Hannah enjoying poetry workshop
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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
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.
June 28, 2013
Jamaica from plane - photo by Morgan Black
I've never been to Jamaica. But Jeff and Morgan went there on a mission trip back in 2008, and I sometimes think of their description of "Island Time," which Jeff has also encountered on trips to Central and South America. It goes something like this: Busses get there when they get there. "Don't worry." The pace can be different from our hectic, sometimes over-scheduled days in the states.
I feel like I've inadvertently slipped into "Island Time" this week - probably because of the hectic, over-scheduled bit. My "Art Break Wednesday" post this week
on my artsyletters blog got put up late yesterday (Thursday). Here it is well into Poetry Friday, and I'm tapping away this morning.
At this stage of our lives, with this being the last summer to have both kids at home (Morgan will be launched into an apartment and masters in teaching program this time next year), I'm thinking a lot about time and change. We've been adapting to a big change for a little more than a year now, after my husband went through an unexpected and extremely trying job change in the spring of 2012. A haiku I wrote during that period appears in the current issue of Modern Haiku
Vol. 44.2, Summer 2013
I'll leave you with some thoughts from current U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (just appointed to a second term
). This poem was written in 2007, about the Gulf Coast. (That, I'm much more familiar with!)
Theories of Time and Space
by Natasha Trethaway
You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.
Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:
head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off
another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion—dead end
at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches ...
Please click here
to read the rest.
From there, mosey on over the The Poem Farm
, where the Amazing Amy has our Roundup this week. Take your time.
June 21, 2013
Seth, circa early 2000's
Just waving from the road, as we're on our way back from a college orientation session for our youngest in Nashville, Tenn. (Note the pic: maybe Seth knew he was destined for Nashville way back when.)
Please go check out all the good poetry in the Roundup this week, hosted by Carol at Carol's Corner
! See y'all
around the blogs this weekend. :0)
June 13, 2013
Willow Tree figure, "Happiness," with student cards...
On Wednesday I grabbed a quick catch-up coffee with a dear friend. Years ago, she taught both of my kids when they were in fourth grade, and I was her room mother each time! Now the youngest, Seth, has just graduated (though not before visiting her classroom to talk about song writing with her students), and I’ve been continuing the tradition of visiting her class to talk about writing each spring. A couple of years ago, my oldest (Morgan, my rising college senior/ed major) tagged along. It’s been a great arrangement; I “experiment” with different writing activities with the students, and they get a little outside spice with their language arts.
Sharon has given me the most thoughtful, perfect gifts over the years as a thank-you. When the creative writing theme involved butterflies (catching ideas!), the class gave me a butterfly coffee cup, matching journal, and bookmarks. Once they gave me a heavy duty pen holder for my desk, decorated with pens on the outside. The most precious gifts are notes and cards from the students, which I think every author cherishes.
This week, along with a bow-tied stack of cards, Sharon gave me the lovely Willow Tree figure
in the picture above. This one is called “Happiness” – and Sharon said it made her think of me. Well, that just fills me with joy, and much appreciation.
Willow Tree creator Susan Lordi says of this figurine, “I hope this piece is very open to viewer interpretation. For me, it is the pure joy that comes from creating — in all of its forms. A side note … I love bluebirds.”
I told Sharon the birds were appropriate, as the last thing I’d done before sunset the night before was fish a newly-fledged robin out of our pool. I scooped it up and set it on the ground, where, after sitting there not knowing what to do for a time while its parents fretted, it eventually hopped toward Mom, who escorted it up the hillside and out of my sight.
This baby was the last one to leave this year’s nest in the camellia bush. A big baby bird, I’d already mentioned to it that it was about time. That mama and papa robin had worked tirelessly harvesting gobs of worms to take to the nest day in and day out.
Obviously we have empty nests on our minds these days. My husband said he even got misty watching some baby robins outside at work the other day. They were learning to fly. So, let’s have a bird poem today, in which Miss Emily so beautifully renders the image of flight:
A Bird Came Down the Walk
by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,
And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass—
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—
He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his Velvet Head
Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home—
Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam—
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon
Leap, plashless as they swim.
for more information about Emily Dickinson and links to many of her poems.
Now, flap your wings and glide on over to Reflections on the Teche
, where the thoughtful and talented Margaret has the Poetry Friday Roundup!
Also, if you want to see some gorgeous oil paintings, I featured works by my fellow-brand-new-empty-nester-to-be friend and amazing artist Ann Goble on my artsyletters blog
June 6, 2013
(Note: the book cover now is covered with many wonderful award stickers! Here's a former library copy, so you can see the art - ©Cathie Bleck...)
Happy Caribbean-American Heritage Month! (Click here
for the Presidential proclamation.)
