Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet

photo credit Jane Abrams


April


2 Joy at Joy
Acey



3 Doraine at
Dori Reads


4 Diane at
Random Noodling





8 Janet F.
at Live Your Poem




11 Buffy at
Buffy's Blog


12 Michelle
at Today's Little
Ditty


13 Linda at
TeacherDance


14 Jone at
Deo Writer



16 Violet at
Violet Nesdoly


17 Kim at
Flukeprints


18 Irene at
Live Your Poem


19 Charles
at Poetry Time



21 Jan at
Bookseedstudio




24 Amy at
The Poem Farm


25 Mark at
Jackett Writes


26 Renee at
No Water River


27 Mary Lee
at Poetrepository



29 Sheila at
Sheila Renfro




30 Donna at
Mainely Write




Tags




Hannah enjoying poetry workshop

(Scroll down this column for tags, archives and blogroll....)

Tags

Archives


Enjoy these Great
Children's Lit Blogs and Websites:


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 - THANK YOU, TREES by Gail Langer Karwoski and Marilyn E. Gootman

April 28, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, nature, holidays, book tracks


Greetings, Poetry Friday Tribe! It's our last Friday of National Poetry Month for this year. I don't know about you, but I have a lot of catching up to do this weekend on all the poetic wonderfulness around the Kidlitosphere. If you're in the same boat, have no fear - Jama's Roundup of the month's activities will guide you and keep you clicking for days.

With a nod to Earth Day last week, I'd like to introduce a little book I've been meaning to highlight since it came out three years ago. It was the first rhyming children's book by award-winning author and my dear friend, Gail Langer Karwoski, and co-written by Marilyn E. Gootman. Thank You, Trees, illustrated by the multiple-award-winning Kristen Balouch and published by Kar-Ben Publishing (a division of Lerner), is a lovely rhyming romp in celebration of something akin to a Jewish Arbor Day. (Click here for the publisher's page about it and here for Amazon .)

This board book invites the very youngest readers and listeners to appreciate the trees around them and to learn about Tu B'Shevat, a festival sometimes called the "New Year for Trees."

Here is the text on the opening spread:


On Tu B'Shevat
We plant a tree.
Baskets of fruit
For you and me.

Orange, grapefruit
Peach or plum,
Lemon, mango,
Apple - yum!


©Gail Langer Karwoski and Marilyn E. Gootman


The colorful art is joyous, perfectly complementing the verse. The book garnered great reviews from The New York Times, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly.

Be sure to check out Gail's website for more info on this and her many wonderful, classroom-friendly books. Her work has deep roots and an expansive reach, providing lots of cover and adventure for young readers!

Our host for Poetry Friday is no stranger to the woods. In fact, be sure to read her Earth Day poem posted last week. Many thanks, Buffy, for rounding us up today.

I'm off for a weekend in the mountains, where I plan to savor poetry AND appreciate the glory and goodness of trees. Wishing you the perfect shady spot to read in! Really... have you hugged a tree today? Have you? ;0)

Poetry Friday - The Progressive Poem Parks Here!

April 21, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, 2016 Kidlit Progressive Poem


Happy Poetry Friday. What Fun! The 2016 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, brainchild of our ever-ambitious and generous Irene Latham, parks right here today.

A couple of nights ago, my husband and I were strolling along the beautiful Waterfront Park here in Beaufort. Out in the river, coming into the harbor, was one of the Intracoastal Waterway cruise ships we see docked here a few times each month. Only this one wasn’t yet docked. It was gliding toward us under guidance from its unseen captain and crew.

The big boat slowly powered forward, then swung itself around in the opposite direction in a move that would make a falling cat proud. It gradually drifted sideways and backwards, parallel to the dock. When it got very close, crew members tossed out ropes to another shipmate who had hopped ashore.

It was quite the orchestrated event, and after its trip the big boat was settled for a few days. I was thinking how this communal poem is just a bit like that – a journey directed by different folks along the way, from Laura’s first line to the last one which Donna will provide. And lots of us in between, who don’t wan’t to toss out the ropes before the dock is in sight!

Many thanks to those who have penned lines up to this point, and the next several to come…

2016 Progressive Poem

A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky.
A hummingbird holds and then hies.
If I could fly, I’d choose to be
Sailing through a forest of poet-trees.

