icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - WHAT IS A FRIEND?

 

Greetings, Poetery Lovers! I'm joining some other Poetry Friday-ers today celebrating the release of WHAT IS A FRIEND? from Pomelo Books. (You know, the powerhouse poetry publishing team of Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong!)  WHAT IS A FRIEND? is the product of their recent Antho 401 class.  [I'm now taking a reprise of their Antho 201 class, which I blogged about a few weeks ago, if you want more info about Pomelo poetry magic.]  As with their other recent books, poems were written in response to photographs of children in a variety of situations.

 

This new book, geared toward ages 8 & up, explores many aspects of friendship. It's a Children's Book Council "Hot Off the Press" selection for October! And, as with the "THINGS WE" series, proceeds from sales are being donated to the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund.

 

Here's my poem:

 

 

PRESENT

 

 

   You didn't say,

          Come on – Cheer up! 

          Everything will be okay.

 

 

   You didn't say,

          I know exactly

          what it's like

          to feel that way.

 

 

   You didn't say

          anything.

 

 

   Just sat with me,

          

 

           and

       that

  meant

       everything.

 

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

 

When editing this poem, I was attempting to follow Janet's suggestion about changing a line that I originally had right after "Just sat with me,".  I tweaked and tweaked, until the haiku poet in me just struck it out altogether - making for a stronger poem. I'm so glad Janet flagged it in the first place, so I could toss it. 

 

Learn more about WHAT IS A FRIEND? here . Happy Book Birthday, Sylvia & Janet!

 

For more FRIEND-ly posts for Poetry Friday this week, and lots of other poetic treasures, check out the Roundup hosted by Sara Grace Tuttle.  Thanks, Sara Grace!

15 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - New Online Antho Class from Sylvia & Janet, and a Poem from Janet Clare Fagal

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

You might know that Sylvia Vardell and Janet S. Wong met years ago at a conference, and the Kidlit Poetry World has never been the same since.  ;0)  Their publishing enterprise Pomelo Books has produced many wonderful poetry anthologies for kids in the last decade, all classroom-friendly, too.  Several of us Poetry Friday folks are privileged to have poems in them, along with dozens of other poets. 

 

Sylvia just retired from a 30-year career teaching children's literature (and teaching teachers) at Texas Woman's University, and she has been a valued member of several important committees across a variety of literacy organizations.  She's also trekked across the world getting good books into the hands of kids, donning her signature one-of-a-kind outfits featuring poetry themes! She's continuing poetry-centric endeavors in her new adventures. 

 

Janet is the 2021 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children winner, with 21 books to her credit BEFORE she started co-producing anthologies.  Her A SUITCASE OF SEAWEED was released again a couple of years ago as A SUITCASE OF SEAWEED AND MORE, and that version of the suitcase became stuffed with several prestigious awards! She came to the kidlit world after practicing law, and has also volunteered with many literacy organizations.  

 

One group Janet and Sylvia are both involved with is IBBY (International Board on Books For Young People). Proceeds from their latest series of books go to the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund, which connects vulnerable children in several countries with literacy programs.

 

What is their latest series of books, you ask?  It's a group of anthologies with fantastic poems accompanying photographs of kids, and these have grown from the soil of anthhology workshops this Dynamic Poetry Duo started offering last year.  The classes are called Antho 101, 201, 301 and 401.  I've been enjoying reading lots of Poetry Friday posts about them, and was lamenting that I couldn't make the schedule happen when the workshops first emerged.  

 

But, lo and behold, this summer, when they offered Antho 401 (poetry targeted for ages 8 & up), I WAS able to join in.  I've enjoyed watching the videos and writing submissions for the book attached to this class, and helping to evaluate other poems for consideration.  Sylvia and Janet generously put participants through ALL the paces of creating and anthology - and let us peek in on their own spirited discussions of which pictures to select and why, etc., etc. I am looking forward to the live, online class gathering in a few weeks.

 

AND... they are offering Antho 201 (poetry targetd to very young readers) AGAIN this fall!  It includes recorded sessions, a live class, and a new book to be created! I'm signing up for this reprise, too, since I missed it before. 

 

Here's the scoop with an overview of the workshops and dates and registration info:

 

https://pomelobooks.com/anthologies-101

 

and here's a blog post from earlier in the year with some more information about this workshop series:

 

http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/2022/02/learning-about-poetry-anthologies.html

 

The published books in this series (so far!) include these collections for younger readers: THINGS WE DO, THINGS WE EAT, and THINGS WE FEEL.  

 

Here's a taste from THINGS WE DO - a delightful poem by one of our Poetry Friday friends that stole my heart, as I'm still basking in becoming a grandmother earlier this summer. (Each poem in this book corresponds to a letter of the alphabet - this one is for 'W'.)

 

WAVE

 

by Janet Clare Fagal

 

When we leave Grandma's,

she stands in the yard.

 

We get in our car.

I wave really hard.

 

Her smile is the sun.

My wave is the sky.

 

I wave from my window

for one more goodbye.

 

©Janet Clare Fagal.  Posted with permission.

 

Thanks to Janet for letting me share this poem today!  The new wee bairn in our family, Sawyer, is not quite waving yet.  BUT, this week, he started grabbing the dangling toys from his playmat as he lays beneath them!  (I require daily photos and/or videos from Morgan between visits.) And he's just twelve weeks old.  Of course, he already love rhymes and songs....

 

Many thanks also to Tanita for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week over at {fiction, instead of lies}.  And unending thanks to Janet and Sylvia, who continue to share so much poetry light in the world.

