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
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

Have You Hugged Your Wolf Today?

October 20, 2011

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, wolves, Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, animals

To celebrate Wolf Awareness Week (Oct. 16-22), I thought I’d celebrate with some pack-related poetry. I have the privilege of volunteering with a couple of wolves at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Ga. In light of the news this week, I’m sure I’m not the only one with a heavy heart for the senseless loss of animal life in Ohio, and also for the law enforcement officers who had a terrible but unavoidable task to protect the public. Surely laws in that state regarding the keeping of exotic animals will be strengthened now.

If you happen to be in north Georgia, I'll be presenting a session for kids featuring wolf information next month on Sat., Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. at the Dahlonega Literary Festival.

Here are a couple of poems I wrote a while back about the captive wolves I’ve been honored to know.


The Bottom Line


Sit, Luna.

I hold a piece of cheese above her nose.
Her back end hits the ground.

But she knows and I know:

A wolf only sits if she wants to.


© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved


Butterfly Dance


Yellow butterfly
flits and floats outside the pen.

Gray wolf leaps and prances inside -
matching movements,
up and down,
following buttery wings.

La Mariposa.

Musky, muscular,
magnificent
she-wolf
dances

the

Butterfly Dance.


© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved

Note: In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes describes a solo tribal dance in New Mexico called the “Butterfly Dance.” Traditionally, Hopi youth perform a social dance called “The Butterfly Dance” in late summer.

Attempts are ongoing in the Southwestern United States to reintroduce the Mexican Wolf, the most genetically distinct type of gray wolf. Efforts have not met with the same success as the reintroduction of wolves in the greater Rockies. For updated USFWS Mexican wolf information, click here and here.

And for wonderful poetry, go see what Jama’s got cookin’ for the
Poetry Friday Roundup.

How's Your Wolf Awareness?

October 18, 2011

Tags: wolves, Chestatee Wildlife Preserve

© Robyn Hood Black
It's

WOLF AWARENESS WEEK!
October 16-22, 2011

I celebrated with Luna and Rio at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve today. Their coats are starting to thicken up for colder weather.

If you love wolves, check out all the great online resources at the International Wolf Center. There are pages for kids, teachers, and wolf enthusiasts of all ages.

And, if you're in north Georgia, I'll be presenting a session with wolf information next month at the Dahlonega Literary Festival on Sat., Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. at the Children's Stage.

Check back Friday for a wolfy Poetry Friday post.

Happy Birthday to a Zedonk, and more...

July 22, 2011

Tags: poetry, Poetry Friday, Chestatee Wildlife Preserve

This week, at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve where I volunteer, we’re celebrating the first birthday of the zoo’s most unusual resident – a lovely zedonk (half-donkey, half-zebra) whose birth last summer surprised even the zoo’s founder and manager, C. W. Wathen. “Pippi” is a big hit with visitors and probably getting plenty of handfuls of corn this weekend from young admirers.

In her honor, here’s part of a poem about her long-ago ancestor:

from “Similar Cases” by
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

There was once a little animal,
No bigger than a fox,
And on five toes he scampered
Over Tertiary rocks.
They called him Eohippus,
And they called him very small,
And they thought him of no value --
When they thought of him at all;
For the lumpish old Dinoceras
And Coryphodon so slow
Were the heavy aristocracy
In days of long ago.


Said the little Eohippus,
“I am going to be a horse!
And on my middle finger-nails
To run my earthly course!
I’m going to have a flowing tail!
I’m going to have a mane!
I’m going to stand fourteen hands high
On the psychozoic plain!”


Click here to read the rest of this (long) poem.

For even more poetic animal fun, check out Julie Larios’s YELLOW ELEPHANT (illustrated by Julie Paschkis) and Douglas Florian’s MAMMALABILIA (both from Harcourt) and for truly unusual creatures, Jack Prelutsky’s BEHOLD THE BOLD UMBRELLAPHANT (Greenwillow, illustrated by Carin Berger). And for more great poetry, visit Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for the Poetry Friday Roundup!

A Pack of Poets

June 16, 2011

Tags: poetry, SCBWI, Southern Breeze, authors, Poetry Friday, school visits, Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, wolves, workshops

SCBWI Southern Breeze Poetry Retreat with Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Twenty poets gathered in the north Georgia mountains last weekend for an SCBWI Southern Breeze poetry I coordinated with special guest,
Rebecca Kai Dotlich. That thunderstorm mentioned at the end of last week’s post from Rebecca’s poem visited us more than once at the Center for New Beginnings
in Dahlonega, Georgia. We enjoyed sessions with Rebecca, who said her favorite poems offer a *surprise*, wonderful food and fellowship, individual critiques, and sparks of new poems begging to be written.

For more information and pictures, visit my POETRY page and also attendee Jean Matthew Hall’s blog. Doraine Bennett blogged as well at Dori Reads.

This week I also had the privilege of speaking to some upper elementary and middle school writers at Lakeview Academy’s Writers Camp! What a talented group of creative young people.

But wait – there’s more. It was also Zoofari Camp this week at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, and I popped in over there, too. I love talking about writing and also wolf education, so it was a great experience. I even brought Rio down from his pen to say hello to the campers (from a safe distance!). See pictures on my WOLVES and STUDENT GALLERY pages.

