Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet





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Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich

Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
photo by Mel Hornsby

Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy

Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire http://www.kathleenduey.com

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller http://www.debbiemilleralaska.com

photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko http://www.paulbjaneczko.com

Copyright 2005-2016 ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any text or images on this website, except for reproducible
"4 Kids 2 Do" and "Press Kit" pages.

Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - My Son, The Voyager

March 23, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, poems, ponderings, adventure


Happy Poetry Friday, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my youngest!

Seth turns 22 today, and we got in a little birthday visiting earlier in the week up in the mountains. Busy Spring - he graduates from college as a religious studies major in less than two months! Then he's off to do a year's internship in the heart of one of our Southern cities, working with unhoused/homeless folks in a vibrant, progressive program. He's got the head and heart for it, though prayers for him and for the people he'll meet will always be welcome.

Seth took a creative writing class this semester, and he wrote a children's poem as one of the assignments. I asked if I could share it today! Enjoy.


The Voyager
by Seth Black


I set out, map in hand,
The wind just right for me,
Caught fabric in my sail,
And off I was indeed

To far and distant shores
The likes have not been seen.
The water clear as day
Stands vastly in between.

What’s that? – I hear a call.
I guess it’s time to eat.
“I’ve made your favorite dear.”
Alas! I love grilled cheese.

Walking my own plank,
I dive into the sea.
The blue float drifts away
But not my memory.

I’ll always have my ship.
A voyager, I’ll be.
For I am not a boy
But captain of the sea.


©Seth Black. All rights reserved.


Yes, we're proud of Seth's adventurous spirit.

Sail on over to Reading to the Core, where Captain Catherine is harnessing lots of poetic winds for our sails.
Bon Voyage!

Poetry Friday - The St. Paddy's Day Roundup is HERE!

March 15, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, poets, holidays, St. Patrick's Day, Esther Hershenhorn, Poetry Friday Roundup


Grreeeen Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

Welcome to All. So glad you are joining us for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For those of you in the US who can't see anything but white outside, sending warmest wishes from the South. Somewhere under all that snow must be a four-leaf clover bud.

Here's a perfect poem for today from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations from Pomelo Books. (You know - the volume Kirkus called "A bubbly and educational bilingual poetry anthology for children.")



ST. PATRICK'S DAY
by Esther Hershenhorn

March 17
the world turns green
to celebrate St. Patrick.
Green hats!
Green floats!
Green rivers, too!
March 17's green magic.



--and in Spanish:


DIA DE SAN PATRICIO
basado en "St. Patrick's Day"
por Esther Hershenhorn


El 17 de marzo
el mundo se vuelve verde
para celebrar a San Patricio.
¡Sombreros verdes!
¡Carrozas verdes!
¡Ríos verdes también!
El 17 de marzo es magia verde.



©Esther Hershenhorn. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Esther for sharing her poem here today! A couple of years ago, she blogged about creating this poem over at Teaching Authors - It's always fun to check out the story behind a poem.

I'm sure the river, hats, floats, and fountains an hour south of here in Savannah are green, green, green. And my hubby (and our daughter's hubby) could wear those "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" buttons after our DNA kit adventures over the holidays. ;0)

Whether you are ancestrally Irish (is that even a word?) or honorarily so today, I wish you pot-fuls of good luck and golden poems. Please leave your links & short post descriptions in the comments, and I'll round up old-school-style as the day goes on. (Note - I'll be on the road Saturday and unable to add to my list after Friday eve, but make yourself at home all weekend!)

BUT WAIT, There's More...

Speaking of Pomelo Books, my ancient office kitty, May, (okay, with help from the partially-Irish husband) helped randomly draw winners of the five copies of HERE WE GO - A Poetry Friday Power Book, generously donated by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell! Those lucky ducks are: Charles W., Tabatha Y., Mary Lee H., Linda M., and Shaggers! (Shaggerspicchu - send me your address so you can use this with your class! :0) ) Please email me at robyn@robynhoodblack.com with the address where you'd like me to send your book, and I'll get the leprechauns right on it.

Sláinte

The Roundup:

Steven Withrow starts us off at Crackles of Speech with a poem celebrating the American Woodcock, gracing Cape Cod this winter and looking for love. (Ever the over-achiever, Steven has memorialized the little fellow in a Shakespearean sonnet!)

At A Teaching Life, Tara is eyeing spring with a gorgeous Jane Kenyon poem, and her own gorgeous thoughts about her farm.

Basketball fan? Okay, poetry fan? Linda shares a slew of poetic slam-dunks in honor of March Madness over atA Word Edgewise.

