Happy “National Flashlight Day!”
In honor of the holiday, I’m going to do a little light reading…
Yes, National Flashlight Day is really a thing – celebrated annually on the day of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. (Hence, a good reason to celebrate flashlights) So why not join me, and pull out your favorite flashlight-related book and join the celebration??
The 2018 Winter Poetry Swap
Last Friday, I shared the poem I received from Margaret Simon as part of Tabatha Yeatts‘ annual Winter Poetry Swap. Tabatha randomly gave Margaret my name, so Margaret had to write a poem for me and sent it with a small gift. Today, I’m excited to share the poem I wrote for Donna Smith of Mainely Write fame! Tabatha gave me Donna’s name, so I needed to come up with a poem for her…but it didn’t take me long to decide what to do.
As I did for Margaret a couple of years ago, I spent a fair amount of time combing through past Christmas posts from Donna’s blog, culling some of the choice lines I thought I might be able to use – and once I had completed that, I wrote a found poem using those words and phrases. I then used a photo of our outdoor Christmas tree here at our house as a backdrop and created this:
The 2018 CYBILS Awards
In addition to getting presents wrapped, Christmas cookies made, and visiting a local elementary school today, I am a first-round judge of the annual CYBILS Awards‘ Poetry category. I’ve therefore been trying to read as many of the 48 nominated books as possible in order to narrow the list down to a shortlist of SEVEN! After much deliberation, we’ve finally done it – with a nice mix of poetry styles and genres – and are sending off the list to the second-round panelists, who determine the winner early next year. As soon as the list becomes official and is posted on the CYBILS website, I’ll be sure to share the news here!
Looking for more poetry? You’re in luck! Buffy Silverman is hosting today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, so head on over to her blog for all the links and fun!
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!
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017” AND “Staff Pick!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle Recommended Books!
- “Best Reads of 2017,” Unleashing Readers
- Amazon “Best Books of the Month,” Sept. 2017
- Positive reviews from Horn Book, School Library Connection, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf-Awareness
- “Rollicking rhyme!” – Booklist
- “A wild romp!” – Parenting NH Magazine
- “Cute…intriguing…4 out of 5 stars” – Tulsa Book Review
- “Rhythmic…funny and informative” – Unleashing Readers
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!
21 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: National Flashlight Day, “A Better Christmas,” & the 2018 Winter Poetry Swap”
Lovely poem you put together from found lines of Donna’s, it truly echos her voice! And the tree adds an extra special layer to it. I look forward to hearing about the forthcoming poetry CYBILS. Happy Flashlight Day and Wishes for a very Merry Christmas to you and your family Matt!
Thanks so much, Michelle – I appreciate your support! Have a great Christmas, as well.
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Happy National Flashlight Day to you, too! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
Thanks, Ruth! Merry Christmas to you & everyone on the island.
Such a perfect poem for Donna, Matt. I love the ‘scraps of Christmas’, something I guess we all collect. And “flashlight day”, perfect for you & your book. Flashlights really are interesting to kids. I recently got a new tiny one for my handbag & Imogene loves to get it out & play with it. We still love your book, too! Happiest of Christmases to you & the family!
Thank you so much for your kind words, Linda – and a Merry Christmas to you & your family, as well!
I love the way you “take notice” of Donna’s blog to create a gem for her! Happy Flashlight day and more to you.
Thank you, Buffy!
I agree that you’ve captured Donna’s voice and style in a lovely complimentary way. This poem is a sweet gift. You give me ideas for writing a new poem, too! I would love to know if the entire poem is found? It’s pretty neat that you were able to cobble it together. Happy National Flashlight Day! So happy that there’s lots to celebrate…even when it’s dark. Great post today. Love all the cookie photos you are posting. You are so patient getting them to look just right.
Thanks so much, Linda…and yes, the entire poem was found. One more batch of cookies to make today (I made buckeyes yesterday), and I’ll be done!
How many cookies did you make, Matt? Any gluten-free ones? Your tree makes a gorgeous backdrop for your delightful poem.
Thanks, Tabatha – and yes, I made flourless peanut butter cookies,just for you! 😉
I’m looking forward to hearing about the Cybils poetry finalists. Thanks for judging, Matt!
I love your line “Time, a gift to others.” So true!
Thanks, Laura. CYBILS were fun, and I think we’ll be announcing the official shortlist within the next week or two!
What a beautiful poem! Thanks for all your work on the Cybils.
Thank you, Mary Lee! I love being part of the CYBILS…it’s quite time-intensive, but it’s inspirational, as well, and it affords me the opportunity to read a lot of books in a short amount of time!
Happy Flashlight Day to you and glad to hear that you are Cybilling away up there. What fun! I gave books to my class, as always, and found this one in the school stash which I gave to a kid who had written a lovely personal narrative about camping with his family–not yours, not Lizi Boyd’s, another one that’s not coming up when I search.
Your found poem is lovely.
Thanks, Heidi…it’s nice to see how writing, especially poetry, can influence people in so many ways. Looking forward to our continued discussion re: NCTE!
Happy Flashlight Day! Who knew? Although with that full moon, the flashlights may not have been necessary. What a magical gift for Donna, and a lovely tribute to her own words. That’s one way of using someone’s words for them, rather than against them…just lovely. I can imagine the judging for CYBILS must have been difficult, but exciting.
I appreciate that, Jean, thank you! And yes, the CYBILS require a lot of time and deliberation, but are well worth the effort!
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Fascinated with your baking talents, Matt-I come from a long line of bakers so I created some new cookies this year that were a hit. Congratulations on sharing the honors for National Flashlight Day. I had to miss the Winter Poetry Swap amidst many this holiday but I do like what you presented Donna with. I am sure she enjoyed the poem. I am backtracking because I missed PF last week. I had to spend every moment I had with my grandbaby in VA since I had not seen her for over 2 months.