A cast of crabs engraves the sand
Delighting a child’s outstretched hand.
If I could breathe under the sea,
I’d dive, I’d dip, I’d dance with glee.

A clump of crocuses crave the sun.
Kites soar while joyful dogs run.
I sing to spring, to budding green,
to all of life – seen and unseen.

Wee whispers drift from cloud to ear
and finally reach one divining seer
who looks up from her perch and beams —
West Wind is dreaming May, it seems.



Golden wings open and gleam
as I greet the prancing team.
Gliding aside with lyrical speed,
I’d ride Pegasus to Ganymede.

To a pied pocket, the zephyr returns
blowing soft words the seer discerns



Now our poem travels to Ramona at Pleasures from the Page!

And if you’ll make your way to Jama's Alphabet Soup, our inspiring-as-always Jama has the Roundup this week. (Be sure to tell her thanks for rounding up all the great Kidlitosphere activities during National Poetry Month, too!)

Poetry Friday - DAYENU & Extra Credit Questions for April Halprin Wayland

April 14, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Poetry Month, authors, book tracks, April Halprin Wayland


We’re slap-in-the-middle of Poetry Month! Does it get much better? Well, it does if you get to hang out with one of my all-time favorite people and poets, April Halprin Wayland.

Welcome to Life on the Deckle Edge, April, where I’m always running a wee bit ragged. Until I spend a few moments with something as wonderful as your just-launched More Than Enough - A Passover Story (Dial Books for Young Readers), which invites us to slow down and savor and be grateful. Katie Kath’s exuberant illustrations brim with joy, depicting a loving family’s preparations for their special Passover meal.

Today, I appreciate your playing along for a few “Extra Credit” questions!


April’s Extra Credit Q & A

“We wander the market surrounded by colors – Dayenu.”
First, what is Dayenu? Second, where are your favorite places to wander?


Dayenu (pronounced die-AYE-new) is the title of a song we sing at Passover . It's bright and bouncy and the chorus is a true earworm—it's simply the word Dayenu repeated over and over.

Dayenu means, "It would have been enough." So, for example, we say, if we had only been freed from slavery, that would have been enough—Dayenu! And, if the Red Sea had split and that was all, that would have been enough...etc.

Dayenu is a reminder to be aware of and grateful for the blessings in each moment.

Favorite places to wander? Meadows. And on verdant green hiking trails with my dog or my hiking buddies. Although I live within walking distance of the ocean in Southern California, rolling green hills are what light me up.

“We reach through the bars to lift one purring kitten.” Please, tell us about your pets!

Gladly, Robyn. I include an animal in all of my books.

• Eli is our licky, lanky dog (part Doberman, part German Shepherd, part knucklehead);
• Snot is our tiny tortoiseshell cat (she was the runt of the litter) with a squeaky kitten voice. (And don't blame me—my husband named her);
• Sheldon is our California desert tortoise. We had to get a permit from the state to adopt him because these tortoises are listed as a threatened species.
• We have about ten 10-cent gold fish in our pond (who have grown the size of submarines),
• and we have two red-eared slider turtles. We used to have four, named after the Beatles; we're not sure who survived, so their names could be any two of these: John, Paul, George or Ringo.

“We soak in blue bubbles and dress up for dinner.” What was your most recent dress-up occasion, or one on the horizon?

You can bet that I dressed up for the official More Than Enough book launch at our wonderful local independent bookstore. It was so much fun! I wore a bright hearts-and-rainbow dress, read the book, taught the Dayenu song and played the fiddle as the audience joined in.

Then we passed out coloring pages and I talked to the grown-ups about the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of how this book was born. [This is a must-read, Folks – click here for a tale of flexibility & determination!]

We served my favorite Passover food, charoset. Charoset symbolizes mortar which Jewish slaves used between bricks to build edifices for the Pharaoh. It's made of chopped apples, walnuts, honey, cinnamon, dates and either wine or grape juice. Put it on matzoh and it's yummy-crunchy-sweet—divine!

“We search high and low for the lost afikomen.” Do you have a favorite “found object”?

