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.
June 22, 2012
art and photo ©Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
All week long I’ve heard the eager peeps of three tiny wrens from their nest just outside our back door, where Mama built a nest in an abandoned flower pot on a ledge. I’ve watched her tirelessly fly hither and yon and back again with (presumably yummy?) wriggly snacks, pretty much all hours of the day.
A couple of years ago, we had front row seats for a wren family just outside the other back door. They inspired a poem which appeared in Gisele LeBlanc’s then-magazine-for-kids, Berry Blue Haiku
(now the name of her personal online journal
twig by leaf by twig by leaf
build a cozy home
©Robyn Hood Black
Berry Blue Haiku
, Sept. 2010
I’ve always admired the nest-building skill of wrens. This year’s architect was especially smart, making her snug little home under shelter and away from any harm, except for the inconvenience of humans walking by as we go in and out of the house.
Well, our friend William Wordsworth was admiring wren nests long before I was – back in the 1830s to be more precise, and at his home, Rydal Mount,
where the inspiration for the following poem was hatched.
A Wren’s Nest
by William Wordsworth
AMONG the dwellings framed by birds
In field or forest with nice care,
Is none that with the little Wren's
In snugness may compare.
No door the tenement requires,
And seldom needs a laboured roof;
Yet is it to the fiercest sun
Impervious, and storm-proof.
So warm, so beautiful withal,
In perfect fitness for its aim,
That to the Kind by special grace
Their instinct surely came.
And when for their abodes they seek
An opportune recess,
The hermit has no finer eye
For shadowy quietness.
These find, 'mid ivied abbey-walls,
A canopy in some still nook;
Others are pent-housed by a brae
That overhangs a brook.
There to the brooding bird her mate
Warbles by fits his low clear song;
And by the busy streamlet both
Are sung to all day long. …
to read the rest.
Finally, an anniversary tweet-out to my nest-building mate, Jeff, for 28 years of flocking together TODAY! :0)
Amy at The Poem Farm
is rounding up everything for the Poetry Friday flock. Thanks, Amy!
March 8, 2012
I’ve been happily immersed in haiku, as I’m thrilled to be presenting a "Haiku How-To" workshop at the 43rd Annual Children's Literature Conference
at The University of Georgia in a couple of weeks.
Also, the spring issues of several haiku journals are out, and I’m honored to have my work in a few of them. In addition to the Modern Haiku
link I shared week before last, I’ve got a poem each in The Heron's Nest,
and A Hundred Gourds
. (Click to read.)
The work of my terrifically talented friend and Berry Blue Haiku
editor Gisele LeBlanc is featured in these issues as well. Unbeknownst to each other, we both just received acceptances for the April issues of Acorn
as well as for Prune Juice
Gisele’s work also appears in Shamrock
this month, and I just received an acceptance from Chrysanthemum
for the April issue.
I’m humbled and thrilled about all of these. One thing I love about the English-language haiku journals is that they are published in so many different countries and the works of poets from all over the world can appear on the same page.
If you don’t have time to click and enjoy the haiku on the pages above, I’ll leave you with Gisele’s and my poems from the new issue of The Heron’s Nest
the big dipper
my dog keeps searching
for the right spot
Spanish moss dipped
Robyn Hood Black
My haiku formed itself as I walked in my folks’ Orlando neighborhood last year during a trip to my hometown. While I love the beauty of the north Georgia mountains, there’s something so singular about the nature of light in Florida that always seizes me when I visit. I grew up there and didn’t really notice this difference in the quality of the sky, the brightness of those tropical colors, until I moved away. The landscapes here near the Appalachians are lovely, but the colors are generally more subtle, the light less intense. And unless you head to southern and coastal parts of Georgia, we don’t have all that dramatic Spanish moss dripping from the trees.
For lots of great poetry to light up your day, visit the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by the delightful and insightful Myra at Gathering Books
. Be sure to wish her Happy Birthday!
November 11, 2011
There’s definitely a change in the air as we transition from fall to right-around-the-corner winter – does it inspire you to write a haiku or two? Today I’m welcoming back poet and editor Gisele LeBlanc (who writes as G. R. LeBlanc), to share some news (click here
for our earlier interview). She lives in Atlantic Canada with her husband, son, and canine companion. When not writing, she enjoys simple pleasures: reading, bird watching, and spending quiet evenings at home.
BREAKING NEWS - Friday, 11-11-11 - Gisele's entry into the First POLISH INTERNATIONAL HAIKU COMPETITION received a COMMENDATION today! This was from more than 300 entrants from 41 countries (myself included, but I'm thrilled for her) and the judge was Jane Reichhold. Click here to read her poem. WOO-HOO - OK, back to regularly scheduled programming....
Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in children’s publications as well as in haiku journals such as The Heron's Nest, frogpond, Haiku Presence, Notes from the Gean, A Hundred Gourds, Haiku Pix Review, Ambrosia: Journal of Fine Haiku, Prune Juice: Journal of Senryu and Kyoka, A Handful of Stones,
and Modern Haiku
First, let’s enjoy some of Gisele’s haiku:
after the squall
the tinkling concerto
**Notes from the Gean,
that sudden yearning
for something more
the sand etched
**Notes from the Gean,
the ripple of water
**Haiku Pix Review,
Poems ©G. R. LeBlanc
All rights reserved.
More of her haiku can be found here
As editor of the online blog journal, Berry Blue Haiku
, she’s extending a hand to those new to the field.
“I love discussing haiku and I look forward to helping other poets gain a deeper understanding of this wonderful form,” she says. “I hope that the knowledge and experience I have learned thus far can offer guidance to others who are just embarking on the haiku journey.”
