Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet





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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.
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

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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - The Roundup is HERE! Along with Terrific Student Haiku...

March 15, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, student work



HAPPY POETRY FRIDAY!

So glad you're joining the party. I'm delighted to host today. Everyone is welcome - new faces and PF veterans alike.

In addition to the Roundup, it's my pleasure to share a few accolade-winning student haiku this week.

Tom Painting, language arts teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta and haiku poet extraordinaire, sent along some poems by his eighth-grade students which recently appeared in the "Youth Corner" of The United Haiku and Tanka Society's online publication, cattails. (To read more about cattails, click here to read my interview with its Youth Corner editor, Kala Ramesh.)


The following haiku received honorable mention recognition in cattails in January. Also, each young poet agreed to share a personal thought about haiku, which appear just beneath his or her name.



shower steam
my off key notes bounce
on the tiled walls


©Taylor Clay
"I enjoy writing and reading haiku because of the satisfaction in creating a beautiful scene with only a few words."


setting sun
the scarecrow whistles
in the wind


©Cole McCord
"Haiku allows me to remove a moment from my memory and place it on a page for safekeeping. "


the rocks
water glides down
the river


©Hunter Collins
"I choose the moment that strongly urges to be put down on paper. Then, I let the moment write itself."


bound diary
what secrets do
you hold?


©Naiima Paul
"Haiku is like any art form, one needs inspiration. Anything can inspire you, from the sound of raindrops to a photo of your cousin."


Many thanks to Taylor, Cole, Hunter, and Naiima for sharing their work. I'm always inspired by the haiku of young poets!

And I must share a fun comment from one of my daughter Morgan's third graders this week. (I've been traveling across SC to her classroom for some classroom poetry adventures in recent weeks, tagging wedding planning appointments to these visits in the process.) I told the kids I'd see them in April, after spring break. Out of the blue, one of Morgan's enthusiastic young poets, Krish, made my day. He said, "Spring Break is a great time to write nature haiku!"

Indeed it is. Wishing you warmth and inspiration as the calendar pages turn to spring.

Please leave your links (& a brief description) in the comments below, and I'll round up as we go along. NOTE: We'll actually be on the road again this afternoon, so links left after lunch might not get rounded up until this evening. [I also just bought a laptop I'm trying to figure out how to use. It will go with me - wish me luck!] Thanks for your patience, and feel free to scan the comments to visit everyone's posts today in the meantime.


Onward to Poetry!

At Random Noodling, Diane is generously sharing a pot of fresh coffee to celebrate WORLD POETRY DAY, along with a tray of original coffee-themed poems from recent years. Cheers!

For a bit more about WORLD POETRY DAY and a poem about what girls wanted 500 years ago, pop in over at Diane’s Kurious Kitty. Mrow.

CB Haneck chimes in with poetic praise for our noses. And, no, not because they can smell.

Michelle joins CB in responding to Amy LV’s TLD Challenge herself at Today’s Little Ditty, ringing in spring with some amorous cicadas.

Speaking of Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, Laura celebrates Amy’s exciting news at Writing the World for Kids. (What? You haven’t heard? Laura’s got it covered, with a couple more wonderful shout-outs, too.) Laura also shares the link to Penny’s post about a project by Ken Slasarik inspired by Laura’s WATER CAN BE. Yes, there’s a lot of mutual poetry love being passed around today!

Matt offers up the “Naani” poetry form from India at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, with an invitation (challenge?) to try one yourself.

What’s the weather doing outside your window, and did it change from five minutes ago? Lovely Linda captures the topsy-turvy-ness of spring’s arrival with an original poem and picture at Teacher Dance.

Carol has rolled out the St. Patrick’s Day green at Beyond Literacy Link - go grab yourself some poetry, and a lovely Irish blessing to boot!

Rubber boots handy? Brenda’s leading us on a mud-luscious puddle romp over at Friendly Fairy Tales. with an original poem and a couple others. Enjoy – you can clean up later!

Jone’s in this week with an appreciative limerick for her assistant and info about how to receive an illustrated poem post card from her students for Poetry Month. Check it Out!

Responding to one of Tricia’s terrific challenges, Catherine shares a moving ekphrastic poem today at Reading to the Core. (Maybe grab a tissue….)

Tabatha joins in today with two powerful poems by Kathryn Stripling Byer from Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia at The Opposite of Indifference. (And a certain beloved Monster gearing up for April.)

Julie’s been busy! At The Drift Record, she presents a list poem by Nobel-prize winner Wislawa Szymborska, and an invitation to write a response poem.

Over at Books Around the Table, she’s exploring phrenology and bumps in the night – you can’t resist clicking on that one, can you? Hmm? What might your skull say about YOU?

At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee shares an original poem, “Bygones,” to announce her fantastic Poetry Month project. (Diane Mayr, you must check this out! Everyone else, too.)

Penny’s collaborative series, A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, continues today with a special treat : Guest poster is Ken Slesarik, in with a whole roomful of first-grade poets! They produced a collaborative work inspired by Laurie Purdie Salas’s WATER CAN BE. Your day will not be the same if you miss this colorful feast.

At Dori Reads, the ever-lovely Doraine is in this week with a perfect-for-spring poem by Abigail Carroll, an adult poet who's stepping into the children's poetry world and shares her thoughts on that, too. [If the air is yellow with pollen where you are, you’ll particularly enjoy! We're swimming in it down South.]

Inspiration wafts from life to life around here. Margaret Simon, at Reflections on the Teche., offers up a poem inspired by an emailed quote from Laura Shovan and a photo Tabatha posted on her blog. Beautiful words and profound thoughts.

Heidi extends an invitation to participate in her Poetry Month project at My Juicy Little Universe. Pass the ketchup, please, and a napkin? (To write poems on, of course!)

Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town generously offers “a touch of sanity” from Wendell Berry today. Yes, please. Enjoy his “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.”

Irene – yes the same one whose DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST just garnered an SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins poetry honor book designation – shares Don Tate’s amazing book, POET: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate at Live Your Poem.

Ramona’s in the mix with poems from Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s 42 Miles (plus another one) at Pleasures from the Page. Another book for my must-read stack!

Tara’s a woman after my own heart today, sharing Gary Short’s beautiful “Teaching Poetry to Third Graders” over at A Teaching Life. She also shares a way in which poetry ended a very challenging day in the classroom with a bit of affirmation.

More Tuesday Slice of Life Goodness (I love that PR and Slice of Life collide so often!) from Molly, sharing an original poem, “The Nightly Struggle,” that captures the experience of so many of us I’m sure, yearning to turn another page before turning out the booklight!

Yay – more haiku today! Thanks to the oh-so-talented Elizabeth Steinglass for sharing two gorgeous spring haiku (and a picture of one of the prettiest Poetry Friday cats in the realm) as well as her thoughts about crafting haiku – well worth the short read if you are a haikuist or an aspiring one.

Though no one would blame Amy if she were still up in the clouds after FOREST HAS A SONG just won the inaugural SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award.– (!!!) – she’s her usual down-to-earth-self over at The Poem Farm today, with an original poem, “Lesson From a Stone Bowl,” that just proves why her writing is so award-worthy, and how she embraces life as a poet.

Please join Violet (the perfect Spring name!), who is outside with her camera and stellar eye taking pictures and poetic inspiration for her “Spring Journal” she’s sharing with all of us.

Cathy’s been taking inspiration from nature this week, too, at Merely Day by Day. Join a cacophony of blackbirds with her lively original poem, “Bird Games.”

And now up to Maine, where Donna at Mainely Writeshares another delicious slice of life experience-put-to-poetry, “Book Club and a Mug”set against the dark mornings after the time change.

Little Willow’s in this week with “Babylon” by Robert Graves at Bildungsroman - a perfect companion to so many posts today about young poets, and young-at-heart poets inspired by Spring.

Jama doesn’t have a regular PF post today, but she’s putting forth the call to send in YOUR Poetry Month features for her April round-up! She and Mr. Cornelius do a great job keeping track of the many ambitious projects. If you have something special planned (one of these years, I keep saying to myself!) just send your addition to her website email address at jamarattigan.com. Thanks, Jama and Mr. C.!

Over at Teaching Authors, the wonderful JoAnn is featuring an Avis Harley poem from African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways. (Isn’t that a great book title?) She’s also not alone, I’m sure, in her struggle with taking the perfect selfie,which she’s written about in a chuckle-worthy original poem.