At Jama’s Alphabet Soup, you’ll find a new poem by one of MY favorite poets, Penny Harter. Take a tissue, as it will pull on your heartstrings, and enjoy the warmth with which Jama serves it up.

Oh, you might never think of a toothpick in quite the same way again. I see poems popping up in response to Helen Frost’s “ode” challenge on Michelle’s Today’s Little Ditty, and Kat has one that will stick with you at Kats Whiskers.

In another post dealing with loss and grief, Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales offers a simple, child-friendly and personal poem, “Sister Blue.” (Congrats to Brenda on its inclusion in an anthology!)

Here’s another ode in the TLD challenge: At Beyond Literacy Link, Carol offers up “Ode to Summer Sand,” which is definitely making me miss our beach here, closed since Hurricane Matthew hit last October. Sigh. (On the other end of the seasonal spectrum, Carol is working on her soon-to-be-unveiled Winter Gallery, too!)

I dare you to meander through St. Patrick’s Day without a smile if you pop in to enjoy Diane’s fetching haiga at Random Noodling. I dare you.

And we can’t have a Poetry Friday on St. Paddy’s Day without a sip of Yeats now, can we? Kurious Kitty’s got us covered with a delightful, woodsy cup.

At Teaching Authors, JoAnn has bagged a lovely way to fuel creativity AND help the planet while kicking off a new series on creativity. What’s your “one little thing”?

Need a walk on the beach, maybe after reading Carol’s poem? You know our wonderful Sally Murphy is always ready to share her encounters with seaside critters great and small. Her poetic crabby exchange will leave YOU anything but.

What would St. Paddy’s Day be without a limerick or two or ten? Alice Nine brings us blessings and limericks and lovely links to all things Lear. Enjoy!

Oh, Alice’s post has you thirsty for more? At Michelle’s Today’s Little Ditty, Carrie Clickard leads us up and down the hills of Limerick Land, with more amazing scribers of the form than you can shake a walking stick at. There’s even a mathematical equation that’s a limerick. Really. (And enjoy a Celtic tune by The High Kings on your way out.)

Linda has a gorgeous original crow poem at Teacher Dance, and I was struck by how this and Penny Harter’s poem at Jama’s today complement each other.

Michelle Kogan shares a plate-ful today: an original poem about the climate/current political climate, news of a new zine, Voices, words & art available through her Etsy shop, and an eerily timely poem by Adrienne Rich.

Our resident RainCity Librarian, Jane, celebrates the holiday and her Irish heritage with a beautiful photo and a glorious, bittersweet poem by Yeats. Sigh.

At Reading to the Core, Catherine shares lovely poetic images of the birds outside her kitchen window during the blizzard this week. Planes might have been grounded, but not these birds!

Greg at Gottabook is offering up a sneek peek at Spring Fever with a re-post of his fun poem, “Allergic to Homework.” Gesundheit.

Thank you, Fats, at Gathering Books, for a touching post pausing to honor the passing of Amy Krouse Rosenthal with a Mary Oliver poem, “Love Sorrow.”

At The Opposite of Indifference, Tabatha shares an amazing “Literary Scavenger Hunt” poem gifted to her by her ever-clever, talented daughter, Ariana. You’ll just have to read for yourself!

On a related vein, enjoy this delightful book spine poem from Ramona at Pleasures from the Page.

And more about St. Patrick’s Day, Irish roots, and sorrow, too – but with the winged hope and solace that flows from Irene’s masterful pen. Her poem is simply titled, “This Poem is Green.”

Margaret brings us a new poetic form based on fractals over at Reflections on the Teche. She got to meet an old SCBWI Southern Breeze buddy of mine (when Mississippi was in our region!), author Sarah Campbell, who has a new book on the subject. If you are a teacher, you MUST check out these terrific poems by Margaret’s students!

Raise a cupful of moonbeams to Laurie Purdie Salas, whose brand new book, IF YOU WERE THE MOON, launches today! She shares the poem that started it all at Writing the World for Kids. Awrrroooooo!

And now refill your glass – with flashlight beams this time, we’ll wait… - and offer up another toast, because Matt Forrest has an awesome cover reveal and release date for his upcoming debut picture book, Flashlight Night!

All this celebrating means we must dance. Yes, you. Join Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for some clever “Linguistic Jig”-ging complete with a rollicking Irish reel to get your feet & fingers tapping.

Oh my – see if you relate to snow-bound Donna’s post at Mainely Write today; how DO you keep those brilliant writing ideas from flitting away with the fairies? (She made a found poem out of her own post, too, which has a wee bit o'green jealousy in it.)

