Poetry Friday: Welcome to the 2018 Holiday Poetry Party!

Just got it made yesterday…whew! Now, to work on painting that trim…

Has a year already passed, since we celebrated last?


So thank you for stopping by! If you are unaware, the Holiday Poetry Party is a little shindig that David L. HarrisonJoy Acey, and I started up a number of years ago. It started off on David’s blog, but in the interest of spreading the love, we thought it might be fun to switch things up a bit and hold it over here at the ol’ Triple-R for awhile. Although it looks and feels a lot like Christmas here in New Hampshire – with snow, evergreens, and single-digit overnight temps – Joy lives in Hawaii, so I have to admit I am a bit jealous!

Our version of an Advent wreath!

I have plenty of food (although I haven’t yet begun my cookie-baking marathon of 600-800 cookies yet), so please make yourself comfortable and grab a drink or something to snack on! For starters, I have bleu cheese-and-grape canapes, herbed goat cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto, and classic French roasted pepper and black olive tartlettes.

On the side table, you’ll find a crudité platter, crackers & cheese, and my homemade hummus variety sampler featuring traditional lemon, black bean & lime, ginger-wasabi edamame hummus, and a spicy carrot-apricot hummus. There’s also a giant Crock-pot full of the heartiest vegan chili you’ve ever tasted, along with vegan banana-cranberry bread, vegan Parker House rolls, and a giant glazed ham  – which is probably not vegan.

Oh, and we have poetry! I received my Winter Poetry Swap poem and gift from the incredibly talented Margaret Simon – who teaches AND is a published poet – and had to share what she sent me: a hand-painted Moleskin notebook with her poem inside! (click either image to enlarge)

As I read her poem, I immediately noticed lines that sounded familiar…for good reason. She did for me what I did for her, a couple of years ago:  took a look at past blog posts and created a found poem with lines she pulled from them!

What a perfectly thoughtful gift. I especially love how she weaves in lines like The Poetry of US and “adventure lingers” (from Flashlight Night) so seamlessly. Thank you, Margaret!  (and thank you also for the magnet inside!) I’m eager to share the poem I wrote for my secret recipient, but I’m holding off until I know she has received the package – so hopefully I’ll be able to post it here next week.

I do hope you enjoy your visit here at my little home on the web. By the way, if you’re wondering where some of the decorations came from, you have my parents to thank. I mentioned earlier this week that I made more “discoveries” in the attic of my childhood home – but those weren’t the only holiday treasures discovered…no, not at all!


From left: hand-blown, hand-painted glass ornaments my father purchased while stationed in the Army in Germany in the early ’50’s; Christmas decorations I made when I was still in elementary school; paper snowflakes I made for them while – I think – I was in college.

And this only scratches the surface! There were at least 5 more boxes of assorted glass ornaments, two boxes of ’70’s-era plastic decorations and tinsel, a carton of lights and lighted decorations, and…

I told my wife we would never need to buy wrapping paper or ribbon ever again, for the rest of our lives. I wasn’t kidding. I didn’t take photos of the other box of bows or the other box of paper!

Enjoy your stay, and before you go, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what 2018 has meant for you, and what you’re looking forward to in 2019 – so please leave a comment! (If it rhymes, even better!) And for all of today’s poetry links and fun, be sure to stop by Laura Shovan’s blog, where she is hosting Poetry Friday!


The perfect gift for an author or illustrator: A kind review!

That’s right! If you can’t afford a book or already have one you enjoy, a positive review on places like Amazon or Goodreads is a huge benefit to authors and illustrators. So if you have a few spare minutes, won’t you consider sharing your thoughts with the rest of the world? We appreciate it!


Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!


You can purchase personalized signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018), and nearly ALL of the books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. 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?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!


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!

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42 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Welcome to the 2018 Holiday Poetry Party!

  1. Mele Kalikimaka, Matt.
    Thanks for hosting the winter poetry party.
    You folks from the north, are certainly hardy.
    To get here, I want you to know
    I had to wade through your freezing snow.
    I’ll stand by your stove until I feel hot.
    Oh, I forgot to give you this lei I brought.
    On Kauai I swim at an outdoor pool,
    Yesterday’s 72 degrees I thought was cool.
    But now that I’m here I feel what cold is.
    Can you hand me a drink, something with fizz?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, thank you, Joy! Your poem is already warming me up. 72 degrees would feel heavenly right now. But as long as you’re here, why not try a cranberry-cider spritzer…it’s fizzy and comforting and perfect with some local smoked cheese…


  2. So much goodness in this post —
    you make a smashing host!

    Margaret’s found poem is so good! She really wove those lines together expertly.
    Thanks for the delicious food! These are the best vegan Parker House rolls I’ve ever tried, and they make super ham sliders.


    1. Thank you, Tabatha – I told Margaret the same thing, that she really did an amazing job. Oh, be sure to spread a little bit of butter on those rolls before you put on the ham…a classic warm French jambon beurre is just the thing on a chilly day like today.


  3. davidlharrison

    Hi, Matt. Sorry I’m late. Somehow I didn’t get the date on my calendar so I haven’t shared the news with anyone on my list. I’ll take care of that right now and see you again in a bit. Oh! Your place looks and smells fantastic! You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to be your usual perfect host. Thanks again for bringing us all together for some good visiting!