14 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - The Roundup is HERE! :0)

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Welcome to the Poetry Friday Roundup.  Everyone's invited! :0)

 

Do you know about "mast years" when it comes to trees?  Oaks, particularly. In a mast year, trees drop zillions of acorns on the ground, on your driveway, on your metal roof making you jump umpteen times a day, on the top of your car.... (That was a scientific description.  For a folklore-ish one, click here.)

 

Here in the Lowcountry this fall, we're crunching acorns underfoot with every step.  

 

Sometimes poets (& editors!) have a mast year.  Or at least a mast season.  

 

Take Sylvia Vardell, for example.  No sooner did she welcome her wonderful new anthology, A WORLD FULL OF POEMS (DK Children) into the world, than it was time to launch the newest collection from Pomelo Books with co-poetic-superhero Janet Wong, HOP TO IT - Poems to Get You Moving.  (Here's the link.  And here's a link to my poem in it, and a graphic with the Blog Tour schedule.)

 

This fun new anthology features a hundred poems designed to get us all up and moving around, or at least to offer some much-needed mini-breaks during a long school day (virtual or in-person), sprinkled with fun facts and inviting illustrations by Franzi Paetzold. 

 

Each poem is complemented by Sylvia's always-terrific activity suggestions, a fun fact nugget, a spot illustration, a teeny language arts or poetry connection, and a book title on a similar subject.  But wait - there's more!  In the EXTRA! EXTRA! section at the end, you'll find even MORE resources and ideas to keep the poetry, and your body, hopping! 

 

And, speaking of trees, here's a poem from HOP TO IT by our own Margaret Simon, just begging to be acted out:

 

 

ZEN TREE

 

I am a tree.

A tree is what I want to be.

I spread my branches wide. 

I stand tall.

I reach my roots into deep earth.

I grow and grow and grow.

And at the end of the day,

when the sun falls down,

and sprinkles orange all over my leaves,

I wrap myslef in a holding hug.

 

 

©Margaret Simon.  Used with permission.

 

 

 I can think of a couple of other folks who are having a mast year when it comes to published books...

 

Check out Irene Latham's website here, and visit her book pages! So many wonderful new titles, just THIS year, including one co-authored with Charles Waters, DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD, which is a favorite of one of my daughter's students in Georgia. 

 

Then there's Laura Purdie Salas's treasure trove of new titles this year... Find out about them here.  And for nonfiction lovers, Laura shared so much goodness in her Small Reads November newsletter, including a long peek at NONFICTION WRITERS DIG DEEP, edited by Melissa Stewart. 

 

All of these books would make FABulous holiday gifts, don't you think? 

 

As would Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's follow up to READ, READ READ.  It's called... WRITE WRITE WRITE!  (Click here for  more.)

 

And Jeannine Atkins's new title in the footsteps of FIDNING WONDERS, this one about math:  GRASPING MYSTERIES - Girls Who Loved Math.  (Click here for more.)

 

If you need book ideas for the wee-est of wee ones, check out Heidi Bee Roemer's books here. What little one could resist a book called PEEKITY BOO - What YOU Can Do!

 

I've already gifted Morgan, my daughter who teaches third grade, a copy of HOP TO IT, and a few others!  And other folks on my Christmas list will be getting some poetry....

 

The great thing about giving poetry is that it both enriches the recipient, and supports everyone who works so hard to create these treasures.  

 

These ideas are in NO way complete or conclusive!  MANY wonderful titles (maybe yours?) have recently made their way into the world and would make a wonderful present for some young, curious soul - or a young-at-heart one!  Feel free to mention your own suggestions in the comments, and readers can peruse those, too.

 

For the best gift ideas ever, be sure to check out Jama Kim Rattigan's "Nine Cool Things on a Tuesday" posts over at her Alphabet Soup blog.  Here's a link to the post from Nov. 3, which I am thrilled and honored to have a mention in!  (Thanks, Jama, and Mr. C.)

 

In fact, a few of us Poetry Friday-ers have Etsy shops.  Michelle Kogan offers bright and colorul and inspirational art and products sure to delight a recipient.  (Click here.)

 

Last week's host, Susan Bruck, offers colorful wool wares and more at SoulBlossomLiving on Etsy. 

 

And here's a link to my shop, artsyletters.  (By the way, I'll soon send out my little holiday postcard.  If you don't receive it already and would like to be added to my real-world mailing list, shoot me an email with your real-world address.) 

And, can you keep a secret?  It'll have a 15 percent off coupon code good through Dec. 15.  Okay, I'll tell you the code, but shhhhh.... please don't post or share widely.  It's for my special peeps!  You can enter STAR15 in the Coupon Code box, or just use this link directly.  I will be listing several new items in the next couple of weeks, so feel free to keep that handy for Cyber Week shopping, or whenever you might need a gift for a reader or writer or POET on your holiday list. 

 

Your post, I know, will be a gift to readers this week!  Please include your link in a comment below, and I'll round up old-school-style and list the links right here starting Friday morning. Happy Poetry Friday!

 

 

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

 

Little Willow starts us off this week with a lovely moonlit offering at Bildungsroman.

 

Ever-busy Laura Purdie Salas shares a personal post and poem today at Small Reads for Brighter Days.  She wrote "When Hope is Not Easy" just before the 2016 election, and revisits it now, with some light from the recent one. 

 

I'm beyond humbled and delighted that Linda Mitchell grabbed some inspiration here last week and shares two original haiku/haiga - one gentle, one sharp - perfect for November. Enjoy at A Word Edgewise!