Such an interesting question, Robyn. My father was a farmer and an artist—and an appreciator of all things great and small. He found a crooked old plumbing pipe about the size of a child's arm, bent at the elbow; he stuck flowers and a chicken hawk feather in it, and brought it home. So quirky-beautiful... and so my father. That's the first thing I thought of.

(Not gonna lie… that made me tear up a little!)
“She wraps us in blankets, then sings Eliyahu.” You’re no stranger to music. Do you sing to the radio or iTunes while stuck in LA traffic? What station? Are you a humble hummer or a belter-outer?


Actually, I usually listen to National Public Radio 24/7—news, not music. And audio books. In terms of music, I'm all about sitting-around-the-living-room playing acoustic instruments and singing folk music with friends. Songs written by songwriters like Tom Paxton and Stan Rogers, to name a few.

But lately when I'm driving listen to the songs from the musical, Hamilton. Wow. I've never understood hip-hop before, I'd never taken the time to really listen to it. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the lyrics, the music, the book, and who stars in the musical knocks it out of the stadium. (I also listen to In the Heights, which Miranda wrote and starred in, too).

When I'm in the car, I'm a belter-outer. Which are you, Robyn?

Ha! Well, I’m an NPR addict as well. But bring on a classic rock anthem, and I’m belting it out -- if it's just me in the car, anyway!

The children enjoy “… a Passover sleepover.” Best rest for you – rain on a tin roof? Ocean? Crickets? Birdsong and window blinds?

Rain on the roof. (The alarm on my cell is birdsong. It's an almost liquid way to transition from dreaming to real life.)

Thanks so much for joining us today, April. We could never get enough of YOU!

Thank you for having me, Robyn—I love your questions (and you!)

Readers, for some extra fun today, I’m happy to report I’m a guest over at Penny Klosterman’s terrific blog as part of her “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt” series, where you’ll also get to meet my super-talented niece, Sara, and my delightful great nephew, Carter.

And for even more Poetry Month celebrating than you think you can stand, bop on by Today’s Little Ditty, where the magical Michelle has our Roundup this week.
Dayenu!

[Note: I'm attending a history conference here in Beaufort today and will try to check in at the mid-day break. Go ahead and leave some love for April!]

Poetry Friday - Spring Haiku from Terri L. French

April 6, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Poetry Month, book tracks, haiku, Terri L. French, Haiku Society of America


Happy 2nd Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month!

I'm on the road but wanted to share a few lovely spring haiku by my friend, Terri L. French. Terri has been the fearless leader of our Southeast Region of the Haiku Society of America for several years, bringing lots of lively opportunities to our part of the country. I'm taking the reins this year, but she and the organization's powers-that-be have kindly agreed to let me get past a very busy spring first, including planning daughter Morgan's out-of-town June wedding. (Thank you, Terri and HSA!)

Much appreciation to Terri for sharing these poems here this week. Enjoy!



oodles of daffodils--
the beauty of an empty vase


Bottle Rockets, 2011



a succession of sneezes--
forsythia blossoms




gentle rain...
the chant of spring peepers
joins my zen




wind
blowing on the child
blowing on the pinwheel



Poems ©Terri L. French. All rights reserved.



These last two poems are from Terri's collection, A Ladybug on My Words, available from Amazon.

Terri was a guest on my blog three years ago during Poetry Month; click here for a bit of her background and more of her haiku!

Speaking of haiku and Poetry Month, The Haiku Foundation will once again celebrate International Haiku Day with a global "rolling haiku" on April 17. Mark your calendar and click here for more details!


If you're a fan of short poems, you've probably ventured over to Laura Purdie Salas's blog. She's our host today for the Roundup, so make like a ladybug and fly on over to visit Writing the World for Kids.

Poetry Friday - EVERY DAY BIRDS and Extra Credit Q&A with Amy LV!

March 30, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, poets, birds, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, book tracks, National Poetry Month


Dear Poetry Friends,

Such a special treat today – No April Foolin’! If you’re a Poetry Friday regular, you know that our own Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is fluttering around with a beautiful brand-new book, EVERY DAY BIRDS, published by Orchard/Scholastic. If you’re a PF newbie, Welcome!

I’m one of those lucky ducks who can call Amy friend, as well as poetic inspiration in human form. You can learn more about Amy and her work here. And in case you haven’t heard… her debut poetry picture book, FOREST HAS A SONG, illustrated by Robbin Gourley (Clarion) just won the inaugural SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award!