At All About the Books with Janet Squires, Janet is serving up Georgia Heard’s anthology of found poems, THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK. (I’m personally partial to this collection, as it includes two poems by yours truly!)

{--We interrupt this Roundup for its host to hit the Road. I'll check back this evening for any afternoon link-leavers! Thanks.--}

Evening Update: I'm having computer AND network connection issues, and my attempts to update keep getting swallowed into a cyber-black-hole. My apologies! PLEASE scroll down to the end of the comments for a few more great poetry links - canine poetry & a challenge from Joy, a post from Karen, and, all the way from Guam, news from Sylvia V! Thanks, and have a great weekend, all!
THEN, check out the posts from Lisa and Fats at the end!

Poetry Friday: The Round Up is HERE! And Remembering...

September 10, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, student work, ponderings


Welcome, Poetry Lovers!

Thank you for finding your way here. I’m wrangling the Poetry Friday Roundup and look forward to your contributions. You early birds/night owls: go ahead and leave your links in the comments. Friday folks, drop by any time during the day with your links. I’ll settle in with a hearty supply of coffee Friday morning and round up throughout the day.

While we all look forward to the change of seasons, and many are settling in to the freshness of a new school year, today’s anniversary also stops us in our tracks. It’s hard to believe 14 years have passed since one of the defining events in our country’s history unfolded in slow horror. I know exactly where I was that day and what I was doing; I’ll bet you do, too. For those who lost loved ones in the tragedy of 9-11, I hope the pain has been tempered with the passage of time, and rest assured we will never forget.

The poem I share today comes from a young poet who must have been born after that tragic day. Yet she conveys its weight and significance. Many thanks to Catherine C. for sharing her writing and art:



            What Does 9/11 Know?

            It knows the taste of ash
          It knows the smell of smoke
        It knows the sound of screaming

        What does 9/11 know?
 It knows the sight of burning buildings
          It knows the pain of death


©Catherine C. All rights reserved. (Grade 5 last year; now in middle school.)


Catherine’s poem was part of Jone MacCulloch’s annual Poetry Month “Postcard Project” celebrating student work. If you haven’t been a lucky recipient, here’s how it works. Jone, media specialist at Silver Star Elementary School in Washington state, inspires students to create poems and art on postcards, and lucky folks like you and me can send her our address to have one mailed to us. A very special way to celebrate April.

She also posts postcard poems on her school library blog throughout the month. You’ll find many thoughtful “What Does […] Know?” poems among this year’s collection, including some more commemorating September 11th. Click here to scroll through the great student work from this past April.

How did this project come about?

“I love postcards. I love teaching poetry,” Jone explains. “So in 2008, I decided that this would be a great project for our school.

“We start writing poems in the library in about January or February. I usually teach a form such as a cinquain. I have done a modified Fibonacci in the past. I also use these poems for submission to the National Schools Project which publishes the Young American Poetry Digest .”


Where do the poetry topics come from?

“To me, poetry is a great way to synthesize learning, so I usually try to tie it to what they are studying in the classroom,” Jone says. “With the fifth graders, they get to elect a topic for research. I saw Michelle H. Barnes' post with Joyce Sidman's ‘Deeper Truth’ poem and thought that would be perfect for fifth grade this year.”

Perfect, indeed. Don’t you love how members of the Poetry Friday community inspire each other, and that often ends up blossoming in the minds and works of students?

You can learn more about Jone’s own writing here, including her book of haiku. Also, many of her poem-worthy, swoon-worthy photographs are posted here.

Thanks to everyone for joining in today. Bring on the poetry!

Here we go:

Hang onto your hat. And you pencil and your iPad - Buffy "The Thief" Silverman is guest posting at Michelle's Today's Little Ditty, continuing an earlier theme of stealing/borrowing from fabulous poems. (She offers examples from two of the best poets ever, and some of her own fine work.)

A warm Poetry Friday Welcome to newcomers cbhanek , a mother-daughter teacher-author duo. Today the blog features a beautiful 9-11 tribute and discussion of a special book celebrating babies born in this country on that day, as well as Emily D’s timeless “Hope is the thing with feathers.”

Diane delights us today with a grin-inducing illustrated poem from her Angel Sketchbook Project, “Saved by the Bowl,” at Random Noodling.

And at Diane’s Kurious Kitty, find a thought-provoking poem by Polish poet, Anna Swir, titled "Poetry Reading" from an anthology with an irresistible title.

Donna at Mainely Write has lots of goodness up today. First, she shares Margart Simon’s Summer Poem Swap poem, “Cynthia’s Garden,” and then links to two of her own poems on “Spark,” - one inspired by an image from fellow Spark-er Tish Carter and one which inspired an image from her.

Laura continues to open our eyes to the wider world at Author Amok, featuring first generation American Poet Leona Sevick and her poem "Lion brothers," a powerful look inside her mother’s life as an immigrant woman working in an American factory. (Timely in light of all the current international news.) She leaves us on a lighter note, though, chewing a little poetic cud.

Iphigene offers up a stunning original poem, "Fighting Dragons," and bold painting about depression – such an important subject we often shy away from. Visit Gathering Books for a powerful and beautiful personal post.

Lovely Linda at Teacher Dance shares remembrances we commemorate and personal ones too in an original poem, “Missing,” that says much in few words.

Make your mark in life with the ever-gracious Carol at Beyond Literacy Link, where you’ll find the celebration for International Dot Day (Sept. 15) already starting. Great ideas for teachers, and an original poem and images, too! And, pssst… circle back this weekend, when Carol will unveil her newest poetry gallery, “Summer Splashings.”

Catherine has rather brilliantly connected Keith Urban’s new hit, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" with George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” – with terrific ideas of how this pairing will appeal to older students and spark their own poetic connections. Country music fan or not, click on over to Reading to the Core for the goods, and a video (worthy of a Jama Rattigan Eye Candy swoon, I might add)!

Speaking of country music, do you know Brad Paisley’s “Letter to Me?”, wherein he writes some advice to his 17-year-old self? I don’t know if the Teaching Authors know this song, but JoAnn, Esther and Carla have shared “Dear Younger Me” letters on the blog, and our good buddy April is chiming in with a few (very good!) “words to the wise” to new writers, a great original cartoon, and an original poem to her own teen self.

Kat is joining the poetry party from Down Under with some terrific news at Kats Whiskers. Let’s just say she was so busy engaging with young readers at a literary event that she was “late” to her OWN congratulatory party… (Congrats, Kat!)

Write much? Then you’ll relate to Mary Lee’s perfect imagery in “Parched,” a poem about a writerly dry spell, over at A Year of Reading. (Don’t worry – there’s a bit of hope at the end!)

Tabatha’s always bringing us treasures, and today she has a trove of gorgeous and poignant poems from Paul Hostovsky at The Opposite of Indifference. Can you pick a favorite?

With more helpful ways to commemorate September 11 in the classroom, Free Range Readers brings us a profound poem by young Mattie Stepanek written on 9-12 2001, as well as links to additional resources.

Oh, how I do love the cross-pollination of Poetry Friday. Margaret was inspired by a recent post on Tabatha’s blog to try something fun with her students, resulting in some rollicking pairings over at Reflections on the Teche: “You be the Pencil, I’ll be the Poem…”. Enjoy!

Amy’s back with her boots on at The Poem Farm, with a heartfelt poem called “I Love Them Both.” Poetry helps folks of all ages articulate family dynamics that might be hard to talk about.

Irene, curator of all-things-for-the-poetic-life, shares a bounty of inspirations today: her artist’s prayer after working through The Artist’s Way, a movie recommendation(sounds wonderful!) and two poems she reads for us on Soundcloud. Thanks, Friend!

At Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme , Matt shares an original poem/photograph combination. He didn’t write “Fata Cumulonimbus” specifically with 9-11 in mind, but it’s appropriate for the day.

If you’ve been following Penny’s “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt” series, or if you haven’t, you’ll enjoy a gallery of amazing art by Landon (the great nephew) - a super-talented and poetry-inspiring fifth-grader. Keep up the awesome work, Landon!

Violet Nesdoly reminds us of the loveliness of September with a trip to a peaceful island in her “Savary Island in September.” She’s included a beautiful picture, but the words themselves will carry you away.