Join Jone at Check It Out for a feast of odes by students, answering the aforementioned TLD challenge. One second grader even wrote and Ode to Poetry! Rock on, young poets.

What else would you expect from a delightful poet whose name is an irresistible Spring color? Violet has a colorful, rhythmic “Note to Spring” so enticing, I bet Spring will arrive a day or two early in her back yard.

At bildungsroman, Little Willow shares the lovely opening lines of “Last Night” by Théophile Julius Henry Marzials.

Shhh! Don’t wake the precious sleeping grandabies at Dori Reads. But gentle open the door, and enjoy an Irish lullaby…. She even has The Irish Tenors! (And a link to two of her poems in an online literary journal.)

Echoing some other posts today, Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town has a few lines on the theme of sorrow, from Mary Oliver.

Kay invites us to slow down in this season of Lent, with lovely reflections in poetry and photographs at A Journey Through the Pages.

Jone is back with a magical “Library Time” cinquain at Deowriter - Enjoy!

Katie at The Logonauts has an “I Read” poem which definitely rings true for me… see if it does for you, too!

Rounding out the day’s selections is Leigh Ann at A Day in the Life, appropriately calling our attention to the small miracles all around us with a Walt Whitman poem.

Wait - 2 more! Visit Amy at The Poem Farm at http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2017/03/thinkinglook-at-some-old-photos-or.html?m=1 and Joy at poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com - :0)

Poetry Friday - Wandering with J. Drew Lanham

March 9, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, poets, birds, nature, J. Drew Lanham, animals, Penn Center



A few months ago, our dear friend Lane Glaze (who happens to be our pastor) gave me a poetry chapbook by a friend of his, Dr. J. Drew Lanham . Lanham is a wildlife ecologist and professor at Clemson, on the other side of the state. (Go ahead and Google him after you read this; you’ll be impressed.) I was smitten with Sparrow Envy (Holocene, 2016) and hoped our paths might cross at some point.

Last Saturday, they did.

You might know that the amazing and generous Pat Conroy called Beaufort home, and now there is a Pat Conroy Literary Center here. On the one-year anniversary of Pat Conroy’s death, last Saturday, the Center sponsored an event called “March Forth/ March Fourth: A Day to Wander and Love the Land” at Penn Center out on St. Helena Island. You’ve heard me mention Penn Center before. It’s a treasure: a hub of African-American history since housing the country’s first school for freed slaves, keeper and promoter of Gullah Geechie culture, and sacred ground upon which leaders of the Civil Rights movement – black and white – could assemble freely under its moss-heavy oaks and beside its gentle waters.

Back to Saturday… Lanham first led us in a chilly but sun-drenched birding walk through the woods and to the water, next to the cottage built for Dr. Martin Luther King, who retreated in this special place several times. (This cottage was completed after his death, though it is said he penned at least part of his “I Have a Dream” speech at Gantt Cottage on the premises.)

[Note: On January 12, President Obama announced the establishment of Reconstruction Era National Monument as a unit of the National Park Service “in recognition of the role Beaufort County, South Carolina played in shaping the historic period of Reconstruction,” including Penn Center.]

Saturday’s event was a tribute to literature, history, and the incomparable natural surroundings of this spot in the Lowcountry. I was struck with how Lanham effortlessly wove into and out of his store of natural facts (and his ability to recognize even the faintest bird call, sharing life history tidbits of several species), ponderings of the human condition, and his reverence for those who had gone before, on the very ground we now walked upon. He shared a quick wit as well, and I imagine he is a tough but terrific professor.

Like a good teacher, he reiterated a theme in his “conservation conversations”: first comes noticing (what is that bird? that sound? etc.); second comes sympathy, and finally, empathy, which leads to the desire for preservation. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, by all means, go!

The day also included a wonderful presentation by Victoria A. Smalls, Director of History, Art and Culture & Public Relations. She is a St. Helena Island native who now helps share its rich Gullah heritage.

Several members of the Conroy family were also on hand. They were welcoming and friendly on what had to be a challenging day for them. A screening of the 2014 Conroy Family Roundtable video —featuring Pat Conroy with siblings Mike, Jim, Tim, and Kathy— was available to Saturday’s attendees, as well as free time to tour Penn Center and Pat Conroy’s gravesite, a short distance from the campus.

The day ended with a Q&A with Drew led by the lovely and ever-sharp Margaret Shinn Evans, publisher and columnist for Lowcountry Weekly. They discussed Lanham’s book, The Home Place – Memories of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature (Milkwood Editions, 2016), which Kirkus Reviews calls, "A shrewd meditation on home, family, nature, and the author's native South." (Click here for more about Lanham’s books and links to other publications.)

