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Conversations with Lizard’s Bones and Wizard’s Stones

By Al Beck

Reviewed by Remy Benoit

I have never met Al Beck, and yet I know him.

I was never in his classroom and yet, he has taught me.

Here in Conversations with Lizard’s  Bones and Wizard’s Stones, his ninth book of poems, prose and drawings, he once again reaches out, touches, inspires, and asks much of us.

He is an artist.

He is a poet.

He is a writer.

He is a teacher in the truest sense of the word because he transmits ideas that insist  that we each find our creative expression..

He insists that the educational system assist us in finding our creative expression.

He entertains, he makes us sometimes uncomfortable with truths to be faced.

He challenges the entire educational process that is in place, that has been in place for decade upon decade.

He asks that we consider that education is meant to enlighten, encourage, and bring out the best of our own personal creativity instead of just ¬ďjust giving back the facts¬Ē without ever really learning what they mean.

He could have slipped into the pedantic mode in his crusade against educational pedantics. He did not do that. He speaks to us, with us, in drawings, in insightful lyrics. This¬†¬†Veteran of the Korean Conflict; Professor Emeritus from Culver ¬ĖStockton College; folk singer; creator of the Pyrapod; this champion trying to overcome ¬ďthe traditional autocratic attiude which continues to be prevalent in many classrooms today,¬Ē challenges our creativity with his insights, with his creative ways of sharing them.Pyrapod

The subservient
mind’s a sponge absorbing
someone else’s chaos.

Al’s poems, verse, drawings leave us with the question, what do we really want for the education of our children? Do we want to hear the answer I heard when I asked a young friend just graduated from high school, What did you learn in the last twelve years of school?  I learned to regurgitate information.

Or do we want to hear I began to learn who I am, I began to see my vast potential.

As Al puts it:

My handle on life
is broken. Now I grab it
by the cutting edge.

Grab the cutting edge of this special gift Al Beck is offering and delight in, be challenged by Conversations With Lizard’s Bones and Wizard’s Stones.

You may reach Al Beck at:
5987 County Road 231
Monroe City, MO 63456

Or e-mail him at Al Beck.

The cost of this treasure is $11. Contact Al for an autographed copy.

Conversations With Lizard’s Bones and Wizard’s Stories by Al Beck has just been released by the publisher Lorien House Press.

Beck comments that this book reflects the confrontation with both ferociuosly reptilian minds as well as magical creative spirits.

Many of his fresh ideas often have their origin in ancient traditions.

Beck’s ninth book blends poetry, drawings, stories and songs in an entertaining manner.
Al, Beck, Professor Emeritus of Art from Culver-Stockton College is included in the the international reference book 2000 Outstanding Writers of the 20th Century by the International Biographickal Center in England. In addition to his recognition as a creative writer and educator, he has won numberous art awards and prizes through his career in clay, glass, papercasting, painting and design.  Beck has also been a professional folksinger for the past half century, singing in Chicago night clubs as well as giving concerts throughout France for the United States Information Agency.

In addition to life¬ís insights on time, nature and the human spirit through his poetry, CONVERSATIONS incorporates both stories Beck refers to as ¬ďautobiographitti¬Ē as well as articles on his methods for developing changes in our present educational process.

Marjan Glavac, Editor of The Busy Educator’s National Newletter says,
¬ďAfter one of THOSE weeks teaching school, I read Al Beck¬ís book in the park on a sunny and warm day amid the laughter of children, romantic couples and other quiet readers at picnic tables. Beck gives a great overview of the highs and lows of teaching and the institution of education with all its flaws and how to overcome them. There are profound thoughts simply told for those new and old to education. The poems, stories, stongs and illustrations leap out at you and hold you, making you reflect on your own life.¬Ē

Others have found a ¬ďplayful irreverence¬Ē for conventional expectations in his work.

Beck comments, ¬ďI enjoy piercing minds with a verbalor visual knife. My focusis to wed personal expression to the universal cry for a connection of our human spirit to our intellect.¬Ē

His new book, Conversations With Lizard Bones and Wizard’s Stones, can be obtained from the author for eleven dollars which includes mailing expenses.

To contact the author for an autographed copy of his book, write him at
5987 County Road 231, Monroe City, MO. 63456
or e-mail him at Al Beck.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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