Since I’m happily on the Berry Blue Haiku
team, I always learn something from Gisele’s comments. If you write haiku, remember we’re open to submissions! We appreciate each one, even those we turn down as not the right fit. I can tell you that the privilege of reading submissions and the privilege of Gisele’s insights have made me a stronger poet.
Here are the details and guidelines about Gisele’s new service:
I am pleased to announce that I am now offering critiques for poets new to haiku. These critiques, which will be conducted through email, should be viewed as an educational opportunity and will aim to offer basic guidance and tips on writing haiku. Also included will be a list of resources, links, and markets.
I would like to offer these critiques to the first four participants free of charge. Once the free critique is completed, participants will need to answer a few basic questions and offer feedback or suggestions on the service.
After these four free critiques have been given, the cost of this service will be 15.00 US or CAD (for 5 haiku), payable through PayPal.
If you are interested in the free critique, or have any questions, please email me at berrybluehaiku(at)gmail(dot)com
**Please note that critiqued haiku will not be eligible for publication consideration for the Berry Blue Haiku Journal; however, participants are welcome to submit other haiku.
1. Include your name as well as a contact email.
2. Send 5 haiku, pasted in the body of the email to berrybluehaiku(at)gmail(dot)com Also indicate whether your haiku are intended for adults or children.
3. Put HAIKU CRITIQUE REQUEST in your subject field.
**4. Feel free to include any questions you may have regarding haiku, as well as a brief paragraph on how you came to discover the form. (**optional)
5. Please allow up to 2 weeks for completed critiques.
Thank you, and I look forward to reading your work.
for a direct link to the critique service page.
And for more great poetry, click here
to visit April at Teaching Authors
for the Poetry Friday Roundup.
October 25, 2011
Over at the Berry Blue Haiku
blog, Gisele has posted today a rare and wonderful haiku feast if you want to broaden your horizons and indulge in fine writing from another culture.
, an award-winning and widely published haiku poet, translator and editor who lives in Ivanic Grad, has shared An Unmown Sky: An Anthology of Croatian Haiku Poetry
with us. You can click on the link in the post to read and/or download the pdf anthology, which includes works written between 1996 and 2007 by more than a hundred poets.
Here's the link again: Berry Blue Haiku
September 23, 2011
Georgia's state herpetologist John Jensen holds a king snake. I held her, too - she was quite lovely!
I am loving the Master Naturalist class I’m taking this fall at Elachee Nature Science Center
. Yesterday, the Georgia Department of Natural Resource’s chief herpetologist, John Jensen, led us through a litany of reptiles.
I didn’t realize my state housed the largest venomous snake in the U.S. (the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, which is also the world’s largest rattlesnake), as well as the smallest (the Pygmy Rattlesnake), as well as the largest snake in general in the U.S. (the gentle Eastern Indigo), as well as the smallest native snake (the Florida Crowned Snake) and the country’s smallest /shortest snake, though not originally a Georgia resident (the Braminy Blind Snake). Those lengths, by the way, range from 8-and-a-half feet or more to just six inches.
In searching for an appropriately slithery poem to share this week I stumbled upon one which does mention a snake, but is so much more. Here are a few lines from Jane Hirshfield:
excerpt from “The Envoy”
One day in that room, a small rat.
Two days later, a snake.
Who, seeing me enter,
whipped the long stripe of his
body under the bed,
then curled like a docile house-pet.
I don’t know how either came or left.
Later, the flashlight found nothing.
For a year I watched
as something—terror? happiness? grief?—
entered and then left my body. …
(For the complete poem, and a moving reading of it by the poet, please click here
Now, speaking of Jane Hirshfield, I’d also like to put in a good word for her wonderful article, “The Heart of Haiku,”
available on Kindle for just 99 cents. I downloaded it to my PC. It’s a terrific introduction to the life and poetry of Bashô.
And speaking of Bashô and haiku, let me offer a shout-out that submissions are welcome over at the Berry Blue Haiku
blog, now a general online journal celebrating fine haiku. Click here
Finally, for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup
, please wriggle your way to Picture Book of the Day
with Anastasia Suen.
August 15, 2011
If you haven't checked out the new Berry Blue Haiku
blog yet, this would be a great month to do it - Editor Gisele LeBlanc is giving away a special book of haiku written for children.
Simply titled Haiku
, it comes from talented haiku poet Kala Ramesh, illustrated by Surabhi Singh. It also comes from India and is not available in North America. [I'd love to have a copy myself!]
Click on over
to read a couple of the poems and leave a comment to enter!
July 1, 2011
the weathered softness
of old jeans
G. R. LeBlanc
The Heron's Nest
, Sept 2010
a band of blue jays
G. R. LeBlanc
Notes from the Gean
, Sept 2010
I’m thrilled to welcome poet and editor Gisele LeBlanc today! She’s checking in all the way from the eastern part of Canada, where she writes poetry and has created and edited two online digital magazines, the most recent one being Berry Blue Haiku, which featured haiku and related forms for children.
You’ll find her own poetry (with the byline of G. R. LeBlanc) in contemporary haiku journals such as The Heron’s Nest, Notes from the Gean, Ambrosia Journal, and A Handful of Stones.
Berry Blue Haiku (the magazine for kids) is no longer publishing, but Gisele will be featuring a simplified version of it—which will be targeted at a more general audience— on her blog. We’ll get to that in a minute.
First, so glad to have you, Gisele! Tell us a little about yourself. Did you always want to be a writer? (more…)
September 16, 2010
I'm thrilled to have a poem featured in the second issue of the new online haiku magazine for young readers, Berry Blue Haiku
. This digital publication is brimming with beautiful poetry, gorgeous art, and fun activities. The target audience is children through age 13, and from the simplest poems reinforcing colors and numbers to more subtle celebrations of the natural world, there is something for everyone (adults included!). (more…)
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