Where to begin, where to begin, where to begin…it’s such a crazy, busy week, and there’s so much to talk about!
I have big news about my debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, Sept. 19, 2017) – actually, THREE different news items – plus, news about my second book, due out this spring.
But first, let me welcome you to the Poetry Friday roundup! This is the place where you can find links to all of the poetry-related posts in the blogosphere. So leave your links in the comments below, and I’ll put them together in this post throughout the day.
“Flashlight Night” News #1: National Book Launch!
Last night, Carol Gordon Ekster, whose new picture book is You Know What? (Clavis, 2017), and I hosted a dual book launch at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass. What a success!
Thank you to everyone who attended!
“Flashlight Night” News #2: One of the Best Picture Books of 2017!
Last Friday, the folks at The Children’s Book Review announced their list of what they feel are the best children’s books of the year…and Flashlight Night made the cut!
I’m so excited about this, not only because I wrote it, but because it was such a beautiful example of teamwork – between me, illustrator Fred Koehler (who came up with the concept of reality being in darkness and fantasy being illuminated by the flashlight), and my editor, Rebecca Davis, who steered the project from start to finish.
And just in case you missed that link, here it is again, so you can read the complete list – which includes books from friends and fellow writers like David Elliott, Josh, Funk, Patricia Toht, and many others.
“Flashlight Night” News #3: On sale at Amazon!
I always like to books locally, whenever possible, because doing so helps support the businesses closest to us. But if you really want to pick up a copy and are having a tough time with your finances, I am please to tell you that Amazon has it for almost five dollars less than the standard price: just $12.11!
Second book news: COVER REVEAL!
In the midst of all this Flashlight news, I learned something about Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, March 2018), the book I co-authored with author & critique partner Deb Bruss…we have a release date and a cover!
Wait til you see what’s inside! Illustrator Louis Chin is having fun depicting 14 different dinosaur species and the utter havoc they wreak while getting ready for a birthday party.
With big, bold colors, crazy situations, and a 2-page glossary at the end detailing the unique attributes of each dinosaur, this book is completely unlike Flashlight – so I’m eager to see what people think of it! It’s already for pre-order, so CLICK HERE for details.
Local release party this weekend!
Just a reminder: if you’re in the area, please stop by MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH this Sunday for the local release party, starting at 2pm. More info can be found HERE.
So thank you for stopping by today! Leave your Poetry Friday links in the comments, and I’ll round them up…
- My friends Charles Waters and Irene Latham have a release date AND cover reveal for their co-authored book (Charles’ debut!).
- Irene also shares a sneak peek at one of the poems from their book on her blog.
- Carol Varsalona is waxing poetic as kids are going back to school.
- Rebecca Herzog is prepping for Irma, but found time to write a poem – and this may be the only time in history that Jane Yolen, Dr. Seuss, R.L. Stine, and litle ol’ me have been mentioned in the same breath!
- Michelle Kogan offers a villanelle for humanity – and with everything going on these days, it’s just what we need.
- At Gathering Books, Iphegene shares a beautiful poem she wrote for the Summer Poetry Swap.
- Kathryn Apel shares 4 new poems inspired by her sons – on subjects from paper airplanes to toadstools!
- At Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle is spotlighting the new book from Janet Wong & Sylvia Vardell – and celebrating with a giveaway!
- Linda Mitchell finds inspiration in Motown, with an abeccdarian poem that’s also a found poem AND book review.
- Catherine Flynn, meanwhile, was inspired to write a short, colorful poem after reading Susan Goldmsith Wooldridge.
- At The Poem Farm, Amy shares a project she did with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra this summer, and is preparing to launch her new poetry collection!
- Mary Lee Hahn ‘ducks’ inspiration while riding her bike.
- At Whispers from the Ridge, Kiesha is encouraging readers to find balance in their lives and to live in the present.
- Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God Forsaken Town shares a touching poem by ‘sort-of’ former neighbor, New Hampshire resident, the late Jane Kenyon. (She and Donald Hall lived in the town next door)
- At Reflections on the Teche, Margaret is also sharing a Kenyon poem – one of my favorites!
- Brenda Davis Harsham refuses to let summer go! She’s in today with a rhyming haiku.
- Linda at Teacher Dance takes our minds away from hurricanes and forest fires and world unrest with two poems from the Summer Poetry Swap.