At Poetry for Children, Sylvia shares a special treat – Don Tate’s new book, Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, the first book he’s written as well as illustrated. As Syliva says, the book “celebrates literacy, poetry, and the human spirit.” She’s included slides of some of the stages of Don’s work for this book – don’t you love a peek into process? (I once met Don at a conference, and he’s just a super nice guy, too! Happy to see all these rave critical reviews.)

Little Willow shares Mary Oliver’s “If I Were” at bildungsroman. A welcome coutnerpoint about life’s exuberant moments in the midst of a sober anniversary.

Sheri’s in today connecting us to a review she wrote of of The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou, and a backstory of her first encounters with the book when it came out in the spring -- and its possible adventures! Okay, you’ll just have to click over to see what I’m talking about.

At All about the Books with Janet Squires, Janet offers a brief review of Irene Latham’s Dear Wandering Wildebeest And Other Poems from the Water Hole, illustrated by Anna Wadham. One of our favorites!

Holly is after my own heart today with a poetic and pictorial look at New England’s Great Marsh – I wonder about the similarities and differences between the marsh there, and here in the Lowcountry? She’s penned a poem I’m jealous of, "Marsh Hair,"at Hatbooks.

{Wee break time. Other work calls. I'll be back in a little while to round up stragglers!}

Tricia at The Miss Rumphisu Effect offers a moving poem in light of this anniversary, “Sepember Twelfth, 2001” by the amazing X. J. Kennedy. Thanks also to Tricia for links to collections of/guides to poetry commemorating 9-11.

Jone is here with a few more thoughts on today's remembrance, plus she's added the other two 9-11 poem postcards from students last year to her post today at Check it Out. Many thanks again to Jone and her former students for helping us commemorate this day.

Katie of The Logonauts shines the light on Flutter and Hum – Animal Poems by Julie Paschkis , or Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales , because this book is bilingual! (I am crazy about Julie’s work and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy, so I love this sneak peek.)

Ramona appropriately ends the day with Georgia Heard’s This Place I Know – Poems of Comfort, for the children and all those impacted by 9-11, at Pleasures From the Page. Thank you, Ramona.

Poetry Friday: ONE SMALL CANDLE: Enlightening Haiku from Young Paideia Poets

August 25, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, student work


It's always a pleasure to share the work of young haiku poets from The Paideia School in Atlanta. You've grown to look forward to our Student Haiku Poet of the Month each school year, n'est-ce pas? Have no fear - we'll be doing that again this year!

This week, however, is a special treat, featuring work from some talented fifth-graders. They are in sixth grade now, but these poems were composed for a project this past spring.

Creative writing teacher Tom Painting teamed up with Kate Murray and her 5th grade chorus class at The Paideia School in Atlanta.

“The idea was to have students perform their haiku to music as part of the spring choral concert” he says. “The book, one small candle, features one haiku from each of the 40 students in the class."

Stanford M. Forrester (Sekiro), publisher of haiku, senryu and other small poems at bottle rockets press, designed the small book and published it under buddha baby press.

It features the lovely line art of Ajanta Ferrell on the cover.

The title comes from this entry by Audrey Felske:


one small candle
warms the room
cold shivers down my back



Here is a larger sampling of the many fine poems:



sunset glowing
cows in the field
chewing their cud


Sean Zheng



autumn afternoon
sun burning
the golden field


Duncan Kelly



autumn
wrapped in a blanket
by the candlelight


Morgan Cobb



autunm day
golden leaves fall
on the dirt road


Luna McCauley



leaves fall
I sweep them
from my shoulders


Reid Celestin


In addition to the poems above, the following four haiku received recognition in the United Nations International School Haiku Contest this year:



smell of pine
lingering in the air
faint whisper of the woods


Ajanta Farrell



winter’s night
an owl hoots
through the silence


Jesse Chang-Friedan



the flower
opening up
shared secrets


Emma Delman



winter’s end
ice on the river
gives way


Sean Zheng


All poems © their respective authors. Posted with permission.

Congratulations to each student poet, whether highlighted here today or not. Your haiku warms the room and helps light the darkness!

For poetry of all temperatures today, please visit the incredible Sylvia at Poetry for Children for this week’s Roundup. Sylvia has recently returned from South Africa, where she’s been sharing and receiving all kinds of poetic light.

Student Haiku Poets of the Month Place in UN Contest

June 11, 2015

Tags: haiku, student work, Student Poet of the Month, poetry


Greetings! Apologies for the earlier confusion, but here are the UN International School haiku contest winners from our featured student poets of the month, announced last weekend in New York. I’d like to thank so many of you for supporting another year of our “Student Haiku Poet of the Month” feature, wherein we celebrate promising young poets from The Paideia School in Atlanta each month with examples of their poetry and some of their thoughts about haiku.

This monthly treat is made possible by the efforts of Tom Painting, an award-winning haiku poet and teacher or former teacher of these wonderful young writers. [Click here for a post about Tom from my blog in 2013.]

Several of them recently won awards in a big international contest – the 2015 Student Haiku Contest hosted by The United Nations International School, the Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese, and the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.

Of our featured poets from this year and last, the following students were recognized in this year’s competition:


First place, Junior High division - Olivia Graner


creak of the door
the attic's smell
floods the hallway



©Olivia Graner. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Olivia’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Honorable mention, Junior High division - Cole McCord


spring cleaning
the smell
of expired milk



©Cole McCord. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Cole’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Second place, High school division - Marisa Schwartz


boardwalk
the taste of the ocean
in a pretzel



©Marisa Schwartz. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Marisa’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Third place, High School division - Emma Jones


sliding over
grandma's rough hands
soap bubbles



©Emma Jones. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Emma’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Paideia had winners in the elementary division and several more honorable mentions in the junior high/high school divisions. Congratulations to all these young poets, and hats off to each student who entered from all over the world.

The judge for English poems for the Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Teacher categories was John Stevenson . Submissions in the English Division came from 19 different schools/programs in the US and around the world. Finalists came from schools in New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and also from Belgium, Kenya, and Japan.

Poetry Friday: International Student Haiku with Kala Ramesh

May 28, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, student work, poets

Kala Ramesh

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

On this final Friday of May, we have a special treat. The talented and generous Kala Ramesh of India has dropped by to tell us a bit about herself and haiku, and to share some wonderful student poetry featured in the "Youth Corner" of The United Haiku and Tanka Society' s online publication, cattails.


Welcome, Kala! I’m thrilled you can join us today and share a bit about student haiku poets from around the world. But first, let’s get to know you a little better.

I’ve read that your professional background in India is as a musician, and that you discovered haiku in 2005. Apparently you jumped right in with both feet, and no looking back. What is it about haiku you find so captivating?


A million thanks, Robyn, for wanting to focus on “Youth Haiku” in your blog.

In answer to your question, I come from a culturally rich south India family, and began having music lessons from professionals from the age of six – the resonance is what captured me when I came into haiku. What is resonance one might ask? For me it was close to the concept of ‘rasa’ theory in Indian aesthetics. What is it that lingers in your mind long after you’ve heard a piece of melody . . . and which gives you joy? Indians call it ‘rasa’ – the resonance, the distilled emotions that happen within us.

I found that haiku worked in the same way in my mind – I would linger over a haiku to see how in just 9 or 10 words the author could say so much. When I started I had no access to haiku books. Even now you can’t find a single haiku book in any bookstore in India. Ninety-nine percent of the haiku books are self-published. Now the internet is flooded with haiku information and literature!


I’ve enjoyed reading your work in leading haiku journals. I’m struck that you plunged into English-language haiku with such vigor, when English is not your first language. Is this a particular challenge, or do haiku just “come to you” this way?

Thanks a ton, Robyn. Yes, I’m a Tamilian from South India. People wrongly assume that Hindi is our national language, but it’s not! I don’t know Hindi. In India we have around twenty-two languages, so English becomes our common tongue, and I don’t see that dependence on English decreasing. I can think in English, though my ‘thinking’ is coloured by Indian aesthetics and culture.

A few years ago, Gisele LeBlanc sent me your haiku publications for children from Katha, Haiku and My Haiku Moments. These are such colorful, fun introductions for young writers (writers of any age, really). Why do you have such a passion for nurturing haiku among young people?

Children take to haiku like fish take to water – I know this is a cliché but it gives a true picture. Children are easily malleable and haiku has some very good tools that help to hone their writing skills. Editing is so important in haiku and this tool is most needed in our fast galloping lives. Who has the patience to read through volumes of uninteresting stuff, tell me! This art of saying a lot in few words is something a child should be exposed to!