 

Heidi, who has been oh-so-busy serving on the NCTE Poetry Awards Committee (!), chimes in with an aubade in response to a Sunday Swaggers challenge. Her poem, and post, brim with "extra unexpected joy" as always, at My Juicy Little Universe

 

You might guess from his blog's title, "Poetry Pizzazz," that Alan J. Wright loves alliteration.  He shares a fun original alliterative poem today, and some bits of bewitching backstory. 

 

This lifelong dog lover is wagging away at Laura Shovan's offering today... does your dog 'help' you do yoga, too? Enjoy Laura's original poem, a couple of book recommendations and of COURSE - cute dog pix. 

 

Michelle in celebrating World Kindness Day at Today's Little Ditty, with a remarkable poem by psychiatrist Helen Montague Foster.  (I'll be sharing this post with my psychiatrists hubby!)

 

Have you seen the movie, Arrival? Have you lived through a quarantine?  And answer to either or both of those will set you up to appreciate Tabatha's offering at The Opposite of Indifference today - a poem by Natalia Conte.

 

One reason I so love Poetry Friday, beyond the delicious poetry, is that I'm always learning something new!  The lovely Janice Scully shares a perfectly peaceful post and picture today at Salt City Verse, with a reflective haiku and an explanation of "meromictic" - what a fun word!

 

At Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, Matt Forrest Essenwine gives us a sneak peek at a new anthology featuring some poetic and artistic stars from New England - FRIENDS & ANEMONES - Ocean Poems for Children. (Is that a great title, or what?!)  One of Matt's poems in the book will have you taking a stern look over the bow....

 

More moonlight magic awaits over at Teacher Dance today, where the ever-lovely Linda shares a poetic treasure she found in an old book from the beloved bookstore where she helps out.  It's Walter de la Mare's "Silver" - how have I lived up to now without this poem? It's pure shimmer. 

 

The sparkle doesn't stop there.  Get ready for some serious ooh-ing and ahh-ing at Beyond Literacy Link, where Carol shares poems and GORgeous paintings inspired by her many recent "awe walks" in Autumn.

 

If your feet are more fidget-y than stroll-y, Kathryn Apel has the poem for you with some more HOP TO IT fun! I was delighted to 'meet' Kat in a recent Zoom gathering celebrating the release of the book.  Today, Kat shares her reading of her poem there, "Fit as a Fidget" - along with a writing prompt, too!  

 

At her Alphabet Soup, Jama offers the most delicious post featuring a delightful, diminutive kitchen diva and her multi-legged kitchen crew, who star in The Tiny Baker by Hayley Barrett and illustrated by Alison Jay.  This rhyming picture book will have you looking at any wayward bug that lands in your kitchen with a new eye!

 

I don't know exactly what time it is in Switzerland right now, but you'd have to get up pretty early to keep up with Bridget and her ever-clever way with words.  Today she enlightens us about the many mushrooms popping up all over, with plenty of puns and a fun wee poem!  (Is it a mast year for mushrooms over there?) Hopo on over to Wee Words for Wee Ones and see for yourself. 

 

Michelle Kogan is readying for an art show and also an online poetry reading through the Poetry Foundation, but she's got a few goodies to savor in the midst of the flurries, including some original haiku and art.  Good luck with all, Michelle!

 

At Lit Bits and Pieces, Fran extends the tree theme this week with a rich post of wonder, poetry, images - and even some science behind tree communication - it 'leaves' me both challenged and nourished. 

 

And twist my arm to share another post featuring haiku!  At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee brings us haiku from her daily diary (even if they all didn't make it onto Twitter).  You'll recognize our 'present moment' in many of them, with nods to current events. 

 

At Nix the Comfort Zone, Molly offers some thoughtful photographs and haiku, and an inadvertent life lesson on perspective. Thanks, Molly!

 

Kimberly Hutmacher brings us words from one of the geographical front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a somber haiku and a hopeful haiku. (I share Kimberly's frustration, as our family and extended family has experienced illness and loss because of the virus.)

 

Margaret, at Reflections on the Teche, reflects on another big news story, the election - with her couldn't-help-herself poem in response to events with inspiration from other poetic voices.  

 

Yay - Rose at Imagine the Possibilities is Hopping to It as well today, with a post featuring her oh-so-fun "Can You Wriggle Like a Worm."  Well, can you? ;0)

 

Our Dear Jan of BookSeed Studio has a Mast Year of a post today - with her responses to the election, and history, and Veteran's Day, and her beloved.  Grab a second cup of tea and enjoy all the thoughtfulness and links.  She also offers up a GREAT suggestion for a book for these times, Georgia Heard's THIS PLACE I KNOW - Poems of Comfort.  (Jan has excerpts.)

 

At There is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town, Ruth shares a poignant and powerful poem by Miroslav Holub from Naomi Shihab Nye's anthology, THIS SAME SKY.

 

True to Irene's bountiful year this year, her post today at Live Your Poem is a buffet: she's highlighting three poetry books (including HOP TO IT!) which would make wonderful holiday gifts, and she's got a poem as part of her ArtSpeak series, which is a gift across space and time. 

 

Karen Eastlund is in this week with more beautiful fall photographs and an equally lovely poem. How many shades of yellow can you think of? :0)

 

The amazing Myra brings us a voice I look forward to learning more about:  Vidyan Ravinthiran.  She has his poem "As a Child" at Gathering Books today - so powerful. 