EVERY DAY BIRDS, her second picture book for young readers, offers a closer look at many common birds, brought to colorful life with papercut illustrations by Dylan Metrano. Kirkus calls it “beginning birding at its best.” Here's a taste:


Hawk hunts every day for prey.

Cardinal flashes fire.

Woodpecker taps hollow trees.

Crow rests on a wire. …



Click around the Kidlitosphere and Poetry Friday blogs, and you’ll find lots of love for this book. Amy’s post celebrating its lift-off ihere. I thought it wouldt be fun to ask Amy just a few “Extra Credit” questions inspired by EVERY DAY BIRDS to give us a peek behind the scenes of her life poetic. Here we go!

Amy’s Extra Credit Q&A


Early bird or night owl?

I am a night owl who is trying to be an early bird!

Hummingbird drinks flower nectar. Coffee, tea, or something else for you?

Tea. I have a glass teapot, and my children and I enjoy trying all different kinds of tea, from flowery tea to fruity tea to herby tea. I like the varied colors of teas brewing, and holding a warm mug in my hands feels so cozy. This said, I am always happy to go out for coffee with a friend. And since I live in chilly Western New York, I am a fan of hot cocoa (lots of whipped cream) too.

Are you more chirpy bluebird or boisterous blue jay?

People often think of bluebirds as cheerful creatures, and I am a cheerful soul. To be truthful, though, I can also be bossy as a blue jay.

Chickadee wears a black cap. What’s your favorite hat?

My current favorite is a new crazy bird hat, a superb gift from Librarian Jim Worthington. I cannot stop laughing when I wear it because the birds’ wings flap on springs. Someone told me that she could not take me seriously in this hat, and I like this idea of not being taken too seriously.

In addition to being a poet, you’re a traveling speaker and teacher. How many times a year do you fly?

I try not to fly too frequently as I love being in my nest with my nest mates, but I do take three or four sky-trips each year.

Gull stares at the sea. What do you stare at when you are waiting for inspiration to strike?

Sometimes I stare out my window and sometimes into deep nothingness. Sometimes I stare at my empty paper and sometimes into my own head.


Thank you to my friend-with-the-beautiful-bird-name-Robyn for inviting me to your blog home today. I am a big fan of your work. xo, a.


Thank YOU, Dear Amy, for lighting on a branch over here this week to spread your sunshine!

For more great poetry sure to have you soaring, wing it on over to Amy’s home turf, The Poem Farm, where she happens to be our gracious host ringing in National Poetry Month today. Her blog is also celebrating its sixth anniversary this week. I’m sure there are still some cake crumbs around… (Which, by the way, Mr. Cornelius might find as he visits blogs for Jama’s roundup of National Poetry Month special events here, including links the 2016 Kidlit Progressive Poem organized by Irene.)

Poetry Friday - Sea Change

March 24, 2016

Tags: poetry, Poetry Friday, loss, workshops, ponderings


A writer friend and I were talking this week about the importance of retreats and workshops. I’m grateful to have participated in both, and I have no plans to stop any time soon. Last September I basked in “Poetry by the Sea” in Jupiter, Florida, with Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard.

This poetic dynamic duo is making plans for a second seaside gathering this fall, and they are also teaming up to lead workshop this September with the fantastic Highlights Foundation folks. [That one seems to be calling to me....]

As Serendipity would have it, yesterday I was waiting on my car in the shop and had taken my colorful art bag with some work and reading. In the pocket I found some index cards. They were comment cards from last fall’s retreat! We had each shared a poem written that weekend and everyone offered short, written responses just for the poet. It filled my heart to once again read the words of fellow participants, and I thought I might share that poem here today.


Sea Change


The Sea has hazel eyes.
She mirrors changing skies –

glint of green on sheen of blue
churning into grayish hue.

The Sea has hazel eyes –
capricious fall and rise.

Waves caress or overcome –
in pretty parts, a deadly sum.


©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


Reading poetry sometimes makes surprising connections for the reader, and writing poetry does so for the writer, at least for me.

