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
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.
November 25, 2011
© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
This post-Thanksgiving post comes with gratefulness for so many things, including Poetry Friday!
I've seen the following quote, presented as a poem, in a variety of places lately(online and in a current popular magazine) but did not succeed in tracking down the original source. Yet it was a Chesterson quote I wasn't familiar with, and I wanted to share:
“You say grace before meals.
But I say grace before the concert and the opera,
and grace before the play and pantomime,
and grace before I open a book,
and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing
and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
¯ G.K. Chesterton
Sounds like poetry to me, and a gracious way to live.
Avoid the malls today and celebrate a "Black Friday" Poetry Roundup over at My Juicy Little Universe
November 18, 2011
Twice in the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent hours waiting on tires to be replaced. First was with my car, not long after we realized that the red plastic top my husband stopped to pick up on the road in front of our house was part of someone’s dislodged tool box, and nails were scattered all over the street.
The fallout didn’t happen for us until the next day, hours away in Nashville, and needing to get the youngest child to a college preview day. (Many thanks to the nice and wise hotel shuttle driver, who said, “Don’t let that flat tire ruin your day!”)
Yesterday aforementioned son called on the way to school and said, “My tire light is on.” Just the sudden changes in weather, I thought, but I switched cars at his school and took the car in for a quick oil change and a check. Five and a half hours later, I was finally leaving – the nail in his tire couldn’t be plugged and the dealer didn’t have the same tire in stock, so we had to wait on one to be delivered….
Well, I met some nice folks in the waiting rooms, because that’s how we do things in the South. I hope Gabriel’s first birthday party went well last night (what an excited young dad), and that the man whose grown daughter with Down’s Syndrome lives in Florida can settle down soon in a house he wants here in Georgia.
What does any of this have to do with elk? Well, nothing – except that in my search for a poem about a flat tire I stumbled on this one, in May’s POETRY which I have but confess must not have read, because this poet and poem were new to me. Somehow it spoke to me today, on the heels of All Souls Day and The Day of the Dead and all, and I found it quite moving:
This is from the last part of
Elk at Tomales Bay
by Tess Taylor
All bare now except
that fur the red-brown color
of a young boy’s head and also
of wild iris stalks in winter
still clung to the drying scalp.
Below the eye’s rim sagged
flat as a bicycle tire.
The form was sinking away
The skin loosened, becoming other,
shedding the mask that hides
but must also reveal a creature.
Off amid cliffs and hills
some unfleshed force roamed free. ….
to read the complete poem.
And for more great poetry, visit Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
for the Poetry Friday Roundup!
November 11, 2011
There’s definitely a change in the air as we transition from fall to right-around-the-corner winter – does it inspire you to write a haiku or two? Today I’m welcoming back poet and editor Gisele LeBlanc (who writes as G. R. LeBlanc), to share some news (click here
for our earlier interview). She lives in Atlantic Canada with her husband, son, and canine companion. When not writing, she enjoys simple pleasures: reading, bird watching, and spending quiet evenings at home.
BREAKING NEWS - Friday, 11-11-11 - Gisele's entry into the First POLISH INTERNATIONAL HAIKU COMPETITION received a COMMENDATION today! This was from more than 300 entrants from 41 countries (myself included, but I'm thrilled for her) and the judge was Jane Reichhold. Click here to read her poem. WOO-HOO - OK, back to regularly scheduled programming....
Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in children’s publications as well as in haiku journals such as The Heron's Nest, frogpond, Haiku Presence, Notes from the Gean, A Hundred Gourds, Haiku Pix Review, Ambrosia: Journal of Fine Haiku, Prune Juice: Journal of Senryu and Kyoka, A Handful of Stones,
and Modern Haiku
First, let’s enjoy some of Gisele’s haiku:
after the squall
the tinkling concerto
**Notes from the Gean,
that sudden yearning
for something more
the sand etched
**Notes from the Gean,
the ripple of water
**Haiku Pix Review,
Poems ©G. R. LeBlanc
All rights reserved.
More of her haiku can be found here
As editor of the online blog journal, Berry Blue Haiku
, she’s extending a hand to those new to the field.
“I love discussing haiku and I look forward to helping other poets gain a deeper understanding of this wonderful form,” she says. “I hope that the knowledge and experience I have learned thus far can offer guidance to others who are just embarking on the haiku journey.”
Since I’m happily on the Berry Blue Haiku
team, I always learn something from Gisele’s comments. If you write haiku, remember we’re open to submissions! We appreciate each one, even those we turn down as not the right fit. I can tell you that the privilege of reading submissions and the privilege of Gisele’s insights have made me a stronger poet.
Here are the details and guidelines about Gisele’s new service:
I am pleased to announce that I am now offering critiques for poets new to haiku. These critiques, which will be conducted through email, should be viewed as an educational opportunity and will aim to offer basic guidance and tips on writing haiku. Also included will be a list of resources, links, and markets.
I would like to offer these critiques to the first four participants free of charge. Once the free critique is completed, participants will need to answer a few basic questions and offer feedback or suggestions on the service.
After these four free critiques have been given, the cost of this service will be 15.00 US or CAD (for 5 haiku), payable through PayPal.
If you are interested in the free critique, or have any questions, please email me at berrybluehaiku(at)gmail(dot)com
**Please note that critiqued haiku will not be eligible for publication consideration for the Berry Blue Haiku Journal; however, participants are welcome to submit other haiku.