 

--I am off to keep shop a bit - running late!  - but will return this afternoon.  Thanks to all for participating!!--

 

And... Closing out the day (well, the Eastern time one here!) is Jone Rush MacCulloch!  What a treat to get to go on so many walks in Fall woods with you folks this week, and peek at journals, pictures, art. Jone shares all three this week, part of her #Autumn Gratiku series.  AND, you can sign up for her New Year's Poem Postcard Swap, too!

 

WAIT - There's more!  Carol at The Apples in My Orchard brings us along on a trip to their beautiful cabin celebrating the warmth of this cozy getaway with some hiaku.  Ahhhh....  AND, Carol is a long time Etsy seller, too!  Check out her lovely handmade jewelry and unique face masks at CarolsJewelryOrchard on Etsy. 

 

And don't miss Susan's post at Soul Blossom Living.  It made me slow down and tear up.  She takes us on a prairie walk, with a rich long look at gratitude this November, and her poem about it.  (It's multi-sensory - she has video links, too!)

 

I am so grateful for you all.

37 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - My Poem, "Trail Ready," in HOP TO IT

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Just hopping in this week to celebrate the launch of the newest collection from Pomelo Books, HOP TO IT!  Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have put together an oh-so-welcome collection of poems to get folks moving - perfect for young readers who have been sidelined as we all have this year.

 

I'll have more about the book when the HOP TO IT blog tour stops here on November 13, and you'll know lots about it by then because the tour will park at several wonderful blogs.  It started a couple of weeks ago at Jone's place. Yesterday the tour stopped at Kathy Temean's blog, here.  And Sylvia is telling us all about this week at Poetry for Children.

There are giveaways along the way! 

 

Congrats to Sylvia and Janet and all the poets in the Pomelo Universe for this wonderful new anthology.

 

Here's my contribution, for those answering the call of the Great Outdoors:

 

 

Trail Ready

 

We're going on a hike today!

I'll get my backpack ready.

Jacket, flashlight, extra socks –

Can you hold it steady?

Trail mix, thermos, bug spray, hat,

notebook, pencils, this and that.

 

Binoculars and whistle

dangle from my neck.

Blue bandanna, walking stick.

Map and compass? Check.

 

Through the leafy canopies

to fields, where sun is brighter –

Next time (huff) we hike (huff puff),

I'll pack a little lighter.

 

©2020 Robyn Hood Black

 

(Note to my family - hold your tongue about my pack-rat tendencies.  Thank you.)

 

Grab your own backpack and head to Salt City Verse to stuff it with poems.  Thanks for hosting, Janice!

20 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - My NATIONAL POETRY MONTH mini videos continue... :0)

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy National Poetry Month.

 

Each weekday in April, I'm sharing a new short video featuring me reading one of my published poems.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, these are poems for children.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, these are haiku suitable for children.

 

(So, three down... a bunch to go!)

 

Today's reading is from THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY (K-5 edition) from POMELO BOOKS by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Click here to hear it, and/or click here for my YouTube channel. (Note, I don't really know what I'm doing, but I'm learning... Ha!)

 

 

Trouble on the Trail

 

The woods are great and everything,

but now I feel an itch. 

 

My arms are turning kind of red;

my body wants to twitch.

 

You think that's poison ivy there?

Now that would be some joke. 

 

You don't?  Oh good.  But what was that?

You think it's poison oak?

 

 

©2012 by Robyn Hood Black

 

 

Thanks to my family for helping with this project (Morgan mentioned looking for online content for her third-graders; Seth whipped up some original guitar magic and texted it to me; and hubby Jeff followed me around this past weekend with my new-ish iPhone to make some recordings!). Special thanks to all the teachers, media specialists, and school staff, who, like Morgan, are missing their students so and doing their best to educate from afar. 

 

Speaking of amazing teachers, the always-adventurous Heidi has our Roundup today at My Juicy Little Universe.  And be sure to check out all the special Poetry Month projects around the Kidlitosphere at Jama's yearly Alphabet Soup Roundup.  Thank you, you Wonderful Women! AND, follow the Progressive Poem, this year organized by another amazing teacher, Margaret!

 

Wishing you and yours peace and safety and health in these surreal days.  Read, and write, lots and lots of poems!

 

(Note - Children under the age of 13 may only comment with demonstrated parental consent.  Thank you.)

28 Comments
Post a comment

Happy National Poetry Month! I PAUSE FOR POEMS with a Video each Weekday.... :0)

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers - and,

HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!

 

I'm embarking on a new adventure, I PAUSE FOR POEMS.  My teacher-daughter Morgan, like many of you and others across the country, is seeking more online content than usual for students during these challenging weeks. 

 

So I grabbed a good-natured husband, and the new-ish iPhone my kids made me get, and took off outdoors, books in hand.  Then I solicited some long-distance guitar magic from son Seth.  And then I went hunting for that video channel on YouTube I'd "claimed" a million years ago.... And then I watched some generous tutorials. [These have greatly helped but certainly haven't smoothed out all my glitches and imperfections, but here we go anyway!]

 

Each weekday in April, I'll share a new short video featuring me reading one of my published poems.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, these will be poems for children.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, these will be even shorter videos featuring a haiku suitable for children.

 

The first foray, pictured above, is my reading of "Sincerely," (©2015 by Robyn Hood Black/©2015 by Pomelo Books) which appears in THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS as well as in HERE WE GO and GREAT MORNING, all from POMELO BOOKS by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. 

 

Thanks to my family for helping, to teachers for teaching, and to everyone who makes poems and books. Each April, the magnificent Jama Kim Rattigan rounds up special National Poetry Month projects throughout the Kidlitosphere (with help from Mr. Cornelius, I am certain.)  You can find her list at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

 

To follow my poem video adventures, here's a link to my YouTube channel.

