Poetry Friday: A #PoetryCUBED winner & a wonderful review of I AM TODAY!

To say this week is a busy one is an understatement; in addition to helping my wife with her dogsitting business by travelling half an hour to a client’s house three times a day (whew!), I’m also gearing up for the New England SCBWI’s annual Spring Conference, which begins (virtually, alas) this afternoon.

And by “gearing up,” I mean finalizing my presentation, ‘Tight Language, Loose Narratives: Crafting a Non-Traditional Picture Book.’ This will be a slightly-updated version of an in-person workshop I presented at LitYoungstown’s Fall Literary Festival in Youngstown, Ohio, last fall, using my books I Am Today, Once Upon Another Time, and others to show how one can create a picture book manuscript without the standard Freytag’s Pyramid or Rule of Three’s and that sort of thing. However, being virtual, timing is crucial – so I’m hoping I won’t run too long!

I’ve also been collecting more and more #PoetryCUBED poems from blog followers, as we celebrate National Poetry Month with this little ol’ writing prompt that I brought back after a too-lonig hiatus (read the post HERE to learn more)!

Before I get to this week’s entries, though, I wanted to give a shoutout to the Instagram account inquiring.minds.grow, who shared a wonderfully positive, supportive review of my newest picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) calling it “simplistically powerful and brilliant.”

(Wow, thank you so much!)

Now for the poems! As I’ve stated before, #PoetryCUBED is based on The Food Network show, “Chopped!”, where chefs compete against one another by creating dishes with specific ingredients. After a series of elimination rounds where chefs’s dishes are judged and the chefs are “chopped,” one chef is declared the winner.

#PoetryCUBED uses the same basic premise, but with poetry:

  • Use the 3 images (“cubed,” get it??) below as inspiration to write a poem.
  • The poem can be any form, any number of lines, rhyming or not. 
  • A reference to all three images needs to be included in the poem – it can be vague, if you want, but it needs to be there!
  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here – and at the end of April, one name will be drawn at random to receive your choice of a free, personally-signed copy of ANY ONE of my books!

I’ve had such an incredible response to this challenge, I’ve been sharing readers’ poems here throughout the month – and here are more!


Let’s Go

Hanna the

sure couldn’t care
a-lick ‘bout

But loved her
walks along
Heart-Stone beach!

– © 2022 Michelle Kogan


Thoughts about Rocks

Everything living is cleaved
by a thin invisible meridian

the dog, the tomato, the leaf
the starfish all having at least

one center dividing line onto which
they map matching other halves

all barking and ripening and falling
and creeping along the sea floor

in perfect pleasing symmetry.
Of course the nonliving aren’t

bound by rules
around shape.
They form in any direction.

A fault line here, some

What fr e e d o m
there must be within a rock.

What chaos.

– © 2022 Jessica Whipple


Green, yellow or red?
Heirlooms mess with my head!
Tomatoes that can’t decide,
are not the tastiest kind.
I’ve buried them here instead.

– © 2022 Barbara DiMarco


Pretty diverse responses to the challenge, wouldn’t you say? Impressive! Since this is the final week of #PoetryCUBED, I’ve put all of our entrants’ names in a random drawing and our winner is…


Congratulations, Karin! You win a free copy of any one of my books, personally-signed, if you’d like! (You can read Karin’s creative double-acrostic poem in last weeks post HERE)

Carol Varsalona, who also submitted a poem last week, is sharing a bevy of beautiful springtime poems at her blog’s Padlet this week, including my second response to this #PoetryCUBED challenge. Be sure to check them out! Meanwhile, Jone MacCulloch is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup with her contribution to Tabatha Yeatts’ new poetry anthology Imperfect II, so for all of today’s poetry links and fun, stop by her blog and say hi!

Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!


Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my newest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
from my local independent bookstore!


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!

Available 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!

9 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: A #PoetryCUBED winner & a wonderful review of I AM TODAY!

  1. lindabaie

    Wow! Your prompt really brought some wonderful poems, Matt! It was lots of fun to do & to read everyone’s poems. Best wishes for your presentation!


  2. What a happy surprise to find my own name as the winner of the drawing! It took me a moment to figure out why it was there when that familiar letter combination caught my eye. I would love a copy of I Am Today. I will email you my address. Thank you for the book and for the PoetryCUBED challenge, which I enjoyed very much as both a writer and a reader.

    The topic of your talk sounds very interesting. Wishing you good times with that and the whole conference!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Poetry Friday: “Spring,” a final #PoetryCUBED offering – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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