Hannah enjoying poetry workshop
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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
Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller
photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko http://www.paulbjaneczko.com
Copyright 2005-2014 ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any text or images on this website, except for reproducible
"4 Kids 2 Do" and "Press Kit" pages.
March 2, 2012
Yesterday the spring-like sun was shining and the wolves (and other animals) were frisky and full of themselves at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve
, and I had a terrific time visiting with them. That put me in a mind to find a good, wild poem for today. I really love Carl Sandburg's "wilderness that will not let (him) go." Here are the first and fourth sections, but you'll want to click the link at the end to read the whole poem:
by Carl Sandburg
There is a wolf in me … fangs pointed for tearing gashes … a red tongue for raw meat … and the hot lapping of blood—I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.
There is a fish in me … I know I came from saltblue water-gates … I scurried with shoals of herring … I blew waterspouts with porpoises … before land was … before the water went down … before Noah … before the first chapter of Genesis. ...
Please click here
to enjoy the whole poem. (If you have time, leave a comment below with your favorite fun phrase - one of mine is the "saltblue water-gates" above.)
And then run, creep, slither, swim, fly or otherwise get thee to Dori Reads
where Doraine has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup.
February 9, 2012
I’m always curious about how animals are depicted in stories, myths, folktales and art. As well as in the media – I haven’t yet seen it, but this week’s TIME
has an intriguing cover story about a scientific examination of friendships between animals.
One of my favorite spreads in my WOLVES book is a brief look at “The Mythical Wolf.” For the illustration, I suggested a human in wolf clothing on one side (an indigenous person wearing a wolf pelt as a sign of admiration), and a wolf in human clothing (think of our Western “big bad wolf”) on the other. Colin Howard
produced brilliant artwork.
I recently ran across this poem, “The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ ” by Agha Shahid Ali (1949 – 2001, credited with introducing the classical form of the ghazal to American readers). In the poem below, I fell in love with the speaker’s dry, sophisticated voice. See if you don’t agree it’s dark and delicious (and rather sad, too):
The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood’
by Agha Shahid Ali
First, grant me my sense of history:
I did it for posterity,
for kindergarten teachers
and a clear moral:
Little girls shouldn't wander off
in search of strange flowers,
and they mustn't speak to strangers.
And then grant me my generous sense of plot:
Couldn't I have gobbled her up
right there in the jungle? …
for the rest of the poem.
And be sure to check out the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by Laura this week at Writing the World for Kids
November 10, 2011
Arrrwoooo - Just a heads' up that I'll be one of the featured children's authors at the Dahlonega Literary Festival this weekend. I'm presenting a session on WOLVES at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, in the St. Luke Parish Hall.
Other Southern Breezers appearing this weekend will be my good buddy Janice Hardy
and Mark Braught and Laura Knorr.
I'll be at The Crimson Moon for "lunch with the authors" Saturday at 11:30. Click here
for festival information and a schedule. Most events are free and open to the public.
October 20, 2011
To celebrate Wolf Awareness Week
(Oct. 16-22), I thought I’d celebrate with some pack-related poetry. I have the privilege of volunteering with a couple of wolves at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve
in Dahlonega, Ga. In light of the news this week, I’m sure I’m not the only one with a heavy heart for the senseless loss of animal life in Ohio, and also for the law enforcement officers who had a terrible but unavoidable task to protect the public. Surely laws in that state regarding the keeping of exotic animals will be strengthened now.
If you happen to be in north Georgia, I'll be presenting a session for kids featuring wolf information next month on Sat., Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. at the Dahlonega Literary Festival
Here are a couple of poems I wrote a while back about the captive wolves I’ve been honored to know.
The Bottom Line
I hold a piece of cheese above her nose.
Her back end hits the ground.
But she knows and I know:
A wolf only sits if she wants to.
© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
flits and floats outside the pen.
Gray wolf leaps and prances inside -
up and down,
following buttery wings.
© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
Note: In Women Who Run With the Wolves
, Clarissa Pinkola Estes describes a solo tribal dance in New Mexico called the “Butterfly Dance.” Traditionally, Hopi youth perform a social dance called “The Butterfly Dance” in late summer.
Attempts are ongoing in the Southwestern United States to reintroduce the Mexican Wolf, the most genetically distinct type of gray wolf. Efforts have not met with the same success as the reintroduction of wolves in the greater Rockies. For updated USFWS Mexican wolf information, click here
And for wonderful poetry, go see what Jama’s got cookin’ for the
Poetry Friday Roundup
October 18, 2011
© Robyn Hood Black
It's WOLF AWARENESS WEEK!