 

Thanks for tagging along, and here's to a soul-nourishing Poetry Month!

 

(Note - Children under the age of 13 may only comment with demonstrated parental consent.  Thank you.)

Be the first to comment

Poetry Friday - The Roundup is HERE!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Many of you have just started a new school year, or are about to, or have watched your fledglings or grand-fledglings hop off to school or college. Such an exciting time!  (Our youngest fledgling has moved to Atlanta to start grad school/seminary this week.)

 

Seems like just yesterday he was turning the pages of BABYBUG, one of his favorite baby/toddler magazines.  In 2013, The HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN folks launched a magazine for the tiniest tykes:  HELLO – a "... chew-proof, drool-resistant magazine for babies and toddlers" that "packs up a bundle of joyful stories and poems, as well as expert advice for parents." It's a fun, educational adventure in print with thick, slick pages. (Here's a link to subscription information.) 

 

I've had a few poems accepted by HELLO and was thrilled to discover one had been published in the July issue.  I was even MORE thrilled when a Poetry Friday friend shared a picture of her grandson "reading" it! Isn't he adorable?  (Honored to share the picture, but we'll honor his privacy, too.)

 

Here's the poem:

 

    Spider, Spider

 

    by Robyn Hood Black

 

 

   Spider, spider,

   Weave and spin

   Down, around,

   And up again

 

   Spider, spider,

   Time to rest

   in your round

   And webby nest.

 

©2018 Highlights for Children

 

The poem was illustrated by Maria Neradova. (Click here for her website.)

 

[Spiderly aside… some of you might recall my obsession with Golden Silk Orb Weavers.  Two years ago at this time, I was following the daily habits of one which took up conveniently right outside my kitchen window.  I mentioned her in a couple of blog posts here and here.  The poem above came from my observations of her quick and fancy footwork building and rebuilding her web.]

 

This time of year does brim with excitement.  Just in case you've been on a month-long cruise with no cell service or WiFi, I want to make sure everyone knows about GREAT MORNING! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud.  This eye-opening volume features 75 poems by 50 poets and is the latest inspiring offering from Pomelo Books, the poetry-power publishing force led by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell.  (I'm delighted my poem, "Sincerely,"  is included, as a linked poem to Janet's "#1 and A++" which celebrates school volunteers.)

 

Lots of Poetry Friday blog posts have offered inside peeks – thanks to all who have shared.  Here's Sylvia's wonderful post over at Poetry for Children from July.  Click here for more at the Pomelo Books site.

 

So, GREAT MORNING to you… let's have a Roundup!  All are welcome, including you Thursday night early-birds/night owls. Leave your links in the comments below, and I'll round up old-school style throughout the day on Friday.  (Note – with recent changes in Blog-land privacy, I no longer have access to email addresses associated with comments.  Do remember to leave your link!) :0)

 

THE ROUNDUP:

 

Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town starts us off thoughtfully this week, in light of the darkness of the daily news. She shares an original sonnet in response, as well as one of The Bard's.

 

Kimberly Hutmacher raises a poetic toast with a sippy cup!  Read her perfectly wonderful original poem inspired by her granddaughter – and, if you can help out with Poetry Friday hosting on Oct. 19, let her know!

 

At Reflections on the Teche, the always-inspiring Margaret has a couple of wonderful student poems (shared by a fellow teacher) inspired by Margaret's new book, BAYOU SONG – Creative Explorations of the South Louisiana Landscape. Psstt… she'll be at the National Book Festival; will you?

 

At Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, Matt has taken inspiration from Diane Mayr's cherita posts to pen a lovely back-to-school cherita of his own.  I dare you not to smile. 

 

Ever-clever librarian Linda at A Word Edgewise shares a peek into PLANET LIBRARY (a stroke of student brilliance) with a poem by Alberto Alvaro Ríos, "Don't Go into the Library."

 

Mary Lee at A Year of Reading has the perfect new-school-year poem for fellow teachers, as timely today as when she first shared it six years ago!

 

Michelle Kogan  guides us into this upcoming change of seasons with an original poem, "Running," and also "In Late August" by Peter Campion. AND, she's got info about her beautiful Etsy shop's participation in Etsy's Labor Day Sale this weekend.  (I'm in this weekend, too! :0) )  Michelle's shop-wide sale runs through Sept. 23rd.

 

Chiming in from the road this week, Jone Rush MacCulloch shares some Summer Poem Swap goodness from Linda Mitchell.  Fan of Monarch butterflies?  Carl Sandburg?  Collaged cards?  There's a lot of delight packed into a compact post!

 

Linda at TeacherDance has a special back-to-school poem she wrote for her grandkids (and everyone starting a new year), "School Starting – The Other To-Do List." I love it so much I sent it to my third-grade-teacher-daughter. (She loved it too!)

 

At The Opposite of Indifference, Tabatha offers us a personal look at history with Iris Jamahl Dunkle's haunting and lyrical "Communion of Dust." 

 

Diane has some fresh looks at death and poetry – yep – over at Random Noodling.  Enjoy her original work and you can learn a new phrase, too - "Momento Mori." 

 

Kurious Kitty reminds us what Labor Day is all about, and more – with a moving poem by Philip Levine.

 

When Michelle brings back a DMC Challenge, she brings it back with a bang – over at Today's Little Ditty  you'll find a glorious interview with Naomi Shihab Nye,  and poetry from her newest book,  VOICES IN THE AIR – Poems for Listeners.  (And the challenge.  You'll find that, too.)

