Name/Identity Poem (03/24/21)

Using Sara K. Ahmed’s “Stories of Our Names” philosophy and pairing it with “Instruction for a Name Poem” shared by Mary Napoli and Emily Ritholz (Voices from the Middle, 2009) I wrote this new-to-me version of a name poem (gosh there are so many ways to do this which is awesome).

Each semester, my graduate students and I work through a variety of ways to bring writers’ identities to the forefront of the conversation and we begin by using Ahmed’s work (Being the Change, 2018). I am feeding two birds with one scone* with this particular post, because I am “writing beside” (virtually) my graduate students and this polished version will be shared with them later this week.

*My mother’s saying not mine. I like scones so it stuck…especially blueberry lemon ones.


the dichotomy of impulsive and needing time to marinate

constructed by the bricks and scaffolding of no less than 353 memories

It is self-expression but with guidance from life’s mentor texts

cyan with flecks of kelly green, navy blue and yellow

It is carefully considered choices paired with stubborn bravery; ok fine, spiteful bravery

(can bravery be spiteful?)

It is a museum of phrases, advice, letters, photographs;

all the investments from life’s stakeholders

Phonetically spelled ensuring vacation-themed keychains could not be purchased

without intentional personalization; only fitting for a queen *wink


If you have any writing/notebook entries that you use with your students to bring their identities into writing & the classroom, please feel free to share them – any grade level!

me – October 2020

5 thoughts on “Name/Identity Poem (03/24/21)

  1. This name poem has an incredible amount of depth, allowing me to gain insight as to who you are. This line especially stood out to me, “It is carefully considered choices paired with stubborn bravery; ok fine, spiteful bravery”
    Lovely poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is no end to identity writing. I think we teachers are so lucky to write beside our students because we keep revisiting things like our identity. I love that your name is immune to “vacation-themed keychains.” Did that make you sad as a kid? I had to buy two to get mine and it just wasn’t the same. Stubborn/spiteful bravery is a quality I find most appealing. It’s honest bravery.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love identity work. Some of our staff have worked through Sarah’s book. I will definitely look up Instruction for a Name Poem. I’ve written “Where I’m From” poems with students and The Best Part of Me poems (based on the book). Thank you for sharing your name and this lovely poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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