Photo by Fred Reiner
IN THE TREES—English teacher Jamin Ratzlaff distributed copies of “Trees in this Neighborhood Remember Me” to friends and family recently at Coffea Roasterie on Arrowhead Parkway in Sioux Falls.

Teacher published in second poetry anthology book 
Jamin Ratzlaff included in “Trees in this Neighborhood Remember Me”

By Seth Benson

Last year’s staff Spirit of Washington award winner, WHS English teacher Jamin Ratzlaff, has parlayed his success at WHS into publishing success.

Ratzlaff was recently published in another anthology poetry book, “Trees in this Neighborhood Remember Me,” now available on Amazon for $20.

This is the second poetry anthology book Ratzlaff has been published in. His first, “Thunderstorm,” was published in 2013, and contained three of his poems.

Ratzlaff said he is humbled to again be published. 

“They made a call for poetry throughout the United States, so the fact they selected mine was an honor,” Ratzlaff said. 

His most recently published poem is called “9” and is about pheasant hunting with his dad. They could always find a pheasant on Highway 9, Ratzlaff explained. 

Ratzlaff started writing short stories and poetry in high school simply because he enjoyed it. Then, when his father, former WHS counselor Jim Ratzlaff, passed away he started writing more therapeutically. Ratzlaff mostly writes about his dad and the memories they made outdoors. 

He enjoys being able to write by example for his students, not just lecturing the whole day.

Ratzlaff said he has had a lot of good writing teachers along the way, both at Whittier Middle School and here at WHS, and he hopes to continue that tradition in his own classroom as he teaches American Literature and Composition.

Ratzlaff said he hopes he has the opportunity to get published again soon. 

“The more I write, the more it gets focused on outdoor activities—fishing and hunting,” he said. “I hope these types of publications pick up my work.”


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