I had started out planning to simply record the changing colors of the sea. Then it hit me that exactly where I was on the beach in South Florida was only a few miles always from where a college classmate of ours had drowned just months before in a deadly rip tide, while vacationing. We had not kept in touch with his family (he’d married his college sweetheart as well), but he was a beloved husband, father, community volunteer, and respected attorney, very close to my best friend’s family. Such a shock. Such a loss. In a few days, it will be exactly a year since he died.

On the Christian calendar, these are holy days, but dark ones. As we make our way toward Sunday, to the joy that is Easter, I pray for those on the journey who need comfort and solace. And for those on any journey.

Please visit Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for this week's Roundup. Thank you, Heidi.

Poetry Friday - The Roundup is HERE! Along with Terrific Student Haiku...

March 15, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, student work



HAPPY POETRY FRIDAY!

So glad you're joining the party. I'm delighted to host today. Everyone is welcome - new faces and PF veterans alike.

In addition to the Roundup, it's my pleasure to share a few accolade-winning student haiku this week.

Tom Painting, language arts teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta and haiku poet extraordinaire, sent along some poems by his eighth-grade students which recently appeared in the "Youth Corner" of The United Haiku and Tanka Society's online publication, cattails. (To read more about cattails, click here to read my interview with its Youth Corner editor, Kala Ramesh.)


The following haiku received honorable mention recognition in cattails in January. Also, each young poet agreed to share a personal thought about haiku, which appear just beneath his or her name.



shower steam
my off key notes bounce
on the tiled walls


©Taylor Clay
"I enjoy writing and reading haiku because of the satisfaction in creating a beautiful scene with only a few words."


setting sun
the scarecrow whistles
in the wind


©Cole McCord
"Haiku allows me to remove a moment from my memory and place it on a page for safekeeping. "


the rocks
water glides down
the river


©Hunter Collins
"I choose the moment that strongly urges to be put down on paper. Then, I let the moment write itself."


bound diary
what secrets do
you hold?


©Naiima Paul
"Haiku is like any art form, one needs inspiration. Anything can inspire you, from the sound of raindrops to a photo of your cousin."


Many thanks to Taylor, Cole, Hunter, and Naiima for sharing their work. I'm always inspired by the haiku of young poets!

And I must share a fun comment from one of my daughter Morgan's third graders this week. (I've been traveling across SC to her classroom for some classroom poetry adventures in recent weeks, tagging wedding planning appointments to these visits in the process.) I told the kids I'd see them in April, after spring break. Out of the blue, one of Morgan's enthusiastic young poets, Krish, made my day. He said, "Spring Break is a great time to write nature haiku!"

Indeed it is. Wishing you warmth and inspiration as the calendar pages turn to spring.

Please leave your links (& a brief description) in the comments below, and I'll round up as we go along. NOTE: We'll actually be on the road again this afternoon, so links left after lunch might not get rounded up until this evening. [I also just bought a laptop I'm trying to figure out how to use. It will go with me - wish me luck!] Thanks for your patience, and feel free to scan the comments to visit everyone's posts today in the meantime.


Onward to Poetry!

At Random Noodling, Diane is generously sharing a pot of fresh coffee to celebrate WORLD POETRY DAY, along with a tray of original coffee-themed poems from recent years. Cheers!

For a bit more about WORLD POETRY DAY and a poem about what girls wanted 500 years ago, pop in over at Diane’s Kurious Kitty. Mrow.

CB Haneck chimes in with poetic praise for our noses. And, no, not because they can smell.

Michelle joins CB in responding to Amy LV’s TLD Challenge herself at Today’s Little Ditty, ringing in spring with some amorous cicadas.

Speaking of Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, Laura celebrates Amy’s exciting news at Writing the World for Kids. (What? You haven’t heard? Laura’s got it covered, with a couple more wonderful shout-outs, too.) Laura also shares the link to Penny’s post about a project by Ken Slasarik inspired by Laura’s WATER CAN BE. Yes, there’s a lot of mutual poetry love being passed around today!

Matt offers up the “Naani” poetry form from India at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, with an invitation (challenge?) to try one yourself.

What’s the weather doing outside your window, and did it change from five minutes ago? Lovely Linda captures the topsy-turvy-ness of spring’s arrival with an original poem and picture at Teacher Dance.

