Poetry Friday: Word economy, career changes, and why poetry is so much darned fun: A podcast interview with Dr. Anthony L. Manna

I had a wonderful time a few days ago being interviewed by Dr. Anthony L. Manna for his podcast, WRITERS on Writing: Conversations with Authors. We chatted WRITERS on Writing: Conversations with Authorsabout poetry, picture books, radio commercials, and all sorts of stuff dealing with the craft of writing and storytelling.

You can listen to the podcast HERE. Hopefully you’ll enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed answering his questions! If you think discussions about poetic minutiae like internal rhyme, perspective, and the benefits of classic forms like the villanelle are riveting…this is the podcast for you, my friend.

Dr. Manna asked me to share a number of poems I’ve written for various anthologies like Construction People (Wordsong, 2020) and Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann, 2017), and one of them was “A Visit to the Forest,” an alliterative assortment of alphabetical acrobatics and assonance I wrote for Kenn Nesbitt’s anthology, One Minute Till Bedtime (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016). Since it’s been nearly four years since I’ve shared it here, I present it to you now, in case you hadn’t seen it when it came out:

Click to enlarge. (c) 2016 Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, all rights reserved

You can learn more about this unusual anthology in my original blog post from 2016 , and if you’re interested in picking up a copy of the book, just scroll down to the book cover graphic! Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is at Reading to the Core, where hostess Catherine Flynn is celebrating with a look at  Emily Winfield Martin’s new book, The Imaginaries (Random House, 2020) and an original poem inspired by the book!

Did you know that Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme is one of the TOP 20 children’s poetry blogs, according to FEEDSPOT? That’s right – I’m scratching my head, too! FEEDSPOT is an app that allows you to combine all your favorite news feeds, podcasts, YouTube channels, etc. into ONE newsletter. Be sure to check it out!


I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.


What is Talkabook? Details coming soon!


I’ve teamed up with several other children’s authors to promote our upcoming books this year – and there are a LOT of them!

Coming Spring 2021! Pre-orders are available:

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, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’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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14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Word economy, career changes, and why poetry is so much darned fun: A podcast interview with Dr. Anthony L. Manna

  1. Your poem perfectly captures the business of the forest, Matt. I especially love those “tiny toadstool towers!” I’m looking forward listening to your interview later today. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Hello Matt,

    Thanks for featuring us on your blog. Your many fans will be attracted, which is also good for me as they may find their way to my website.

    Have a super healthy and safe Friday, my friend.




  3. Linda Mitchell

    Yay, Matt! You are a wonderful ambassador for children’s poetry. Keep getting the word (s) out! Poetry is exactly what our children need right now.


  4. Matt, your poem is a such a fluid one that moves along at such a great pace. I really liked the ending and think my little granddaughter will love me reading it to her. She definitely is a connoisseur of read alouds. I am so glad that you shared the poem with us since I must have missed it before. I am going to check out the podcast too.


  5. Cool, Matt! I just downloaded it into Stitcher. As soon as I finish listening to Charles Waters, you’re up next! (So much less time for podcasts these days with so much less driving and gym time. Yikes.) Can’t wait to hear it!


  6. I’m looking forward to tuning into the podcast later. For now, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading “A Visit to the Forest.” I must have missed it the last time around, so I’m glad you shared it again. Such wonderful rhyme and word choice.


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