NO BARKING IN THE HALLWAYS: Poems from the Classroom

Ann Bracken
Scarith, 2017
80 Pages
ISBN 978-0-9981477-0-3 Paperback

For BULK ORDERS, order directly from New Academia Publishing.

About the Author

Ann Bracken is a writer, educator, and expressive arts consultant whose poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in Little Patuxent Review, Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems, Reckless Writing Anthology: Emerging Poets of the 21st CenturyWomen Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence, Pif Magazine, New Verse News, and Arlijo among others. Ann Bracken’s poems were twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She serves as the deputy editor for Little Patuxent Review and leads workshops at creativity conferences, including Florida Creativity and The Creative Problem Solving Institute. She is the founder of the Possibility Project, which offers expressive arts and creativity workshops for people of all ages, as well as poetry and writing workshops in prisons and schools. Ann has two grown children and lives in Columbia, MD.

About the book

No Barking in the Hallways: Poems from the Classroom, offers readers a window into the stories of teachers and students as they struggle to be successful in our test-obsessed culture.  “Frankly, there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.” Those words of the beloved Fred Rogers, star of the long-running PBS children’s show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, serve as the catalyst for the narrative poems that detail the author’s experiences as a teacher. The reader will discover some of the emotional baggage that many adolescents carry, baggage that interferes with their ability to focus and to learn in school, and will find out what’s actually happening in today’s public school classrooms. Readers will encounter many people to cheer for and many “reforms” that deserve questioning when they meet the students and teachers of No Barking in the Hallways.


“Ann Bracken’s poems from the teacher’s viewpoint enlighten, and in speaking with the students’ diverse voices truly shine. These are perspectives that belong in the discourse on issues in education. Bracken reminds us that educational statistics and data points represent living, breathing, unique and precious human beings. This is a compelling collection from an advocate for those in the classroom.”

―Mindy Abbott, BSW, M.Ed., poet, author and former elementary school teacher

“In Bracken’s hands, poetry becomes a peculiarly effective way to convey the reality of the classroom. Individual poems are intensely focused on a single person, giving a voice to those whose voices are rarely heard. Together these poems create an unforgettable mosaic of the experience of teaching adolescents, whether they are learning disabled, emotionally disturbed, or stressed in other ways.”

—Barbara Morrison, poet, writer, teacher, and author of the poetry collections, Terrarium and Here at Least

“Ann Bracken has a special gift for seeing below the surface of both people and institutions. In her title poem, she confronts a behavioral method that tests compliance of staff and students with paper rewards cut into the shape of dog bones. In contrast, the poem ‘Marcus Speaks’ rewards readers with the success of a ‘wounded Puppy’ who finally discovers his human voice.”

―Patricia Jakovich VanAmburg, Professor Emerita, Howard Community College