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
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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - The Poems I Swapped this Summer

September 14, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Summer Poem Swap, cats, haiku, found poems, found poetry


Thank Goodness it’s Poetry Friday – after quite a week.

I hope you and yours are safe and sound. We made it through Irma’s visit to the Lowcountry, though Monday here was wild and woolly. (Our house is on high ground. Unfortunately, some downtown businesses flooded, and there was so much damage to our local state park beach, Hunting Island, that after just barely opening after Hurricane Matthew’s devastation last October, it’s now closed for the rest of the year because of Irma’s destruction.)

With almost all of our family in Florida and North Georgia, we were glued to The Weather Channel and the cell phones. Evacuation here was not mandatory, and any friends and family we were originally planning to escape to ended up in Irma’s path! Most have power back now, though not all, and we are grateful for no injuries or serious property damage for our folks. Thoughts and prayers for so many who cannot say that this week, and for those in the Caribbean whose lives have been altered beyond recognition, and for those in Texas still reeling from Harvey.

Hurricane Season continues, but the calendar tells me we’re almost to fall. Today I’m sharing peeks of the three Summer Poem Swap poems I sent out. I’ve been so distracted this summer, I don’t think I took any pictures of the last two matted or framed! Pretend they're finished in the pictures. ;0)

For Joy Acey, I made a found poem taken from a wonderful vintage book she had given me a while back for my artistic pillaging, MARVELS OF ANIMAL LIFE by Charles Frederick Holder (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1885).


light givers,

like

moon

ripples of molten silver

appear

to

romancers of the pen in

words



I topped off the text with acrylic washes and a pearlized button, metal heart, pen nib, and watch face with patina – all vintage.

For Tabatha – Founding Mother of and Inspiration for our wonderful Poem Swaps (!) – I found myself wanting to do something with her “Poetry Monster” from a while back, after playing around with some old typewriter levers and feeling like they were some kind of fanciful creatures disguised in metal.

So on an actual 1909 map of Maryland that I clipped from an old atlas, I arranged elements from her blog, making a kind of found poem from a page posted three years ago:


Subscribe To
Wider Thoughts

Tabatha

your

Poetry
Art
Music

give us

life



(I took my ‘signature’name from that page too, from the comments!)

For fun, I arranged my fanciful creature – a magical horse? Dragon? – so that its head would arc right over Tabatha’s home town on the map.

Finally, for Amy , a haiku that came to me as spring began to fold itself into summer, while we were visiting family in Georgia. We happened upon a nest of robins in a hanging basket just outside my in-laws’ back door, about the time the babies were ready to go. Amy was in my heart as I thought of her sending her firstborn off to college.


approaching solstice
fledgling at the edge
of the nest



[Poems ©Robyn Hood Black.]


I matted the poem and sent it along. For an extra gift, in light of all the kitties Amy and her family have adopted and fostered and found homes for, I sent a new gift pack from my Etsy shop – for Cat Lovers! It includes a pack of my yin/yang – cats-on-a-rug note cards, a pewter bookmark with cats carousing from end to end, to which I’ve dangled another pewter cat charm (which is itself dangling a wee little mousie by its tail), and a magnet featuring a vintage cats US postage stamp.

A little poignant for me this week, as our beautiful Lance who photo-bombed my post a couple of weeks ago got some news that none of us wanted from the vet. He is acting okay for now, but he has cancer. He has had a good, long life and we will give him all the TLC and tuna he wants as we enter this bittersweet season with him.

Many thanks again to Tabatha for dreaming up and organizing the Summer (& Winter) Poem Swaps, and to all in this special community. If you missed any of the treasures I received from Joy, Margaret, or Michelle Kogan, just scroll back to recent summer posts!

Our magnificent Michelle Heidenrich Barnes has today’s Roundup at Today’s Little Ditty, and I’m thankful she and others in our Florida Poetry Family made it through the hurricane as well.

Poetry Friday - Mac & Cheese and Too Many Cooks...

July 13, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, Summer Poem Swap, ponderings, poetry, macaroni and cheese poem, found poetry, recipe

No worries - I didn't deface this particular book. Just wanted to show you the found poem with a little help from Photoshop!


Happy, Hot July!


While I typically prefer something cool this time of year, I do love me some hot and bubbly Mac and Cheese. Happy to join the ranks celebrating Macaroni and Cheese Day today! (Our Poetry Friday Rounder-Upper, Terrific Tabatha, ran with the idea, originally served up by Diane. See link at end of post.)