I’ll leave you with a poem from Sparrow Envy. I picked this one because these little birds featured are among my favorites, and they are so very busy now establishing nests in all kinds of nooks and crannies around our homes, aren’t they?


WREN R.E.M.

fleeting dreams
pass on morning’s first light
mist lifting off a mental bridge to nowhere probable –
but all points beyond possible
reality is the wren that wakes to each sun’s rising
with only the moment before it
no plans to skulk
or explore the next darkest crevice or crack
it sings heart full to the limits of the bounds it know
– the rotting woodpile in the northeast corner
the honeysuckle tangle westward
satisfied in that half acre universe
it sings to meet the day
tucks its wings satisfied in some second of accomplishment
It scolds a plan
and flits away
a wanderer in the present tense
future perfect does not exist
the past makes little sense
that I should live as wisely as wrens
is lesson one
carpe diem
ad infinitum



©J. Drew Lanham. All rights reserved. Posted with permission.


For more great poetry, flit on over to Today’s Little Ditty, where the Marvelous Michelle is Rounding up this week. And then circle on back here next week, when I’m hosting! Forgive me this weekend if I’m slow to respond to comments – I’m bound for our wonderful SCBWI Southern Breeze Springmingle in Atlanta. (I know… Lucky me AGAIN for another inspiring weekend!) AND – Still a few days to enter to win a copy of HERE WE GO! from Pomelo Books by leaving a comment on my post last week, here.

Poetry Friday - Write a Letter of Appreciation Week, and HERE WE GO Giveaway!

March 2, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Pomelo Books, giveaway, Janet Wong, Sylvia Vardell


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

I missed being with you all last week, but I was honored and blessed to attend the induction of Lee Bennett Hopkins into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. I grew up in The Sunshine State, and I’m glad some of its warm light was directed toward Lee, who is a shining star there!

In fact, I’m just now getting around to writing a couple of thank-you notes for generosities last week. Did you know that this very week, the first week of March, is National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week? So break out the stationery & note cards, and brush up on the fine art of snail-mail correspondence!

(Do you enjoy Jimmy Fallon’s Friday evening ritual of writing humorous Thank You notes? You might enjoy this article in the New York Times from 2014, which highlights the regular Tonight Show skit and also explores the importance of handwritten appreciations with some contemporary fashion & business leaders.)

As I regularly swim in social and business correspondence books from the late 1800s in my art studio, I contemplate the past and future of handwritten notes. Despite this digital age, I'm heartened that at least the 20-somethings in my daughter’s circle - some of them settling down to get married and start families and such - still write and send actual notes. Have ye hope!

What does any of this have to do with poetry? Well, the reason I know about the actual calendar designation is because I wrote a poem about it for THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY OF CELEBRATIONS (Pomelo Books). “Sincerely” is pictured on the Pocket Poems® card above.


Sincerely

Dear Friend,

I see the thoughtful things you do.
Your words are always cheerful, too.

I noticed!
And I'm thanking you.

Sincerely,
Me



Here’s a link to my interview with Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong about the PFAC. And click here for an adorable video recorded by one of Sylvia’s students, featuring Leslie (age 7 at the time) reading my poem, with bloopers at the end!

The reason I’m bringing all this up again now is that my poem is also featured in the closing chapter/PowerPack of Pomelo Books’s HERE WE GO, which burst onto the kidlit world stage in January. (Its predecessor, YOU JUST WAIT, was published last fall and was selected as a 2017 NCTE Notable; click here for my post about it.)

HERE WE GO is another amazing, creative compilation by Janet and Sylvia for ages 8 and up, part of their POETRY FRIDAY POWER BOOK series. Once again, anchor poems help shape the theme for each “PowerPack.” HERE WE GO features anchor poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, Carole Boston Weatherford, Joseph Bruchac, David Bowles, Ibtisam Barakat, Eileen Spinelli, David L. Harrison, Kate Coombs, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Renée M. LaTulippe, Margaret Simon, and yours truly.

These 12 poems join 24 new poems by Janet Wong to make an over-arching story – this one celebrating diversity and social justice, with protagonists Ameera, David, Jack, and Jenna tackling needs in their community (primarily, hunger) and struggling with how best, and how much, to help. Each PowerPack also includes “Powerplay” and “Power2You” pages which invite participation and imaginative poem-writing. Franzi Paetzold’s endearing pen and ink illustrations add just the right tone for kids of any age or background.

