One year ago, in the middle of a pandemic, a very unique and fun book arrived on the scene…and today we’re celebrating its 1-year birthday!
Friends & Anemones: Ocean Poems for Children, created by members of The Writer’s Loft in Sherborn, Massachusetts, was officially published November 8, 2020!
With poems and illustrations by more than 60 New England authors and illustrators like Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, Peter H. Reynolds, Jodie Apeseche, Josh Funk, Bob Thibeault, Lynda Mullaly-Hunt, and many others (including Yours Truly), the book clocks in at a solid 70 pages!
The book is especially dear to my heart, because I didn’t just contribute 3 poems; editors Kristen Wixted and Heather Kelly asked author Kip Wilson and I to judge all the submissions, to determine which were the best and which needed some revision. It was quite the time-intensive task (a little consonance there, for you poetry fans), but we had a lot of fun doing it – and were glad we were able to help others in polishing their poems for publication (a little aliteration, as well, just to keep you on your toes).
You can read my interview with Wixted & Kelly HERE and learn about how they came up with the idea, how they navigated the process, and how they managed to pull it all off during a nationwide shutdown!
One of the most impressive spreads in the book features a beautiful illustration by Leanne Leutkemeyer with a poem by Amanda Smith:
And since I’ve shared my “Goblin Shark” pantoum and “Unmoored” cherita in past blog posts, I thought I’d share my third poem, a haiku:
I love variety (I’m the kind of guy who orders the appetizer sampler at a restaurant because I don’t want to miss out on anything!), so I wanted to make sure each poem I submitted was very different in style and form. I figured pantoum/cherita/haiku was a pretty good mix.
If you are new to Friends & Anemones: Ocean Poems for Children, I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy – at 70 pages, it’s hefty, so you’re defintely getting your money’s worth. Of course you can order it from Amazon and B&N, but if you purchase it from my hometown indie bookstore, I’d be happy to sign it!
Since it is Poetry Friday, I’m very proud to be hosting the festivities – so you need go no further for today’s offical round up! Just leave your links in the comments below and I’ll round them up throughout the day, old school-style!
Denise Krebs shares a beautiful wedding gift: a pantoum!
The autumn season inspired Michelle Kogan to write two haiku.
Also in a fall mood, Carol Varsalona reviews Ashley Wolff’s new picture book, How to Help a Pumpkin Grow.
Carmela Martino features a creative NF book about the American Revolution along with one of her 3 contributions to Bridget Magee’s new release, 10.10 Poetry Anthology: Celebrating 10 in 10 Different Ways.
Poetry is all about finding new, interesting connections, and Linda Baie connects Daylight Savings Time with poet Ted Kooser.
One of the reasons I love poetry is because it can cram a lot of imagery and emotion into a tight space…and Alan J. Wright is doing just that today with some short, witty light verse!
Molly Hogan is stepping outside of her “comfort zone” by sharing two very personal, emotional poems.
Our Aussie friend Kathryn Apel, along with our other Aussie friend, Sally Murphy, recently helped the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature develop the Australian Verse Novel Resource, a fantastic idea that I hope catches on stateside!
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is contemplating change – trees, leaves, bees – and offers a thoughtful poem, “Circles.”
The great artist Vincent Van Gogh once said that he would “never stand for anything of importance”…but Tabatha Yeatts is in with an original poem to prove otherwise.
Linda Mitchell has news of a poetry contest and an original award-winning poem about sisters and sibling love.
Tim Gels has much to be thankful for, and since this is the perfect month to show thankfulness he shares 3 tankas about thanks.
Have you ever considered making poetry out of trash? Susan Thomsen does just that, with blackout poetry from an old book!
Heidi Mordhorst shares a n/ode to autumn today – and no, that’s not a misprint!
Gratiku: I love that word! Ruth shares a haiku about gratitude, this time about the importance of tea and the comfort it provides.
There’s something about this time of year that gets folks in a haiku/tanka mood, and Christie Wyman joins in with a beautiful autumnal poem.
Irene Latham‘s latest latest ArtSpeak: Four Seasons poem is inspired by fog and friendship.
It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t love pizza, in one way, shape, or form – and Jama Rattigan reviews a brand-new children’s book, We Love Pizza, by Elenia Beretta.
Mary Lee Hahn takes a look at what it means to “persevere” and shares an incredibly powerful original poem.
Yesterday was spent raking and leaf-blowing with my kids…and Karen Eastlund was apparently doing the same thing, as she offers a short fall poem she is still working on, but which is coming along nicely.
Margaret Simon is prepping for a poetry reading with some esteeemed company, and shares a few student poems from the Poet-Tree!
Janice Scully is offering a positive, inspirational poem she wrote about the climate crisis.
