Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist

Hannah enjoying poetry workshop

(Scroll down this column for tags, archives and blogroll....)



Enjoy these Great
Children's Lit Blogs and Websites:

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

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: Joyce Sidman and some verse novelists, too!

January 3, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, authors, illustrators, book tracks, writing life

Happy New Year!

So maybe I haven’t put away the Christmas decorations yet, but I’ve started off the New Year with a couple of poetry posts on other blogs.

First, I was thrilled to be able to interview our most recent recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, Joyce Sidman, for the PACYA (Poetry Advocates for Children and Young Adults) blog.

I’ve admired Joyce’s work for a long time, and she kindly agreed to let me share a poem here today, too.

From one of my favorite books, the Newbery Honor-winning DARK EMPEROR & OTHER POEMS OF THE NIGHT, illustrated by printmaker Rick Allen (Houghton Mifflin, 2010), here is the opening poem:

Welcome to the Night

To all of you who crawl and creep,
who buzz and chirp and hoot and peep,
who wake at dusk and throw off sleep:
Welcome to the night.

To you who make the forest sing,
who dip and dodge on silent wing,
who flutter, hover, clasp, and cling:
Welcome to the night!

Come feel the cool and shadowed breeze,
come smell your way among the trees,
come touch rough bark and leathered leaves:
Welcome to the night.

The night’s a sea of dappled dark,
the night’s a feast of sound and spark,
the night’s a wild, enchanted park.
Welcome to the night!

©Joyce Sidman. All rights reserved.

To read the PACYA interview, click here, and to peruse Joyce’s wonderful website brimming with resources for readers, writers, and teachers, click here.

Second, my monthly poetry column on Janice Hardy’s terrific blog for fiction writers, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY, has moved to the first Wednesday of the month this year. (Though it won’t appear in Feb.) This week we’re exploring verse novels, and I have some amazing book excerpts and insights from three wonderful, award-winning authors: Eileen Spinelli, April Halprin Wayland, and
Susan Taylor Brown.

I’m so thankful to each of these poets – Joyce, Eileen, April, and Susan – for sharing their gifts and their thoughts in this bright New Year.

For more great poetry, go visit the multipl-y gifted Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme for today’s Poetry Friday Roundup.


  1. January 4, 2013 8:31 AM EST
    Good stuff, Robyn! Keep the poetic joy coming! xo
    - Irene Latham
  2. January 4, 2013 9:43 AM EST
    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! :) e
    - Elizabeth Dulemba
  3. January 4, 2013 10:06 AM EST
    Happy New Year, Irene! Thanks - and you, too!

    Hi, e - thanks for coming by. Happy New Year!
    - Robyn Black
  4. January 4, 2013 2:06 PM EST
    Hi, Robyn. What a beautiful poem, honoring the beauty of nighttime sounds and those who love them. I am off to read the verse novelists post!
    - Laura Shovan
  5. January 4, 2013 2:20 PM EST
    Hi, Laura - thanks! I love the whole DARK EMPEROR book; Joyce makes all the wonders of the night come to life.
    - Robyn Hood Black
  6. January 4, 2013 3:33 PM EST
    Hi Robyn,
    What a great start to the year! Thanks for the poem. Sometimes repetition is just right. I'm heading over to read your blog about verse novels.
    Happy New Year!
    - Liz
  7. January 4, 2013 7:07 PM EST
    Beautiful poem! Welcome to the night, indeed!
    - Ruth (
  8. January 4, 2013 7:09 PM EST
    Happy New Year, Liz! Glad you liked the post.

    Hi, Ruth - I love everything about that poem. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  9. January 4, 2013 8:07 PM EST
    Love this poem and all of Welcome to the Night. Also loved your interview on Poetry at Play. Great interview with Joyce Sidman. I'm a huge fan.
    - B.J. Lee
  10. January 4, 2013 8:16 PM EST
    So amazing to be able to interview so many lovely authors and poets. I, too, am a huge fan of Joyce Sidman. I fell in love with her Song of the Water Boatman and other Pond Poems. :) Will look at that interview you had with her. Have a glorious new year, dearest beautiful Robyn!
    - Myra from GatheringBooks
  11. January 4, 2013 9:33 PM EST
    Lovely poem. I so enjoyed your interview with Joyce Sidman. How wonderful that we have these forums to learn from what others share.
    - Joyce Ray
  12. January 4, 2013 10:25 PM EST
    Joyce's poem fits my life well lately. Since I moved, I thought I would miss wildlife since my old home was beside a park. Earlier this week, I went out late to put out the trash barrel & there came a coyote walking down the middle of the street! I know they're here, even in the city, but it was like a sign that I wouldn't miss a thing here in my new home. This 'night' poem is perfect, just as I would imagine. Thanks, Robyn.
    - Linda Baie
  13. January 4, 2013 10:48 PM EST
    I love 'Dark Emperor.' I gave the book to my grandson for Christmas. He's only four so he didn't appreciate the poetry as much as his grandma did/does, but I figured it was a book he could grow with... eventually enjoying the poetry and the fact sidebars. At Christmas we had fun exploring the gorgeous lino-print illustrations, looking for those almost-hidden creatures of the night! Thanks Robyn and Joyce!
    - Violet N.
  14. January 5, 2013 9:30 AM EST
    Hi, B.J! Thanks for visiting. Welcome to the Night was so deserving of its accolades. Thanks for the kind words about the interview.

    Myra, Happy New Year! Joyce's writing is so wonderful. Thank you for checking out both blogs and keeping up the amazing work on yours. I'm a devoted fan of your many talents!

    Hi, Joyce! It's hard to imagine life without all the writer/book/poetry blogs and websites now - as you say, so much to learn! Happy New Year.

    Hello, Linda. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. I am nodding along as we've contemplated moving, and I'd also have to have some kind of wildlife connection. Those coyotes are among the most adaptable animals around. Happy New Year in your new home.

    Violet, hi! What a terrific grandmother you are. Growing up with the words and pictures in Dark Emperor will be a wonderful thing for your grandson. How fun to go on a hunt for those creatures in the illustrations! This was Rick Aiken's first children's book, I believe, and I'm thrilled he and Joyce are working on another one.
    - Robyn Black
  15. January 5, 2013 11:25 AM EST
    Thanks, Robyn.

    I especially loved these lines because they put me even closer into that wonderful night:

    come smell your way among the trees,
    come touch rough bark and leathered leaves:
    - Steve Peterson
  16. January 5, 2013 12:12 PM EST
    Steve, Welcome, and thanks for visiting! That "leathered leaves" phrase is one of my favorites, too.
    - Robyn Black
  17. January 6, 2013 6:16 AM EST
    You HAVE been busy!
    - Mary Lee
  18. January 6, 2013 2:02 PM EST
    Hi, Mary Lee - Ha! At least we've finally gotten the decorations down this weekend... ;0) Happy New Year!
    - Robyn Black
  19. January 6, 2013 7:07 PM EST
    One of my favorite poets! And thanks for the interview, too, Robyn.
    - Tara
  20. January 7, 2013 11:37 AM EST
    Mine too, Tara - thanks for popping in!
    - Robyn Black

Quick Clicks

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.
Author visits
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!