This week as I was pondered poetic options while in the grocery store, I noticed, to my amazement, an entire magazine devoted to Mac & Cheese! A special publication, it seems, getting a new issue for this summer because of past popularity.


I also noticed the vast array of pre-packaged macaroni and cheese dinners, taking up a good swath of aisle. Remember when it was just the little box of Kraft with the neon orange powder? (If you’re my age, I’ll bet you do.)


Macaroni and Cheese is just one of those comfort foods. My hubby loves to cook, and as kids have grown up and out, I am more likely to “fix” now and then than actually cook. But when a family in our church recently juggled some medical challenges, I offered to take over a little meal, and – you guessed it – I made some mac & cheese.

In the picture you’ll see the basic recipe I use, straight from our circa 1980s Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. . I’m not good at precisely following directions; the artist in me improvises all the time. I usually embellish with a few spices, cheddar cheese instead of American, and a healthy sprinkling of Parmesan all across the top.

I thought it would be fun to find a poem in the recipe, and most of the time I challenge myself to keep the words in the order they appear – pretty much making a black-out poem as it were, much like the one I recently sent to Joy for the Poem Swap. (I used a page from a wonderful old book she’d given me a while back. She shared it last week here. )

This week, I do not know WHAT got into me… the heat, maybe?

An innocent, familiar recipe took a surprisingly sinister turn…. Enjoy?! ;0)



Too Many Cooks: Lot’s Wife Misbehaves in the Kitchen


elbow
1 medium
cook.


all at once
till bubbly stir 1 to 2
more.


Turn into
salt.



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Please join all the fun with Tabatha today at The Opposite of Indifference, where you’ll find more Mac & Cheesy poems and other poems for every taste. Eat up! (I’ll see you again week after next, as we’ll have our grown kids here for vacation starting today.)

Poetry Friday - A Florida Orange Juice Toast to Lee Bennett Hopkins!

February 16, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Lee Bennett Hopkins, found poetry, Florida


Today’s brief post is a combination of Throwback Thursday (see the pic) and I-Can’t-Wait-Til-Next-Thursday (read on for that!).

The “throwback” part is that nearly 10 years ago (gulp!), I finally got to meet Lee Bennett Hopkins in person, at the SCBWI Conference in LA, where I had gone to take his Poetry Master Class. He hasn’t changed a bit – I’ve seen pictures and Renée’s NCTE Poet Award interviews - while I’m edging my way along the road from Long-ago Maiden toward Crone. (And that’s fine with me – I don’t worry what anybody thinks of me these days, and more creative time DOES open up after years in the carpool lines.) ;0)

The “can’t wait” part is that next week, I’m driving a wee bit down the coast and taking a right turn past the Florida line toward Gainesville, to go watch Lee be inducted into the Florida Arts Hall of Fame. I was honored, along with many others including some fellow Poetry Friday-ers, to write a nominating letter on his behalf and to include accolades from several Star-Power poets and others supporting Lee’s recognition. [Hats off to poet friends Stephanie Salkin and Jude Mandell, who guided us through the process. ]

Lee’s receiving this honor is especially meaningful to me, because I grew up in Florida. My folks are still there, and I have family members tucked in among the orange trees all around Central Florida from Orlando to the Gulf coast. I always carry a bit of The Sunshine State with me, and visit when I can. The Hall of Fame recognition is the highest honor given by the state to artists in a variety of fields, and the list of recipients includes Ray Charles, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway, among others.

THREE CHEERS to Lee on this wonderful honor, which will have good company with all the red-carpet-worthy awards he’s won over the years. I’ve been blessed to know Lee as someone whose work I’ve admired beyond words, and who, as a mentor & editor, has pushed me into writing stronger poetry. Next week I’ll be a fan, a friend, and something akin to a fellow-Floridian, cheering from his corner.

In Georgia Heard’s THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK, A Book of FOUND POEMS (Roaring Brook), my own poetry first shared pages with poems by some of my poetic heroes. Here is the beginning of Lee’s poem, “First Wins” (from selected words in a SPRINT newspaper advertisement):

FIRST leads.

FIRST moves us forward.

FIRST kicks open the door.

FIRST takes us places
            we’ve never been
            before. …


©2012 by Lee Bennett Hopkins.


I think we could say,

LEE leads.

LEE moves us forward.

LEE kicks open the door.

LEE takes us places
            we’ve never been
            before. …
!


And, I'm grateful.

[I’ll be on the road back home next Poetry Friday, so you can enjoy this post for two weeks. ;0) ]

For today’s inspiring Roundup, please visit poet and librarian extraordinaire Jone at Check It Out.

Poetry Friday - Science and Poetry - and Valentines?

