Click links below to follow our Progressive Poem for Nat'l Poetry Month!
Hannah enjoying poetry workshop
(Scroll down this column for tags, archives and blogroll....)
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
Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller
photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko http://www.paulbjaneczko.com
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"4 Kids 2 Do" and "Press Kit" pages.
May 27, 2011
So Tuesday was Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday!
Garrison Keillor included some great Bob Dylan info on The Writer’s Almanac
on Tuesday, including the fact that he’s been nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature every year since 1996. Tuesday’s program also quotes from the liner notes for The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
about the distinction between poetry and songs: “Anything I can sing, I call a song. Anything I can’t sing, I call a poem.”
Be SURE to check out Jama Rattigan’s great review
of the new picture book biography written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Marc Burckhardt, When Bob Met Woody – The Story of the Young Bob Dylan
(Little, Brown, 2011).
Thoughts and prayers for those reeling from storms, and so many have suffered devastating floods in past weeks. With an image of a calmer river, here are some lines from Dylan’s “Watching the River Flow,” Copyright © 1971:
People disagreeing everywhere you look
Makes you wanna stop and read a book
Why only yesterday I saw somebody on the street
That was really shook
But this ol’ river keeps on rollin’, though
No matter what gets in the way and which way the wind does blow
And as long as it does I’ll just sit here
And watch the river flow
For the entire song, click here
and for the Poetry Friday Roundup
, enjoy Heidi's great blog, My Juicy Little Universe.
May 24, 2011
Just a quick shout-out to folks who might know youngsters in the Dahlonega, Ga., area who are crazy about wild animals - There's about a week left to sign up for the "Zoofari" Summer Camp at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve. The camp is for kids ages 7 to 12 and is scheduled for June 13- 18, 9:30 to 3:00 each day. Click on over to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve
website and find the "Summer Camp" tab to learn the details.
I'll be there sometime during the week presenting a session on wolves. Arrwooooooo!
May 20, 2011
Today we're finishing up our poetry project in two fourth grade classes. I'm visiting one last time to hand out booklets featuring a haiku poem, and in most cases an illustration, by each student poet. (Haiga!
) Many added titles.
I hope this collection will be enjoyed long after these students have outgrown their fourth-grade shoes.
Perhaps reading these later will spark a memory of what it felt like to be ten years old. I posted a batch of these week before last (click here
), and below are the rest. [These are the original works of students and not to be copied - thank you!] I enjoyed "anthologizing" them for the books. Thanks again to teachers Mrs. Briggs and Mrs. Roberts, and to each young poet!
purple flowers play
in the wind
(by Mary Keys)
in the sound
of the wind
birds chirping around
flight paths between trees for birds
diving and swooping
high chirp low chirp
the birds sing a song
it makes me want to sing along
really really cool breeze
bugs land on me
flowers blowing in the wind
ladybugs climbing flowers
I see the drops on grass
the tall grass sways in the wind
I hear the bird's song
tallest tree I have ever seen
sunlight shines down on them
nature so wonderful
the bugs fly
in the big blue sky
the trees sway
I hear them again
jumping, running, rattling
they munch on acorns
tall trees swaying
never touch them
ants are scary
I say ouch when they bite me
ants are mean
lady bugs all around
the caterpillars are crawling up
the stump the river is rushing
river running by
bugs flying around
soft crunchy grass
brown and green grass
old leaves fall
creeeks flow loudly
is rustling over the rocks
it is very cool
shhh, shhh, shhh
River of Stream
rocks smoothly flowing down
looks like mud
puddles that you see
the turtle eats the
grass as it swallows
lizards are reptiles
camouflaging their bodies
jumping between trees
fireflies flying I'm
the moon is very nice
the moon is white and peaceful
I really like the moon
Make sure to catch the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Drift Record
May 13, 2011
Recent poetic adventures with fourth graders inspired me to read Patricia MacLachlan’s Word After Word After Word
(Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2010), about a visiting author’s time in Miss Cash’s fourth grade classroom. The characters find their way through personal problems by writing, especially poetry.
