Poetry Friday/National Poetry Month: A Dinosaur-sized interview/poetry prompt and “Poetry…Cubed!” First Entries

National Poetry Month is underway and there’s a lot going on here at the Triple-R Ranch: poetry, interviews, student writing, and a national book launch for my second picture book, among other things. First up, though: an interview with Michelle H. Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty!

At her blog today, Michelle is sharing the news about Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids), the picture book I’ve written with author Deborah Bruss. Deb and I had a lot of fun with her interview, and I encourage you to check it out HERE! (We also have a fun Ditty of the Month Challenge for you!)

Michelle’s blog post is also special in another way:  she is officially kicking off the “DINOSAUR TOUR” – a blog tour running throughout April and early May to celebrate this brand-new book! The complete list of blogs taking part in the DINOSAUR TOUR:

April 6:       Michelle H. Barnes (Interview w/month-long writing prompt)
April 8:       Kate Narita (Book trailer & activity sheet spotlight)
April 11:     Deborah Kalb (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
April 13:     Yours Truly! (Interview w/illustrator Louie Chin)
April 16:     KidLit Exchange (Blog post re: process of illustration)
April 17:     Momma’s Bacon (DAAD review)
April 17:     Yours Truly!  (I’ll be sharing a couple of spreads of the book right here – and gearing up for our National Book Launch that night in Cambridge, MA!)
April 18:     Bonnie Ferrante (DAAD review)
April 19:     Brenda Davis Harsham (DAAD micro review)
April 25:     Bonnie Ferrante (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
May 2:        Unleashing Readers (DAAD review)
TBD:           KidLit Exchange (DAAD review)
May 30:     Bookseedstudio (DAAD review/interview) 

I hope you’ll stop by these various blogs, as you’ll learn something new at each one, plus you’ll have multiple opportunities to win copies of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!


“Poetry…Cubed! #5” entries are already pouring in!

Because a book launch does not make a person crazy-busy enough, I also thought National Poetry Month would be a good time to host another round of “Poetry…Cubed!” This time…with a little thematic element.

If you’ve ever seen “Chopped!” on The Food Network, you know that chefs try to outdo each other by creating dishes using specific and sometimes rather strange ingredients. So for this contest, I’ve taken the premise of the TV show and applied it to poetry – only without the bloody fingers and broken dreams. In case you’re new to this, here’s how it works:

  • Use the 3 images below as inspiration to write a poem. (1 poem, to the 3rd power – “cubed!”)
  • The poem can be any form, any genre, any number of lines, rhyming or not. (Heck, I’ll accept a monoku, if you think you can do it!) But please remember: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading! This is about having fun and being creative – unlike the “real” Chopped, which is all about skill, artistry, and a potential career-ending slip of the knife.
  • Be sure to include a reference to all three images in the one poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract. (And since this is poetry we’re talking about, we play fast and loose with this rule!)
  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month. Out of all poems submitted, one writer will be chosen at random to receive a personally-signed copy of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!

Keep in mind, I can only format poems to a small degree – so please try to refrain from lots of unusual breaks and text placement. I’ll do my best to format your poem per your wishes, but WordPress will only allow me to do so much.

Here are the three images (click on any to enlarge):

And yes…I’m indulging in a little shameless self-promotion with these – and the more you learn about Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), the more you’ll understand!

I’ve already had numerous entries come in since the contest began last Friday! Here are some of them:


An entry to the world of numbers and words
Praises that describe, adorn, paint the brain so faint with vivid imagination.
Songs and praises that take my mind to the edge of ecstacy
Like a drug

It is so easy to play with words like dies,
Cubic shapes with dots or numbers that determine a win or lose
In words of breath I relate
I sing
I recite
I rotate

In my right mind I write
My mind is poetry
The power of poetry is to free the mind to think as you like
The power of poetry is “Power- to the third Power”

Poetry is imagination

– © 2018 Sandile Dlamiini, all rights reserved

Best Cake Ever

It’s party day! So much to do.
Shopping, baking, cleaning, too.

Make “Best Cake Ever!”
(Take a nap?)
No! Don’t you have some gifts to wrap?

Almost ready.
Yikes! They’re here!
Socks away! Hallways clear!

Presents? Thank you!
Games and laughter.
Best Cake Ever?
Only after…

Candles… Wish…
A song for you.
Blow them out! Let’s feed this crew.

Flail about!
“Wait… and don’t come out.”