Along those lines, you currently serve as the Youth Corner Editor for “Cattails,” the online publication of the United Haiku and Tanka Society. Tell us a little about the Youth Corner, and from what corners of the world you receive submissions?

When an’ya invited me to become the “Youth Corner” editor, I had mild trepidations, for no other journal had this feature and starting off anything for the first time is always a challenge. We have nothing to fall back on. I’m now into my fourth issue and I’m happy about this little corner!

Submissions are still not coming from all parts of the world. Maybe they aren’t aware about cattails Youth Corner. I do get a few from the US. I got a lovely cartoon submission from Indonesia this time and I’m hoping children from all over the world will begin to submit their haiku to cattails Youth Corner soon.

India has opened to haiku in a big way! But all this didn’t come on a platter to me. I’ve worked hard since 2006. I approached dozens and dozens of schools and colleges, but just couldn’t get beyond the office doors! Slowly, schools opened their doors, and now respected organizations like Katha.org, Bookaroo Children’s Literary Festival, The Hyderabad Literary Festival, Muse India - online poetry site, The Central Board of Secondary Schools (CBSE) all over India, and of course the Symbiosis International University have opened not just their doors, but their hearts to haiku. It’s exciting “haiku” time for India!

I used to have a HaikuWALL in almost all my workshops, where along with the masters' haiku, the children’s haiku would be pinned up on a huge make-shift wall. Excited parents would take pictures of their child next to their first haiku! Pune Biennale 2015 offered to paint the chosen haiku on our street walls. That was the start of another venture, where we have school children’s and college students’ haiku painted on city walls in Pune and Chennai. A few of my haiku are included too. I call it the HaikuWALL India – it’s an ongoing project.


That sounds wonderful, Kala. Finally, let’s enjoy some haiku!

Robyn, I’ll proudly showcase the youngsters’ haiku. They need all the encouragement! A million thanks to you for presenting them in your blog. We need more haiku lovers like you!

Enjoy!


yawning wide . . .
I watch the leaf settle
on a bed of brown

R. Hariharan (age 14)
CBSE School, Chennai, India



still water . . .
a zebra runs away
from itself

      stira jalarasi . . .
      Vayakari dhainjaye zebra tiye
     dekhi nija pratibimba


Aditya Ashribad (age 17)
CBSE School, Orissa, India


long journey
pausing for water
I drink the moon


Iqra Raza (16 yrs)
CBSE School, Delhi, India


maple leaf parachuting down upon soldiers’ graves

Rose Anderson (age 18)
USA


broken ladder
a spider weaves a web
into the web itself


Tanvi Nishchal (age 16)
CBSE School, Delhi, India


icy night
all the city streets
clear of people


Pruthvi Shrikaanth (age 7)
United Kingdom


dancing without
knowing who holds my waist
masquerade ball


Aashna Banerjee
Symbiosis International University, Pune


war cry—
my nephew gets ready
for the pillow fight


Vividha Bhasin
Symbiosis International University, Pune


creeping up
the rocky wall—
vines


Aaliyah Saleem (5 1/2 yrs)
USA

All poems are copyright their respective authors.


I want to end this collection of children’s haiku on a high. I am ecstatic to announce that one of my students, Jhanvi Tiwari, was awarded an Honourable Mention in the international 2014 ANNUAL MOON VIEWING HAIKU CONTEST, a competition held by the Australian Haiku Society.

Congratulations to Jhanvi for this lovely haiku!

hunter’s moon
a werewolf growls in
nani’s* stories


Jhanvi Tiwari
Symbiosis International University.
*Nani – maternal grandmother in Hindi


And lastly how can I not include a school student’s work picked up by Don Wentworth for Wednesday Haiku!


windy day…
the pages turn
to the last line


Sneha Mojumdar (15 yrs)
CBSE School, Delhi.


Sneha, studying in Sanskriti School Delhi, wrote this haiku during the Katha Utsav haiku workshop I conducted in December 2014. I vividly remember exclaiming that it was beautiful when Sneha read this haiku out.

Don Wentworth of Wednesday Haiku says:
My very best to Sneha ... a deep bow from me to honor a spirit that cuts so quickly to the essence. And thank you for your wonderful work with your students, Kala. With this type of devotion, the future is assured.



Many thanks, Kala – and I will agree with Don. Thank you for all you do to promote haiku among young readers and writers.


Kala has also kindly provided the following links:

Premier issue cattails Winter 2013
cattails May 2014.
cattails September 2014.
cattails January 2015. (Note - In this issue, you’ll find that Kala chose a haiku by one of our Haiku Student Poets of the Month, Emma Jones, as one of the “Editor’s Favourites.”)
cattails May edition is expected to go online soon.
Wednesday Haiku link – Yesha Shah & Sneha Mojumdar: Wednesday Haiku, #205.

What’s that, readers? You’d like to read some of Kala’s work as well? Have no fear. You will find it in leading haiku journals, and I’ve also asked her to please visit again in the fall to share her haiku.

For more great poetry of all kinds today, please visit the lovely Margaret at Reflections on the Teche, where she’s rounding up Poetry Friday as she winds up the school year.

Poetry Friday: Haiku Student Poet of the Month Dylan Levy

May 7, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work


Happy Poetry Friday!

Can you believe another school year is coming to a close? Neither can I.

We will ring it out in style, though, with several oh-so-talented student haiku poets for these last few weeks of this month. In fact, today’s special guest is our Student Haiku Poet of the Month for May, Dylan Levy.

Dylan is a seventh-grade student at The Paideia School in Atlanta. She claims her life is like any other typical teenage girl’s, full of volleyball and writing. She says she is always thirsty for something new and is never satisfied, noting that her words “tremble and soften” when she reads in front of a group. Her days are spent at home, using her free time to write. Dylan “never keeps secrets” because “her blue eyes and wide smile always tell the tale” -- her words do as well, as you'll see.

Why haiku? Here are Dylan’s thoughts, with some insightful "how-to's" folded in:

In appearance a haiku is just a few words on a page, but in reality haiku is much more,” she says. ” A good haiku is not choppy or too wordy; it should flow. Haiku doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s simple. Haiku cannot be forced; it is something you find and can be difficult in this way; each word painting the picture of an image.

Here is a sampling of Dylan’s poetry, which I think you’ll agree demonstrates those characteristics.



silence broken
the little girl hums
a lullaby



classical music
my palm to the air
catching each note



red bird
softly cooing
fire in my hands



thunder storm
the deaf lady
covers her ears



one-way road
a downpour
carries the leaves



Poems ©Dylan Levy. All rights reserved.


Many thanks to Dylan for sharing these fine poems here this week. For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

Our Poetry Friday host today has been known to wrangle a haiku or two. Please visit Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty for all the great poetry posted around the Kidlitosphere!

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Lila Chiles

April 2, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, Poetry Month, student work, Student Poet of the Month, haiku


Happy National Poetry Month! I’m thrilled to kick off April’s Poetry Friday posts here with our Student Haiku Poet of the Month, Lila Chiles.

Lila lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her mom, dad, big sister and a Goldendoodle named Teddy. She is a seventh grader at The Paideia School, and “will finally be a teenager” in June! She enjoys playing sports—especially soccer—writing, drawing, playing Poker and eating watermelon Sourpatch candy.

Here are some of Lila’s thoughts about haiku:

"When my teacher Tom told me about Haiku, my first thought was, 'Aw, man! Yet another form of poetry that I'm not so good at.' I wrote my first haiku later that night:


downpour
broken sign
swinging in the wind



I showed it and a few others to my mom and she told me that they were beautiful and that I should immediately send them to her and Tom. I'm proud that they both liked my haiku. Now, there have been four times I've been recognized for my haiku.

For me, haiku are both simple and complex. I can be anywhere and words will just start to fill my head and form an image, which is what makes it easy. It's complex, though, because you have to move words around and change them until they are in a perfect form. It's like a puzzle. That's my favorite part of all. I think that's pretty amazing."


Here are some more of Lila’s haiku – I think they’re all pretty amazing!


abandoned umbrella
the sun chases
the clouds away


aromatic flowers
I socialize
with the sun


summer night
mosquitoes here and there…
and everywhere


summer lingers
a ball kicked
into the tall grass


meadow breeze
a fresh stack
of hay



Poems ©Lila Chiles. All rights reserved.


These seem especially resonant as we shed winter to embrace the warm weather again! Which ones most speak to you?

