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 26, 2015
Greetings, Poetry Folks!
I hope you have had a wonderful holiday with people you love. The holidays can be tricky - virtual hugs if that wasn't the case for you this year. We have been counting our blessings visiting with family.
In fact, we're still visiting, so today I'm offering just a bit of fun from the studio. I've been drooling over HILL'S MANUAL - SOCIAL AND BUSINESS FORMS: GUIDE TO CORRECT WRITING (Chicago, Moses Warren & Co. Publishers, 1880), with all its Victorian flourish and advice for every communication situation, per Victorian standards. I'll be making lots of art from it I'm sure, and for starters I've made a small shadow box (6 inches by 6 inches) with a found poem for writers. (Above - Click here to view on Etsy
Here's the "revealed" text - more of an adage than a poem, perhaps, but I hope you enjoy!
that will entertain and
faculties of mind are employed
Kind of a 19th-Century-inspired expression of our modern maxim encountered at writing conferences, on blogs, etc.: BIC ("Butt in Chair")! Though maybe after a big meal this week, we need to temper that discipline with an extra walk or two.
Enjoy, I hope, a long weekend! And FIND lots of great poetry to keep you company at Carol's Corner
with our delightful Poetry Friday host.
November 19, 2015
Greetings, Poetry Friday-ers! A special treat today. We often feature the fine work of young haiku poets at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Ga., under the guidance of Language Arts teacher and seasoned haiku poet Tom Painting
. Today, we welcome one of Tom's colleagues, someone who has embraced haiku as something much more than "a nature poem written in 5-7-5."
That was initially the way Becca McCauley
taught haiku, but when she learned there was more to it, she embraced the opportunity to learn and even to write some herself. In fact, Tom recently initiated a monthly haiku "contest" for Paideia students, staff and parents called HaiC (Haiku Challenge), and she has been recognized each of the first three months.
“One of the greatest challenges the haiku community faces is getting informed and inspiring educators on board,” Tom says. "Becca is an inspiration to her 5/6 graders. All 32 of her students write and enter the contest."
We asked Becca a few questions about her exploration of haiku, but first - let's enjoy a handful of her poems.
the scarecrow’s shadow stretches
on a barren field
the warm, damp night
skitter across the lake
the moon's reflection shattered
littering the lawn
under the full moon,
a newborn's head emerges
Poems©Becca McCauley. All rights reserved.
Now, a few questions for Becca....
How has your understanding of haiku changed over the last year or so?
[Tom] has definitely honed my understanding, especially the idea of it being conversational in tone, and the importance of including, rather than excluding articles, along with the emphasis on showing rather than telling.
What do you most enjoy about reading and or writing haiku?
I love playing with words, both meanings and sounds, and I just love words in general. I probably enjoy writing haiku more than reading it, but I love hearing the kids' haiku, and I really enjoy ones that surprise me. I am very impressed by some of their contributions.
How does writing haiku benefit your students?
Again, playing with words and vocabulary and sounds is just a great thing to do. It's creative, it's accessible, and it is not too intimidating. Experimenting with synonyms is also both fun and beneficial. We actually do not do all that much with the haiku -- I would like to carve out a bit more time here and there for them to share with each other. I love being able to see another side of a kid -- and the twists and turns of how they are thinking and feeling.
What is the biggest challenge to either you or your students in writing haiku?
Fitting in the time to talk about it -- we are doing so much already....
To sum up with one of our favorite questions for haiku poets: Why haiku?
I have really been enjoying working with haiku this year because life is incredibly busy and hectic. It is very relaxing to mull over words, and it can be done in the odd moments here and there. I have to do this series of stretches and back exercises every morning, and it can be tedious, though it is definitely essential. There is one stretch which does not involve counting or much mental focus, and I often find myself in those moments pondering the next haiku topic, searching for images in my mind that might inspire me, and starting to manipulate words and phrases that might fit together to bring the images to life. Haiku is short enough to capture in some of the small moments that I have available. Also, each word really matters, and I enjoy that idea greatly.
Becca also likens haiku to photography.
I love photography, and sometimes haiku fits it with those mental snapshots, even though they are still in slight motion because they are breathing.
