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.
August 31, 2012
On September 29, a few hundred thousand folks will celebrate the second "100 Thousand Poets for Change." Click here
to get a taste of that ambitious endeavor.
According to a press release, this event "brings poets, artists and musicians (new this year) around the world together to call for environmental, social, and political change. Voices will be heard globally through concerts, readings, workshops, flash mobs and demonstrations that each focus on their specific area of concern, within the framework of peace and sustainability, such as war, ecocide, racism and censorship.
“Peace and sustainability is a major concern worldwide, and the guiding principle for this global event,” said Michael Rothenberg, Co-Founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. “It’s amazing to see how many people have joined in around the world to speak out for causes they believe in, and to see so much heart and creativity expressed in their diverse approaches to this event.”
While no one might agree with each and every individual issue being advocated on that day, I certainly believe in the power of poetry. I believe in the power of positive change and appreciate that the freedom of expression I so often take for granted in the U.S. comes at great risk in other parts of the world. So hats off to creative folks trying to better the planet!
In contemplating the theme of change for today, I wondered where it originates. I think it originates in the imagination. So today I'm bringing you a wonderful poem posted with permission of its author, Steven Withrow
. (We had a nice chat with Steven here
back in October.)
On the Jetty
Boy who sits upon a bridge of stones
over Plymouth Harbor shuts his eyes,
silences all seagull-circus cries,
guides the tide-lines in by thoughts alone.
He thinks that if he hooks one where it forms,
soft, a foam of wave-wash at his feet,
angles right where rock and waters meet,
he’ll know the reeling power of a storm.
He dreams that he’s a pilgrim on this landing,
scrawny Myles Standish, émigré,
anchorage mud deep in Plymouth Bay.
These reveries exceed his understanding,
no soldier he, nor seeker of the new,
narrow buoy, adrift in world-wide blue.
©Steven Withrow, all rights reserved
I think the reference to Myles Standish
certainly points to change - in fact, the Pilgrims must have done more than imagine a new life; they must have envisioned it. And poetry helps us envision connections we might otherwise overlook. What does this poem kindle in your imagination today?
Thanks to Steven for sharing this poem today! Be sure to visit Steven's great Poetry at Play
blog, where you can also learn about Poetry Advocates for Children and Young Adults.
The amazing Sylvia Vardell is rounding up more great poetry this week at Poetry for Children
. Check it out!
(Note - I'll be at the SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators' Day all day today and will check back later.)
August 26, 2012
Joy Acey had some fun with the new Poetry Friday Anthology, and with my poem, "Snack Rules." Click here
to see what resulted when she mis-read the title, then followed that wondering and pondering into a new poem of her own. (And you might check out her follow-up post exploring rhythm.)
Joy has two fun poems in the anthology as well. I've had the privilege of meeting Joy at the two Higlights Founders Worskhops in poetry I've attended. She's an enthusiastic voice for children's poetry!
August 24, 2012
Lucky at Christmas, patiently donning a wreath for the camera
The summer before our youngest, Seth, entered first grade, we rescued a five-week-old hound/shepherd mix. This Wednesday, Seth began his senior year of high school, and it was Lucky's last day with us.
The vet said he had lived up to his name, especially this past year, as he had dodged a myriad of health problems. He went blind in the spring, but, like most trusting, devoted dogs - he took it in stride as long as he could be near us.
I think he wanted to spend one last summer with the kids. Morgan moved back up to college last weekend and posted a beautiful tribute to Lucky on her Facebook page. I'm glad he hung around long enough to meet a new school year.
We still have two little dachshund mixes - they just turned 13 and haven't slowed down, despite their white muzzles. Time is less kind to the larger breeds.
Rest in Peace, Lucky - we were the lucky ones.
Here's a poem I wrote earlier this summer:
My Old Dog
This dog of mine
was once a pup.
He’d romp and lick
the sunshine up.
This dog of mine
when he had grown
could guard the yard
and grind a bone.
This dog of mine
now old, now gray –
needs me to guide
him through his day.
This dog of mine
so slow and frail
wears years of love
from nose to tail.
©Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
For the Poetry Friday Roundup, visit the ever-talented and all-around wonderful Doraine at Dori Reads.
August 22, 2012
Poetry buffs who frequent this blog know about Poetry Friday regular Irene Latham – her COLOR OF LOST ROOMS (2010) was a National Indie Excellence finalist and winner of the 19th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Award. She just sold her first collection of children's poems, DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST, set at an African watering hole, to Millbrook Press/Lerner. Look for it in the fall of 2014! Irene has been poetry editor of the Alabama Arts Journal
She’s also an accomplished novelist. LEAVING GEE’S BEND (Putnam, 2010) won the Alabama Library Association 2011 Children's Book Award and was a SIBA Book Award finalist. Her new novel, DON’T FEED THE BOY (Roaring Brook, Oct. 2012), is soon to be let loose!
At the SCBWI Southern Breeze fall conference in Birmingham in October, Irene is presenting a workshop on that elusive, crucial, desired-by-any-editor element of a story: voice
. She was kind enough to drop by today and give us a sneak peek.
Take it away, Irene!
Confession: when I sold LEAVING GEE’S BEND, I thought “editing” meant someone somewhere sending my words through some fancydancy spell-check program. I really had no idea how to revise.
Guess what I learned?
The best and quickest way to educate oneself about editing and revision is to actually DO it. And what I’ve found in the years since is that for me, revising is most successful if taken in stages. By which I mean, I read over the manuscript multiple times, addressing one specific issue during each pass.
I generally start with plot, because that’s easiest (for me). Then I move to character arc – one pass for each major player, then another pass for supporting characters. Then, eventually, I move to voice. It’s during this pass that the magic happens: ordinary words take on flavor and personality. Dialogue quirks emerge. Similes and metaphors become consistent with the character. Gone are the modern words in a historical piece, while invented words manifest themselves in a fantasy piece.
One of the best ways I have found to teach about voice is to show examples of writing without voice. Take, for instance, the first line from a household favorite book FEED by M. T. Anderson.
line STRIPPED of voice, by me:
“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon was boring.”
actual line, written by M.T. Anderson:
“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”
That, fellow readers and writers, is VOICE.
Want to learn more? Come to the SCBWI Southern Breeze region annual Writing and Illustrating for Kids conference in Birmingham, Oct. 20. (There’s an optional novel intensive Oct. 19.) Here’s the official description for my workshop:
Voice Lessons: Revising for Voice
Got a book with great plot, characters, but no distinctive voice? This workshop provides revision techniques and advice on how to create a voice that’s authentic and memorable. *Attendees should bring at least one page up to an entire chapter of a work-in-progress to revise.
Handout includes a list of strategies, a voice-revision checklist and three before/after excerpts to illustrate effectiveness of the suggested techniques.
Sounds terrific, Irene! Thanks for the preview.
To learn more about Irene and her books, check out her website
And to register for the Writing and Illustrating for Kids (wik) fall conference in Birmingham , click here.
Hope to see you there!
August 17, 2012
Well, the official, official launch date is Sept. 1 - but THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY is here! Sylvia Vardell
and Janet Wong
(of the Poetry Tag Time books) have outdone themselves with this jam-packed resource featuring more than 200 poems by 75 poets. Each poem is presented in a specific grade level, K-5, and connected to curriculum standards with FUN activities for students. (Sylvia has done an amazing job connecting each poem to Common Core, and there's a Texas version of the book with TEKS standards, too!)
I was beyond excited to get my copies because I have a couple of poems included. But almost immediately, I was just plain excited - this book is so very well laid out and thought out, it couldn't be easier for a busy teacher to use. Just a few minutes once a week (hopefully more if time allows), and elementary students of all ages will get to hear, read, explore or act out a short, child-friendly poem. They'll leave the school year with a few dozen poems under their belts and no doubt several favorites. I've already let teachers and the media specialist at our school know about it.
Can't wait to get your copy? The paperback is available on Amazon, with the e-book soon to follow. (Just enter THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY in the search.) To learn more about this creative dynamic duo and Pomelo Books, click here
I'll leave you with one of my poems, this one in the First Grade section:
Don't talk with your mouth full --
full of peanut butter:
Anything you try to say
wll cmmm out as a mmmttrr.
©Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
For lots more lip-smacking poetry, visit Rounder-Upper Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
August 16, 2012
Howdy - Well, I'm breaking my mini-blog vacation because there are just too many good things to share! I have a fun Poetry Friday post for tomorrow, but before that, here are a couple of good bloggie nuggets:
1.) I was thrilled to learn that Laura Shovan's blog, Author Amok
, was named a top ten Creative Writing teaching blog, winning a "Fascination Award" with the nominated post being a guest post by yours truly
for Poetry Month this year! Woo-hoo! Congratulations, Laura - and I'm honored!
2.) The folks planning our SCBWI Southern Breeze Fall Conference in Birmingham have been hard at work, and we're spotlighting speakers in the Southern Breeze blogosphere this month. (I've been thrilled to present there the last two years, and look forward to enjoying workshops as a civilian this year.) I'll host Irene Latham HERE next week, but in the meantime, get on board and enjoy the tour:
Aug. 15 Sharon Pegram at Writers and Wannabes
Aug. 16 Sarah Campbell at Alison Hertz’s blog, On My Mind
Aug. 17 F.T. Bradley at Laura Golden’s blog
Aug. 20 Chuck Galey at Elizabeth Dulemba’s blog
Aug. 21 Jo Kittinger at Bonnie Herold’s blog, Tenacious Teller of Tales
Aug. 22 Irene Latham HERE!
Aug. 23 Vicky Alvear Shecter at S.R. Johannes’ blog
Aug. 24 Doraine Bennett at Cathy Hall’s blog
Aug. 27 Virginia Butler at Bonnie Herold’s blog, Tenacious Teller of Tales.
Aug. 28 Jodi Wheeler-Toppen at Diane Sherrouse’s blog,The Reading Road
Aug. 29 Ellen Ruffin at Sarah Frances Hardy’s blog, Picture This
Aug. 30 Donna Jo Napoli at Writers and Wannabes
August 3, 2012
I was especially happy to receive my copy of Frogpond
in the mailbox this week for two reasons. One, a haiku of mine appears in the journal for the first time! Two, a haiku written by my lovely 14-year-old niece, Olivia, appears in the same issue.
I get to take zero credit for Olivia’s haiku. Her teacher is Tom Painting, a name familiar to those in the haiku world (you’ll see one of his poems in the online samples of haiku in the current issue, linked above), and his students are lucky to have his guidance, encouragement, and expert instruction. His students submitted their work to the 2012 Nicholas Virgilio
sponsored by the Haiku Society of America. This year’s contest drew 457 poems, and I’m happy to report Olivia’s was among six winners chosen. They received cash prizes and publication of their poetry.
Here’s Olivia’s poem:
clotting the wind
Olivia, age 14 (all rights reserved)
~ Frogpond 35:2, Summer 2012
Judges Geoffrey Van Kirk and Patricia Doyle Van Kirk offered comments following each winning entry. Of this poem, Mr. Van Kirk writes, “…The poet’s choice of the word ‘clotting’ here is powerful. It is a wonderful alliterative fit with ‘crows,’ and the open vowels of the two words together also suggest, as you say them aloud, the round clumps that are forming in air.” Ms. Van Kirk writes, “…And because these creatures of the air are so agile and perhaps so numerous, they seem to have power over the very wind itself, ‘clotting’ it with their numbers and their flight. The combination is unusual and magical.”
Well done, Olivia!
My poem is perhaps more lighthearted than my niece’s. I wrote it as one year turned to the next, while our old hound mix kept his vigil on the kitchen floor for another trip around the sun.
new year’s eve
of the old dog’s tail
Robyn Hood Black
~ Frogpond 35:2, Summer 2012
Speaking of sun, my blog will take a mini end-of-summer break the next couple of weeks, as kids get ready to head back to school in our household (high school and college). See you later this month with some great posts planned!
Enjoy more poetry with Rena as she dives into hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at On the Way to Somewhere.
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