Poetry Friday: A 6th grader who doesn’t like poetry writes really good poetry


I started off last week’s post, “January Shoreline,” with that exact word, and today I find myself doing the same thing.

The difference is, last week I was talking about 19 poems I had written for a new poetry collection I’m submitting. This week, I’m talking about 4 new poems my son has written.

The kid who claims he doesn’t like poetry.

The kid I refer to as “Mr. Nonfiction” due to his small library of dinosaur, predator, reptile, amphibian, and marine books. Yes, he loves all things Marvel and Jurassic World – and only recently, Harry Potter – but getting him to appreciate poetry has been a challenge.

I have more than half a month’s worth of PB ideas – and two of them are completed manuscripts!

And I wish I could say I had something to do with his burgeoning interest in the genre, but I’m not sure I did. As a brand-new middle school student, he has been reading more poetry than he used to, and recently completed a school ELA project on Padma Venkatraman’s The Bridge Home (Nancy Paulsen Books).

(Given his penchant for books that involve giant reptiles and super powers, I was pleasantly surprised to listen to him tell his mom and me how good the book was!)

Now, granted, Venkatraman’s book is prose, but even her prose can be very poetic – and her subject matter is about as far away from my son’s world of interest as can be. The fact that he enjoyed her book as much as he did was pretty incredible.

Personally, I don’t care what type of genres he prefers, as long as he continues to enjoy reading. He usually has 2 or 3 books going at any given point in time, so finding books for him to read isn’t half as difficult as finding the money to buy the books!

So today I wanted to spotlight one of his poems. He had to write four poems for his ELA class, and while I don’t know what instruction he had been given, I can say he did a darned good job for a 12-year-old who never liked poetry before he started middle school:

I know, right?? “Tangerine sunsets,” “the Pine men breach the Falls,” “the children…are the beast.” Some incredible imagery there. Pretty proud of this kid, I have to tell you.

So that’s the good news! The bad news is…

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) is available for pre-orders everywhere books are sold – but if you order from my local indie bookstore, I can personally-sign it and have them in the mail within 12-24 hours!

I Am Today is ONCE AGAIN delayed due to the supply chain crisis. Sigh…

The new publication date is now Feb. 8 – however, there actually IS good news, because we know that a tractor trailer picked up the books from the port and is heading to the Simon & Schuster warehouse as we speak! Once they get all the paperwork processed and the books sent out to the bookstores, we can officailly say it’s published – which should take less than two weeks.

This is why the pubisher is very confident that Feb. 8 will be the REAL, correct, publication date. So in case you’ve been living under a rock or perhaps on one of Jupiter’s outermost moons and have not yet had a chance to check out the official I Am Today Blog Tour, you can learn more about the book, my process, and the craft of writing here:

The Blog Tour:

Very excited to be part of my new 2022 picture book marketing team!

I just revised the trailer’s new publication date two weeks ago, and now I’ll need to do it again – but if you’d like to get a sneak peek inside the book and learn what it’s about, please check out the trailer! (and I wouldn’t mind if you shared it, either!)

Pre-order your copy now!


(REMINDER: On Feb. 1 my friends at KidLitTV host the official COVER REVEAL of my NEXT picture book, The Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books), which comes out this fall.)

Tabatha Yeatts is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference, with a celebration of puzzles and jigsaws – so be sure to head over for all of today’s links and fun!



I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!


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!

Arriving Jan. 25, 2022! Pre-order now!

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!




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!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually 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 FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

15 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: A 6th grader who doesn’t like poetry writes really good poetry

  1. lindabaie

    You will remember the “I Am Today” saga as the one that really was never “today”, Matt! : ) Your son did create a beautiful poem. Seems as if, now a middle-schooler, he’s looking at things in differing ways. I like the way he bridged a long gap in time, great STEM poem! Best wishes for fast traveling!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like a good non-fiction poem! Well done, Matt’s son! I wonder if he would like equation poems or sci-fi ones. He’s got talent!
    My husband talks about things being done, or done done, or if they are all-the-way-finished being done done done. It seems like maybe your book is almost done done done. Congrats!


  3. Loved your son’s poem, Matt! Sometimes as parents we just have to get out of the way and let our kids soak up the inspiration and encouragement around them. Looks like that’s what you’ve done. Thanks for sharing.


  4. margaretsmn

    You have surely influenced your son’s writing more than you think. The sounds of language and the gift of imagery is his! Congratulations on I am Today!


  5. haitiruth

    Your son’s poem is great! And congratulations on the new publication date! (Sorry about the delay, and hoping this time is a charm.) Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  6. Pingback: Poetry Friday: A 7th grader’s “lost” poetry is found – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

  7. Pingback: Poetry Friday: A 6th grader who doesn’t like poetry is back – with poetry he didn’t even need to write – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

  8. Pingback: Poetry Friday: My favorite 12-year-old poet returns – and “Beginner’s Guide” ARCs have arrived! – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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