October 16-22, 2011
I celebrated with Luna and Rio at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve
today. Their coats are starting to thicken up for colder weather.
If you love wolves, check out all the great online resources at the International Wolf Center
. There are pages for kids, teachers, and wolf enthusiasts of all ages.
And, if you're in north Georgia, I'll be presenting a session with wolf information next month at the Dahlonega Literary Festival
on Sat., Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. at the Children's Stage.
Check back Friday for a wolfy Poetry Friday post.
July 12, 2011
Thanks to my friend Scotti Cohn who interviewed me on her great Wolf and Cat
My pack has been doing a bit of summer travelling - will catch up with Poetry Friday again next week!
Hope you are having a wonderful July.
June 16, 2011
SCBWI Southern Breeze Poetry Retreat with Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Twenty poets gathered in the north Georgia mountains last weekend for an SCBWI Southern Breeze
poetry I coordinated with special guest,
Rebecca Kai Dotlich
. That thunderstorm mentioned at the end of last week’s post from Rebecca’s poem visited us more than once at the Center for New Beginnings
in Dahlonega, Georgia. We enjoyed sessions with Rebecca, who said her favorite poems offer a *surprise*, wonderful food and fellowship, individual critiques, and sparks of new poems begging to be written.
For more information and pictures, visit my POETRY
page and also attendee Jean Matthew Hall’s blog
. Doraine Bennett blogged as well at Dori Reads
This week I also had the privilege of speaking to some upper elementary and middle school writers at Lakeview Academy’s Writers Camp! What a talented group of creative young people.
But wait – there’s more. It was also Zoofari Camp this week at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve
, and I popped in over there, too. I love talking about writing and also wolf education, so it was a great experience. I even brought Rio down from his pen to say hello to the campers (from a safe distance!). See pictures on my WOLVES
and STUDENT GALLERY
Back to the retreat – Rebecca was a terrific good sport out in the woodsy, rustic environment – particularly considering we learned “woodsy” and “rustic” are not really her thing
! I have to say I loved running half-wild through the woods as a kid, and I guess I’ve never outgrown it.
Thinking about that, I dug out this poem written soon after I started volunteering with wolves three years ago. (I know – it’s a little strange! But it still applies.)
"Breath of Fresh Hair"
Sometimes the wolf smell lingers
on my skin or in my hair –
I like catching a whiff on my sleeve
in the grocery store.
I hate to wash it off in the shower.
It’s not a scent for civilized company.
It’s the smell of secrets,
of murky mist –
heady and heavy,
wild and holy.
©Robyn Hood Black
All rights reserved.
Please visit the Poetry Friday Roundup at
Check it Out
May 24, 2011
Just a quick shout-out to folks who might know youngsters in the Dahlonega, Ga., area who are crazy about wild animals - There's about a week left to sign up for the "Zoofari" Summer Camp at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve. The camp is for kids ages 7 to 12 and is scheduled for June 13- 18, 9:30 to 3:00 each day. Click on over to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve
website and find the "Summer Camp" tab to learn the details.
I'll be there sometime during the week presenting a session on wolves. Arrwooooooo!
February 28, 2011
It's been a fun month of featuring nonfiction nature writers! For our last visit, I'm happy to host Scotti Cohn. I “met” Scotti online when her fellow Sylvan Dell author and my good friend Gail Karwoski told me about Scotti’s gorgeous rhyming picture book, ONE WOLF HOWLS (illustrated by Susan Detwiler). Needless to say, Scotti and I discovered we are pretty much from the same pack! The Illinois writer, who is planning to move to South Carolina in a few months, tackles a wide range of subjects for readers of all ages, and you should check out her great blogs. Today we welcome her for a sneak preview of her new book from Sylvan Dell, also illustrated by Susan Detwiler, BIG CAT, LITTLE KITTY.
Welcome, Scotti! We share a lot of passions, including members of the canine and feline families – wild or domestic. Tell us about your new book, BIG CAT, LITTLE KITTY. What does it have in store for young readers, and how did you come up with the idea for it? (more…)
November 8, 2010
Betty King, VP for the WV Symphony Education and Operations, brought me to the Charleston area for several days in area schools (Nov. 2010). What great folks!
Gracious thanks to Betty King, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and so many great folks in the Charleston area for a week of wolfy, writing fun in schools! The Symphony sponsors and ambitious arts in education program, and I got to be part of it this year.