Carol has rolled out the St. Patrick’s Day green at Beyond Literacy Link - go grab yourself some poetry, and a lovely Irish blessing to boot!

Rubber boots handy? Brenda’s leading us on a mud-luscious puddle romp over at Friendly Fairy Tales. with an original poem and a couple others. Enjoy – you can clean up later!

Jone’s in this week with an appreciative limerick for her assistant and info about how to receive an illustrated poem post card from her students for Poetry Month. Check it Out!

Responding to one of Tricia’s terrific challenges, Catherine shares a moving ekphrastic poem today at Reading to the Core. (Maybe grab a tissue….)

Tabatha joins in today with two powerful poems by Kathryn Stripling Byer from Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia at The Opposite of Indifference. (And a certain beloved Monster gearing up for April.)

Julie’s been busy! At The Drift Record, she presents a list poem by Nobel-prize winner Wislawa Szymborska, and an invitation to write a response poem.

Over at Books Around the Table, she’s exploring phrenology and bumps in the night – you can’t resist clicking on that one, can you? Hmm? What might your skull say about YOU?

At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee shares an original poem, “Bygones,” to announce her fantastic Poetry Month project. (Diane Mayr, you must check this out! Everyone else, too.)

Penny’s collaborative series, A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, continues today with a special treat : Guest poster is Ken Slesarik, in with a whole roomful of first-grade poets! They produced a collaborative work inspired by Laurie Purdie Salas’s WATER CAN BE. Your day will not be the same if you miss this colorful feast.

At Dori Reads, the ever-lovely Doraine is in this week with a perfect-for-spring poem by Abigail Carroll, an adult poet who's stepping into the children's poetry world and shares her thoughts on that, too. [If the air is yellow with pollen where you are, you’ll particularly enjoy! We're swimming in it down South.]

Inspiration wafts from life to life around here. Margaret Simon, at Reflections on the Teche., offers up a poem inspired by an emailed quote from Laura Shovan and a photo Tabatha posted on her blog. Beautiful words and profound thoughts.

Heidi extends an invitation to participate in her Poetry Month project at My Juicy Little Universe. Pass the ketchup, please, and a napkin? (To write poems on, of course!)

Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town generously offers “a touch of sanity” from Wendell Berry today. Yes, please. Enjoy his “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.”

Irene – yes the same one whose DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST just garnered an SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins poetry honor book designation – shares Don Tate’s amazing book, POET: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate at Live Your Poem.

Ramona’s in the mix with poems from Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s 42 Miles (plus another one) at Pleasures from the Page. Another book for my must-read stack!

Tara’s a woman after my own heart today, sharing Gary Short’s beautiful “Teaching Poetry to Third Graders” over at A Teaching Life. She also shares a way in which poetry ended a very challenging day in the classroom with a bit of affirmation.

More Tuesday Slice of Life Goodness (I love that PR and Slice of Life collide so often!) from Molly, sharing an original poem, “The Nightly Struggle,” that captures the experience of so many of us I’m sure, yearning to turn another page before turning out the booklight!

Yay – more haiku today! Thanks to the oh-so-talented Elizabeth Steinglass for sharing two gorgeous spring haiku (and a picture of one of the prettiest Poetry Friday cats in the realm) as well as her thoughts about crafting haiku – well worth the short read if you are a haikuist or an aspiring one.

Though no one would blame Amy if she were still up in the clouds after FOREST HAS A SONG just won the inaugural SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award.– (!!!) – she’s her usual down-to-earth-self over at The Poem Farm today, with an original poem, “Lesson From a Stone Bowl,” that just proves why her writing is so award-worthy, and how she embraces life as a poet.

Please join Violet (the perfect Spring name!), who is outside with her camera and stellar eye taking pictures and poetic inspiration for her “Spring Journal” she’s sharing with all of us.

Cathy’s been taking inspiration from nature this week, too, at Merely Day by Day. Join a cacophony of blackbirds with her lively original poem, “Bird Games.”

And now up to Maine, where Donna at Mainely Writeshares another delicious slice of life experience-put-to-poetry, “Book Club and a Mug”set against the dark mornings after the time change.

Little Willow’s in this week with “Babylon” by Robert Graves at Bildungsroman - a perfect companion to so many posts today about young poets, and young-at-heart poets inspired by Spring.