Grope in darkness. Find a light.
Friends afraid, “but we’re all right.”

Look for clues. The wall… the floor…
the hall… a TAIL beneath a door?!?!

Trembling fingers, breathless pause:

In the act!
With frosting claws!!


No more party here today!!

Peace and quiet.
Kitchen free.

Must be time for cake and tea.

– © 2018 Savannah Rogers, all rights reserved

(NOTE: Savannah tells me her Mom was the culprit, wearing a realistic dino suit!)


Frigid days clutch, claw
Snow clouds persist, block sun’s beams
Happy Midwest Spring!

– © 2018 Kimberly Hutmacher, all rights reserved


Amazing how three simple images can conjure such different reactions, isn’t it?? That’s why I love this little contest I devised. Send me your response to this challenge, and I’ll enter you in the drawing, too!

For today’s complete poetry roundup, please visit my friend Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm, where she is hosting Poetry Friday with another sample of her Poetry Month Project: 1 Subject, 30 Ways!


And in case you missed it…

I shared some 2nd-grader poetry earlier this week, written by students I visited at a local elementary school, and I also shared an interview an Australian ezine did with me, which they just published this week!

If you missed these posts, please check them out!


The 2018 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem!

A little seed is about to go on an adventure! The 2018 Progressive Poem is underway, and here’s a list of all the writers/bloggers participating – so you can follow along:

April 1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads


SCHOOL PEOPLE are here…and the DINOSAURS are on their way!

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR hits bookshelves April 17!

New dates continue to be added to the Dinosaur Tour! Here’s the most up-to-date schedule:

  • Sat., April 14, 11am:  Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Sat., April 14, 2pm:  Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Tue., April 17, 7pm:  Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur Dual National Launch Party!! (with Holly Thompson, One Wave at a Time reading/signing/discussion)
  • Thur., April 26, 10:30am:  Pillsbury Free Library, Warner, NH, Dinosaur Storytime with Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People!
  • Sat., April 28, 10:30am: Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., April 28, 2pm: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
  • Sun., April 29, 2pm:  MainStreet BookEnds, Warner, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing and discussion
  • Sat., May 5, 10am: Barnes & Noble, Burlington, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 5, 1pm:  Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 12, 11am:  Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Wed., May 16, 12pm: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People signing
  • Sat., May 19, 11:30am-3pm: Barnes & Noble, Salem, NH, National Storytime at 11am, followed by Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., June 2, 1-3pm: Books-A-Million, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing


Thank you so much to all the librarians, bloggers, and parents who are still discovering “Flashlight Night!” 


Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new way to purchase personalized signed copies of not only Flashlight Night, but ANY of my books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!

Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)


Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)
Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

30 thoughts on “Poetry Friday/National Poetry Month: A Dinosaur-sized interview/poetry prompt and “Poetry…Cubed!” First Entries

  1. lindabaie

    Oh my, those “cubed” poems are so cute. One granddaughter has a birthday coming, maybe a poem for her? Love “Power- to the third Power”, “a TAIL beneath a door?!?!” and “Frigid days clutch, claw”. After 70 yesterday, it’s snowing today! Fickle April. Congrats on your new book, Matt, looks like lots of fun!


  2. Fun post Matt, quite a variety here on your cubed poems! I hope to squeeze a cubed- dino poem in to send your way–I’m a big dinosaur fan! BTW great interview over at Michelle B’s blog. Good luck with the tour and related events to your book this month.


  3. Many, MANY congratulations. You sure are living up to Deb’s description of you (or your description of her description of you) as BUSY! So happy for you and the words. And, I really do want the recipe for that vegan chocolate cake. Enjoy every moment, Matt. You’ve earn all the fun that comes with all the work.


    1. Thank you so much, Linda! You’ve been very supportive of me and both of my books, and I really appreciate it. I just sent a friend request on FB to someone who might be you, so I’ll message you the recipe as soon as I can! 😉


  4. Kay Mcgriff

    I enjoyed the interview with Michelle over at Today’s Little Ditty. The new book looks like lots of fun!. Still pondering my cube….


  5. amyludwigvanderwater

    It is so neat to see all of the different approaches folks take to the same three images. You must have a great time picking them out. The interview was a blast, and you are so good at setting up events that people are going to think that dinosaurs are unextinct! Congratulations on the almost publication! xx


  6. Pingback: nine cool things on a tuesday | Jama's Alphabet Soup

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.