To see just how much poetry instruction is brilliantly folded into these pages, see Sylvia’s recent post here.

For lots of sneak peeks inside and insightful commentaries, here are some recent Poetry Friday blog posts highglighting HERE WE GO:

Irene Latham’s Blog

Poetry for Teaching - Lorrie L. Birchall

A Year of Reading - Mary Lee Hahn

Today’s Little Ditty - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

Katie’s great post at The Logonauts

and

The Poem Farm- Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

(Please holler if I missed any.)

Last but not least, the oh-so-generous team of Janet and Sylvia are giving away a few more copies! In this case, the late bird gets the giveaway worm too, eh? And since Irene’s kitty picked winners on her post, I’ll let my ancient office kitty, May, help randomly pick five winners! Just leave a comment by March 12, and you’ll be entered.

For lots of poetry to be savored and appreciated, please visit the delightful Heidi today at My Juicy Little Universe, where she’s hosting the Roundup as well as a love-fest for Billy Collins! So much to be grateful for. Also, deep appreciations to my friend and our own Bookseed Studio keeper, Jan Godown Annino, for a beautiful tribute to Nancy Willard here. Such a loss for the poetry world and the world in general; she was luminescent. I am thankful to have met her 25+ years ago at a writers conference in Georgia, when she must have been about the age I am now. She was magical. I've treasured her books over the years and cherish them now, and somewhere I have a handwritten postcard from her, thanking me for some cat note cards I'd given her. Which, I just realized while typing this, brings me back to the beginning of this post... .

Poetry Friday - A Florida Orange Juice Toast to Lee Bennett Hopkins!

February 16, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Lee Bennett Hopkins, found poetry, Florida


Today’s brief post is a combination of Throwback Thursday (see the pic) and I-Can’t-Wait-Til-Next-Thursday (read on for that!).

The “throwback” part is that nearly 10 years ago (gulp!), I finally got to meet Lee Bennett Hopkins in person, at the SCBWI Conference in LA, where I had gone to take his Poetry Master Class. He hasn’t changed a bit – I’ve seen pictures and Renée’s NCTE Poet Award interviews - while I’m edging my way along the road from Long-ago Maiden toward Crone. (And that’s fine with me – I don’t worry what anybody thinks of me these days, and more creative time DOES open up after years in the carpool lines.) ;0)

The “can’t wait” part is that next week, I’m driving a wee bit down the coast and taking a right turn past the Florida line toward Gainesville, to go watch Lee be inducted into the Florida Arts Hall of Fame. I was honored, along with many others including some fellow Poetry Friday-ers, to write a nominating letter on his behalf and to include accolades from several Star-Power poets and others supporting Lee’s recognition. [Hats off to poet friends Stephanie Salkin and Jude Mandell, who guided us through the process. ]

Lee’s receiving this honor is especially meaningful to me, because I grew up in Florida. My folks are still there, and I have family members tucked in among the orange trees all around Central Florida from Orlando to the Gulf coast. I always carry a bit of The Sunshine State with me, and visit when I can. The Hall of Fame recognition is the highest honor given by the state to artists in a variety of fields, and the list of recipients includes Ray Charles, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway, among others.

THREE CHEERS to Lee on this wonderful honor, which will have good company with all the red-carpet-worthy awards he’s won over the years. I’ve been blessed to know Lee as someone whose work I’ve admired beyond words, and who, as a mentor & editor, has pushed me into writing stronger poetry. Next week I’ll be a fan, a friend, and something akin to a fellow-Floridian, cheering from his corner.

In Georgia Heard’s THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK, A Book of FOUND POEMS (Roaring Brook), my own poetry first shared pages with poems by some of my poetic heroes. Here is the beginning of Lee’s poem, “First Wins” (from selected words in a SPRINT newspaper advertisement):

FIRST leads.

FIRST moves us forward.

FIRST kicks open the door.

FIRST takes us places
            we’ve never been
            before. …


©2012 by Lee Bennett Hopkins.


I think we could say,

LEE leads.

LEE moves us forward.

LEE kicks open the door.

LEE takes us places
            we’ve never been
            before. …
!


And, I'm grateful.

[I’ll be on the road back home next Poetry Friday, so you can enjoy this post for two weeks. ;0) ]

For today’s inspiring Roundup, please visit poet and librarian extraordinaire Jone at Check It Out.

Poetry Friday - Science and Poetry - and Valentines?