 

More Monarch Love!  Of COURSE butterflies are adored at The Poem Farm. Amy shares Gloria's story today – Of COURSE butterflies have names at The Poem Farm. Enjoy her amazing photos and poem, as well as an upside-down look at process. (PS - Love right back to your spiders!)

 

Erin Mauger rings in from Australia with "Chicken Pox Rox" – an original poem which will have you recalling your own childhood bout of blisters – and also a compelling Tedx video of 13-year-old Poetry Slam champ Solli Raphael reciting "We Can Be More."

 

At My Juicy Little Universe, Heidi ponders teacherly pre-service duties vs. the actual art of teaching, and offers an oh-so-timely poem from 2012 by Janet Wong, "Declaration of Interdependence."

 

Irene has a bounty of Summer Poem Swap goodies over at Live Your Poem: treasures from Michelle Kogan, Karen Edmisten, Carol Varsalona, Molly Hogan,  and a revised poem she'd written to Tabatha – Swap Organizer Extraordinaire -  about the Swap!

 

I never tire of "Where I'm From" poems, the fruit of George Ella Lyons's poetry and work.  Kay McGriff shares her own today, and it is full of rich imagery that will "take you back" to your own childhood summer, if you were among the lucky to have one such as this.  

 

At Nix the Comfort Zone,  Molly Hogan shares stories and links about poetry and prison – literal and figurative prisons. Thoughtful ideas you'll want to explore.

 

Little Willow at bildungsroman finishes up a series of excerpts of poems by Indian-born Canadian poet Rupi Kaur.  Today's is from "A Light Like Mine."  

 

Join Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link  for a Summer Special Delivery, her last Poem Swap gift sharing.  Her imaginative treasures from Margaret Simon invite us to linger over summer one last time.  

 

Rebecca at Sloth Reads has final Summer Poem Swap offerings, too!  From sweet to spooky romps her post, with Linda Mitchell's delicious and delightful summertime poem and a spot of tea, to Carol Varsalona's fun and howling South Florida wilderness Buncee adventure. (Hint – makes my golden silk spider look like a miniature lamb.) 

 

From Friendly Fairy Tales, Brenda shares a fun short poem celebrating IMPERFECT – Poems About Mistakes.  Mistake-makers, unite! 

 

Ramona bids farewell to summer with a couple of Douglas Florian gems  - "Three Words" and "Pack Up" - at Pleasures from the Page.  Enjoy!

 

**Thanks to everyone for participating!  Calling it a day on my end; early plans Saturday morning and will be away from the computer.  Happy Long Weekending!**   And wait  - one more! End the roundup on a golden note with Catherine at Reading to the Core - https://readingtothecore.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/poetry-friday-a-glory-of-goldfinches/. Beautiful poem!

29 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Get Moving with some Pomelo Books Poetry Picks!

The Spanish Moss Trail, Beaufort, SC.

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

It is downright warm this week in the Lowcountry.  Our little house is on the corner of the road from the historic downtown district to the Spanish Moss Trail, a rails-to-trails-type paved fitness path that goes on for miles. This time of year, our sidewalk plays host to extra walkers, runners, bike-riders and of course lots of strollers and dogs in tow.  (Sometimes even a cat in tow.) All on their way to the trail!  I love seeing folks out enjoying the weather and being active.

 

I'm sure you've consulted your copy of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® FOR CELEBRATIONS from Pomelo Books and discovered that May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month

 

And you no doubt found Merry Bradshaw's wonderful poem, "Let's Go" –

 

Stretch High

Stretch Wide

Jump Forward

Jump Back …

 

Enjoy the rest of the poem with Pomelo Books on Pinterest .

 

May is also National Bike Month, and opposite "Let's Go" in the book, you'll find Michael Salinger's "Bicycle Dreams."

 

Speaking of bicycles, hop over to THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL and catch Irene Latham's poem:

 

 

BIKING ALONG WHITE RIM ROAD

 

 

We jump

    jolt

 

as wheels bump

    bolt.

 

We spin

    descend

 

across mesa-topped

     islands.

 

We loop

    swoop,

 

fly past parched

    arches.

 

We keep pace,

    race

 

chase schooling clouds.

 

 

©Irene Latham.  All rights reserved. Used with permission. (Thanks, Irene!)

 

 

Also check out Irene's "The World According to Climbers" in the same volume!

 

If basketball is your thing, you'll enjoy Avis Harley's acrostic poem, "Future Hoopsters," 

also in the book.  Click here to read it on Sylvia Vardell's Poetry for Children blog.

 

For an Avis Harley acrostic poem for the younger set, this one about baseball, look up "Last Try" in THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® K-5 Edition.   While you're there, go ahead and hop around like a kangaroo with Allan Wolf!  You can find this jumpy poem featured on Kenn Nesbitt's PoetryMinute website, too!

 

These are just a few poems from Pomelo Books anthologies to get you in shape this month. 

 

As for me, I do a bit of gentle yoga and a good bit of walking, but still …. I was rearranging cool-weather clothes for warm-weather clothes in my closet this week, and this poem  arrived in my head.

   

 

WOMAN OF A CERTAIN AGE WORKS OUT

 

 

My waistline waltzed right out the door…

 

 "Wait!" I yelled. "Whadja do that for?!"

 

It disappeared without a sound

 

except these words – "I'll see you 'round!"

