Archived Story

Children’s author harks from Niles

Published 7:32am Saturday, October 20, 2012

Karen (Lee) Trout writes poems, naturally.

Befitting an elementary teacher at a small Catholic school, she wears a lot of hats, so her background in music and art converged with her passion for gardening and nature photography in her first of nine books for grade-schoolers, “Sowing Seeds: Nature Poems for Children.”

“Kids will enjoy the poems and teacher will appreciate a collection of poetry styles that are easily understood by their students,” she said Friday. “It teaches lessons about nature, but uses many beginning poem types that children are often required to read and write in grade school. A glossary of terms and poem styles is also included.”

Her eighth volume in the nature series available on was “Monster Moon and Other Halloween Poems,” collecting original verse with photographs inspired by the gardener’s backyard experiences with nature. The book is for “those who enjoy the hauntings of Halloween and the gruesome things that grow in the garden.”

Trout’s books are also available in Niles at Majerek’s, 213 E. Main St., and Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, 13988 Range Line Road.

She graduated Karen Lee from Niles High School in 1984. She is married to Charlie Guarino.

Her parents, Dr. Lawrence and Elaine Lee, still live in Niles.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College in 1988 and her master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music in 1990.

Trout teaches in Hillsboro, Ohio, east of Cincinnati. She teaches elementary students as well as introduction to the arts at Southern State Community College, where students range in age from high school seniors to older than their instructor.

She teaches K-4 at the 30-student Catholic school after 13 years as an art and music teacher. She crafted concerts around themes. As a summer project, she was preparing students for an introductory poetry program and figured if she made them create a poem, she should, too. She had never written poetry, but found it fun. That creative spark unleashed a torrent of pent-up talent.

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