Jama doesn’t have a regular PF post today, but she’s putting forth the call to send in YOUR Poetry Month features for her April round-up! She and Mr. Cornelius do a great job keeping track of the many ambitious projects. If you have something special planned (one of these years, I keep saying to myself!) just send your addition to her website email address at jamarattigan.com. Thanks, Jama and Mr. C.!

Over at Teaching Authors, the wonderful JoAnn is featuring an Avis Harley poem from African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways. (Isn’t that a great book title?) She’s also not alone, I’m sure, in her struggle with taking the perfect selfie,which she’s written about in a chuckle-worthy original poem.

At All About the Books with Janet Squires, Janet is serving up Georgia Heard’s anthology of found poems, THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK. (I’m personally partial to this collection, as it includes two poems by yours truly!)

{--We interrupt this Roundup for its host to hit the Road. I'll check back this evening for any afternoon link-leavers! Thanks.--}

Evening Update: I'm having computer AND network connection issues, and my attempts to update keep getting swallowed into a cyber-black-hole. My apologies! PLEASE scroll down to the end of the comments for a few more great poetry links - canine poetry & a challenge from Joy, a post from Karen, and, all the way from Guam, news from Sylvia V! Thanks, and have a great weekend, all!
THEN, check out the posts from Lisa and Fats at the end!

Poetry Friday - Driftwood Dolphin

March 10, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, animals, ponderings, spring


It's ALMOST Spring.

Our youngest, Seth, spent the first part of his college spring break this week hiking in the mountains with his Appalachian Trail class. Then he came to the coast for some fun in the sun. [Finally - a spring break for him here that's warm, sunny, and dry! ] Not a bad way to spend a week.

Thursday he drove out to Hunting Island, the lovely natural state park where we go to the beach, less than 20 miles from our driveway. We'll probably all head out there Friday afternoon.

A couple of weeks ago, I went there by myself for a long walk and an inspiration break. There was only a handful of other folks around, plus a couple of horses. Couldn't resist snapping the picture above, and wondering about a poem to accompany it.



Driftwood Dolphin


A driftwood dolphin
slices sand,
in search of driftwood fish.

What kind of dolphin
swims on land?
The kind in my driftwood wish.



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


Thanks for stopping by! Even if you don’t have a spring break per se, here’s hoping you’ll take some time out to relax with poetry! My dear friend and Poetess Extraordinaire Irene has the Roundup today at Live Your Poem.

Be sure to circle back HERE next week, when I'll host the Roundup!

Poetry Friday - Margarita Engle's "Young and Old Together"

March 3, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Margarita Engle, poets



I know there’s snow on the ground in some parts (my future son-in-law sent a picture from a north Georgia Thursday evening), but trees and flowers are beginning to bloom here at the coast. Folks are either digging in the dirt already or browsing seed catalogs, depending on zip codes.

So today I have a simple share – a beautiful poem by Margarita Engle found in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Pomelo Books). You might say it’s about gardening, or about radishes - and there are some great veggie-inspired "Take 5" activities in the anthology - but it’s also about so much more…



Young and Old Together


I love to help Grandpa in his garden,
planting tiny radish seeds
so we can watch the swift growth
of leaves and stems,
like green towers
on top of
tasty
red
roots.



And in Spanish, also in the anthology:


Jóvenes y Viejos Juntos


Me encanta ayudar a mi abuelo en su jardin
sembrando semillitas de rábano
parar mirar cómo crecen tan rápido
las hojas y los tallos,
como torres verdes
encima de
sabrosas
raíces
rojas.



©Margarita Engle. All rights reserved.


This poem makes me smile, the way it celebrates a tender relationship between grandfather and grandchild. I imagine the grandfather wondering at “the swift growth” of his “nieto” or “nieta”!

My thanks to Margarita for sharing this poem with us today. If you are not already a fan, please seek out her work! She’s won multiple Pura Belpré Awards and Honors. She’s also the recipient of Américas Awards, Jane Addams Awards and Honors, International Reading Association Award, the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award, and many others.

Just this year, Enchanted Air won the Pura Belpré Author Award, was selected as YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist, and won a Walter Award Honor from We Need Diverse Books.

