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  • Carol Snow

Sorry, I Cannot Help with Your Poetry Homework

I know it's back-to-school time because Target has replaced the outdoor living section with rows upon rows of school supplies, even though ... well, you know. Because I write young adult fiction, the school year means I can look forward to hearing from young readers, some of whom have book report questions (which I always answer, even if the questions make it obvious that they haven't read the book), and others who just want to tell me that they enjoyed something I wrote (which is pretty much the nicest kind of email I, or any other author, can receive).

And then there are the poetry questions.

When I sold my first novel, in 2004, I was aware that a poet and I shared a name, but neither my agent nor I thought it mattered -- and for the most part, it hasn't. But as with every other aspect of society, the Internet has become a dominant force in publishing. On top of that, the poet Carol Snow wrote a poem that must be on some recommended list for high school students. And, on top of everything, Google insists that the other Carol Snow and I are the same person. I have tried correcting Google. Google resists me. As the poet Carol Snow (wisely) has no Internet presence, students inquiries come to me. A remarkable number of these students, both male and female, are named Alex.

And so, to all the Alexes out there: I am not a poet. I do not understand poetry. I don't even like poetry. (Probably shouldn't admit that.) I have never met the poet Carol Snow and do not know how to get in touch with her. Good luck with your poetry assignment and your school year. Believe in yourself! (But maybe don't believe Google.)


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