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here. Huge CONGRATULATIONS to our February featured poet, Olivia Graner, who won the UN International School Haiku Competition, junior high division. Way to go, Olivia!

Go bask in more Poetry Month Poetry Friday goodness over at The Poem Farm, where our always-amazing Amy is hosting this week’s Roundup. [Check out her month-long "Sing That Poem" project, too - guaranteed to have you humming for the next several weeks.]

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Cole McCord

March 5, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, haiku, David G. Lanoue, poetry, student work




Greetings, Poetry Fans!



I’m serving up our Student Haiku Poet of the Month on the early side, as we welcome the month that comes in like a lion. (Next Friday I’ll be at our SCBWI Southern Breeze Springmingle in Atlanta – and away from a real computer.)



Please join me in welcoming Cole McCord, a seventh grade student “with a passion for poetry.” Cole lives with his parents and sister Layney and attends The Paideia School in Atlanta.



Cole explains that when he was first introduced to haiku, he was “misled into thinking that haiku has to be written in five, seven, five. “ He credits language arts teacher Tom Painting for guiding him in his current haiku journey, and “derives haiku from every aspect of the world” around him.



“To me, Haiku is a way of life,” Cole says. ”Every moment you withhold haiku, a piece of you goes missing. Even if no one ever sees it, Haiku needs to be released. Haiku reveals who you are; it reveals your view on life and the world around you. Haiku is the one form of writing that is pure and must not be forced. According to haiku poet David Lanoue "Haiku is life; life is haiku.”



(You can read my post featuring Haiku Society of America President David G. Lanoue here .)







Here are some of Cole’s wonderful haiku:




Sunday morning
in my sister’s room
retrieving something stolen


spring dawn
in the meadow
blooming avens


autumn afternoon
on easel and canvas
pond landscape


school morning
on the bus
blather bullies my ears


spring cleaning
the smell
of expired milk


starlit night
a diamond ring
in the riverbed



Poems ©Cole McCord. All rights reserved.


Many thanks to our guest poet today. Cole, you’re one to watch! (That "blather bullies my ears" line is something else.)

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

And for the Poetry Friday Roundup, please visit Robyn Campbell this week. [Thanks, Robyn. Look – we spell our name the same way!! :0) ].

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Olivia Graner

February 12, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, student work, Student Poet of the Month, poetry


Happy Valentine’s Weekend, All!

I won’t pry into anyone’s love life, but I’m glad you poetry lovers are out and about this Poetry Friday. As promised, I have much for you to love here today.

Our Student Haiku Poet of the Month series continues with Olivia Graner.

Olivia lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is (almost) thirteen years old and is in seventh grade at The Paideia School. She lives with her mom, her dad, her nine-year-old brother, her thirteen-year-old golden retriever, and her six-year-old goldfish. Olivia is an avid writer and reader. She also enjoys musical theater, piano, ukulele, and pogo stick-ing.

“I tend to enjoy haiku because of its simplicity (or lack thereof),” Olivia says. “An American haiku must be written with fewer than seventeen syllables, which can be a blessing or a curse. Granted, with nine or ten words, not much physical writing goes in to the actual poem, but painting a scene in which to transport the reader in three or less short lines can be rather challenging (in a good way).”

I think you’ll agree Olivia is up for the challenge! Enjoy these examples of her poetry:


morning radio
voices weave their way
into my dreams


pronation
a left shoe’s sole
worn away


creak of a door
the attic’s smell
floods the hallway


silent night
wax drips from
the memory candle


frozen bird bath
feathers
atop the ice


one night only:
stage fright
killing dreams



Poems ©Olivia Graner. All rights reserved.


I’m really struck by “silent night,” though each poem “transports” as Olivia says - don't you think?

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

And for more poetry to love this week, please visit talented teacher and author Cathy, rounding up poems to fill your heart at Merely Day by Day.

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Pearl Sullivan

January 8, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, student work, haiku, poetry


Greetings, haiku lovers! I hope this new year continues to sparkle with new inspirations for you. There's a guaranteed shine from my blog each time I get to share a student poet and his or her work.

Today, we have a special luster to enjoy - our Student Poet of the Month is Pearl Sullivan, a former student of Tom Painting's at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia.

Pearl is 15 years old and a sophomore at Paideia.

She has lived in Atlanta for most of her life but she lived in Dublin, Ireland, for two years, moving there with her family when she was five and moving back at age seven.

"I like hanging out with my friends and family, reading, and playing sports," she says. "I started writing haiku in 7th grade as homework and grew to really love how every poem is simple but also has a deeper meaning."

Here are some of Pearls' wonderful poems:



my excuse
to rise from slumber
blood moon



raindrops
slide off the shingles
singing in the rain



history class
I discover
myself



an old song
on the radio
my breath quickens



new snowfall
blood red berries
among the thorns



frozen mid-laugh memories



Poems ©Pearl Sullivan. All rights reserved.


Many thanks to Pearl for sharing her thoughtful poetry with us today. Which ones especially strike you? [I'm a sucker for the punch of a great one-line haiku (sometimes called a monoku), and the final poem here I find very effective!]

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

To continue our journey in a new year of wonderful poetry, please make your way to The Opposite of Indifference, where the ever-shiny Tabatha hosts our Roundup today.

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Carson Race

December 11, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, haiku, student work, poetry


Happy Holidays, Poetry Folks!

Today I invite you to take a wee break from the hustle and bustle, and have a long sip of short-form poetry with our Student Haiku Poet of the Month. I’m delighted to share the work of Paideia student Carson Race.

Carson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1999. The middle of three children, he has an older brother and a younger sister. He started at The Paideia School in the third grade and has attended there ever since. His interests include soccer, football, and mock trial. He’s been writing haiku for three years since his 7th grade year.

“Why haiku?” for Carson? He writes:

Haiku is a poetic form than can be written anywhere and about anything. This is the main reason I like it. I enjoy haiku because it doesn't require much effort to get one started, but to end up with a good haiku, you need to put something into it.

(I say Amen to that.) Please enjoy some of Carson’s fine poetry:



winter morning
a bird
picking at its bath



road trip
fog rolls
over the mountains



summer lake
a crawfish
clouds the water



so full of leaves
so full of air
the tree



new moon
darkness
overcomes me



late winter day
the first cineraria
slowly rises



Poems ©Carson Race. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Carson for sharing his poems with us today. Which ones most resonate with you today?

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

And for more rejuvenating poetry in this hectic season, please visit our host Paul at These4 Corners.

[If you have any time after making the rounds, I’m delighted I'll be a featured guest today on the Nerdy Chicks Rule blog – with huge thanks to Kami Kinard!]

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Lucas Mavromatis

November 13, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work


Greetings, Poetry Friday Fans! As promised, today we have a visit from our Student Poet of the Month courtesy of The Paideia School and teacher extraordinaire Tom Painting.

Meet Lucas Mavromatis. (Isn’t that an awesome name?) Lucas was born and raised in Atlanta and is in the tenth grade at The Paideia School. He lives with his parents, Juliet and Kreton, and with his younger sister, Elena.

Lucas is an “avid fan of music” and enjoys playing the saxophone. He is also a devoted soccer player. Other hobbies include running, watching sports and spending time with friends.

About haiku, Lucas says:

I have enjoyed writing haiku since I was introduced to the poetic form in seventh
grade by my literature teacher, Tom Painting. I was instantly drawn to
haiku’s ability to express powerful imagery in a quick, concise way.


Lucas’s interests in sports and music seem to inspire his writing: I find these poems powerful, concise, and musical! Enjoy.



under the spotlight
of the moon
a woman dancing



a young boy
at the funeral
his imaginary friend



sheltered
by an old oak
a sapling



old wedding photo
a bottle of rum
holds his hand



92nd birthday
the cake too small
for the candles



snack time
the underlying taste
of hand sanitizer



Poems © Lucas Mavromatis. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Lucas for sharing his work here today.

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

Poetry Friday is brought to us this week by the wonderful Keri at Keri Recommends. She has just lost her father, and she shares a beautiful tribute to this man and this veteran this week.
{Sending warmest thoughts.}

Poetry Friday: Haiku Student Poet of the Month Grace Futral

October 9, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, student work, Student Poet of the Month

Grace Futral
Greetings, Poetry Fans! I know you've been patiently waiting for this year's "Haiku Student Poet of the Month" series. Last year you met accomplished haiku poet and teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Tom Painting. [Click here for my feature on Tom as part of our WE HAIKU HERE series last fall, and here for a few recent poems.] And you met several of his current and former students sharing their incredible haiku. [If you missed any, you may click here to get caught up.]