February 9, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, science poetry, bioprinting poem, bioprinting, Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, Science and Children, found poem, found poetry, original work, altered card, library card, card catalog card, artsyletters, Valentine, vintage


Greetings from the sunny South. I will not complain about the little chill in the February breezes, I promise.

More fun in the mail this week - after the January poem postcard exchange (scroll down for my posts on that last month), and birthday cards, I had another treat in store - a copy of the January 2017 issue of Science & Children featuring one of my poems from the Poetry Friday Anthology of Science from Pomelo Books. PFA Anthology creators Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have a great column called"The Poetry of Science" in the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) magazine. My poem on bioprinting got to join some terrific technology-themed articles and activities in January.



Printing, Pressed Beyond Words...


Our printers today are still evolving.

So many projects - and problems they're solving!


In layers of plastic, a virtual mold:

printers are spitting out things you can hold.


These 3-D devices can also print gels,

stacking amazing assortments of cells.


Need a blood vessel? An organ, an ear?

Bioprinting is real - bioprinting is here!



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


Teachers can take on one or all of Sylvia's famous "Take 5" activities which connect the poem to teaching standards, as well as to other poems and publications exploring a similar theme. Three cheers for poetry and science!

And now, to R-E-A-L-L-Y stretch that theme, just for fun I've included a little studio adventure for the forthcoming holiday. I had a blast making my poem postcards to send in January, and for each one I used a unique vintage library card catalog card. And now, I'm making actual cards out of them. Complete with a vintage pocket and blank vintage check-out card on the inside, perfect for a tucked-in message!

(How does this relate to science? I'm getting there....)

I thought some of the catalog cards for nonfiction science books lent themselves to a Valentine bent - the ones on magnetism! - so I made a romantic-y greeting card from one. The illustration above the altered catalog card I clipped from the February 1927 issue of Country Life.

This lacks a true poetic sense, methinks, but it's kind of fun:

     simple
                  attraction
Includes
                Magnetism


For better pictures and a peek at process and such, click here to hop over to my artsyletters blog, where I posted about these cards.

Now, opportunities abound to indulge your love of poetry with Captivating Katie, who has this week's Roundup over at
The Logonauts

Poetry Friday - More Micro Found Poem Ornaments!

November 23, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, found poetry, artsyletters, Etsy, found poems, art, writer mouse


Happy Thanksgiving Weekend/poetry Friday!

I hope you and yours have enjoyed good company and good food. Warmest thoughts for those with an empty chair at the table this year.

I made a fun discovery while cleaning up my studio recently - I found a few more of those miniature frames I made "found poem ornaments" from two years ago (with a how-to) . Who knew these extra frames were hiding in the supply closet? (Or stashed in a box under a table...?) Those little ornaments sold right away, so I figured I'd better conjure these into shape for this year.

As before, I put a tiny print of my "Writer Mouse" drawing on one side, and a found poem/phrase on the other. Below are the highlighted texts. They were all clipped directly from GOLDEN DAYS For Boys and Girls, Vol. XVIII -- No. 6, December 26, 1896, Philadelphia: James Elverson, Publisher.

The first two were found in "A Perilous Sleigh-Ride" by A. E. Conard:


sleds
await
families


jolly
taken altogether,
Our crew


And the third came from "Frankincense and Myrrh" by Mary N. Prescott:


little children
see Santa Claus
a comfort
in the world


(More pictures of these in my Etsy shop..) Update: Click on "Sold" items number on the left-hand side to see the listing pictures - at least two of them!

Wishing you and your jolly crew comfort and fun during these holidays and beyond. More poetry is just waiting to be discovered at Carol's Corner, where thoughtful Carol has our Roundup this week!

Poetry Friday - Teaching Poetry!

November 17, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, teachers, students, workshops, haiku, found poetry


Happy Poetry Friday!

Many of you are at NCTE in Atlanta - what a wonderful weekend of poetry is planned in many of those sessions! Do report back.

I'm on the road too, just slightly north of that, in the North Georgia mountains. On Friday, I'll be helping daughter Morgan lead a small group of young poets (2nd and 3rd grade) at her school. We'll be playing with found poems, and I can't wait to see what they come up with.

I love sharing any kind of poetry with students. This week over at The Haiku Foundation, I'm honored to have a guest post about teaching haiku to Morgan's third graders last spring in Greenville, SC. Click here for that.

If you've been watching the news, you know the Southern mountains have been plagued with wildfires in recent weeks. Our youngest, a college senior near the Georgia-North Carolina border, started sending us pictures of smoke and haze a couple of weeks ago. (We plan to see him too this weekend, as he's on his college's homecoming court!) And though I wouldn't relish driving in rain, I do hope they get rain, and soon.