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

 

(PS – My older brother does triathlons.  Sigh. )

 

 

Jump, bike, or otherwise propel yourself on over to Jama's Alphabet Soup, where you'll find this week's Roundup and all kinds of wonderful goodies to work off!

32 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Write a Letter of Appreciation Week, and HERE WE GO Giveaway!


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

I missed being with you all last week, but I was honored and blessed to attend the induction of Lee Bennett Hopkins into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. I grew up in The Sunshine State, and I’m glad some of its warm light was directed toward Lee, who is a shining star there!

In fact, I’m just now getting around to writing a couple of thank-you notes for generosities last week. Did you know that this very week, the first week of March, is National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week? So break out the stationery & note cards, and brush up on the fine art of snail-mail correspondence!

(Do you enjoy Jimmy Fallon’s Friday evening ritual of writing humorous Thank You notes? You might enjoy this article in the New York Times from 2014, which highlights the regular Tonight Show skit and also explores the importance of handwritten appreciations with some contemporary fashion & business leaders.)

As I regularly swim in social and business correspondence books from the late 1800s in my art studio, I contemplate the past and future of handwritten notes. Despite this digital age, I'm heartened that at least the 20-somethings in my daughter’s circle - some of them settling down to get married and start families and such - still write and send actual notes. Have ye hope!

What does any of this have to do with poetry? Well, the reason I know about the actual calendar designation is because I wrote a poem about it for THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY OF CELEBRATIONS (Pomelo Books). “Sincerely” is pictured on the Pocket Poems® card above.


Sincerely

Dear Friend,

I see the thoughtful things you do.
Your words are always cheerful, too.

I noticed!
And I'm thanking you.

Sincerely,
Me



Here’s a link to my interview with Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong about the PFAC. And click here for an adorable video recorded by one of Sylvia’s students, featuring Leslie (age 7 at the time) reading my poem, with bloopers at the end!

The reason I’m bringing all this up again now is that my poem is also featured in the closing chapter/PowerPack of Pomelo Books’s HERE WE GO, which burst onto the kidlit world stage in January. (Its predecessor, YOU JUST WAIT, was published last fall and was selected as a 2017 NCTE Notable; click here for my post about it.)

HERE WE GO is another amazing, creative compilation by Janet and Sylvia for ages 8 and up, part of their POETRY FRIDAY POWER BOOK series. Once again, anchor poems help shape the theme for each “PowerPack.” HERE WE GO features anchor poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, Carole Boston Weatherford, Joseph Bruchac, David Bowles, Ibtisam Barakat, Eileen Spinelli, David L. Harrison, Kate Coombs, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Renée M. LaTulippe, Margaret Simon, and yours truly.

These 12 poems join 24 new poems by Janet Wong to make an over-arching story – this one celebrating diversity and social justice, with protagonists Ameera, David, Jack, and Jenna tackling needs in their community (primarily, hunger) and struggling with how best, and how much, to help. Each PowerPack also includes “Powerplay” and “Power2You” pages which invite participation and imaginative poem-writing. Franzi Paetzold’s endearing pen and ink illustrations add just the right tone for kids of any age or background.

To see just how much poetry instruction is brilliantly folded into these pages, see Sylvia’s recent post here.

For lots of sneak peeks inside and insightful commentaries, here are some recent Poetry Friday blog posts highglighting HERE WE GO:

Irene Latham’s Blog

Poetry for Teaching - Lorrie L. Birchall

A Year of Reading - Mary Lee Hahn

Today’s Little Ditty - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

Katie’s great post at The Logonauts

and

The Poem Farm- Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

(Please holler if I missed any.)

Last but not least, the oh-so-generous team of Janet and Sylvia are giving away a few more copies! In this case, the late bird gets the giveaway worm too, eh? And since Irene’s kitty picked winners on her post, I’ll let my ancient office kitty, May, help randomly pick five winners! Just leave a comment by March 12, and you’ll be entered.

For lots of poetry to be savored and appreciated, please visit the delightful Heidi today at My Juicy Little Universe, where she’s hosting the Roundup as well as a love-fest for Billy Collins! So much to be grateful for. Also, deep appreciations to my friend and our own Bookseed Studio keeper, Jan Godown Annino, for a beautiful tribute to Nancy Willard here. Such a loss for the poetry world and the world in general; she was luminescent. I am thankful to have met her 25+ years ago at a writers conference in Georgia, when she must have been about the age I am now. She was magical. I've treasured her books over the years and cherish them now, and somewhere I have a handwritten postcard from her, thanking me for some cat note cards I'd given her. Which, I just realized while typing this, brings me back to the beginning of this post... . Read More 
21 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - YOU JUST WAIT Giveaway (!) with Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong



Greetings, Poetry Friday-ers!

I'm freshly back from a glorious week up at a Highlights Founders Workshop with Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard, and beautifully blogged about by Linda and Catherine. I didn't unpack my suitcase, though – I’m heading out again, this time across the entire country to end up with more of my poetry tribe! I know, I know... I AM a lucky duck. Quack.

I'll finally (!) get to meet Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell IN PERSON at Western Washington University's POETRY CAMP - an awesome conference next Saturday, Oct. 1. Several participating poets will arrive a little early, and I'll be leading a "Makerspace" found poem/mixed media workshop Friday night at a local bookstore. Can't wait!

Speaking of waiting, I'm delighted to keep the celebratory blog party going for the newest member of Sylvia and Janet's Pomelo Books family, YOU JUST WAIT - A Poetry Friday Power Book. The indefatigable Vardell-Wong duo has come up with a truly one-of-a-kind resource for middle school students, sprung from their POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL (an NCTE Poetry Notable published in 2013).

