Poetry Friday: Gearing up for #PoetryOutLoud with Francisco X. Alarcón

Before we get to today’s post, I’d like to again thank my friend Jessica Whipple for inviting me to host the official cover reveal of her next picture book this past Tuesday! If you missed the post, please be sure to check it out and learn why it’s such a unique and important book that many, many children in the country need.

You may recall a couple of weeks ago I shared a Poetry Out Loud poem by my friend Nikki Grimes. If you don’t recall, Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition among high school students, and I’m proud to once again be a performance judge for the Poetry Out Loud New Hampshire State Finals coming up next month.

So today I wanted to share another poem from the Poetry Out Loud catalog, this time by the incredibly talented Francisco X. Alarcón. Born in the US but raised in Mexico, Alarcón returned to the States where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Alarcón was adept at writing for both children as well as adults, and had a simple – yet simply profound – style that all ages could read and enjoy. Like this…



some say
I’m now almost
extinct in this park

but the people
who say this
don’t know

that by smelling
the orchids
in the trees

they’re sensing
the fragrance
of my chops… (continue reading HERE)

– © 2008 Francisco X. Alarcón

Tabatha Yeatts is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup at The Opposite of Indifference, where she features a funny – if not sobering – found poem by her eldest daughter!


~ Read Across America Day ~

I’m once again offering free, 20-minute virtual visits all day Thur., March 2, for Read Across America Day! My day is usually jam-packed with a couple of visits every hour, all day long, and spots are filling up.

If you would be interested in having a children’s author join your class for a free 20-minute visit via Zoom, GoogleMeets, or MS Teams, send me an email! I’ll read one of my picture books, share some poetry, and talk a little bit about the writing process and how they all came to be! Just email me at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com and I’ll reply as quickly as I can.

I’m booking author visits for the 2023 winter/spring semester!

I love chatting with elementary and middle school classes about writing: why poetry is fun to read and write, the importance of revision, and how one’s imagination and creativity can lead to a fantastic career! My presentations are tailored to fit the needs of the classes and students’ ages. One day I might be sharing details of how a picture book like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) was created; the next, I’ll be discussing dinosaur breath or origami sea turtles!

Student presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • How a Child Saved a Book
  • “Once Upon Another Time”
  • The Most Imporant Thing about Writing Poetry
  • “I Am Today”
  • “A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human”

Adult presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • The Most Important Thing about Writing Poetry
  • Free Yourself with Free Verse
  • Tight Language, Loose Narratives: Crafting a Non-Traditional Picture Book

Learn more at MattForrest.com!

If you or someone you know might be interested in having me visit your school, library, or other organization, please email me
at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com!


(The Little Fig, LLC, 2023)

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of this or or ANY of my books
from my local independent bookstore!


I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!

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Find out more about BOOKROO here!


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 here to view all my books and 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!




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!

2 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Gearing up for #PoetryOutLoud with Francisco X. Alarcón

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