I'll close today with a recent haiku of mine, written when afternoon showers prevailed here on the Lowcountry coast:



summer storm
pavement steam rises
to meet rain



©Robyn Hood Black
Acorn, No. 37, Fall 2016


Whether you're hanging out with other poetry-loving teachers or savoring Poetry Friday in some quiet corner, thanks for coming by, and be sure to follow the trail at Friendly Fairy Tales, where Beautiful Brenda has our Roundup this week.

Poetry Friday - Victorian Found Poem/Writing Advice...

November 26, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, found poetry, art, artsyletters, ponderings, writing life


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!

Writing

writing
becomes the
familiar
teacher
that will entertain and
instruct while
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.

Poetry Friday - Found Poem for Friends Old and New

December 18, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, found poetry, poems, ponderings

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
Greetings, Poetry Friday-ers!

I hope your holiday season is full of rich time with family and friends and a few too many calories. Thoughts and prayers for those going through difficult times in this ramped-up season.

My post today is simple. Here's an image I used on our personal Christmas postcard this year, a found poem I highlighted from LITTLE FOLKS - A Magazine for the Very Young, London, Paris & New York, Cassell & Company, LTD. (Bound collection from the late 1800s.)

It reads:

To My Readers

Once more, friends, looking back over
the past year, I
fancy each one of you, and express my hopes
that you
understand more and more fully
something of
old friends and
new ones too.


[Those are old typewriter and watch parts adding bling to the text, by the way. Might be hard to see in this picture, but one is providing a cradling branch for the illustrated bird.]

To say it's been a year of moves and transitions for our family this year is putting it mildly. But each one of us (hubby, me, recent-graduate-new-teacher daughter and recent-transfer-to-a-new-college son) has made new friends in new places, while appreciating even more our special friends who share our history.

This poem is my wish for online friends, too! Thank you for so much inspiration, fun, comfort and challenge. I look forward to a new year of poetry after the holidays. We'll be on the road next Friday, so I'll see you back here in the new year.

Safe travels and blessings to you and yours!

Lighting up Poetry Friday for us this week (it's almost the Solstice, you know!) is friend and talented writer Buffy over at Buffy's Blog.

Poetry Friday: Robert Fitterman's "National Laureate" and some funky stop signs...

March 6, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poets, found poetry, ponderings


Greetings from the South Carolina low country, where we’re still unpacking and settling in, and still going back and forth a bit from the north Georgia mountains to our new home on the Carolina coast. (I’m thinking one more trip back to finish grabbing what I left behind and to clean, and I should feel officially moved!)

I am quite in love with our new home town of Beaufort. I mean, just look at those stop signs. And if you think the traffic signs are welcoming, you should meet the people! Then there’s the haunting, romantic Spanish moss dripping from live oaks, the whispering history in town and among the islands, the calls of sea birds, the tropical quality of light, the waving grasses of vast, teeming marshes…. OK, I’ll stop. I’m gushing.

Today I have a poem I happily stumbled across – it’s a found poem, and you know I love reading and writing those! I confess the poet Robert Fitterman was new to me. This poem offers carefully chosen snippets from the state poet laureates. (Not every state has a poet laureate.)

Here are the first few stanzas:

National Laureate

by Robert Fitterman

Alabama

Eagle and egret, woodcock and teal, all birds
gathering to affirm the last gasp of sunset.

Alaska

Maybe I should stay in bed
all day long and read a book
or listen to the news on the radio
but truthfully, I am not meant for that.

Arkansas

Then, as we talked, my personage subdued,
And I became, as Petit jean, a ghost,

California

I can stand here all day and tell you how much
I honor, admire, how brave you are.



Now, to be completely self-indulgent, here are the stanzas from the state we just left and the state we’ve come to call home again. (My husband and I met at Furman University, in the South Carolina upstate, and married right after graduation 30 years ago in June.) I kind of like the progression from dark to light in these two stanzas, at this season of our lives! Here we have the words of Georgia’s poet laureate, David Bottoms, and of South Carolina’s, Marjory Heath Wentworth.

Georgia

Loaded on beer and whiskey, we ride to the dump in carloads to turn our headlights across the wasted field, …

South Carolina

Seeds of hope are waiting in the sacred soil beneath our feet and in the light and in the shadows, spinning below the hemlocks. …


Please click here to read the entire poem.

And for lots of great poetry from many states & countries, please visit the marvelous Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for this week’s Roundup.

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