lee and her amazing career today. It’s so fun seeing all the ways Mary Lee has included so many of us as students outside her classroom. Aren’t we the lucky ones?! I need more cake…

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  3. I was retired myself that 2019 NCTE & hoped to see so many last fall in Denver. Alas, it didn’t happen. I loved seeing all of you together, though, Kat. Special times, & so many good memories. I love that you met during March Madness!

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  4. Ooh, March Madness is so much fun (to watch! I’ll leave it to you bravehearts to join). What a great place to spark a poetry friendship. That picture makes me grin. Here’s to in-person meet-ups with our poetry heroines.

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    • I can’t remember if I did it once or twice – but to be honest, it was too much stress for me.😹 (It really makes me feel for kids, writing on-demand for standardised tests.)


  5. Such treasure in these faces and your poem. Heartfelt poets and teachers who make a huge difference in this world. Your poem for her is a treasure. I may have “met” Mary Lee in the first March Madness in around 2012 but possibly the first time in person was in Las Vegas at NCTE. We went to Beatlelove Cirque de Soleil in a group. I had just retired and was in awe of the energy all of the teacher-poet-literacy leaders had when I realized that there was a big world of poets for children called the Kidlitosphere.. And thrilled to find a community, despite being out of the classroom. (I am still there in my heart though.) I am so glad that we are honoring Mary Lee. She has left a mark on every child she has taught. The ripples will continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always a teacher at heart, Janet. I think this round honouring Mary Lee is also reminding all the teacher-hearts how much we love/d what we do/did. And how precious and valuable it is! Love the similarity between yours and my meeting with Mary Lee.


  6. Someday, I, too, would love to meet Mary Lee and all the poetry rock stars (YOU) I’ve met here on Poetry Friday! Your acrostic is top to bottom a perfect snapshot of that first meeting, Kat. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. While I have never had the pleasure of meeting Mary Lee, or you for that matter, I know that when we do, the “not a stranger” reaction will be the same. Nice one, Kat!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for this beautiful acrostic! It was so fabulous to meet you IRL! Some days I’m still not quite sure of the identity of “poet,” but now I’ll have time to work on that with more focus. My first memories of writing alongside you are from your Poem A Day community! One of our first big trips will be to Australia to visit friends there, and I hope I can connect with you, too, on your home turf.

    Liked by 1 person

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