KIDS: Jan Brennan Biography

{In the Spotlight Page Header} In the Spotlight
Visiting Artist - Jan Brennan
Jan Brennan's Story - Beginnings
My path to becoming an author has been a winding trail. I wasn’t born with a pen in my hand. I didn’t dream of becoming a famous author as a child. I did, however,  always love books and remember forever having a book tucked under my arm. As delightful as my life was, I loved traveling to new places through the stories I read. And as wonderful as my friends and family were, I enjoyed becoming someone else in the stories I read. I loved being able to interact with new people I met through my readings.

I went to Stonehill College and became a teacher. Sharing my love of learning and books with students was a perfect fit for me. One year while studying alphabet books with my students  I came up with the idea of writing A is for Avon, a child’s history of their town. What started off as a simple, five-page booklet that I planned on copying for each of my 22 students, ballooned into a self-published, fully-photographed, 48-page book! My career as an author was launched. I enjoyed the thrill of impacting other readers with my research and ideas and wanted to do more.
My next opportunity came when my twin sons were about 3 years old. Many people had questions about twins. In fact, often times they would stop me while I was shopping to talk to me about twins.
I remember the panic of one such discussion. It was around Christmas time. There were poinsettia plants clustered on the grocery store floor, right at eye level to the twins who were sitting in their stroller. While I was distracted by the questions of a stranger, the twins had stuffed their mouths with poinsettia leaves. When I noticed the red points poking out of the boys’ mouths I excused myself from the conversation.
 After swiping the “poisonous” leaves out of their mouths, I called the poison control center. I thought I’d be rushing them to an emergency room. Fortunately, I found out that the poinsettia plant is not as toxic as people fear. A person would have to eat an entire plant to get a mild stomach ache. The boys were fine much to my relief.  But that episode spurred me on to write my next book. Born Two-gether, was my attempt to satisfy people’s curiosity about twins.  
{Jan Brennan in New York at Christmas with her Family}
Taking in the New York sights at
Christmas with her four children.
The twins seem to have survived.
Discovering Poetry
Since then, I have written dozens of parenting books, teacher resource books, and most recently, poems.  I did NOT pursue poetry. It pursued me!
One day after reading for a long time, I felt a need to write a journal about what was on my mind. I was shocked to find that everything I wrote came out in verse. That day, I wrote 10 poems, and had no idea where the words were coming from. There was one point where I was driving the car and an idea came to me. I had to pull over to the side of the road because I had to write down what was flowing out of my head. The poems kept coming. I wrote about 50 poems in a month. I have written over 200 to date. I felt that I had found my inner voice.
{Jan Brennan in her Classroom with Students}  
Author/poet/teacher Jan Brennan in her cheerful
 classroom with some of her friends and family.
As I wrote, things were making so much sense. I began to notice things more clearly and felt so much more alive and tuned into life. I borrowed poetry books from the library and I bought some at stores. My poetry knowledge grew as I actively began studying what I had neglected most of my life, having thought that it was too stuffy and boring. I felt I needed to do something to give poetry a better reputation. Thus, I started teaching poetry workshops and publishing some of my own poetry.
Now I incorporate it into my teaching and have my students submit their best work to competitions all over the country. Together, we are making the literary world a more beautiful place, one poem at a time.
All of the images, lessons and poems on these pages are used by permission of the author, Jan Brennan, and are protected under United States Copyright Laws. Any use or reproduction of these materials is prohibited without the permission of the author.

Content Last Modified on 8/8/2007 8:28:23 AM