Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet





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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 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: ONE SMALL CANDLE: Enlightening Haiku from Young Paideia Poets

August 25, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, student work


It's always a pleasure to share the work of young haiku poets from The Paideia School in Atlanta. You've grown to look forward to our Student Haiku Poet of the Month each school year, n'est-ce pas? Have no fear - we'll be doing that again this year!

This week, however, is a special treat, featuring work from some talented fifth-graders. They are in sixth grade now, but these poems were composed for a project this past spring.

Creative writing teacher Tom Painting teamed up with Kate Murray and her 5th grade chorus class at The Paideia School in Atlanta.

“The idea was to have students perform their haiku to music as part of the spring choral concert” he says. “The book, one small candle, features one haiku from each of the 40 students in the class."

Stanford M. Forrester (Sekiro), publisher of haiku, senryu and other small poems at bottle rockets press, designed the small book and published it under buddha baby press.

It features the lovely line art of Ajanta Ferrell on the cover.

The title comes from this entry by Audrey Felske:


one small candle
warms the room
cold shivers down my back



Here is a larger sampling of the many fine poems:



sunset glowing
cows in the field
chewing their cud


Sean Zheng



autumn afternoon
sun burning
the golden field


Duncan Kelly



autumn
wrapped in a blanket
by the candlelight


Morgan Cobb



autunm day
golden leaves fall
on the dirt road


Luna McCauley



leaves fall
I sweep them
from my shoulders


Reid Celestin


In addition to the poems above, the following four haiku received recognition in the United Nations International School Haiku Contest this year:



smell of pine
lingering in the air
faint whisper of the woods


Ajanta Farrell



winter’s night
an owl hoots
through the silence


Jesse Chang-Friedan



the flower
opening up
shared secrets


Emma Delman



winter’s end
ice on the river
gives way


Sean Zheng


All poems © their respective authors. Posted with permission.

Congratulations to each student poet, whether highlighted here today or not. Your haiku warms the room and helps light the darkness!

For poetry of all temperatures today, please visit the incredible Sylvia at Poetry for Children for this week’s Roundup. Sylvia has recently returned from South Africa, where she’s been sharing and receiving all kinds of poetic light.

Poetry Friday: PFAC and "Thrift Stories"

August 20, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, Poetry Friday anthologies, poetry, ponderings


You celebrated on Monday, right? National Thrift Shop Day, August 17?

If you had your Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (PFAC) handy, compiled by the thrifty and wonderful Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, perhaps you turned to pages 224-5 and read my buddy April Halprin Wayland's delightful "Box for the Thrift Shop."

I'm happy to share that a poem of mine continues the Thrift Shop celebration over at poetrycelebrations.com this month, the site from Pomelo Books dedicated to this year-long poetic treasure chest. (Janet and Sylvia have included bonus "transmedia" poems on the website from a baker's dozen-or-so poets, designed to extend a particular holiday and offer a different perspective.)


      Thrift Stories


     Ding says the bell.
     We walk through the door
     to treasure hunt in our favorite store.
     Look! A toy I haven’t seen before.

     It isn’t new,
     but it’s new to me.
     Like this jacket, these books, this pitcher for tea.
     We want to find something; what will it be?

     Each of these things
     has a story to tell.
     Recycled, donated, cleaned up to sell –
     We’ll pick something special and love it as well!



     ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.



You can find both April's poem and my poem here - just look for the cute bear! And check out the home page to begin a year of journeying through highlighted poems in the PFAC.

For a little background, several Poetry Friday folks shared some PFAC love when this latest anthology came out just in time for National Poetry Month in April. Janet and Sylvia were special guests on my blog, too: click here for the interview. A little teddy bear (Mr. Cornelius) tells me more PFAC celebrations have come to a blog near you - Jama's Alphabet Soup!

Now, even if you didn't actually throw a thrift store party this week, do their doors beckon you to enter? What is your favorite thrift shop find?

My latest favorite is the small pewter pitcher in the photo. I found it on a top shelf at a church thrift store here in Beaufort, during a treasure hunting afternoon with a dear friend, so the memory AND the little pitcher are things I now cherish. It's about 6 1/2 inches tall and has the loveliest soft patina. I wonder about its story.

It's my new favorite prop for my Etsy shop photos. Guess what it cost? One dollar. A dollar!

Many thanks to Catherine at Reading to the Core for rounding up lots of poetry for us this week - all priceless.

Poetry Friday - Back to School and Love in the Air...

August 13, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, ponderings, love


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

Many of you are just back in school - in classrooms and media centers - or getting ready to return to school, or sending kiddos off to school, or otherwise in the balance between summer and early fall - perhaps in your first year of retirement after years of teaching!

My daughter Morgan is hosting "Meet the Teacher" today for her second year wrangling third graders in upstate SC. AND (drumroll...) she's receiving her Masters in Education Saturday evening at Furman University. AND (fireworks, canons, bird murmurations...) she JUST GOT ENGAGED! It's been a busy week and a half. She and long-time honey Matt have their eyes and calendars set on a June wedding.

We were thrilled that Matt arranged to propose while we were all together last week, at the beach and bopping around Beaufort. I hid my camera in my purse and behind my back until he popped the question at the waterfront, then was so excited that I kept accidentally turning it off between snapping shots! But I still got a bunch of good pictures. Seth, who returns to the mountains next week for his junior year of college, took some great video. And Matt pulled off a surprise - hard to do with our aforementioned teacher-daughter, who is usually on top of everything.

In unrelated but coincidental news, Jeff was cleaning out some boxes and came across an old notebook from our early married days. I'd had the grand idea that we should start a collection of "Poems for Sundays," in which we'd each present the other with a poem or two each week. We seem to have kept up with that for, um, about three weeks.... But for some reason we still have that notebook from 1987.

We were hopeless romantics for sure. My first entry was Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous love song from Sonnets of the Portugese:


How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.



And, to my surprise and delight I'd included this the next week:


old pond
a frog leaps in
water's sound


Basho


Confession: I have NO recollection of any familiarity with Basho those few decades ago! Where did I come across his most famous poem? What spoke to me then? The seeds of my love affair with haiku in recent years were planted long ago, it seems.

Another poem I included was Wordsworth's "Intimations" Ode, still one of my favorite poems ever, and one which I quoted in response to a question our pastor posed recently about what we believe, but that's another story.

Jeff included a poem he found in the front of Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, author unknown. "Days when it all gets too busy/I drift away to the sea/or where sunshine filters through trees..." (anyone know this one?) and an excerpt from "These Things Are Ours" by Gwen Frostic - "The sun reflects upon the moon.../the moon upon my heart..." I looked her up online. Though she died in 2001, her block prints and words live on. I MUST go savor that website! On the "About Gwen" page, it reads:

Long before her death she wrote her epitaph:

"Here lies one doubly blessed.
She was happy and she knew it."


That's quite profound, if you think about it for a moment. And that's the kind of happiness I wish for Morgan and Matt, and for you!

For more great poetry to help you pivot toward new seasons of life, visit the incomparable Heidi - teacher, poet, and leader of the Mighty Minnows, at My Juicy Little Universe for our Poetry Friday Roundup.

Quick Clicks

Media
bio, photos, interview links, etc.
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.
Magazines
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
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!
Portfolio
illustrations