- Likewise, Kay McGriff turns away from the news and is reflecting on dreams by sharing a Langston Hughes poem.
- Jone MacCulloch is also in with a poem from the Poetry Swap…AND shares some student reviews of Flashlight Night! (Thank you, Jone!!)
- After a local park was vandalized, Violet Nesdoly found inspiration!
- At Bildungsroman, Little Willow shares a thought-provoking, almost surreal poem by Joanna Fuhrman.
- Jane, the Rain City Librarian, has autumn on the mind with a Japanese poem about fall.
- At Poetry for Children, Sylvia Vardell has a guest post from author René Saldaña, Jr., who shares insights on teaching, writing, and the lessons he has learned!
- Karen Edmisten offers up a nature poem by Gillian Wegener that is about much more than just nature.
- While searching her files for a hurricane-related poem, Diane Mayr discovered an abecedarian hurricane poem, perfect for Michelle H. Barnes’ monthly writing challenge! Meanwhile, at Kurious Kitty, Diane shares a poem from Jeane Steig’s 1988 collection, Consider the Lemming.
- Catherine at Wondering and Wandering shares kindergartners’ love of poetry with us…something that’s so nice to see!
- Penny Parker Klostermann is back with another edition of her Great Nephew / Great Aunt series of illustrations and poetry!
- Last but certainly not EVER least…I just learned that Jama Kim Rattigan’s blog, Alphabet Soup, is 10 YEARS OLD! Happy birthday, Jama! Of course, she is celebrating with cake (and tea, I’m sure) – and offers a look back at why she began blogging and how far she has come. Sadly, she is in a difficult predicament, which she elucidates in her post – so please stop by and wish her well!
“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal
“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews
“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly
“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy
“Imaginative…fantastical” – ALA Booklist
“An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book
“Beautiful words and amazing illustrations” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads
Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 19, 2017! Pre-orders are available now through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Books-a-Million, or by clicking the image of the cover to the right. Of course, if you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 19 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.
Thank you for your support!
65 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Flashlights and Dinosaurs and Roundups – oh, my!”
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Congrats again on Flashlight Night. I can’t wait to pick up a copy. And Don’t Ask A Dinosaur looks like a ton of fun!
Thank you, Rebecca!
FANTASTIC Matt, so happy for you and all this wonderful news about “Flashlight Night,” and “Don’t ask a Dinosaur!” I feel your excitement and energy coming off the page-enjoy! Is there any way to get a signed copy?
I’m offering up a villanelle on Humanity at: https://moreart4all.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/poetry-friday-a-villanellehumanity/
Thanks for hosting too!
Thanks so much, Michelle – and yes, I’d be happy to sign a copy! I make it up to Maine once every month or so, so I’d be happy to swing by next time I’m there…or if you know of a bookstore in your area, let me know and I can contact them about hosting a signing!
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Hi Matt, I’d love to make a special trip to Maine for your book, but alas I’ll be close to home for a while in the windy city, Chicago. If you are planning on coming to Chicago I’d be happy to recommend a few bookstores.
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Congratulations! Such wonderful news all around!
Also, thank you for hosting today’s Poetry Friday.
I’m offering an original poem I wrote for the Summer Poetry Swap: https://gatheringbooks.org/2017/09/08/poetry-friday-the-extent-of-our-souls/
Thank you, Iphigene!
It sounds like you may just about be ready to firecracker away in all the excitement of this week, Matt. Congratulations. It sounds like complete and utter joyous celebration!m
For something a little quieter, I’m offering four short poems quoting the cutest of kids – my boys, of course! 😉 From when they were much, much younger – and oh-so-wise and adorable. https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/quoting-the-kids/
Thanks so much, Kathryn!
Nope, you’re not enjoying yourself at all! ;o) So glad the launch went well, Matt, and a best of 2017? Wow! Dinosaur looks great, too… really fun. I’ve got my wiggle on at Today’s Little Ditty, with a review of PET CRAZY, the latest Poetry Friday Power Book from Pomelo Books, and my own poem in response. I’m giving away 5 copies! https://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/2017/09/get-your-wiggle-on-pet-crazy-giveaway.html
Thanks, Michelle – I hope you stay safe in the face of Irma! (Lee, BJ, Fred, and a host of other friends are all down there, too, so I’m worried about all of you!)