We are delighted to kick off the 2014-15 series with Grace Futral. Grace is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and lives in Druid Hills with her parents and older brother. At 15, she is a committed soccer player, artist, and writer.

She says:

My inspiring junior high teacher, Tom Painting, introduced me to the art of haiku. Haiku nurtures my poetic side and makes me more aware of the subtle, beautiful aspects of life.

Please enjoy some of Grace's fine poetry:



morning sun
dad knee deep
in the river


late autumn
his callused hands
feed the line

[*note* The above poem was a national winner in the 2012 Nicholas Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition]


skylight
we blend in
with the stars


summer night
frogs make the silence
so loud


the sky
sheds a lick of light
crescent moon


old mansion
the dust settled
memories


Poems ©Grace Futral. All rights reserved.


I've enjoyed re-reading these and find something new to delight in each time. While strong haiku poetry generally eschews excessive poetic devices, a particularly irresistible turn of phrase or bit of alliteration can often sneak in to make a haiku memorable. For me, that "lick of light" in Grace's "the sky" poem is just perfect. And the way the sounds of frogs make you realize how quiet it is at night - a great observation.

Which poem particularly draws you in?

Thanks for coming by to share in the series, and be sure to check out terrific poetry of all stripes at this week's Roundup, hosted by the wonderful Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Poetry Friday - Haiku with Tom Painting (& Student Haiku to come...)

September 25, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, poetry, student work, poets

Haiku poet and teacher Tom Painting and students at the 2013 quarterly Haiku Society of America meeting in Atlanta.
What's that I hear? (Cups ear with hand...) It's a new school year, and you are wondering when those FABULOUS student haiku poets will be sharing their work with us?

Have no fear. Tom Painting, acclaimed haiku poet and teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta, has no shortage of talented young people to present. We will be delighted to continue our "Student Haiku Poet of the Month" series again in October. Just a few weeks!

To whet your appetite, I asked Tom if he might share a few of his own recent poems today. [Click here for my feature on Tom as part of our WE HAIKU HERE series last fall, highlighting speakers from the quarterly meeting of the Haiku Society of America held in Atlanta.]

He kindly obliged. Enjoy:


under cover
of darkness
our heart to heart



reading
till the stars come out
I mark my place



the talk
my son throws stones
into the river



Indian summer
bison graze the shadow
of the Bitterroots



Poems ©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.

Do you have a favorite? I'm delighted or dazzled by each one. The second poem, "reading," while it offers a sense of calm, challenges us with expansiveness and perspective - we "mark our place" in the universe. As a parent whose children are now young adults, "the talk" draws a smile. And bison grazing a shadow is just a beautiful, surprising image.

Wouldn't it be great if haiku were taught in every school by such a master? I hope you'll return for more haiku from Tom's classroom this year! If you missed any of last year's featured student poets, click here to meet these amazing young writers and read their work.

And for all kinds of wonderful poetry, please visit the ever-talented Laura at Writing the World for Kids for this week's Poetry Friday Roundup. [While there, be sure to check out her great "15 Words or Less" poetry features/challenges! Helps to sharpen the haiku mind.... And learn about her new book series for teachers! :0) ]

Poetry Friday: Haiku Student Poet of the Month Madeline Budd Pearson

May 15, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work

Madeline Budd Pearson

Greetings after a couple of weeks away! The school year is winding down, and we traveled to celebrate my daughter Morgan's graduation (magna cum laude!) from Furman University.

Not all schools are out yet, of course, and I'm delighted to present our final Haiku Student Poet of the Month for 2013-14 from The Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia.




Madeline Budd Pearson lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is 14 years old and in the 8th grade. In her spare time, Madeline likes to play soccer and read. She has three siblings. She was taught how to write haiku in 2013 by her writing teacher, Tom Painting.


Madeline kindly shares some of her thoughts about haiku:



Haiku can be a way to express yourself, like other poetry. Taking simple ideas, and words and transforming them. It's a way of poetry different from any other. Yes, it is shorter, but with the right word play it can have more meaning. One subject or idea can be a hundred different haiku, and once you write what you think is a good haiku, you want to write another.



(I totally agree!)



Many thanks to Madeline for sharing these observations, and the following fine poems:


Halloween
the hollow silence
after the knock on the door


slumber party
dusty sleeping bags
arrive from the attic


mother’s boss for dinner
the unused china
comes down


quietly quilting
the whisper
of patchwork stories


supermarket
the child follows
her mother’s perfume



All poems ©Madeline Budd Pearson. All rights reserved.

I think you'll agree we're ending this year's series strong! Madeline's poems linger, like that perfume in the grocery store... And, no worries - we plan to continue our monthly poet series featuring Tom Painting's students when school convenes again in the fall.

In cased you’ve missed any of our previous Student Poets, here are the links: Emma Jones (Dec.), Stuart Duffield (Jan.) , Abby Shannon (Feb.), Marissa Schwartz (Mar.), and Liana Klin (April.).

To linger over more great poetry, please go catch the Roundup with Elizabeth Steinglass - Liz is a fine (& published) haiku poet herself, among other things!

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Liana Klin

April 10, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, Poetry Month, poetry, Student Poet of the Month, student work

Liana Kiln

Greetings! I hope you are enjoying National Poetry Month, and all the goodies our Poetry Friday community has conjured up. I’m celebrating here today with our Haiku Student Poet of the Month, Liana Klin.



Here’s Liana’s bio:

Liana is an 8th grader at the Paideia School in Atlanta. Since she moved to Atlanta in 2011, her favorite subject in school has been writing, but only recently has she discovered the art of Haiku with teacher Tom Painting. She also plays tennis and does tap dance. She enjoys spending time with her friends, parents, and two brothers. Liana hopes to continue writing in the future and will never forget the important form of poetry called Haiku.


Liana kindly shared her thoughts on haiku as well:

When I was younger, I was taught that Haiku was a type of poem with three lines. The first line had to be five syllables, the second had to be seven syllables, and third was five, and it had to be about nature. Recently I found out that these rules aren't necessarily true. A haiku may happen to come out like that though. Haiku to me is a little masterpiece that I can create with a thought and a few words. I enjoy Haiku because its like a small riddle. You read it and make a picture in your mind to figure it out. Haiku gives me something I can think about. I'm very fortunate that I have discovered the truth about Haiku and I hope to continue learning more and more about it.


And now, I think you’ll agree Liana can craft some stellar haiku.


a crack
in the parking lot
I tightrope to the car


(RHB Note: The haiku above was a winner in the 2013 Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition sponsored by the Haiku Society of America.)


banging hangers
a million sweaters
soft to the touch


old photo album
a past hidden
between pages


icy dewdrops
the crunch
beneath my feet


wooden paint pallet
I brushstroke
a starry night


clay court
I step on footprints
making them my own



All poems ©Liana Klin. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Liana for sharing her rich poetry with us!

In cased you’ve missed any of our previous Student Poets, here are the links: Emma Jones (Dec.), Stuart Duffield (Jan.) , Abby Shannon (Feb.), and Marissa Schwartz (Mar.).

Remember to follow along with the 2014 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem – Irene is keeping the calendar and posts updated at Live Your Poem.

Jama has graciously rounded up lots of Kidlitosphere Poetry Events for this month at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

And TODAY, please go visit the aMazing Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty for Today’s Little Poetry Friday Roundup! (Oh, and sing Happy Blog Birthday to her this week - there are probably some cake crumbs left....)

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Marisa Schwartz

March 20, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, haiku, student poets, student work, HSA, conferences

Marisa Schwartz



Happy Spring! If Spring did not arrive with the calendar this week where you are, I send you coastal sunshine (& pollen!) and wishes for warmth soon. What better way to welcome a new season than with haiku?


This Poetry Friday finds me traveling to Atlanta for the quarterly Haiku Society of America national conference/meeting, where some of Tom Painting’s haiku students will again share their thoughts and poems. I hope you are enjoying our blog series featuring a Student Haiku Poet of the Month as much as I’m enjoying sharing these talented and generous young people.