  4. margaretsmn

    Hi Matt, thanks for inviting me to your lovely party. A bit of explanation: My sister hand painted the journal. Her work can be found at bethsaxena.com. We are actually separated by 76 pages in the book Poetry of Us. And the found lines were from Flashlight Night. I enjoyed writing it. Stealing and weaving lines is fun writing.


  5. davidlharrison

    I’m back, Matt. I sent invitations to some friends and then headed back here for more of your delicious food before they show up and wolf it all.

    Joy, thanks for the poem. Lucky you to be wallowing in warmth while so many of us shiver and shake this time of year. It’s a good think we love you or this wouldn’t go down so well.

    Matt, I hope your kids don’t mind a bunch of writers, artists, and editors wandering around admiring everything while they snarf down all these yummy treats!


    1. Both of my kids love reading and writing, so they are more than happy to see everyone, David. My almost-9-year-old son loves nonfiction and is a huge fan of Jim Arnosky, and my 5-year-old daughter is an illustrator-in-training who has already created nearly a half-dozen of her own “books!”


  6. Sneed Collard

    Hey Matt, David, and everyone. I can tell you fully embrace the holiday spirit. I wish I had some poet in me, but it’s been pushed out by all of the chocolate. Happy Holidays to you!
    Sneed Collard


  7. Susan Hutchens

    Morning Matt! I guess being home today with a lousy cold (thanks to those young kids I love to sub for) has its advantages! Now I can come to your party! I promise not to share my sniffles and coughs! Perhaps a warm drink would help the sore throat. Cider sounds good!


    1. So sorry to hear you’re under the weather – but I’m still getting over my own cold, so I’m not worried about catching anything. (As an aside, I caught the cold from my wife, who caught it from our 5-year-old daughter…who, 2 weeks ago, stuck her finger in her mouth, then stuck her finger in my wife’s mouth, and said, “There you go, mom, you have my cold! I wanted to share it with you.”) So as long as you stay away from that cute little psychotic princess we call our daughter, you’ll be ok! 😉


  8. Fun party, Matt. Love the attic treasures, Margaret’s poems, and all the luscious food. You are quite the host. I would say more, but my mouth is full of vegan chili and banana-cranberry bread . . . Happy Holidays to everyone!! (Hope you’ve warmed up by now, Joy.). Just wanted to tell David I love his bowties.


  9. lindabaie

    Late to the party, have been slowly decorating my tree,
    and contemplating what to share with you at this beautiful par-tee!
    I have a few old ornaments like you have shared today,
    so precious in the memory they bring from far away.
    It’s great of David, you & Joy to host this Christmas fest.
    I think I love those tasty sweets that you’ve spread out the best!
    I love the poem Margaret has crafted from your book,
    another sweet reminder of the words that brought a look
    at night with all its mystery, adventure that’s a ball!
    I guess it’s time to leave, but send, good wishes to you all!
    Hugs, too! Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Here are my cookies! Sorry to drop in and run off. Reading to the local Drama Group this afternoon–a Christmas story I sold over 20 years ago. But Christmas is a timeless thing, isn’t it?
    I’ve often wondered about the phrase, ‘an old-fashioned Christmas.’ To what time period does that refer?


    1. Good point, Veda! When Frank Sinatra came out with “Old Fashioned Christmas,” it was a brand-new song – and now it’s a classic! I suppose 50 years from now, people will looking back on 2018 and reminiscing about the ‘good ol’ days.’


  11. Dorinda Nicholson

    Mahalo for the invitation.

    Iʻd leave a poem, but am poem-challenged even with a dictionary of rhymes and stealing the line below from a Christmas song..

    “Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day.”
    “The Pearl Harbor Child”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Word Wandering | Reflections on the Teche

  13. Oh, what a party. You and Jama have added at least an inch to my waistline just reading your words. And, I so love the poetry journal. When someone really looks at our words and knows them and loves them….it’s just so special. Happy Holidays, Matt!


  14. jheitman22

    This is my kind of party! Thanks for all the treats, Matt! I had hoped to bring a poem just for the occasion, but it just didn’t happen. Hope you’ll take me and my good wishes to all as I am. Merry Christmas!


  15. You’ve got this party hopping!

    I would have been here sooner,
    but Santa’s six white boomers*
    weren’t keen to roam
    ‘cross ocean foam,
    so I had to sail a schooner.

    * from an Aussie Christmas carol

    Fun post, Matt. And delightful poem from Margaret. My favourite line has got to be the first. Love that – and the story behind it!


  16. laurashovan222

    A lovely assortment of holiday goodness, Matt. Margaret brings her thoughtfulness to everything she does, including the poetry swap poem and treats she sent you. Thanks for joining in this week!


  17. Thanks for this lovely holiday bash Matt, with inspiring poetry, gifts, and wonderful momentous from your earlier life–Love the snowflakes and paper stain glass art. Margaret wove a rich tapestry of words in her poem for you, and the cranberry bread sounds lovely. My apologies for coming so late, but I’ll leave you with a small ditty…


    Each Friday I await a poem new
    From poets far but close in kinship views.
    They come in all shapes, forms, and treasures true,
    Inviting words that fly, and float, and muse…

    To be continued, perhaps…
    © 2018 Michelle Kogan


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