Back to the retreat – Rebecca was a terrific good sport out in the woodsy, rustic environment – particularly considering we learned “woodsy” and “rustic” are not really her thing! I have to say I loved running half-wild through the woods as a kid, and I guess I’ve never outgrown it.

Thinking about that, I dug out this poem written soon after I started volunteering with wolves three years ago. (I know – it’s a little strange! But it still applies.)


"Breath of Fresh Hair"


Sometimes the wolf smell lingers
on my skin or in my hair –

I like catching a whiff on my sleeve
in the grocery store.

I hate to wash it off in the shower.

It’s not a scent for civilized company.

It’s the smell of secrets,

of murky mist –

heady and heavy,

wild and holy.


©Robyn Hood Black
All rights reserved.

Please visit the Poetry Friday Roundup at
Check it Out!

Summer Camp at Chestatee Wildlife Preserve

May 24, 2011

Tags: Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, wolves, animals

Just a quick shout-out to folks who might know youngsters in the Dahlonega, Ga., area who are crazy about wild animals - There's about a week left to sign up for the "Zoofari" Summer Camp at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve. The camp is for kids ages 7 to 12 and is scheduled for June 13- 18, 9:30 to 3:00 each day. Click on over to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve website and find the "Summer Camp" tab to learn the details.

I'll be there sometime during the week presenting a session on wolves. Arrwooooooo!

Check out Elizabeth Dulemba's Coloring Pages!

August 10, 2010

Tags: authors, illustrators, Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, zedonk

My friend and award-winning author-illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba took a special liking to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve's new baby zedonk. So today, for the Coloring Page she offers each Tuesday on her website, she has an adorable picture of a zebra! (And a picture and links to some of the online zedonk coverage.) Check out www.dulemba.com

But first, read what she has to say about why she offers these fun, free coloring pages to her happy followers:

(more…)

Link to Interview

August 2, 2010

Tags: wolves, Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, writing life

Thanks to Mayra Calvani for posting an interview with yours truly on her great blog!

http://mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com/2010/07/interview-with-childrens-author-and.html

Check out her website, too.

Life is full of Surprises

July 28, 2010

Tags: wolves, Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, zedonk, animals

Mine certainly has been lately! This past week, I found out the Intervisual Animal Vault series has been discontinued, including WOLVES. I have some copies I'll reserve for school visits, since I like to donate one of each of my books to school media centers. But I'm sad it's out of print. However, I'm happy that I could help collect and send off some copies for use in a very worthwhile and innovative arts in education program in West Virginia.

In cheerier news (is cheerier a word?), take a look at the photo to the left. (more…)

Awrrroooooo!

July 21, 2010

Tags: Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, wolves, writing life

Happy July!

You're probably thinking I crawled into a wolf den to hide for a couple of months. Not really, though maybe not that far off....

First, I've been continuing to heal with this torn Achilles. Thanks for the well wishes. I'm doing much, much better - even driving now - which is a relief to my chauffeuring teenagers and to myself! Still a month or two of physical therapy and such to go. (more…)

Happy Birthday to Juno and Luna!

April 11, 2010

Tags: Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, wolves

Juno and Luna, the two gray wolves I volunteer with at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Ga., turn two today!


I made them a birthday cake this week; I'll post a couple of pictures on my WOLVES page as soon as I get my new computer all connected. (Can you say, always remember to back up your stuff? At least I had backed up a good bit.)
Happy Spring to you and your pack....

Frisky Fall Wolves...

November 6, 2009

Tags: Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, wolves

I have the amazing privilege of volunteering at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Ga., - http://www.chestateewildlife.com - with Juno and Luna, the wolves whose pictures you see here and there on my website. At a year-and-a-half old now, they are magnificent creatures.

When I visit them, we generally work on manners (socialization), and I also enjoy observing their antics. Today they were particularly playful. (more…)

Wolf Awareness Week

October 12, 2009

Tags: wolves, Chestatee Wildlife Preserve

Awrrrooooooooooooooo - It's Wolf Awareness Week!

Oct. 11 - 17, 2009 - If you're not familiar with the amazing online resources offered by the International Wolf Center, this week would be a good time to discover them! http://www.wolf.org . You can tune in to the webcams and perhaps catch a glimpse of wolf activity in real time; link to current headlines from all over about wolf issues; or check out the educational resources for kids and teachers, just for starters.

On the local front, on my WOLVES page, I posted some pictures of the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve's Juno and Luna from last week. I've added a picture or two every month since they were four-week-old pups. They turned a year and a half old this weekend!

Happy Birthday, Juno and Luna!

April 15, 2009

Tags: Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, wolves

The two wolves at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve (www.chestateewildlife.com) are celebrating their first birthday this month. Volunteering with them has been one of the highlights of my life! They teach me something every week.

Happy Birthday, Juno and Luna!

(Click on my WOLVES page to see pictures of them growing up this past year.)

Zoofari Polo Party

January 31, 2009

Tags: Chestatee Wildlife Preserve

The folks at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve are putting together a Sunday afternoon of family fun and fundraising at Chukkar Farm and Polo Club in Alpharetta, Ga! It will be Sunday May 3rd, 2009 from 1 to 5 p.m. I'll post a reminder closer to the date, but now is the time to join the effort (more…)

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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