February 9, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, science poetry, bioprinting poem, bioprinting, Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, Science and Children, found poem, found poetry, original work, altered card, library card, card catalog card, artsyletters, Valentine, vintage


Greetings from the sunny South. I will not complain about the little chill in the February breezes, I promise.

More fun in the mail this week - after the January poem postcard exchange (scroll down for my posts on that last month), and birthday cards, I had another treat in store - a copy of the January 2017 issue of Science & Children featuring one of my poems from the Poetry Friday Anthology of Science from Pomelo Books. PFA Anthology creators Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have a great column called"The Poetry of Science" in the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) magazine. My poem on bioprinting got to join some terrific technology-themed articles and activities in January.



Printing, Pressed Beyond Words...


Our printers today are still evolving.

So many projects - and problems they're solving!


In layers of plastic, a virtual mold:

printers are spitting out things you can hold.


These 3-D devices can also print gels,

stacking amazing assortments of cells.


Need a blood vessel? An organ, an ear?

Bioprinting is real - bioprinting is here!



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


Teachers can take on one or all of Sylvia's famous "Take 5" activities which connect the poem to teaching standards, as well as to other poems and publications exploring a similar theme. Three cheers for poetry and science!

And now, to R-E-A-L-L-Y stretch that theme, just for fun I've included a little studio adventure for the forthcoming holiday. I had a blast making my poem postcards to send in January, and for each one I used a unique vintage library card catalog card. And now, I'm making actual cards out of them. Complete with a vintage pocket and blank vintage check-out card on the inside, perfect for a tucked-in message!

(How does this relate to science? I'm getting there....)

I thought some of the catalog cards for nonfiction science books lent themselves to a Valentine bent - the ones on magnetism! - so I made a romantic-y greeting card from one. The illustration above the altered catalog card I clipped from the February 1927 issue of Country Life.

This lacks a true poetic sense, methinks, but it's kind of fun:

     simple
                  attraction
Includes
                Magnetism


For better pictures and a peek at process and such, click here to hop over to my artsyletters blog, where I posted about these cards.

Now, opportunities abound to indulge your love of poetry with Captivating Katie, who has this week's Roundup over at
The Logonauts

Poetry Friday - Some Great Haiku, the Red Moon Anthology, and Seaside Workshop

February 2, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, anthologies, Red Moon Anthology, HSA, conferences, workshops, Jim, Kacian, Tom Painting, Stanford M. Forrester, Michael Henry Lee, Robert Epstein


Greetings, Poetry Friends.

When I first began exploring haiku years ago, I got my hands on a Red Moon Anthology, among other things. Founded by Jim Kacian and now in its 25th year, Red Moon Press publishes a yearly anthology of the best English-language haiku from around the world, in addition to publishing collections by individual poets, critical works, haiku-related novels and smaller anthologies.

If Jim's name rings a bell from this blog or your other haiku journeys, he also founded The Haiku Foundation (with its extensive resources, poet directory, and teacher-friendly articles ) and compiled the comprehensive Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, published by W. W. Norton & Company.

But back to the Red Moon Anthology. I was thrilled to receive notice that my haiku

wedding invitations
the press and release
of the nib


would be included in the 2016 anthology - the 21st! - which just rolled off the presses. (This poem recently appeared in FROGPOND as third-place honorable mention in the Harold G.Henderson Memorial Haiku Award contest.)

The new Red Moon volume, dust devils, features 173 poems, eight linked forms, and five critical pieces. I ordered a couple of copies and received them this week.

Upon perusing, I ran across several names of poets who will be attending and/or helping to lead our upcoming Earth Day weekend Haiku Society of America meeting and workshop on the Georgia Coast in a couple of months. I asked for permission to feature their anthology poems here today, and they all kindly agreed.



stack of books
the Russian novel
cold to the touch



©Stanford M. Forrester. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared on OTATA blog, 2.

(This poem appears in Forrester's new hand-printed, hand-bound chapbook, matcha.)



happy hour
everyone's glass
half-full



©Michael Henry Lee. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in MODERN HAIKU, 47:1.




lunar eclipse
I lose some sleep
over it



©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.
Also originally appeared in MODERN HAIKU, 47:1.



Also, though he is unable to attend our workshop in person, Robert Epstein will answer a few questions about two new animal rights haiku books he has just published and I'll share those with the group l. Here is his poem in dust devils:



Father's Day
I give myself
a good talking to



©Robert Epstein. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in MARIPOSA, 25.




Finally, I asked Jim Kacian if I could feature one of his poems from dust devils. (In case you're wondering, the anthology is the product of the work of 11 editors, with strict requirements for voting and poem inclusion.)



traveling alone -
the darkness around
each star



©Jim Kacian. All rights reserved.
(This poem was an award-winner in a contest sponsored by the Italian Haiku Association.)



