Spotlight Writer

Susan Martens

Born and raised in Fremont, Nebraska
Loves Indian food, dogs, the Pacific Northwest, Middle-Eastern drumming, and prairie thunderstorms

Earned M.A. from the University of South Dakota and B.A.E. from Wayne State College
Currently teaches English 9, English 11, Writing Workshop and Speech and coaches speech and drama at Arlington High School in Arlington, Nebraska

NeWP involvement:
Participated in 2004 NeWP Technology Mini-Institute
Completed 2002 NeWP Summer Institute
Participated in The Fremont Five NeWP-sponsored reading/writing group
Completed 2001 NeWP Rural Institute at Cedar Bluffs
Presented media literacy EQUIP at 2002 NELAC Fall Conference

On teaching media literacy:
I strongly believe that we need to teach our students (and ourselves) to be effective, critical consumers and producers of multi-media messages. Exploring the issues, challenges, and opportunities presented by the shift of our culture toward a more image and screen-driven system of communication has been one of the most exciting aspects of my professional life. You are welcome to browse my media literacy EQUIP.


Teaching Media Literacy (online version / downloadable .rtf )


"Prairie Buddhist Vision Quest"

Author's note: I began writing this poem at a creative writing workshop that my students and I attended at the Homestead National Monument near Beatrice, Ne. It was a fabulous fall day, and we were all inspired by Bill Kloefkorn's sweet and gentle prairie-like invitation to write for an afternoon and meet back under the big tent to share. I worked on the poem during my time with The Fremont Five and then with my writing group during my Summer Institute experience, so this is a piece that has lots of NeWP connections. It's also a poem about the healing power of writing, so I thought it would a perfect choice for sharing on our website.

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