In honor of Veterans Day, Linda Kulp Trout (an Air Force veteran herself) shares a poem she wrote to thank veterans for their work and sacrifice, which originally appeared in the Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (Poemlo Books, 2015)..
Carol Labuzzetta has been dealing with seasonal, personal, and literary challenges this past week, and shares an update – along with an original autumn poem.
What do you do when a home you love…is no longer recognizable? Catherine Flynn explores that difficult situation with an original poem.
Laura Purdie Salas has rounded up several short poems for fall, that originally appeared in her e-newsletter for educators.
Mary Cronin spotlights a new biographical verse novel, The Traveling Camera: Lewis Hine and the Fight to End Child Labor, by Alexandra Hinrichs.
Almost-last but definitely not least, we have TWO different post about the incredibly talented Janet Wong, who is receiving the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children at NCTE’s annual (virtual) convention next week! Her friend and Pomelo Books co-hort, Dr. Sylvia Vardell, shares a fun video interview with Janet you have to see…while Jone MacCulloch shares part II of her online interview with Janet.
And finally, a perfect way to put a big red bow on our Poetry Friday celebration: Leigh Anne Eck says “tanka you” with a beautiful original tanka!
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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.
Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!
You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018), and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!
Click any of the covers below to order!
Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (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!
- 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
- Finalist, 2019 New Hampshire Literary Awards
- Positive reviews from Horn Book, School Library Connection, School Library Connection, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf-Awareness!
DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:
- “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
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72 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The ROUNDUP is here – and we’re celebrating one whole year of Friends & Anemones!”
Matt, congratulations on the one-year anniversary. It has been fascinating to read all three of your entries in the Friends and Anemones anthology. Yes, a haiku, pantoum, and cherita are quite a unique collection. The illustrations are mesmerizing too. I haven’t heard of cherita, so I will be trying my hand at that soon too. For my post, I wrote a pantoum about a new wedding couple who celebrated yesterday. https://mrsdkrebs.edublogs.org/2021/11/12/poetry-friday-a-wedding-pantoum/
Thanks so much, Denise!
Beautiful book Matt, I like both poems you shared and the fresh, watery, and wonderful art complements each poem, thanks for sharing them! Thanks also for hosting the roundup. I’ve a short post with a couple haikus, and one focuses on a surprise backyard plant, here’s my link: https://moreart4all.wordpress.com/2021/11/11/poetry-friday-fall-surprise-haikus/
Thank you, Michelle!
The Friends and Anemones anthology looks terrific. I love your haiku, especially how calm and chaos collide.
Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday! In my TeachingAuthors post for today, I share one of the three poems I wrote that are included in Bridget Magee’s new 10.10 Poetry Anthology. Like you, I enjoy variety–I submitted an Etheree, a free verse poem, and a variation on a definito, which is the poem in my Poetry Friday post. To my surprise, Bridget accepted all three. My post isn’t live just yet, but will be less than two hours from now: https://www.teachingauthors.com/2021/11/two-new-books-to-celebrate.html
Thanks, Carmela – and congratulations!
You’ve made me yearn for another trip to the ocean, Matt. Ah, it is so wonderful! I remember your book and love imagining those breakers! I’m in today with a poem connecting Daylight Savings Time (gone) & Ted Kooser! You’ll see! Have a lovely weekend and thanks for hosting! https://www.teacherdance.org/2021/11/poetry-friday-dst-wake-up.html
Thank you, Linda – have a nice weekend, too!
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Matt, what a worthy anniversary to celebrate. It is obvious why you have such a strong connection to this theme based collaboration. Collaborations are so rewarding. Enjoy this wonderful moment. Thank you for hosting.
This week I am looking at short form poetry and the power of words squeezed into a few lines. A chance for wry humour and pithiness.
Thanks so much, Alan, I appreciate it. Great poems, by the way!
Matt, I remember when you introduced your book last year. I am glad that you have had so much success since then. Your list of books keeps getting longer. Today, I am sharing the wonderful picture book, How to Help Grow a Pumpkin with a one word critique by my 4-year-old granddaughter. https://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2021/11/bedecked-in-autumn-featured-book.html
I look forward to reviewing your upcoming book.
Thank you for the kind words, Carol – and your support!
Yay and hurray, I am here, Matt. And who knew that by the end of today (it’s now almost 6pm on Friday) it would be such a joyous day of celebration. But I type this looking out on a body of water in a dam. Not full – but my goodness, I can SEE the water! Such joy! That’s perhaps appropriate, given that you’re talking about a book of ocean poems. No anemones. Or stingrays! Though we do have turtles. And tadpoles. And a shring of insect chorus. And I cannot believe how beautiful today is, on account of hard and fast rain that then gushed down the gullies and into dry dams. (If people follow me on Twitter or Instagram, they’ll see some of the celebration there.)
