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Resources for Readers & Educators



Please submit discussion questions for book clubs or reading circles, lesson plans, teaching assignments or writing prompts via

the Contact page.


We will post submitted reading and teaching suggestions here.

Thank you!


To support educational outreach, we are developing Reader and Educator guides to encourage readers and students to share their own cultural and family histories.  


The themes of oppression, disenfranchisement and injustice presented in A Wounded Deer Leaps Highest are tragically present in our current society. We hope the book will encourage reflection and discussion of how our histories of civil rights are acutely relevant to the profound challenges to humanity and morality we all face today.


 Reading Group Discussion Questions


  1. What does the title mean to you?
  2. Do you like the title? (The original title was The Book of Asa)
  3. What title would you give the book?
  4. Is the book relevant to social justice issues we face today?
  5. Which characters did you like and why?
  6. Which characters did you dislike and why?
  7. How did you personally relate to characters in the book?
  8. What was most meaningful to you?
  9. What was most confusing or unclear to you?
  10. What was missing from the story?
  11. What should have been deleted from the book?
  12. Did you like the blank verse narrative?
  13. What scenes early in the book foreshadow later tragic events?
  14. Do you see any parallel between what happened to Julius and the scene with two boys and the squirrel?
  15. What would you have done if you had inherited a large tract of land but were required to live on the land or forfeit your inheritance, and which would require a move to a distant location of injustice and jeopardy for your family?
  16. Why do you think Calulla required Titus to live on land that had been in the Horace family for generations in order to inherit the property, and do you think Calulla was reasonable in making this condition in her will?


Please send your discussion questions to us via the Contact page!


Additional discussion questions, writing prompts and resources are available on the Reflect webpage



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Reduced pricing is available for bulk educational, community, and congregational orders by contacting info@eyewearpublishing.com.


To request a review copy, please contact info@eyewearpublishing.com




Suggested Resources


Commentary by Helen Vendler 

"A wounded deer leaps highest" by Emily Dickinson



Essay by Edgar Allan Poe


In getting my books, I have been always solicitous of an ample margin; this not so much through any love of the thing in itself, however agreeable, as for the facility it affords me of pencilling suggested thoughts, agreements and differences of opinion, or brief critical comments in general ... In the marginalia, too, we talk only to ourselves; we therefore talk freshly--boldly--originally--with abandonnement--without conceit ...



Essay by Madeleine Fuchs Holzer

Poetic Sensibility: What It Is and Why We Need It in 21st Century Education



Workshops for Creative Thinkers

Writing Workshops in beautiful places near and far, designed to take readers, writers and educators on creative journeys




Essay by Elif Shafak

Why the novel matters in the age of anger

The novel matters because it connects us with the experiences of people we have never met, times we have never seen, places we have never visited. The novel matters not only because of the stories it brings alive, but also the silences it dares to explore. As novelists we keep our ears pricked all the time, attentive to the rhythm of the language, the usage of words, the stories and legends swirling in the air – but we must also listen carefully to the silences. Here we find the things that cannot be openly talked about in a society; the political, cultural, sexual taboos.



Essay by Tanaya Winder

Words as Seeds

I begin by acknowledging where I come from. I do this to ground myself but also to respect my ancestors; I believe we carry them, their light, and their love wherever we go.


... Poetry helps us wade through ancestral traumas carried in our blood memory. Poetry reminds us to breathe, that we are magic, and that we are love(d).



Essay by Camille Rankine

The Known Unknown: Persona, Empathy, and the Limits of Imagination

When it comes to the act of speaking from another's voice or perspective, there is, of course, a poetic tradition to which we can look: the persona poem. But rather than consider the use of persona purely on the level of craft, seeing it as simply another tool in a writer's toolbox, I think it's crucial to consider the ethical implications that lie within the choice to infiltrate another's voice. If you're a poet writing in persona, what is your relationship to the voice you've chosen? How near or far are you from its experience? If you get it wrong, whom will you have to answer to, and how much do they mean to you? Do you have more power than the speaker of the poem, or do they have power over you? Do they have the opportunity to speak for themselves—and what does it mean for you, specifically, to speak for them?



Writing Prompt by Kate Wisel

Recalling memories and taking notes

Recalling memories and taking notes is a practice I prioritize over any writing activity. I don't know what might interest me until I see it reflected in the physical world. This includes objects, nature, overheard dialogue, and sounds that I encounter in my everyday life. I keep a stack of note cards with context on the front and the visceral memory of what moved me on the back.... these note cards reveal patterns I would have missed had I not been careful enough to collect them, allow them their accumulative effect, and speak in that connective language I crave.... what stays, these small shards of cut up life, are beyond resonant and ready to react.



Essay by Brian Barker

The ars poetica is a poem that takes the art of poetry as its subject matter

[Norman Dubie's] poems, like this one, often spin concise narratives that move with cinematic exactness. He has an uncanny knack for precise details and figurative language that surprise in the moment and linger long after the poem is over.... Dubie's poems can also be reticent, refusing to explain narrative details or imagery.... the poem [Ars Poetica] remains dream-like and mysterious to me, raising questions that I've never been able to fully answer.... "Ars Poetica" reminds us that poetry is as much about what is not said as what is said. Silence, like language, is an essential part of the poem.


Essay by Cynthia Dewi Oka

Litany as means to connect, insistently, to and in the face of loss

As a form, it hinges on the tension between repetition and transformation, between closure and inclusiveness. It mirrors the way one might go about breaking a wall or learning to love.... Deftly balancing the specific and the immense; [Aracelis] Girmay patiently catalogues the repetitive, granular gestures that make up ordinary human life ... the speaker uses litany to clarify and cement her personal connection to the experiences of Iraqis under US occupation ...