This is an excerpt from Mark Nowak’s performance of Coal Mountain Elementary. To hear more, go to: http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Nowak.php. Nowak read his work as part of the Contemporary Writers Series at Mills College, Oakland, California, on November 3, 2009. In this excerpt, he reads from and discusses this well-regarded book of documentary poetics. Nowak is an award-winning American poet from Buffalo, New York. Nowak was then the director of the The Rose O'Neill Literary House and Associate Professor of English at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. He is currently on the faculty at Manhattanville College.