My sincere thanks to these poets for allowing me to share their work. (And if I missed anyone attending in April, my apologies -- let me know so I can add your poem.)

Want to know more about the April meeting and workshop? Here's my latest blurb for HSA, with a bonus haiku from Tom at the end:


BYOB –

That’s Bring your own BINOCULARS!

What better way to celebrate Earth Day in a couple of months than with an HSA meeting and workshop at St. Simon’s Island on the sunny (fingers crossed!) coast of Georgia?

“Honoring the Earth,” Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, 2017, will offer opportunities to explore what it means to be human, living with and among the rest of the natural world. We’ll hear from David G. Lanoue, Tom Painting, Laurence Stacey, and Fay Aoyagi, and also enjoy a reading by Stanford M. Forrester. I’ll share a couple of new books by Robert Epstein. And, several talented poets in our region will be on hand to participate and serve up some famous Southern hospitality.

Why the binoculars? In addition to a session on bird haiku, Tom will lead us on a birdwatching ginko (a haiku walk)! The area is a magnet for avid birders.

Whether you are a well-seasoned poet or want to learn more about haiku, working on your “life list” or can’t tell a titmouse from a turkey vulture, you are welcome to join us. Details and cost information can be found on the HSA SE regional page,
http://www.hsa-haiku.org/regions/Southeast.htm

Two updates –

1. Meal times (of interest to commuters if you are planning day trips) are:

Breakfast 7am-9am
Lunch 11:45am-1pm
Supper 5:30pm-7pm

2. If Epworth by the Sea has enough available rooms, I can be a little flexible with the March 5 date for receiving final payment. I will have to provide a final count to the staff there a couple of weeks after that, however, INCLUDING any meals for commuters. Feel free to email me with any questions.

Here’s a hint of spring to whet your appetite, kindly shared by Tom:

spring plowing
a flock of blackbirds
turns inside out



©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.
Frogpond XXV:2



Maybe all this haiku will help get you through the six more weeks of winter promised by Punxsutawney Phil. Along with all the offerings for Poetry Friday, of course, rounded up for us this week by another famous "P" - our own Penny at A Penny and Her Jots.

Poetry Friday - Post Card Exchange Part Two :0)

January 26, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poem postcards, poem post cards, poetry, poems, Penny Parker Klostermann, Mary Lee Hahn, Ramona Behnke, postcard exchange, #postcardXchange


Happy Poetry Friday!

I'm delighted to share the final three postcards I received in our wonderful January Postcard Exchange organized by the ever-generous Jone.

The first two came sauntering in with their caramel-colored cards and entertaining animals, bringing smiles I do not take for granted this month.

Many thanks to Penny for this fun poetic diversion (you can see the properly centered formatting in the picture.):


Dr. Goat

If my doctor were a goat
and if I had a sore throat
he'd ask if I would open wide
so he could take a look inside.

And, yes, of course I'd open wide
so he could take a look inside.

But if my doctor were a goat
looking down my sore throat
I definitely could not say, "AAAAAHHHH!"
Cause Dr. Goat deserves a "BBAAAAHHHH!"


©Penny Parker Klostermann. All rights reserved.


Penny shared the backstory on the reverse of the card: "Your postcard was inspired by one of my childhood picture books. I snapped a photo of a page and wrote my poem based on that. Enjoy!" I did! Thanks, Penny. Makes me miss the goats we used to have when we lived on a little farm.

The next two were haiku, as I enjoyed in the first two cards posted last week.

The text on the back of Mary Lee's adorable kitty picture reads:


desire
just our of reach
whiskers twitch


©Mary Lee Hahn. All rights reserved.


Ha! This one made me fondly remember my childhood cat, a "cameo" Persian with the same color coat as the mischievous meow-er in this photo. He was named O'Malley (Yes, after The Aristocats!) Many thanks, Mary Lee!

My last mailbox treasure was from Ramona, whose poem graces that beautiful snow scene above:


A snowy sabbath
A new year's soft beginning
Wintry white frosting


©Ramona Behnke. All rights reserved.


"No snow in a very long time in my part of the world," she wrote, "so this dusting of snow on New Year's Day was a special treat!"

Ramona also tucked in printed copies of the poems read at both of President Obama's inaugurations. I probably hadn't read or heard them since those occasions, and it was comforting to revisit the words. You can find Elizabeth Alexander's 2009 poem and Richard Blanco's 2013 poem at www.poets.org . Thank you, Ramona, for your lovely poem as well as these.

