Garn Celebrates our Great Women Authors and Editors
The task is to imagine the future so we can re-imagine the present. At Garn an urgent question that is constantly asked is: “What will life on Earth be like in 50 years time?” This question is followed by: “What actionable knowledge do we need to change the future now?” The quest is to seek out the great thinkers of the 20th century — some of whom have had their research discredited, discounted, or outright banned — and to publish their writings. But it is not enough to garner the thinking of great scholars of the past. Garn’s Mission is also to search for the original thinkers of the 21st century — writers of conscience, especially women, who create remarkable books that inspire people to act. In celebration, Garn honors our great women authors.
Denny Taylor, author and Garn Press Co-founder and CEO
Denny Taylor has organized more than 30 international scholars forums. She speaks to diverse national and international audiences on a broad range of issues, especially the interconnections between the rapid acceleration in climate change and the dismantling of US public schools, which are not widely recognized. Taylor is particularly interested in bringing to the attention of the public what many parents and teachers already know, which is that in the US, children are being taught to work for the corporations that are using up Earth’s resources, contaminating the planet, and causing the climate system to adversely change, making Earth and unsafe place for our kids to be.
In 1983, Taylor published Family Literacy, which is regarded a classic in the field; Growing Up Literate received the MLA Shaughnessy award in 1988; and Toxic Literacies, published in 1996, was nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. In 2004, Taylor was inducted into the IRA’s Reading Hall of Fame. She is Professor Emerita of Literacy Studies at Hofstra University, and the co-founder and CEO of Garn Press. Her most recent books are Nineteen Clues: Great Transformations Can Be Achieved Through Collective Action, Save Our Children, Save Our School, Pearson Broke the Golden Rule, Rosie’s Umbrella, Rat-a-tat-tat! I’ve Lost My Cat!, and Split Second Solution. Learn more about Denny Taylor.
Nancy Rankie Shelton, author of 5-13: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Survival
Nancy Rankie Shelton is a Professor of Education at UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland. She grew up in a remote area in New York State, the youngest of five children, and moved to Pass-A-Grille Beach, FL in 1976 after graduating from SUNY Albany with a BA in interdisciplinary social sciences at the age of 19. She married her husband, Jack, in 1978 and they lived in Gainesville, Florida until 2003, when Nancy earned her PhD from the University of Florida. In June 2012, Jack died of metastatic lung cancer. Nancy has one son, Conrad Shelton, who still resides in Gainesville.
Nancy has worked with children since she was young. She held many positions, from babysitter and playgroup organizer, to teacher, and finally professor of education. She has always advocated for the children most in need. In her work as an educator, Nancy has 23 publications that appear in premier academic journals or with leading publishing companies that specialize in literacy research and/or education policy.
Reading and writing have been essential activities throughout Nancy’s life. One summer, she and her sister Carol read every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery available in the Speculator, New York library. That summer, Nancy wrote her own mystery but she knew she could never publish it because she had stolen too many ideas from Franklin Dixon and she didn’t want to get caught. Now, more than forty years later, she finally has her own completely original story to share. Learn more about Nancy Rankie Shelton.
Bobbie Kabuto, editor of Negotiating a Permeable Curriculum and Teaching Without Testing
Bobbie Kabuto, PH.D., is Associate Professor of Literacy Education in the Elementary and Early Childhood Education Department at Queens College, City University of New York. She teaches and advises in the B-6 Literacy Program that leads to New York State certification as a B-6 Reading Teacher. Her research interests include the relationships among early bi/literacy, socially constructed identities, and language ideologies. She currently works with families of struggling beginning readers and writers.Her work has been highlighted in journals such as The Reading Teacher, The Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, and Early Childhood Research and Practice. Her book Becoming Biliterate: Identity, Ideology, and Learning to Read and Write in Two Languages was published by Taylor and Francis in July 2010 and she is the editor of the books Negotiating a Permeable Curriculum and Teaching without Testing. Learn more about Bobbie Kabuto.
Carolyn Walker, author of Every Least Sparrow
Carolyn Walker is a memoirist, essayist, poet, and creative writing instructor. After working twenty-five years as a journalist, she returned to graduate school and earned her MFA in Writing degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004.
Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Hunger Mountain, The Writer’s Chronicle, Gravity Pulls You In: Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum, and many other publications.