Ringing in Spring today is Marisa Schwartz. Marisa was raised in Decatur, Georgia (but is a New Yorker at heart) and has attended The Paideia School since third grade. She has always enjoyed writing ever since she could hold a pencil and started writing haiku in seventh grade, when creative writing teacher Tom Painting introduced it to the class. Marisa is also an accomplished piano player and plays the flute for her high school. She loves to play ultimate Frisbee and is a voracious reader. She lives with her parents, sister, and beloved cats.



(The kinship with kitties is enough for many of us, right?)





About haiku, Marisa says:


I love how haiku can capture such small and sometimes seemingly insignificant moments in life. Such small poems - only three lines - can have such a huge impact and I love how beautifully imagery can be conveyed in this way.

Here is a selection of Marisa’s poetry:


funeral home
a potted plant
in the window


midnight
lying in bed
I daydream


autumn night
a swing
in the wind


a dusty Steinway
the pedals
still warm


playing soccer
with a ping-pong ball
the kitten


lovers’ lane
everyone
on cell phones


9/11 memorial
running my fingers
over his name



All poems ©Marisa Schwartz. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Marisa for sharing her fine work! Several poems to admire here – I was particularly taken by those warm Steinway pedals myself. What speaks to you?

In cased you’ve missed any of our previous Student Poets, here are the links: Emma Jones (Dec.), Stuart Duffield (Jan.) , and Abby Shannon (Feb.).

Thanks as well to the also talented and generous Julie at The Drift Record for hosting our Poetry Friday Roundup today! Lots of great poetry awaits there, perfect for spring or any season!

Poetry Friday - Haiku Student Poet of the Month Abby Shannon

February 21, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work, student poets

Abby Shannon


Hellooooooo from the South Carolina Lowcountry (madly waving palm fronds)! I've missed you all. Last Friday ended up being moving day (rescheduled from the snow-and ice-laden middle of the week), and I'm still navigating mazes of boxes.



I'm delighted to have gotten the computer up and going yesterday to bring you, finally, February's featured Haiku Student Poet! You'll see she's worth the wait.


Abby Shannon is the third in our series spotlighting a Haiku Student Poet of the Month from among Tom Painting’s students at The Paideia School in Atlanta. (You can read more about this award-winning poet and teacher here and meet our first featured student poet, Emma Jones, here, and our second student poet, Stuart Duffield, here.)



Abby is in the ninth grade and goes to The Paideia School in Atlanta. Abby’s favorite subjects in school are literature, history, and science. In her free time she loves to read books, and spend time with her friends.


Here are some of Abby's thoughts about haiku:



Haiku is universal. The thoughts of people scattered on paper, then carefully rearranged, to make a poem. Haiku is everywhere from the space under my bed to the dog-eared page in a favorite book to the first fallen leaf of autumn. Haiku is life, and life is Haiku. Any person can relate to a well-written haiku, because they are all from the observations of other humans. Which is what makes Haiku so incredibly special.



And now, a few of her wonderful poems:



barren trees
she hangs
upside down


breast cancer parade
the little boy reaches
for his balloon


morning wind
the blossoms
tangle with her hair


late morning
the icy moon hangs
on a bright blue sky


public library
the shy boy
wipes dust off a book


white blossoms
softened
by the rain



All poems ©Abby Shannon. All rights reserved.

Well, I can't quite pick a favorite (though I'm partial to the white blossoms). Can you? Many thanks to Abby for sharing her poetry with us this month!

For more inspiring poetry, curl, ice dance, or slalom on over to see the wonderful Karen at her blog with the shockingly clever title, for this week's Roundup!

Poetry Friday -Student Haiku Poet of the Month, Stuart Duffield

January 9, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work, student poets, writing life

Stuart Duffield


This new year brings a continuing treat – the second in our series featuring a Haiku Student Poet of the Month from among Tom Painting’s students at The Paideia School in Atlanta. (You can read more about this award-winning poet and teacher here and meet our first featured student poet, Emma Jones, here.)


Today’s featured poet wowed the adult attendees at our recent Haiku Society of America Southeast Region ginko haikufest in Atlanta in October. Please welcome Stuart Duffield.

Stuart was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was raised in
Atlanta Georgia, where he currently attends The Paideia School. He was
first introduced to haiku by his 7th and 8th grade literature teacher,Tom
Painting, and has loved it ever since. Stuart’s other hobbies and
interests include general fitness, swimming, hiking, computer hardware,
and fashion.


Stuart shares a few of his thoughts about the genre:


It is often the most ordinary and common moments in my life that
haiku captures with its full breadth. These moments, many times ignored in
my fast paced life, are often most worthy of my attention, not because of
the immediate satisfaction of capturing the intricacies of nature in a
single breath, but rather the comfort it provides when I am most removed
from the things I love. Through this perspective, beauty is no longer
bound by the spindling webs of social structures and culture, but freed by
the feel of warm, moist sand underneath your feet, the warm breath blown
over the tip of your nose, the winds whipping at your cheeks and the
syncopated beats of crickets at dusk.





Now, please enjoy some of Stuart’s poems:



desert road
a javelina hides
behind a prickly pear



lazy afternoon
the cat
watches the bird feeder



desert sunrise
a cactus wren calls
from the ocotillo



sunlight through the garage window
the first chords
kick up dust



train whistle
ravens burden
a leafless tree



All poems ©Stuart Duffield. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Stuart for sharing his fine work here this week!

Thanks as well to the Delightful Donna, hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Mainely Write.

Poetry Friday: Haiku Continues with Student Poet of the Month, Emma Jones

December 12, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, student work, student poets, writing life, haiku, conferences

Emma Jones


Greetings, Poetry Friends! Thank you for joining me lately to meet haiku poets from my neck of the woods – speakers from our recent Haiku Society of America (HSA) Southeast Region ginko haikufest in Atlanta, Georgia. Next week we’ll wind up our “We Haiku Here” series with HSE SE regional coordinator, poet, and editor Terri L. French. Remember meeting award-winning poet and teacher Tom Painting last month?

Several of Tom’s students wowed us at the conference with readings of their work, and with their statements about haiku. Since 2000, Tom’s junior high and high school students have had winning haiku in the Nicholas Virgilio Memorial Haiku Contest. His students have also been recognized in the United Nations International School Haiku Competition.Tom currently teaches at The Paideia School in Atlanta.

Friday the 13th is a lucky day for us today, because with Tom’s help, I’m kicking off a monthly feature spotlighting the work of these talented students. Today I’m delighted to introduce you to Emma Jones, an 8th grade student at Paideia.

In addition to writing haiku, Emma enjoys dance and soccer. She is an avid reader. Emma lives with her mom, dad, and older sister, Camille.

Emma shares these thoughts about haiku:

I like watching a haiku form. The original idea may change throughout the revision process. After chipping away unnecessary words and switching around the lines I often find myself with a new version that may or may not look how I originally intended it to be. Since haiku are written with so few words it has made me think about each word in all of my writing. Sometimes haiku is written about the smallest and seemingly unimportant moments in life. Writing and reading haiku has made me seek out these moments and grasp their importance and elegance, to write about or just appreciate.


Emma has also kindly agreed to share some of her poems. Enjoy!



kneading my thigh
in an easy chair
the old grey cat


lazy afternoon
a soft spring breeze
combs the grass


summer drizzle
the sidewalk slowly
colors-in


city lights steal the stars


dead bird
the cat’s eyes sparkle
a confession


family breakfast
grape jelly sliding
down the jar


Nam Memorial
no need
for quiet signs



All poems ©Emma Jones. All rights reserved.


Hearty thanks to Emma for joining us today!

If Emma’s exceptional writing has whet your appetite for more great poetry, please go visit the ever creative, ever thoughtful Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup.

Poetry Friday: WE HAIKU HERE welcomes Tom Painting

November 14, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, We Haiku Here, poes, HSA, writing life, student work

Welcome back, Poetry Friday Friends! Our haiku series continues today. In late October, The Southeast Chapter of The Haiku Society of America met in Atlanta for the 2nd Annual Ginko Haikufest: “gazing at flowers” in celebration of Koboyashi Issa’s 250th birthday. (We’ll revisit Issa in a later post with HSA President and Issa scholar David G. Lanoue.) I’m shining a spotlight on our speakers here, week by week.

Last week, we kicked off the series with North Carolina poet Curtis Dunlap, who kindly provided some thoughts on haiku and several fine poems. This week, I’m thrilled to introduce Tom Painting. (If you already hang in the haiku world, Tom needs no introduction.)