1. Include your name as well as a contact email.
2. Send 5 haiku, pasted in the body of the email to berrybluehaiku(at)gmail(dot)com Also indicate whether your haiku are intended for adults or children.
3. Put HAIKU CRITIQUE REQUEST in your subject field.
**4. Feel free to include any questions you may have regarding haiku, as well as a brief paragraph on how you came to discover the form. (**optional)
5. Please allow up to 2 weeks for completed critiques.
Thank you, and I look forward to reading your work.
for a direct link to the critique service page.
And for more great poetry, click here
to visit April at Teaching Authors
for the Poetry Friday Roundup.
November 10, 2011
Arrrwoooo - Just a heads' up that I'll be one of the featured children's authors at the Dahlonega Literary Festival this weekend. I'm presenting a session on WOLVES at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, in the St. Luke Parish Hall.
Other Southern Breezers appearing this weekend will be my good buddy Janice Hardy
and Mark Braught and Laura Knorr.
I'll be at The Crimson Moon for "lunch with the authors" Saturday at 11:30. Click here
for festival information and a schedule. Most events are free and open to the public.
November 4, 2011
© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
Last night was the last of the “Master Naturalist” classes I took this fall at Elachee Nature Science Center
, with astronomy on the menu. Wouldn’t you know it – the only rain we’ve had all week fell last night. We couldn’t use the telescopes, but astronomer Robert Webb didn’t let that stop him from presenting a terrific program (including a squeeze of adults inside the small, inflatable star lab dome in the museum!)
So I’m feeling rather lunar, appreciating the spectacular orb that’s 1/48th the size of our earth, 238,855 miles away, and which travels at a couple thousand miles per hour. If you stop to think about what an amazing feat it was to get the lunar module landed safely up there in 1969, well – it’s mind-boggling. Those folks had guts. And smarts.
Here are some moon-related morsels:
First, some 13th-Century praise from St. Francis of Assissi’s Canticle to the Sun
(Note: Katherine Paterson and Pamela Dalton’s book from this summer is on my “to-buy” list!)
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.
for the entire song.
Now, let’s jump ahead 600 years to see a different view with a fragment from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s
To The Moon
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing Heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Among the stars that have a different birth,--
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?
Later in the 19th Century, we’re back to celebrating – I can’t ever resist these closing lines from Edward Lear’s
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
And don’t you just love that runcible spoon? The full poem can be found here
Finally, jump ahead to just 42 years ago. Not that
long ago in the space/time continuum! Here are a few lines from current Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis’s 2001 poem,
First Men on the Moon
That afternoon in mid-July,
Two pilgrims watched from distant space
The moon ballooning in the sky.
They rose to meet it face-to-face.
Their spidery spaceship, Eagle, dropped
Down gently on the lunar sand.
And when the module's engines stopped,
Rapt silence fell across the land. …
for the rest of that poetic account of an event that changed our lives and changed history.
The next full moon is just a week away! Plan now to go outside and then write a “moon viewing” haiku or other poem, or read more celestial offerings. For more down-to-earth poetry, check out today's Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by Laura at Writing the World for Kids.
November 1, 2011
Today begins Picture Book Month! My friend and critique group buddy Elizabeth Dulemba
was one of the founding folks for this worthy endeavor.
Here's the press release:
Authors and Illustrators Team to Create Picture Book Month
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"I have always believed that literature begins in the cradle -- the poems we say to the babies, the stories
we tell them -- prepare them to become part of the great human storytelling community. We humans are
the only creatures in the known universe who make and remake our world with story."
- Jane Yolen from
her Picture Book Month essay
The New York Times declared, “Picture Books No Longer A Staple for Children” in an article
published in October 2010. The controversial article incited a barrage of responses from the children’s
book industry, many in defense of the venerable picture book. In addition, the digital age has ushered in
an unprecedented amount of ebooks and, with devices like the iPad, the color Nook, and the Kindle Fire,
picture books are being converted to the digital format.
Thus, Picture Book Month was born. Founder Dianne de Las Casas decided it was time to
celebrate picture books in their printed format so she created an initiative to designate November as
“Picture Book Month.” Katie Davis, Elizabeth Dulemba, Tara Lazar, and Wendy Martin came on board
to champion the cause and spread the word. A logo was designed by Joyce Wan. A website
) was created to feature essays from “Picture Book Champions,”
thought leaders in the children’s literature community. Each day in November, a new essay will be posted
from such notable contributors as Suzanne Bloom, Denise Fleming, Leslie Helakoski, Eric A. Kimmel, Tammi Sauer, Dan Yaccarino, and Jane Yolen.
Better World Books and organizations like Scholastic Book Fairs Philippines are lending their support. The website
will also feature links to picture book resources, authors, illustrators, and kidlit book bloggers. In addition, parents, educators,
and librarians can download the theme calendar to help them plan their picture book celebrations and access picture book activities.
Join the celebration! Visit www.picturebookmonth.com
. The website officially opens on
November 1, 2011.
“Picture books are important because they are with us for life. They are the most important books we'll
ever read because they're our first. No matter how many books we've read since, they will always have a
place in our hearts.” – Dan Yaccarino from his Picture Book Month Essay.
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