But you’ll find none of that on my blog post! That’s actually all about verse novels – and then newly released National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature’s (NCACL) new Australian Verse Novel Resource. This is definitely worth checking out and even though I was involved with collating it, I am blown away by the final product! Also on my blog there’s also a link to an article titled; ‘The Verse Novels of Kathryn Apel’. If you click across, you’ll perhaps learn more about me and my writing process than you ever thought to know.
Thanks for rounding us up, Matt.
This is so great, Kat – congrats to you & Sally for all your hard work.
Happy first birthday to FRIENDS AND ANEMONES! I love watching the waves, and maybe it is just because of the way that “calm, chaos collide.” Delightful, and so many mysteries to ponder… Today I actually head to the ocean for the first time in years, and your post has me ready to just stare at the sea and wonder. Thank you for rounding us up, and many congratulations to you and to all of the authors and illustrators who are part of this book!
Today at The Poem Farm, I am thinking about change, about how one thing changes into another over time. You can find the post here – http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2021/11/change-eyes-for-week.html
Thanks, Amy! Living only an hour from the coast, it still surprises me when I hear about folks who rarely see the ocean…I would live along the shoreline 24/7 if I could. Enjoy your trip! Whereabouts are you heading?
Congratulations and Happy Birthday! The anthology looks beautiful and what a wonderful collection of authors! Your Breakers haiku, where calm and chaos collide, has me thinking about boundaries. So often we think of them as where something ends, but they’re much more dynamic than that, aren’t they? The poems I’m sharing today are at a different sort of boundary, and one I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating recently. Thanks for hosting. https://nixthecomfortzone.com/2021/11/11/pf-stepping-out-of-my-comfort-zone/
Thanks so much, Molly – and yes, I agree! Well done on your poems, too – I know it’s difficult to write when you’re so close to something like this, but please know we’re all thinking of you.
Friends and Anemones is such a great name for a book — fun, funny, and memorable! I love the illustrator’s style, especially that giant squid! Thanks for celebrating with us, as well as for rounding us up.
I have a poem about Vincent Van Gogh today: https://tabathayeatts.blogspot.com/2021/11/a-faith.html
Thank you, Tabatha!
Thanks for sharing spreads from ‘Friends and Anemones.’ I will share these with students!
And, thank you for hosting. I’m in with a poetry contest invitation: https://awordedgewiselindamitchell.blogspot.com/
And, of course, Hamish and I have more to say on his padlet.
Thanks so much, Linda!
Matt, here’s to a happy anniversary of this book and to all those to come! Thank you for sharing some of the book with us as well as a bit of the backstory. I was recently on the Gulf Coast, far from the northeast, enjoying the more-gentle waves of the ocean, so the thought of this book brings back some peaceful memories for me. Thank you, as well, for hosting — much appreciated. My post this morning is a small collection of poems I’ve been writing about things I’m thankful for (’tis the season, and all that). https://timgels.com/2021/11/11/november-poems-of-thanks/
Thanks, Tim, I’m glad you enjoyed the post!
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Friends & Anemones? I need this book! I love the title.
Thank you for rounding up. I am in with “Where the sidewalk reads…,” a post about making a poem out of trash.
I love found poetry – great job, Susan!
Happy Book Birthday (again)! Books that came out in the depths of lockdown definitely deserve another airing, and this one looks beautiful and varied. Nice idea for the Writers’ Loft to put together an anthology for young readers…is it the only one?
I’m joining today with a n/ode to autumn. Yep, you read that right. Thanks for hosting, Matt! https://myjuicylittleuniverse.blogspot.com/2021/11/a-node-to-autumn.html
Thanks, Heidi! This is actually the 3rd book The Writer’s Loft has put together; you can find the other 2 here: https://www.thewritersloft.org/anthology
Congratulations!! Now, I gotta figure how I’m going to be able to buy all of these wonderful books.
Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday. My post is about rest and writing.
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Thanks, Donette! I’m not seeing a post at your link – only the headline.
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Rest – https://mywritingisajourney.wordpress.com/2021/11/12/rest/
Maybe the 2nd time is the charm.
Hearty congrats, Matt, for the anniversary of this wonderful volume. It’s brimming with all sorts of poetry goodies! My offering today is an autumnal tanka written amongst friends I am truly thankful for. Cheers! https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/2021/11/12/tankas-with-friends-poetryfriday/
Thank you, Christie!
Hi Matt, and thanks for rounding us up. Friends & Anemones is such a fun title! Special place in my heart for the Writer’s Loft, too. I’ve got the latest ArtSpeak: Four Seasons poem inspired by an artwork featuring fog. My poem’s title is “Where Friendship Begins.” https://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2021/11/where-friendship-begins-poem.html Happy Poetry Friday!