Borrowing from each of those inauguration poems (in order), I wish you a "Praise song for every hand-lettered sign, the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables" and "the unexpected songbird on your clothes line."

For more unexpected and welcome delights, visit Carol this week at Beyond Literacy Link. She always has wonderful surprises.

Poetry Friday - Post Card Exchange Poems Perfect for Today!

January 19, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poem postcards, poem post cards, poetry, poems, rain, umbrella, Joy Acey, Laura Purdie Salas, postcard exchange, #postcardXchange


Greetings, Poetry Friends!

I'm happy to participate in Jone 's wonderful January Poem Postcard Exchange. Even though I'm just getting my own mailed out today.... (Hey, the deadline hasn't technically passed yet.)

I received two right off the bat this month from poets who are more together than I. (Another came this afternoon - Thanks, Penny! - will feature that one soon.)

These first two seemed uncannily thematically "linked," and, I think they are both perfect for today, an important date in our country's history and one with a wet forecast.

Many thanks to Joy Acey and Laura Purdie Salas for brightening my month!


          Rain
quiets the world
the earth listens


©Joy Acey. All rights reserved.



Reality glares
I open my umbrella,
build my own blue sky


©Laura P. Salas. All rights reserved.


I really appreciate these delightful images and welcome messages in poetry. A reminder to listen to the rain and let it help quiet my world when I let too much noise in, and also the comforting notion that I can "build my own blue sky"!

On her blog last week, Joy wrote, "Today, I am trying to be aware of the vibrations I'm sending out into the Universe. I want it to be a glorious, happy, positive day."
(If you know Joy, you know that's what her dial is always turned to - ;0) .)

I'm going to remind myself of those words and revisit these poems all day.

Just above the border here in the states, the beautiful Violet has put together a "Poetry Friday - the Aim High Edition" for all of us! Many thanks, Violet - we'll take it.

Poetry Friday - DNA Diversity Discoveries

January 12, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, diversity


As Christmas gifts, my husband and I bought Ancestry.com DNA testing kits for our kids, our new son-in-law, and ourselves, with the promise of a future trip to some ancestral turf. We spit in vials over Thanksgiving weekend, and I shipped them all off together. Before Christmas, results called from our inboxes.

We’ll be headed to Great Britain it seems, as that’s our main stock –Scotland primarily with the family trees I’ve found on my side (which pleases my Outlander fan daughter). There are some Irish roots among us, too (who knew my hubby was almost a quarter Irish?), and some Western Europe, Finland/Northwest Russia, Scandinavia, Italy/Greece, Iberian Peninsula and European Jew.

While most of their tests came back 100 percent European, mine was 98 percent. The other two percent? Middle East (1 percent) and Senegal (1 percent). Knock me over with a feather. Because of family stories, I was expecting some Native American in there somewhere, but apparently not.

I’m thrilled to possess some drops of diversity in my personal genetic cocktail. This knowledge led to much immediate consideration, and questions. As a white woman who has never borne the burden of racial discrimination, I wondered about distant ancestors… Senegal was a notorious gateway for the slave trade from the 16th through 19th centuries.

We now live in a small Southern seacoast town brimming with history. The first European settlement in the country, though it didn’t last, was on Parris Island. Downtown Beaufort boasts many antebellum homes, still standing because when the Union showed up in 1861, landowners simply fled.

Just across the bridge to the Sea Islands, you can still explore Gullah culture in food, art, and at The Penn Center , a treasure of African American history. Founded in 1862 as a school for freed slaves, the site was also used as a meeting and retreat center by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

While visiting the small museum there with a friend a year or so ago, we wondered about an object on display. I thought initially it was something used with livestock. She figured it out before I did - shackles. I’d never seen them in person before.

It was chilling.

On that day, I felt sad and sobered, but not personally connected to that history. I never had to live it. But now I wonder if, perhaps, an ancestor long ago did.


DNA results
how song carries
over water



In President Obama’s moving farewell address this week, he said, “Regardless of the station we occupy, we all have to try harder.”

He also said, “I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans who are just as patriotic as we are.”


one percent
still a thousand drops
of blood


poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


Recently I visited with a brave and thoughtful family member, and the subject of a ban on Muslims, proposed by the incoming President during his campaign, surfaced.

“If there’s a ban on Muslims,” he said with a wry smile, “we’ll all register as Muslims.”

Amen.

Big thanks to the wonderful Keri rounding up Poetry Friday this week at Keri Recommends. Enjoy the offerings!

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