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

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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
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Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
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Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy

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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Dare to Dream with Jill Corcoran's Collection

February 15, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, book tracks, poetry, authors

Can’t believe it’s already Springmingle time again in our SCBWI Southern Breeze region . I’ve coordinated that conference off and on for several years, but this time I’m attending as a civilian. I look forward to meeting many great speakers, including multi-talented Jill Corcoran – agent, author, poet, anthologist, and busy mom of three for starters! (She’s also just launched A Path to Publishing, offering unique online workshop opportunities with agents, editors, art directors and other industry professionals.) A recent interview with Jill
was posted by my fellow Southern Breezer and friend Donny Bailey Seagraves.

Do you know Jill’s poetry collection released in the fall from Kane Miller, Dare to Dream… Change the World? With poems from thirty contributors, including some of the most revered names in the field, the book “pairs biographical and inspirational poems focusing on people who invented something, stood for something, said something, who defied the naysayers and not only changed their own lives, but the lives of people all over the world.”

Subjects include Jonas Salk, Temple Grandin, Christa McAuliffe, Steven Spielberg, Ashley Bryan, and many other past and contemporary voices and talents who chose to make a difference in the world.

J. Beth Jepson’s colorful illustrations are finely tuned to each poem’s theme, and they deftly unify pairs of poems across each spread.

Too many of my favorite poets are included to single them out, so let me whet your appetite with the whole list: Jill Corcoran, J. Patrick Lewis, Alice Schertle, David L. Harrison, Jane Yolen, Joan Bransfield Graham, Ellen Hopkins, Georgia Heard, Hope Anita Smith, Elaine Magliaro, Curtis L. Crisler, Janet S. Wong, Denise Lewis Patrick, Joyce Lee Wong, Jacqui Robbins, Julia Durango, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Lisa Wheeler, Hope Vestergaard, Carol M. Tanzman, Stephanie Hemphill, Alan Katz, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Marilyn Singer, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Joyce Sidman, Rose Horowitz, Bruce Coville, Kelly Ramsdell Fineman, Laura Purdie Salas.

One of my favorite spreads, big on blue sky and desert colors, celebrates Georgia O’Keeffe. It features some brief biographical information and a couple of O’Keeffe quotes, plus two poems. The first is “Painter” by Lee Bennett Hopkins, opening with these evocative lines:

Sky will always be.
So shall I.

The facing page features Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s “Cloudscape,” which includes:

In the center of a day,
each day, are lines upon a canvas,
an abstract image that floats
like a spirit somewhere…

*Please see this amazing post by Jama Rattigan at Alphabet Soup to read these two poems in their entirety, and for background information on this spread!*

The collection provides several opportunities for use in the classroom. While targeting 6th through 8th grade Common Core standards, it is easily adaptable for 3rd through 5th as well. Click here for the book’s website with teaching resources and a free30-page Common Core State Standards Curriculum guide. You’ll also find information about the Annual Dare to Dream Poetry Contest for Kids with prizes of donation of $1,500 worth of Kane Miller and Usborne books to the winner’s school library or a library of their choice plus an ebook to be published by Kane Miller of the top 30 poems.

I appreciate the potential of this anthology to connect with kids on so many levels. As someone who has written for a national character education curriculum the past few years, I like the cross-over avenues all these poems provide for character ed as well as for language arts, science, social studies, and more.

One of the poems with very strong kid appeal is Laura Purdie Salas’s

Just Like That

Clickin on this clip –
I wanna click like that,
      Be quick like that.
My footworks’ gonna be
sick like that.

I never saw a kid
Who could move like that,
      Groove like that,
I’ll show you what I got
I’m gonna prove like that.

You can find the rest of Laura’s poem here, along with links to other blogs and resources. Oh, and while you’re over there, make sure you click on Laura’spost for today – and add your hearty congratulations that she just won the CYBILS award for poetry for her collection, Bookspeak. (I featured it here.) Woo-hoo!

Then please enjoy the rest of today’s Poetry Friday offerings rounded up by the lovely and talented Linda at TeacherDance.

Note – Next Poetry Friday, I’ll be in a verse novels workshop with Nikki Grimes for our Springmingle conference. (I know, lucky me!) The conference runs til Sunday, so I’ll skip posting for Poetry Friday next weekend and will see you on March 1st. I’ll try to send out a tweet or two!