Hooray, Matt! Your excitement over Flashlight and now Dinosaurs is infectious! I’m so happy for you and more for the words. Keep that good news coming.
This week, I combined the challenge from TLD to write an abedecarian poem and found poetry into an Abecedarian & Found Book Review of Andrea Pinkney’s book, Rhythm Ride: A Journey Through Motown. A snippet can be found on Michelle’s TLD padlet. Thanks for hosting and Happy Poetry Friday.
Thanks so much, Linda – and also for your support of ‘Flashlight!’
What an amazing week you had! Congratulations, Matt! Between Flashlight Night and Don’t Ask a Dinosaur, I’ve got my nephews’ birthdays covered for the next year. Thank you! And thank you for hosting PF today. I’m sharing a poem written under the influence of Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy. http://wp.me/p2bY8c-23M
Thank you, Catherine – I’m glad I’m helping you with your birthday shopping!
Many many congratulations, Matt! What a great celebration last night…I was thinking about you! And DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR looks like an informative riot! Thank you for hosting today. I’m in with a poem about music…and a project I did for The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra this summer. xo
Very cool – working with an orchestra! And thank you, Amy, for all your support!
Congratulations on all of your fabulous news! It’s so fun to watch a Poetry Friday peep launch into the world of published books! We can say, “I knew him/her when…”!!
I have another Bike Ride Blessing poem this week:
Thanks, Mary Lee! I’ll try to remember all you ‘little people’ after I make my millions. 😉
Matt, what a truly amazing accomplishment! I can’t wait to get a copy of your book…and the next new one in the works! Again, many congratulations to you.
My poem and post “In the Now” invites writers to reflect on process and where they find balance in their writing life.
Thanks, Kiesha – I hope you’ll like it!
Congratulations! I’m so excited for you! I have a Jane Kenyon poem today, here: https://thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com/2017/09/poetry-friday-more-from-jane-kenyon.html.
Oops, I see I misspelled your name in my post! Fixed now.
Your great news was one of the first things I read this morning, and I am so tickled to hear and see how well “Flashlight Night” has been received. Just imagine the faces of the thousands of kids and their parents, as they flip through the pages together… Being on the shortlist for 2017 is just the icing on the cake, and it will help you reach an even larger audience. Can it get any better?
I don’t know if it can get any better, my friend – but the reception ‘Flashlight’ has received is already more than I had even imagined, so I’m perfectly happy at this point. (although lots of sales wouldn’t hurt!) Thanks for stopping by, and for words of support!
Matt, this post is just brimming with goodness! So many congratulations on all these happenings… enjoy every moment. Thanks for hosting PF in the midst of all the excitement. I’ve got the other half of mine and Charles’ cover release and sneak peek of CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? http://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2017/09/can-i-touch-your-hair-cover-reveal.html
Thank you so much, Irene – and congrats again to you & Charles!
So happy your launch went well! You and Carol know how to throw a party! And the dinosaur book looks like a real hoot!
I have a hurricane poem at Random Noodling http://randomnoodling.blogspot.com/2017/09/poetry-friday-abecedarian.html
Kurious Kitty takes a look at Consider the Lemming by the Steigs. http://kuriouskitty.blogspot.com/2017/09/poetry-friday-consider-lemming.html
Thanks, Diane – I’m hoping we have another good shindig up here in town on Sunday!
Releasing your book is releasing Joy into the world. Congratulations!
I’m feeling grateful that we have dodged hurricanes here in South Louisiana with a poem from Jane Kenyon. https://reflectionsontheteche.com/2017/09/08/poetry-friday-let-evening-come/
Thank you, Margaret – I do think about you when I see the storms heading your way.
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Congrats! Sorry a trip to Cambridge was not in the cards for me on a school nights. Braces, cello and school picnics, oh my! I’m so happy for you, though. Glad to hear about the reviews, the Best pic and the new book. I’m in with a rhyme-ku. Not willing to give up summer yet.
Thanks, Brenda! You’ll notice I showed up in my best Hawaiian shirt – I’m not giving up summer, either!
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What a deliriously happy post, Matt! I’m excited for you and now excited about this new book. The cover looks enticing, and of course, dinosaurs make every child smile. Congratulations for all! I’m sharing my final poem swap from Irene Latham today. Thanks for hosting in this very busy time for you! http://www.teacherdance.org/2017/09/my-last-wonderful-swap.html
Thank you, Linda – I really appreciate all your support of ‘Flashlight.’ (And of course, I hope you like Dinosaur, as well!)