School children from throughout the region will get to experience Grant Cooper's "Song of the Wolf" (a recasting of the Three Little Pigs, with The Wolf as an environmentalist) as part of the Young People's Concert Series later this month. In preparation, arts-in-education goddess Betty King and her staff have been working with local educators, offering ideas for projects limited only by the imagination. (more…)
August 31, 2010
I'm thrilled to be featured on Heather Ivester's great blog, Mom 2 Mom Connection, a terrific source of encouragement for busy parents who also love to write. Copy and paste this link for the interview:
Heather is a talented author who knows a bit about combining mothering and writing. As it says on her site, "Heather Ivester has a heart for parents who feel called to write, as she’s the mother of five school-aged children, and writing is the only way she can complete a sentence around her house." Ha! (more…)
August 27, 2010
For some Friday football fun, our local paper, the Gainesville (Ga.) Times, is doing stories on hypothetical match-ups between school mascots. The editor gave the reporter for today's story my name as a contact. Cut and past the link below in your browser if you'd like to ponder an unlikely, unnatural contest!
August 2, 2010
Thanks to Mayra Calvani for posting an interview with yours truly on her great blog!
Check out her website, too.
July 28, 2010
Mine certainly has been lately! This past week, I found out the Intervisual Animal Vault series has been discontinued, including WOLVES. I have some copies I'll reserve for school visits, since I like to donate one of each of my books to school media centers. But I'm sad it's out of print. However, I'm happy that I could help collect and send off some copies for use in a very worthwhile and innovative arts in education program in West Virginia.
In cheerier news (is cheerier a word?), take a look at the photo to the left. (more…)
July 21, 2010
You're probably thinking I crawled into a wolf den to hide for a couple of months. Not really, though maybe not that far off....
First, I've been continuing to heal with this torn Achilles. Thanks for the well wishes. I'm doing much, much better - even driving now - which is a relief to my chauffeuring teenagers and to myself! Still a month or two of physical therapy and such to go. (more…)
April 11, 2010
Juno and Luna, the two gray wolves I volunteer with at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Ga., turn two today!
I made them a birthday cake this week; I'll post a couple of pictures on my WOLVES page as soon as I get my new computer all connected. (Can you say, always remember to back up your stuff? At least I had backed up a good bit.)
Happy Spring to you and your pack....
November 6, 2009
I have the amazing privilege of volunteering at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Ga., - http://www.chestateewildlife.com - with Juno and Luna, the wolves whose pictures you see here and there on my website. At a year-and-a-half old now, they are magnificent creatures.When I visit them, we generally work on manners (socialization), and I also enjoy observing their antics. Today they were particularly playful. (more…)
October 12, 2009
Awrrrooooooooooooooo - It's Wolf Awareness Week!Oct. 11 - 17, 2009 - If you're not familiar with the amazing online resources offered by the International Wolf Center, this week would be a good time to discover them! http://www.wolf.org . You can tune in to the webcams and perhaps catch a glimpse of wolf activity in real time; link to current headlines from all over about wolf issues; or check out the educational resources for kids and teachers, just for starters. On the local front, on my WOLVES page, I posted some pictures of the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve's Juno and Luna from last week. I've added a picture or two every month since they were four-week-old pups. They turned a year and a half old this weekend!
April 15, 2009
The two wolves at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve (www.chestateewildlife.com) are celebrating their first birthday this month. Volunteering with them has been one of the highlights of my life! They teach me something every week.
Happy Birthday, Juno and Luna!
(Click on my WOLVES page to see pictures of them growing up this past year.)
February 17, 2009
If you're looking for a wolf book for the younger set, ONE WOLF HOWLS by Scotti Cohn (Sylvan Dell) is hot off the press. Young readers will enjoy learning wolf facts in this counting book featuring rhyming text. Check out Scotti's website with more wolfy stuff and links to wolf websites: http://www.scotticohn.com (more…)
January 14, 2009
Happy New Year!
The time has come... to blog. Yesterday, I received an email inquiry which completely made my day. The Museum Retail Director at the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN, asked for contact information about ordering WOLVES, saying, "It will be a great book for us to sell- there isn’t anything else like it that I am aware of."
The IWC - http://www.wolf.org - is an amazing organization and facility dedicated to wolf education and preservation. Much of my research for WOLVES was generated from resources on the IWC website. Check out their wolfcams, and the Wolf Den store, where I hope to see my book offered soon!
Explore a poem or two or five....
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
bio, photos, interview links, etc.
(Click here to visit Robyn's art business)
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
National Council of Teachers of English
Click here for KidLitosphere's links to current poetry round-up