Act now, because Rachelle won't be around here for long. She's heading to Pitt's MFA program in the fall.
After Rachelle reads, there will be an open mic. I might just brave this poem in public.
The picture on the left was taken of Rachelle just after she received an award from Chair John Engell at SJSU's recent writing awards ceremony.
The picture on the right is of Annie approaching my colleagues Sam Maio and Alan Soldolfsky to accept one of her awards. Annie (who is in the MFA program, in addition to being a high school art teacher) won a 1st place in metered poetry, a 2nd place a free verse, and a honorable mention for the Academy of American Poets/Virginia de Aruajo Prize.
The prize was named after the late Virginia de Aruajo, an amazing poet (and painter and person).
Annie and I met in one of Virginia's workshops in 1994. Virginia was Annie's mentor in many ways, and she misses her greatly--so it was an extra rich honor for Annie to be named in association with this prize.