Her essay “Christian Become a Blur” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and reprinted in the 50th anniversary edition of Crazyhorse. In 2013, she was made a Kresge Fellow in the Literary Arts by the Kresge Foundation. She is a lifelong Michigan resident and the married mother of three grown children. Learn more about Carolyn Walker.
Esther Sokolov Fine, author of Raising Peacemakers
Esther Sokolov Fine is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, in Toronto, Canada, where she has taught since 1991. Before coming to York, she was an elementary teacher with the Toronto Board of Education. There, she taught in downtown public housing communities and alternative programs, including four years at the Downtown Alternative School (DAS). The book Children as Peacemakers (1995), which she co-authored with teachers Ann Lacey and Joan Baer, presents a history of the Downtown Alternative School and tells about the early years of peacemaking.
Reflecting on her own early life, Esther writes: “The best part of school was when librarian Mrs. Barnes and some of our homeroom teachers read aloud from wonderful books. The worst part was the long walk home from school, crossing the vacant lot by myself on a narrow path that led to Lilac Street.”
Since 1993 Esther has been engaged in video research with the same group of students, teachers and parents. In this research (largely funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada—SSHRC) she and filmmaker Roberta King have watched these children grow up and filmed and interviewed many of them, their families, and their teachers across this 20+ year period. Details and edited film from this work can be seen at www.childrenaspeacemakers.ca. A feature documentary, Life at School: the DAS Tapes, was launched in 2001.
Esther teaches pre-service and graduate courses in creative writing, literacy, adolescent and children’s literature, critical pedagogy, and models (alternative models) of education. She was born in Detroit and attended the University of Michigan where, in 1968, she won a Hopwood Award for fiction. Esther completed her doctoral studies in 1990 at the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) and her MFA in creative writing in 2003 at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Esther has lived in Toronto since the 1960s. She has an adult daughter, Keira, who possesses outstanding social skills and makes her mother proud and grateful every day. Learn more about Esther Sokolov Fine.
Anne Haas Dyson author of Negotiating a Permeable Curriculum
Anne Haas Dyson, Ph.D., is Faculty Excellence Professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. She began her career in education as an elementary school teacher at the El Paso Catholic Diocese in El Paso, Texas in 1972. Dyson received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas in 1981.
In 1984, she published her first book with her good friend and colleague Celia Genishi titled Language Assessment in the Early Years. Since this first publication, Dyson has published 12 books. Her most recent book will be an edited volume titled Child Cultures, Schooling, and Literacy: Global Perspectives on Composing Unique Lives, which will be published by Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group in 2015. Dyson’s latest book will feature her collaborative global research project on children learning to write.
In addition, Dyson has written over 100 journal articles and book chapters all regarding children’s writing. In 2015, Dyson, along with Celia Genishi, will receive the prestigious Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from NCTE. This award recognizes the distinguished careers of Dyson and Genishi and their major contributions to the field of English Language Arts. Learn more about Anne Haas Dyson.
Ruth Finnegan author of The Black Inked Pearl: A Girl’s Quest
Ruth Finnegan, OBE, author of The Black Inked Pearl: A Girl’s Quest, is a renowned scholar and celebrated writer who is Emeritus Professor, the Open University, a Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College Oxford. She was born and reared in Ulster and sent to a Quaker school filled with biblical texts and music, which are reflected in the novel. First-class Oxford degrees in classics and philosophy were followed by African fieldwork, which Ruth describes as “totally inspiring for my life and work.” She returned to Oxford for a doctorate in anthropology before university teaching in Africa and briefly in Fiji, and finally the Open University in the U.K. She has three wonderful daughters and five grandchildren, and she lives with her husband and two cairn terriers in Old Bletchley, Buckinghamshire. Learn more about Ruth Finnegan.
Yetta M. Goodman, Great Women Scholars: Yetta Goodman, Maxine Greene, Louise Rosenblatt, Margaret Meek Spencer; featured in What’s Whole In Whole Language In The 21st Century?
Yetta M. Goodman is Regents Professor of Education at the University of Arizona. She consults with education departments and speaks at conferences throughout the United States and in many nations of the world regarding issues of language, teaching and learning with implications for language arts curricula. In addition to her research in early literacy, miscue analysis and in exploring reading and writing processes, she has popularized the term kid watching encouraging teachers to be professional observers of the language and learning development of their students. She is a major spokesperson for whole language and in her extensive writing shows concern for educational issues and research with a focus on classrooms, students and teachers. Learn more about Yeatta Goodman.