Brian Parkhill (con’d)

How does Mighty Writers make your life better? Generosity, volunteering and doing for others increases a sense of well being and happiness. This has certainly been my experience at MW.

What was your favorite book as a kid? When I was about 12, my mother encouraged me to read “Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown. I’ve always enjoyed challenges, and Brown’s autobiographical novel about his youth in Harlem during the 40s and 50s introduced me to language, history and themes that were difficult (given my age) and foreign to me, yet also stimulating. “Manchild” marked a profound departure for me in both reading habits and interests. I began reading novels voraciously; I was not satisfied until I had worked my way through everything an author had written; and I developed the confidence to tackle any book that came my way. Overall, the arc of my interests became more and more philosophical: themes related to politics, justice and the historical basis for current inequalities increasingly commanded my attention.


Generosity, volunteering and doing for others increases a sense of well being and happiness. 


What was the last book you read? Eric Foner’s “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery” and “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution.” Both are excellent sources for understanding the political and economic dynamics for this important period in American history, though I would not necessarily recommend them to a reader who is new to the subject. I love American political history. My heroes are Alexander Hamilton and Martin Luther King. If you have any interest in these subjects, I would be more than happy to make reading recommendations or to help you write on related topics.

Who influenced you to care about writing and how did they do it? I attended a small high school and had the same English teacher for four years. His curriculum had an intense focus on the technical aspects of writing. We worked as diligently on building blocks like vocabulary, form and function as we did on style, paragraph structure and theme development. These basic skills have served me well as an academic writer, as a creative writer and as a professional writer.

Why is writing important for Philadelphia kids? Writing is important skill that benefits all kids.

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