One of the highlights of our recent weekend was welcoming Tom’s current and former students from The Paideia School in Atlanta, where Tom teaches junior high. (He taught my niece Olivia in fact, and she has penned some award-winning haiku, which I’ve featured here the last two years.)

These eighth and ninth graders each shared a few thoughts on haiku and then some of their own poems. I cannot adequately describe how articulate, thoughtful and talented each student was – or the tangible impact they had on us grown-up listeners! There were many moist eyes in the room during the readings. Beyond impressive.

Since 2000, Tom’s junior high and high school students have had winning haiku in the Nicholas Virgilio Memorial Haiku Contest. His students have also been recognized in the United Nations International School Haiku Competition.Tom is obviously an amazing teacher, and he is eager to share his students’ work.

For today, I convinced him to let us meet him first! This teacher, husband and father is one of our best haiku poets writing today.

In addition to regular inclusion in the top haiku journals,Tom’s haiku have appeared annually since 1998 in The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku, published by Red Moon Press. He was the 2012 winner of the Haiku Society of America haibun contest. One of his poems is included in Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years recently published by W.W. Norton and Company (see last week’s post for my aside raves).

Here are some examples of his work:



crickets
the pulse in a hollow
of her neck


Acorn #10, 2004



spring plowing
a flock of blackbirds
turns inside out


Frogpond XXV:2



detour
she returns my hand
to the wheel


Frogpond XXVI:3



year's end
the weight of pennies
in the mason jar


Modern Haiku 39:2



Indian summer
bison graze the shadow
of the Bitterroots


Modern Haiku 43:1



summer stars
my children ask me
to name a favorite


The Heron’s Nest, June 2011


All poems ©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.


Now, to the question, “Why Haiku?” – Tom’s insightful answers runneth over. In fact, I’ll feature just a few of his helpful thoughts about haiku here today and try to work in more in future posts.

“In haiku circles you’ll often hear reference to the haiku moment,” Tom explains. “In so short a form as haiku the poet must get right to the point and show the particular thing that captures her or his attention- the one among the many, the close-up in the general scene, the last, the first, the opposite.

"Haiku work with the ordinary facts of life. One of the great surprises of this form of poetry is that in the ordinary, the every day, one can find the sublime. Haiku poets write in present tense to help the reader feel as if the haiku moment were happening now. Simple, uncomplicated images, common language, objective presentation and musical sensitivity to language are additional hallmarks of a successful haiku."


Told you he was a teacher. As to why he teaches haiku:

“I teach haiku because I love it. I teach haiku because kids of all ages generally like it and some love it. I teach haiku because I feel it provides a cornerstone to literacy.”

Tom even makes his students a promise: “ If you commit yourself to the practice, you’ll learn more about the world, about writing and especially about yourself.”

If you scan the 7th through 12th grade winning entries in the Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Contest at the Haiku Society of America website, you’ll see how Tom has inspired many of the winners.

But wait! There’s more! I will be featuring one of Tom’s students each month beginning one month from today! That’s right, a student haiku poet of the month. You will be blown away, I guarantee it.

The accolades of placing in a contest are all well and good, but beyond that - when a young writer is able to engage in the world in an authentic way and express his or her experience in just a few profound words… I told you you’d be blown away, right? So stay tuned in coming weeks for more haiku from our featured speakers, and then keep circling back for our bright and shining student of the month.

As for today’s Round Up, please go see what the ever-surprising and insightful Jama is cooking up over at Alphabet Soup . It’s always Mmm-mmm good.

Poetry Friday: Student Work and Lively Limericks!

May 2, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, students, school visits, student work

Insert: Sharing a wonderful school visit at Fair Street with Media Specialist Extraordinaire Amy Hamilton. Artwork: Here is a terrific creation from David in Dr. Lacey's kindergarten class. He made this right after my presentation. I'd run from this wolf, too - wouldn't you?

I LOVE student work.

The art, stories, plays, and poetry of children often stop us in our tracks, don’t they?

If I’m in front of a few dozen or hundred kids at a school visit and I solicit some creative contribution from them, there’s a moment of sheer delight when some young mind tosses out an idea or association that I wouldn’t have thought of in a million years. It’s an honor to explore the creative process together.

As we wrap up another school year, I’m thinking of author visits from this year as well as two school visits I still have coming up. Also, my middle school Language Arts teacher friend left me a message yesterday asking if I could judge some work for the county’s creative writing contest (again!). A young student from a school visit years ago has gotten back in touch asking for some guidance regarding his writing. It’s a privilege to be welcomed into a young person’s creative pursuits. And while I hope I can provide a little guidance here and there, the most important thing I can offer is encouragement. On a good day, maybe a dash of inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, today’s Poetry Friday host and talented poet Elizabeth Steinglass got me to playing with limericks afresh this spring, with her posts about them. (Here's a terrific one from just last week.)

Right before spring break, I visited one of my favorite groups of people around: the students and faculty/staff at Fair Street School, An International Baccalaureate World School, here in north Georgia. We talked all about writing and rang in National Poetry Month. Limerick-fueled, I decided to adapt a creative writing exercise with them especially for Poetry Month.

I started out in my usual way, in the last few minutes of each presentation, asking the students to come up with a humorous character. This character is always a combination of two very different animals, which they name and classify, and which I draw on a large easel pad. Instead of going on to make a group story about this character as is my custom, we made a limerick about it!

The fun we had speaks for itself. You’ll see in these poems that I provided a basic structure for them to jump from. (We discussed the limerick form and clapped out the rhythm before diving in.) Here are the poems from the presentations, combinations of K-5 classes. Since I don’t have the goofy portraits to show (I leave these at the school with the writing), I’ll mention the animal combo before each one.


*************

(Kangaroo/Wolf)

There once was a kangawolf named Ferret
who said, "I think I would like a parrot!
Because it is spring
I must tie a string
and I'm eating a juicy carrot!"

*************

(Horse/Frog)

There once was a horsefrog named Kevin,
who said, "I wish I was eleven!
Because it is spring
I must sing with a ring,
And act my own age, which is seven!

*************

(Cheetah/Snake)

There once was a cheesnake named Mimi,
who said, “I want a boyfriend named Jimmy.
Because it is spring,
I must buy a ring,
And cruise in my new Lamborghini!”

*************

(Bird/Dog)

There once was a birddog named Tuchi,
who said, "I think you're a moochie.
Because it is spring, I must find the king,
and give him a great, big smoochie!"

*************


Aren’t those terrific?

Several of our creative, multi-tasking Poetry Friday bloggers who are teachers feature student creations now and again. Here are a few recent favorites of mine; please feel free to leave more links in the comments!

Mary Lee brought us a wrap-up of her “Common Inspiration – Uncommon Creations” project at a A Year of Reading, with all kinds of enchanting results, including some original sculptures and poetry from some of her students.

At Hubbard’s Headlines, Betsy shared colorful, dusty student masterpieces from her Chalk-A-Bration! 2013 project.

Jone shared lots of student poetry in April at Check it Out
– So, go check it out!

Last but not least, you know there’s always something exciting going on at My Juicy Little Universe, when Heidi shares the adventures of her Mighty Minnows. Enjoy the wonderful kindergarten poetry she posted this week!

(Friday a.m. update) - Just saw Laura Shovan's wonderful post today featuring third graders writing poetry about math. Really! The poems are wonderful. She'll be posting more as her residency continues.

(Sat.) Margaret has some wonderful Mother's Day poetry from students over at Reflections on the Teche.

For more great poetry from writers of all ages, head back over to see what Liz has rounded up for us this week!

(Oh - and for more about how Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's Drawing into Poems project has continued to inspire me to think about drawing, writing, and blind contours - :0) - check out my column this month at Janice Hardy's The Other Side of the Story.

Good Cheer

May 21, 2010

Tags: student work

May Greetings!

I didn't mean to be so long between posts, but it's been a crazy spring. My daughter is graduating from high school, so we've been celebrating her, and a month ago I tore my Achilles tendon, so I've been sidelined. At least I've had time to read and write during this beginning part of my recuperation. (more…)

Student Gallery Page

May 15, 2009

Tags: student work, school visits

Happy almost-the-end-of-the School Year!
I'm attempting to show off a few examples of some great student work on a new page on my website: Student Gallery. (See tab above.)
With recent upgrades to my website hosting service, there have been some glitches in uploading pictures the last day or so, but these issues are being resolved. Thanks for patience in the meantime.


On a different note, (more…)

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