Love your poem, Irene – and thank you!
It’s Day 12 of Gratiku, and I am reflecting today on how thankful I am for tea.
Save some Earl Grey for me, Ruth!
Happy One Year Birthday for Friends and Anenomes (such a wonderful title)! Enjoyed both poems — wonderful illustrations to frame them too.
Today I’m all about pizza with a new rhyming picture book, We Love Pizza by Elenia Beretta:
Thanks so much for hosting this week!
Thank you, Jama – pizza sounds pretty good right about now!
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Love FRIENDS AND ANEMONIES– such a fun, thematic collection of ocean poems! And thank you for hosting Poetry Friday too. This week, I’m featuring a fun video interview with Janet Wong in celebration of her receiving the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children next week. Here’s the link: https://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/2021/11/janet-wong-ncte-award-winner.html
It was definitely a lot of fun helping to pull the book together, Sylvia – thank you! And BIG congrats again to Janet!
Thanks for hosting, Matt, and congratulations (again) on what looks to be a fun book of ocean poems! (Excuse me for a second while I put it on reserve at the library!) I’m in with another look at the word “persevere,” informed by my reading of the book ALL THAT SHE CARRIED.
Thanks, Mary Lee – and thank you for your poem, such an important piece that people need to read.
Thansk, Mary Lee – and thank you for sharing such a tremendously thoughtful poem.
Congratulations on another collection of fabulous poetry. I am interviewing Janet Wong, Part II:
Thanks so much, Jone!
A gorgeous sharing today, Matt. And what an honor to choose the poems included! Congratulations! And thanks for your gracious hosting today. You can find my post at https://kceastlund.blogspot.com/2021/11/i-raked-yesterday.html
Thank you very much, Karen!
Matt, I love hearing about this anniversary and reading the poems. I need to get the book to share with my students. Today I am sharing a bit of news about an upcoming reading as well as our classroom gratitude Poet-Tree! Thanks for hosting: https://reflectionsontheteche.com/2021/11/12/poetry-friday-reading-with-poets-laureate-gratitude/
Thanks, Margaret – and good luck!
I’m late! But I have a hopeful poem about about the climate crisis here http://janicescully.com
Better late than never!
Matt, Congratulations on this milestone! As I paged through all of your titles, I laughed as I used the words “little ditty” in my own post today before I even read yours! Thank you for hosting the round-up today, too! My Poetry Friday post can be found at: https://theapplesinmyorchard.com/2021/11/12/poetry-friday-the-rut/
Matt, congratulations on all your accomplishments! I’ll come back later to fully enjoy your post. I’m in at Write Time today to honor veterans.
Have a great weekend!
Thanks, Linda – and thank you for your service, as well.
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Congratulations Matt! Happy book birthday! I love the book title and illustrations here.
Thank you, Tim!
Thank you for hosting today, Matt. I’ll be back later to read your post. Here’s the link to my post, a poem inspired by an unexpected visit. https://readingtothecore.com/2021/11/12/poetry-friday-your-kitchen/
Thanks so much, Catherine!
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Swinging by quickly to add a late link! I’m in with a collection of fall poems (mostly) at https://www.laurasalas.com/poems-for-teachers/roundup-of-fall-small-reads-poetry-friday/ Thanks for hosting!
Thanks, Laura – a perfect collection of poems for this time of year!
Happy book birthday to FRIENDS AND ANEMONES (best title ever!). Unfortunately, life got in the way this week and I don’t have a post to share, but I will be stopping by to comment.
Thanks, Rose, I appreciate you popping in to say hi.
FRIENDS AND ANEMONES is a brilliant title, Matt! And the illustrations are fantastic. Thanks for highlighting a book that came out during a rather dark time; it deserves more attention!
For Poetry Friday, I blogged today about a fascinating book– a picture book biography written in verse.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you so much, Mary – a lot of books got missed last year, so I wanted to do what I could to bring this some attention. Have a great weekend!
Congratulations on your one-year celebration. Reading these poems makes me yearn for the beach. I spied a new favorite word in Amanda’s poem you shared – “frippery”!!
I know it’s late to add a link, and it’s also has been a while since I have lingered with Poetry Friday. I appreciate always being welcomed when I return.
Today I share a tanka written for a November challenge. Thanks for hosting.
Better late then never! And as I mention on your blog, what a perfect way to put a bow on this week’s Poetry Friday festivities.
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Happy one year anniversary on this lovely anthology–your haiku is beautiful, and it captures what I love about the ocean but hadn’t really identified before: that mix of calm and chaos. Peaceful at times, but then unpredictable. Thanks for this new thought!
Thank you, Laura. We spend a lot of time at the ocean, and it occurred to me that as peaceful and relaxing as it seems, the surf is anything but!