Taking innovative inspiration from Lee Bennett Hopkins’s “groundbreaking work in creating poetry anthologies” (from the dedication), they’ve crafted a book that is part anthology, part novella, and totally interactive. Students are going to love it. I love it. (If I’d only had this book during those couple of years I taught middle school English…)

Nutshell: Janet took a dozen poems from the PFA for Middle School, added two dozen more original poems, and whipped up a complete narrative with living, breathing characters. Sylvia took this delectable main dish and served it up with fun side activities. Then she handed over ingredients and a bowl to the reader, offering a recipe of prompts for each chapter (and space on the pages!) to create his or her own poems.

The character names in YOU JUST WAIT came from Julie Larios’s gorgeous poem, “Names.”

Saturday morning means I buy pan dulce
with Tio Chepe and my cousin Lucesita
whose name means “Little Light” –
that’s what I call her, and she laughs
and pinches me and calls me “Peace”
because my name is Paz. …


(Side note - I get to present a picture book workshop next Saturday with Julie – I know, more lucky quacks! Quack quack!!)

The action part of the story comes from Paz’s trying out for the soccer team. Will she make it? Emotional connections come from relationships (cousins who are also schoolmates) between Paz, Lucesita, and Joe, who is a little older. Middle school students will see themselves in fresh, accessible poems about identity struggles, sports, fears, achievements, family, making it through the school day – and food! – to name a few themes.

Here’s some backstory from Janet:

We moved to a new town when I was a junior in high school. I felt very uncomfortable being “different-looking” in a school that was 90% white and suburban/semi-rural (after having been at a diverse urban school the previous year). My solution: to spend every lunch period in the library, reading alone. This wasn’t necessarily a bad solution, but I was very lonely until I finally started making friends a few months into the year. Something I’d love to see: lunchtime book clubs using YOU JUST WAIT to pull kids in and get them talking. Give them an excuse to join by giving them books!

YOU JUST WAIT provides an easy structure for a book club to follow; they can do one PowerPack a week.


What is a PowerPack, you ask?

Here are the spreads from the PowerPack which include my poem, “Locker Ness Monster.” (These small pictures don't do the type justice, but I wanted to lend a sense of how everything works together.)

The section opens with a PowerPlay pre-writing activity - in this case, a “Pick a Number” adventure with several possible options. Next are two poems: my “Outside Poem” poem from THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL and Janet’s “Response Poem,” (this one told from Paz’s point of view, carrying the story over from the previous Power Pack as well as tying into this one).


Locker Ness Monster


Twenty-four
Eighteen
Six.


Arrrgh. That’s not it.

Twenty-six
Fourteen
Eight.


Nothing. Nada. Nyet.

Twenty-six
Eighteen
Four.


Click. That’s it!

Unlock your head,
then your fingers,
then the door.



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.



PAZ:
Locked Out and Running Late


Usually I refuse to check a box.
I just let myself be blank.

But today I checked Other
and Hispanic and Asian

to get things over with because
I am in too much of a hurry

and who I really am
this very second is

locked out
and running late.



©Janet Wong. All rights reserved.


Then, a “Mentor Text” poem by Janet follows, this one again from Pax’s point of view:


PAZ:
Numbers


4            People would never guess
7            that my mind is such a mess
2            with numbers.

6            But I can memorize a poem,
9            read and read it to make it my own.
9            And then I can use it like a code.

3            Here’s a rhyme
4            when it comes time
7            to know my number. OK, let’s see:
3            (472) 699-3473!



©Janet Wong. All rights reserved.


Last in each PowerPack is the Power2You page, with terrific prompts created by Sylvia. In this one, it’s called “Numbers” and offers space to write under the following prompt: Write your phone number in a vertical column below. Then create a poem by writing a line for each number, adding that number of words in each line (so 9 = 9 words, 7 = 7 words, and so on). Or use another set of numbers that means something special to you.

Pretty brilliant, no? Here are some thoughts from Sylvia:

It was fun to explore this new project with Janet and think about ways to involve young people in looking at how poems work. I particularly enjoyed my role in thinking of creative "PowerPlay" and "Power2You" activities that were fun and playful and not like the usual school exercises. It was made easier by Janet's engaging poems that evoke a strong teen voice and persona. I thought about how to connect pre-writing with texting, movies and poems, and numbers and doodles, too. We hope young readers feel empowered to come at poetry in multiple ways and express themselves through their own writing.

[PowerPacks include poems by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Joseph Bruchac, Jen Bryant, Margarita Engle, Charles Ghigna, Avis Harley, Julie Larios, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Charles Waters, Virginia Euwer Wolff, and Janet Wong. I'm beyond thrilled to be in such book company.]

But – WAIT! There’s MORE! Now you want your own copy, right? Janet and Sylvia are eager to get this jam-packed, brimming-with-resources, friendly-sized volume out into the world, inspiring young writers. They have tucked 5-count’em-FIVE copies right here in my blog to give away! Just leave a comment below by Wednesday, Oct. 5, and I’ll announce random winners on Friday, Oct. 7. Then don’t stray too far away – I’ll need to track down lucky ducks via email to find your real-world pond addresses.

Many thanks to Janet and Sylvia for visiting with us today and donating these wonderful books! [Don't want to leave things to chance? Click here for information on how to order this and other Poetry Friday Anthology editions.]

After commenting, be sure to go back to Reading to the Core, where the lovely and talented Catherine is hosting our Roundup this week.
 Read More 
26 Comments
Post a comment