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Woo hoo! Congratulations on all the good news for Flashlight Night and for the reveal for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur. Enjoy all these moments. I wish I was much closer to New Hampshire to come join in the fun. Oh well, I’ll have to celebrate from the Midwest!
Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday. Today I’m reflecting on dreams:
Thanks, Kay – I truly appreciate your long-distance support!
My post features my last poetry swap: http://wp.me/piUJM-2Fv
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Very cool news Matt! Congratulations squared!! (I must do some Christmas shopping for my littles… am getting a bright idea!)
My PF poem today is in response to some graffiti that showed up in our park. “Take a Hike” is here: https://vnesdolypoems.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/take-a-hike/
Ah, I see the flashlight bulb over your head! 😉 Thanks, Violet!
Congratulations on your books! Here’s my Poetry Friday for the day at my blog Bildungsroman: https://slayground.livejournal.com/858024.html
Thank you so much! And I have to tell you, I love the name of your blog. I’ve read it numerous times over the past couple years, and I wanted you to know!
Oh my goodness, it just keeps getting better and better! As a life-long dinosaur fanatic, your second book looks even more up my alley! Can’t wait to read it!
I’m celebrating fall this week on Raincity Librarian: http://www.raincitylibrarian.ca/?p=19536
Well thank you, Jane – I do hope you’ll enjoy it!
Congrats, Matt, on FLASHLIGHT NIGHT– such a fun book getting well-deserved praise! Woo hoo! And thanks for hosting us all this Poetry Friday! I’m sharing a guest post by teacher and writer René Saldaña, Jr. Here’s the link:
Thank you so much, Sylvia! One of the nicest compliments I received about the book was when SLJ referred to the text of the book as a “poem”…because that’s what it was all along, until I realized it was waiting to be a picture book!
So much fun book news! Congrats, Matt, on both books!
I’m in this week with a poem about a nature walk that isn’t really about a nature walk. It’s here.
Thanks for hosting!
Thank you, Karen!
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Congratulations, Matt! So excited for you. I was very sad not to make your event in Cambridge, but thrilled it went so well. This week I’m sharing a little bit about my New Kindergarten Poets here — https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/new-kindergarten-poets-poetryfriday/
Thanks, Catherine – I’m happy that you were there in spirit!
Am late with this but I wanted to feature Flashlight Night in honor of its upcoming book birthday with student responses. Such a great book (going now to put in an order) maclibrary.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/poetry-friday-flashlight-night/
Oh, thank you so much, Jone – I really appreciate this! I’m going to be sure to share your post with as many folks as I can!
Matt, what a wonderful list of fantastic news about FLASHLIGHT NIGHT! I’m so thrilled for you!! I love the cover for DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR and it sounds like a ton of fun! Congrats, congrats, congrats!
I have a new episode on A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Landon and I are back with a poetry/art collaboration about school supplies. http://wp.me/p22d5X-1Xd
Thank you, Penny – and thank you also for being part of the upcoming blog tour! I’m thrilled that you will be posting on ‘Flashlight Night’s birthday! (And it’s nice to see your Great Nephew – Great Aunt series still going strong!)
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I’m excited about being part of your tour! I just love FLASHLIGHT NIGHT!!!
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Matt, congratulations on the steady stream of celebration going on in your world! What fun! Your post is just brimming with positive energy–a lovely boost at the end of a long first week at school. I’m thrilled for you and delighted to have added Flashnight Light to my classroom library. This week I’m sharing two poems by Leonora Speyer, a poet and professional violinist.
Thank you for your kind words, Molly, and for adding the book to your library! I hope I can make it up there someday soon.
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Thanks for the blog birthday wishes and thanks for including me in your roundup even though I didn’t have an actual poetry-related post this week. It’s been great having some of the PF peeps drop by and commiserate. 🙂 Looking forward to joining the PF gang next week with our Flashlight Night interview! BTW, congrats on being included in the Children’s Book Review best books list — also love the cool cover reveal.
Thank you, Jama – you’re ALWAYS part of the PF family, which is why I made sure I included you! I’m looking forward to next Friday, as well…thank you for hosting me!