Today I have a poem from the amazing Margarita Engle
, from her book, Hurricane Dancers
, (Henry Holt, 2011). This novel in verse presents poems in five voices – our main character, Quebrado (the “broken one” – half native Cuban and half Spanish), survives a hurricane and shipwreck in the dawning of the 16th century to escape his life of slavery. The ship’s ruthless captain, Bernardino de Talavera (the first pirate in the Caribbean) survives, too, as does his cruel captive, former conquistador/governor of Venezuela, Alonso de Ojedo. Quebrado befriends Caucubú, daughter of a Ciboney chieftan, and the young fisherman she loves, Naridó.
Of course, these stories and fates become intertwined, and Quebrado must make decisions that affect them all and determine his own character. Around the middle of the book, he shares this poem:
Quebrado (p. 63, Hurricane Dancers)
Storms follow me
wherever I go.
the sky looks so heavy
that I would not
if black clouds
sank to earth
and grew roots
in moist soil,
creating a wispy forest
of drifting air.
Mysteries follow me
wherever I go.
©Margarita Engle. All rights reserved. (Many thanks to the author for permission to post.)
I borrowed the characters from this book on Wednesday for a kind of quirky, visual-art oriented writing exercise
for my monthly column over at Janice Hardy’s THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY. Because I was so taken by the art and design of this book, I also sang its praises on my art blog this week
with a link to more incredible art from cover artist Cathie Bleck.
I know all this just whets your appetite. Perhaps like me you’ve long been enchanted by Margarita’s award-winning picture book, Summer Birds
, illustrated by the oh-so-gifted Julie Paschkis
. Or perhaps you were captivated by The Surrender Tree
, a Newbery Honor Book and winner of the Pura Belpré Award, the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Honor, to name a few. The Poet Slave of Cuba
has a long trail of awards as well, and then there are her dog books, her NPR segments, her haiku (ahhhh…!) – Well, have no fear. Margarita has agreed to return for an interview sometime soon, so stay tuned.
Today, turn your dial over to The Opposite of Indifference
, where the multi-talented Tabatha has our Poetry Friday Roundup. But wait, there’s more: If you have some bicycle-themed poetry (or art) that you’d like to submit to an upcoming contest in Flagler County, Fla., follow today’s tropical breezes to my post
with information from my friend and Highlights Founders Workshops poetry alum, Stephanie Salkin. (& Thanks, Stephanie!)
June 4, 2013
From a 1998 (!) sketchbook ; Fripp Island, S. C. ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
I met Stephanie Salkin at my first Highlights Founders
poetry workshop up in Honesdale, Penn., and I'm happy we've stayed in touch. Stephanie always has something fun going on, and she's very involved with a variety of creative endeavors in her home state of Florida.
She's chairing a poetry contest and asked me to pass along the information. There's an art contest, too - both on the theme of "bicycles." (I grew up in Florida, at least half of the time on a bicycle.) What a fun theme! The deadline is the end of this month, so get those wheels turning. Here's the scoop and contact info from Stephanie:
2013 Bicycle-Theme Poetry Art & Poetry Show
A bicycle-theme poetry competition will be held in conjunction with the Bicycle and Poetry Show inaugurated by the Gargiulo Arts Foundation (GAF) last July. This summer, the Flagler County Art League will co-sponsor the art and poetry event, to run July 13-August 3.
Both Hollingsworth Gallery and FCAL studio space will exhibit bicycle-theme art. In addition, winners of the bicycle-theme poetry competition will read their entries at FCAL during the opening reception, Saturday, July 13, at 7 p.m. (Judges will read aloud entries of those winners not able to be present.)
Copies of the poetry will also be on view in display books at both galleries.
FCAL’s Stephanie Salkin will chair the poetry portion of the event:
*Entrants may send up to three bicycle-theme poems: one poem for $5, three poems for $10. Checks should be made out to FCAL.
*Poems (any form) can be no longer than one page and must be typed in 12-point type. Please include three copies of each poem: two without your own name, only one with your name.
*Two qualified judges (TBA) will choose first, second and third place winners, who will receive monetary prizes and certificates, and two honorable mentions, which will receive certificates only, if the judges deem two poems worthy of such merit.
*All poetry entries and fees should be mailed to Stephanie Salkin’s attention at: Flagler County Art League, P.O. Box 352772, Palm Coast FL 32135-2772.
*In addition, a copy of each poem entered (including your name) must be emailed to Stephanie (firstname.lastname@example.org) for purposes of display printing.
*Deadline for receipt of poems is June 30, 2013.
If you have any questions, you can call Stephanie at (386) 693-4204. Also, visit FCAL’s Website: www.flaglercountyartleague.com.
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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!
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Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
National Council of Teachers of English
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