Tom Schmidt condenses a lifetime of teaching into a scattering of voices that hang in the wind like little leaves that refuse to fall in the dead of winter. I admire the way he allows his students to say their stories and speak their truths in these poignant poems. No condescending mockery here—Like, a Metaphor is full of love for the lost, the lonely, and the wayward. By the time you finish, you will have had Dr. Schmidt as your own professor as well.
—Paul J. Willis, author of Somewhere to Follow
This remarkable record of encounters with students offers exquisite glimpses of the vulnerabilities teaching entails. Tom Schmidt renders those moments in poems that are not only lively, varied, and skillful, but deeply faithful to his own understanding of what he has been called to—not only to help students become better readers and writers, but to listen with compassionate intelligence to the words they find. Some of these poems are richly amusing, some disturbing, some moving. All of them remind us of how even a simple assignment can sometimes change two lives—the student’s and the teacher’s.
—Marilyn McEntyre, author of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies and Word by Word