I was hooked with this early prose depiction of the visiting author:
Ms. Mirabel had long, troubled hair and a chest that pushed out in front of her like a grocery cart.
As narrator Lucy begins to examine her feelings about her mother’s cancer, she writes,
A breath you take in
But can’t let out
As hard as you try.
You’ll have to read the book to see how Lucy’s writing develops, along with that of the other students: Henry, Evie, Russell, and May. This deceptively simple story from a Newbery medalist and beloved author would be a welcome addition to any poetry lover’s bookshelf.
I included some fourth grade haiku in last week’s Poetry Friday post but was unable to access the Roundup. Feel free to take a peek, and be sure to check out this week’s hot-to-handle Roundup
at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup!
May 6, 2011
My daughter Morgan, left, was a student in Mrs. Briggs's class in fourth grade and is now an education major. She helped bring poetry to class one day. On the right, fabulous teachers Lori Roberts and Sharon Briggs.
The past few weeks, I've had a delightful time popping in and out of the fourth grade classes at Lakeview Academy to explore poetry - particularly, haiku.
Because traditional haiku capture a moment in nature, early on we took a walk outdoors. We spent some quality time in a grassy field with woods all around and a stream on one side. The students wrote down sensory impressions and poem ideas in their journals, then worked the next couple of weeks in class to polish up their writing and choose their favorite original poem.
I am compiling these into a booklet so each young poet will have a whole collection. Many are accompanied by artwork as well ("haiga"), and a few added titles. I wish I could share all of them here, but I'm happy to post a few from each class. [These are the original works of students and not to be copied - thank you!] Many thanks to extraordinary teachers Mrs. Briggs and Mrs. Roberts, and of course to their talented students! Enjoy -
storm clouds foreshadow
the rumbling sky
water hitting against the rocks
green and brown leaves fall
the grass bends
birds chirping in the sky
a robin jumps from tree to tree
the lovely songs of birds
around go the birds, Ah!
choo cheep swish
the brisk breeze
bugs crawling around me
birds fighting over trees
time and time again birds fall
but they still fight for trees
tall grass below
birds whistling in the trees
a fresh smell of spring
the round of rustling leaves
leaves swirling round and round
birds singing a song
little three-leaf clovers
mist is all around
(by Mary Katherine)
calm water to
clouds, blurry fog
to moist grass
flowers on the ground, blossomed
flowers falling down from trees
the wind carries them off
birds merrily chirping,
pecking around for seeds,
flying over the trees
(by Anne Marie)
a leaf blows through
the sound of whistles
Catch the rest of the fourth grade haiku in my May 20 post -
For more great poetry, visit the Poetry Friday Roundup at Family Bookshelf - http://family-bookshelf.org/ [I didn't link directly because there seems to be a problem - my Internet Explorer shuts down each time I try, and I read that this was occurring for someone else, too. Perhaps it will be up and running soon!]
May 4, 2011
L-R, me with Northeast Georgia Writers contest judges Janie Dempsey Watts (author), Janice Alonso (author), Robert S. King (author and president of the Georgia Poetry Society), Northeast Georgia Writers President Tom Nichols, and Writer and Volunteer Extraordinaire Elouise Whitten (contest coordinator).
It was my honor to be the Awards Banquet Speaker today for the Northeast Georgia Writers! What a vibrant and dedicated group of folks - not to mention talented. Many members won awards across a variety of genres.
I followed the event's theme of "Journey Through Words and Pictures," sharing my own adventures in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and illustration for children. The banquet was a wonderful way to celebrate the power of writers supporting each other in what can be a lonesome endeavor.
Ever thankful for my regular writing buds, it was a treat to meet new friends in the fold. Special thanks to Lynda Holmes for the invitation, and congratulations to her and to the many other award winners!
Click here for the article in The Times(Gainesville, Ga.) about the awards banquet
bio, photos, interview links, etc.
Explore a poem or two or five....
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
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!
(Click here to visit Robyn's art business)
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
National Council of Teachers of English
Click here for KidLitosphere's links to current poetry round-up