  1. February 15, 2013 1:09 AM EST
    So great to hear even more about this anthology, Robyn. I guess I only thought it was a 'contest' anthology, like the new calling for entries. It sounds very good, and does have an amazing group of poets and their poems to access. I like the words about O'Keefe and have seen Laura's poem before. It is wonderful, and a nice thing to celebrate for her. Thank you!
    - Linda Baie
  2. February 15, 2013 1:13 AM EST
    Thank you, Linda - and thanks so much for wearing the Host Hat today! We're in good hands. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  3. February 15, 2013 7:56 AM EST
    This looks like a wonderful collection- and you certainly can't go wrong with Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Laura Salas! So glad for Laura's win!
    - Iza Trapani
  4. February 15, 2013 8:20 AM EST
    Thank you for sharing this Robyn...I love the sassiest if Laura's poem. This looks like a wonderful book for my classroom library.
    - Tara
  5. February 15, 2013 8:24 AM EST
    My sixth-grade daughter really enjoyed the book and may enter the contest.
    - Liz
  6. February 15, 2013 9:19 AM EST
    Sounds like a terrific book, Robyn! Love the poems you shared.
    - Matt Forrest Esenwine
  7. February 15, 2013 9:54 AM EST
    Ooh I love Laura's poem, very clever. I've been meaning to get this one for ages, it's about the only new poetry book I haven't got. Thanks, Robyn!
    - Catherine Johnson
  8. February 15, 2013 10:00 AM EST
    Hi Robyn, so many great things here and so many backstories, I enjoyed reading through all of them. This book sounds like something I'd thoroughly enjoy, will look for this in our libraries. I was captivated by Lee Bennett Hopkins'
    "Sky will always be.
    So shall I."
    Hand on heart. Too beautiful. Have fun with your novel-in-verse workshop with Nikki Grimes! Yes, I am definitely green with envy! :)
    - Myra from GatheringBooks
  9. February 15, 2013 10:47 AM EST
    Nice to hear about this book again. It's a wonderful collection and I enjoyed featuring both Lee's and Rebecca's Georgia O'Keeffe inspired poems awhile back. So beautiful!

    Have fun at the Springmingle. Busy lady! And Nikki Grimes? Lucky you. :)
    - jama
  10. February 15, 2013 11:00 AM EST
    Hi, all!

    Iza, thanks for stopping by. You're definitely right about those two - and I'm thrilled for Laura, too.

    Tara - so many classroom connections! I also loved that sassy voice in Laura's.

    Liz, I hope she does! I imagine the poetic talent is multi-generational in your house. :0)

    Hi, Matt. You'd enjoy the collection - some great poetry in there.

    Catherine, thanks! (Your poetry shelves sound like mine... ;0) )

    Hello Dear Myra - thank you, and you'll love the book. If it's not in the library there, I wonder if you can order from Usborne from your side of the world?

    Jama - I'm SO glad you reminded me of your post! I just linked above. Thank you!!!
    - Robyn Black
  11. February 15, 2013 11:55 AM EST
    What a fabulous collection of poets in this book! You've done a great job in this post, giving us so many links and leads. Really enjoyed it!
    - Andromeda Jazmon
  12. February 15, 2013 12:04 PM EST
    Thank you, Andi! There have been some terrific posts/interviews about it, so in case anyone missed them (like I originally missed Jama's!), I wanted to include a few! :0)
    - Robyn Black
  13. February 15, 2013 12:32 PM EST
    The poems inspire us all to set our dreams in motion. Enjoy the Springmingle. I'm sorry that I can't go.
    - Patricia Cruzan
  14. February 15, 2013 12:44 PM EST
    What a terrific idea for a poetry collection! Thanks for sharing some of the poems.
    - Buffy Silverman
  15. February 15, 2013 2:09 PM EST
    Hi, Patricia! Love your phrase, "inspire us to set our dreams in motion." :0) We'll miss you at Springmingle.

    Buffy, howdy! Glad you enjoyed these snippets. I agree it's a great theme.
    - Robyn Black
  16. February 15, 2013 3:46 PM EST
    Lee and Rebecca's work and the O'Keeffe spread is one of my faves in the book as well! I'm sure it will be a great Springmingle... enjoy it, you civilian, you. xo
    - Irene Latham
  17. February 15, 2013 3:49 PM EST
    Thanks for sharing these delightful tidbits today, Robyn. You always post such gems. =)
    - Bridget Magee
  18. February 15, 2013 3:56 PM EST
    Hi, Irene - Thanks for popping in. Does that mean we won't see you in ATL this next weekend? If so, I'll have to wait til April to get my DON'T FEED THE BOY signed...! (Wait - I DID get it signed already. Thank you!)

    Bridget - glad you enjoyed! Thanks so much for the kind words. I still have to make the rounds for PF - there's always a fun gem at your place. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  19. February 16, 2013 8:48 AM EST
    I own this book. I keep seeing posts about this book. Now I need to dig into this book and really explore its riches!!
    - Mary Lee Hahn
  20. February 16, 2013 11:33 AM EST
    It's such a great book. Have fun at your workshop next week. I want to hear about it.
    - Jone
  21. February 16, 2013 12:07 PM EST
    Hi, Mary Lee! Thanks for visiting. Enjoy your digging!

    Jone, thanks - and I'll let you know how it goes; should be great. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  22. February 18, 2013 8:32 AM EST
    Thanks, Robyn, for sharing my youtube poem and for the congrats! Whee! DARE TO DREAM is such a terrific anthology, and Lee and Rebecca are two of my favorite poets. Lucky you, to work with Nikki. Her session on putting together a poetry collection back in 2006 or so at SCBWI National in L.A. was instrumental in my first poetry publication. She's amazing. Please tell her I say hi!
    - Laura Purdie Salas
  23. February 18, 2013 11:20 PM EST
    Will do, Laura! Thanks so much for coming by - it's always an honor sharing a bit of your work. And, um, CONGRATULATIONS!!! again! :0)
    - Robyn Black

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