Her Drum Dream Girl, illustrated by Rafael López ,won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award! It also won the Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book writing of 2015, was selected as Asian Pacific American Library Association Children's Book Awards Honor, is an Amelia Bloomer Top 10 of 2016 and a 2016 Notable Book for a Global Society, International Literacy Association

And, just a week and a half or so ago, Enchanted Air received the 2016 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award , granted by Penn State University Libraries, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, and Lee Bennett Hopkins!

We are all richer for Margarita’s mind, heart, and pen.


Here’s wishing you and your garden a hearty, poem-filled spring… Enjoy more inspiration with our wonderful Linda, rounding up today at Teacher Dance.

Poetry Friday - Haiku by Paideia Teacher Sydney Cleland

February 25, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, poets, poetry


Hello, Dear Poetry Lovers!

Today we have a special treat, as yet another teacher from The Paideia School in Atlanta has caught the haiku bug from teacher and haiku poet extraordinaire Tom Painting.. I'm happy to welcome Sydney Cleland, whose selections are especially appropriate as we wave a rosy goodbye to February, a month for lovers.

Let's enjoy some of her haiku, and then we'll find out how she fell in love with the form.



new lover
last year’s roses
pressed between pages


he loves me
he loves me not
giri-choko only


Johnny-jump-ups
the earth sends
a valentine


sweet tart hearts
the long married
fight and make up


chocolate on the pillow
romance conjured
by the hotel staff


icicles liquefy
a heart knows
what it wants


cardinal couples
pair up today
hope struts the yard



poems© Sydney Cleland. All rights reserved.

[Confession - I had to look up "giri choco" and Wikipedia tells me it's "obligation chocolate"given by women to men on Valentine's day in Japan... (a) relatively inexpensive type of chocolate women give to male co-workers, casual acquaintances, and others to whom they have no romantic attachment.] Well, how about that?

And now, a few questions for our guest poet:

How has your understanding of haiku changed over the last year?

Thankfully, Tom has brought haiku into my classroom. I teach poetry by reading contemporary free verse poems with students, focusing on close reading by just spending time with a poem. Haiku is such a short form that at first I found it rather like eating a snack instead of a meal. But now I understand not only the requirements of the form but some of the complex artistry, especially how a haiku poet connects images and lines without forming a sentence.

What do you most enjoy about reading or writing haiku?

The challenge. In the compact haiku space, I don’t have room to elaborate, so I’m learning to begin with an image, rather than an idea. That’s a huge challenge for me because I tend to begin with ideas. I also enjoy how spare it is. The form itself reminds me to slow down my life, to get rid of the unnecessary, to find joy in the simplest things. Writing haiku provides a mental break, almost meditative in nature. I’m a crossword enthusiast and (for whatever reason), writing haiku delivers the same feelings as noodling over the Saturday New York Times puzzle.

How does writing haiku benefit your students?

We haven’t done as much as I’d like, and that’s the biggest obstacle to discovering its potential benefits. We learn about and write haiku during only 4 or 5 class periods a year. But I am seeing some positive effects. For students who have trouble elaborating, the simplicity of haiku can be freeing. Students who are visual artists enjoy finding imagery for the form. We’ve done drawings to accompany the writing, which some students love. Those who, like me, have trouble accessing imagery, begin to do that. But possibly the chief benefit is that I am writing, which I hope makes me a better teacher of writing.

Why haiku?

Short answer: haiku because of my enthusiastic, collaborative colleague Tom, without whom I would not have explored this form. In fact, I feel so grateful at this moment, I’m going off to write a haiku of thanks for him….


Much appreciation to Sydney for joining us today and for sharing her poetry! Don't you want to sit in on her class?

In a few weeks we'll enjoy some more student poetry from Paideia, so stay tuned.

Thanks in advance for leaving your comments below, and apologies in advance if I don't respond right away. I'm back on the road for another poetry/creative writing session across the state with Morgan's third-graders - :0) - but I'll check in later!

Be sure to check out all the great Poetry Friday offerings rounded up this week by our Lovely Liz Steinglass, an all-around-wonderful writer and published haiku poet herself!

Quick Clicks

Poems
Explore a poem or two or five....
Haiku
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
Author visits
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
Books
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!
Magazines
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
Portfolio
illustrations
Media
bio, photos, interview links, etc.