This world is so fast paced, and I think it is really healthy for both me and the kids to have to slow down and and focus on a single moment.
I love to see the kids' humor when it comes out in their haiku as well as their poetic side. The twist, the "aha" moment, allows for that, another reason I enjoy the twist. I also love trying myself to figure out how to arrange the lines to best set up a scene to make an aha possible.
Many thanks to Tom and Becca for this inside peek into how a teacher has embraced haiku, for herself and for her lucky students!
For more inspiring poets and poems this week, be sure to check out the poetic cornucopia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect
, where the ever-delightful Tricia has the Roundup.
Pssst.... PS - HUGE thanks to our amazing Jama for featuring me and everything you'd ever want to know about artsyletters Monday at Jama's Alphabet Soup Thanks to so many of you for stopping by!
November 12, 2015
Greetings! It's the time of year when my artsyletters
studio sports piles of projects in progress (like that alliteration?) and I'm tempted to place want ads in the North Pole newspaper for extra elf hands. But, alas, there are only mine... and they're keeping busy.
I've got some PF posts in the works, but for this week I'll just point in the direction of Irene's 10th Blogiversary "Wild" Celebration, in which she hosted a roundup of wild poetry on Monday. In case you missed it, or didn't get around to all the posts, here's my contribution
(or scroll below) and here's the link to all the links at Irene's
For the big ol' Poetry Friday Roundup, crawl, hop, dart or fly on over to Wee Words for Wee Ones
, where Bridget the Brave is making her PF Host debut! Have a wild weekend....
November 8, 2015
HAPPY TENTH BLOGIVERSARY to my dear friend and fellow poet, IRENE LATHAM
! Couldn't resist the party at her place this week to honor this milestone - she's hosting a Wild Roundup
(like the Poetry Friday Roundup) around the theme of her "One Little Word" for this year - wild
I wrote an original poem with a nod to one of the most inspiring folks I know - thanks for all you generously share with the world, Irene. Here's to the next 10 years! XO
A Little Wild
You have a little wild in you.
How do I know? I do too.
When we stop to look around,
hush ourselves to hear each sound….
You have a little wild in you.
Curl of leaf, expanse of sky –
read each scent that shimmies by.
You have a little wild in you.
I do too.
©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
Check out all the wild posts here at Irene's Roundup.
Wishing everyone a wild and wonderful week....
November 5, 2015
-- Oh! An elephant from my childhood is calling. Perhaps you knew him, too?
He's the hapless pachyderm who got all wrapped up in a phone call in Laura Elizabeth Richards's "Eletelephony." Raise your hand if you remember when telephones had actual cords....
This poetic companion is going to join me Saturday in Augusta, where I'll be doing a children's poetry presentation at the Georgia Literary Festival
. (Fingers crossed - it's outside, and there's a 90 percent chance of rain!) I'm looking forward to driving over with my author buddy Kami Kinard
and squeezing in a visit with an Augusta friend, too. We lived there for nine years while my hubby was in med school and residency; both our babies were born there.
I look forward to sharing lots of poetry with whoever shows up - especially some found poems from THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK
(Georgia Heard, ed., Roaring Brook) and several from THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY series
(Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, eds., Pomelo Books).
But back to "Eletelephony" - did you know that Laura Elizabeth Richards (1850-1943), in addition to writing 90 books (!) and many children's poems, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1917 for co-authoring a biography of her mother, Julia Ward Howe, writer of the words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic
? Her father, Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, was an abolitionist and founded the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind. Laura E. Richards left a rich and varied body of literary works.
I didn't know any of that when, as a young child, I first read "Eletelephony." I just know that this poem tickled my fancy and helped open the door for a lifelong love of wordplay, as I'm sure it did for lots of folks throughout the decades. Enjoy!
by Laura Elizabeth Richards
Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)
For more fancy-tickling poetry today, please visit the lovely Katya at Write. Sketch. Repeat.
for this week's Roundup. [And apologies for being a bit out of the loop lately; last week it was my privilege to share poetry and all kinds of writing with about 2,000 students in and around Cobb County as part of Cobb EMC's Literacy Week. I look forward to getting back home Saturday night and staying put for a while, at least until the holidays!]
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