Poetry Friday: Practicing the Sedoka

I was doing research on haiku and other forms of Japanese poetry recently when I came upon the sedoka – a very, very early poetic form. Although the sedoka is rarely seen these days, it’s been around since Japan was still using Chinese characters in their written language! I had played around with the form a few years ago,but had forgotten about it until now – so I’m grateful for this ‘accidental’ inspiration.

Rather than getting into a long explanation of what a sedoka is, I invite you to visit THIS LINK to learn more. Simply put, a sedoka is made up of two tercets (3-line stanzas) which ‘converse’ with each other; that is, the first sets up a scene and the second responds to it by connecting the reader to an emotion. In this way, a sedoka is sort of a cross between a haiku and senryu – although both of those forms are much, much more recent creations than the sedoka.

The form intrigued me, not only because of this blending of nature with human emotion, but because it allows the writer a bit more room to work than a haiku or senryu. (The sedoka has a syllable count of 5-7-7, which is similar to these, but because Japanese “syllables” are not the same as those in the English language, one need not adhere strictly to this rule)

So after some thought, some scribbling, and more than a revision or two, I present my first sedoka:

(click to enlarge)

Probably not the best sedoka ever written – certainly not on par with Kakinomoto Hitomaro, the Master of the sedoka – but I’m happy with it as a first try!

Looking for more poetry? My friend Amy at The Poem Farm is hosting Poetry Friday today! And if you’ve not yet entered my drawing for a free copy of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (POW! Kids Books, 2018), be sure to check out this past Tuesday’s post! I’m celebrating Dinosaur‘s one-year birthday with a look at the most common questions we get from kids and teachers, so I hope you’ll leave a comment to be entered!

=========================================================

The 2019 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem continues! Each day during April (National Poetry Month), a different writer/ blogger adds a new line to the poem until it concludes April 30. You can follow along at the sites listed below.

2019 Progressive Poem schedule:

April

1 Matt @Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
2 Kat @Kathryn Apel
3 Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites
4 Jone @DeoWriter
5 Linda @TeacherDance
6 Tara @Going to Walden
7 Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown
8 Mary Lee @A Year of Reading
9 Rebecca @Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @Live Your Poem
11 Dani @Doing the Work that Matters
12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine @Dori Reads
14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering
15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge
16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink
17 Amy @The Poem Farm
18 Linda @A Word Edgewise
19 Heidi @my juicy little universe
20 Buffy @Buffy’s Blog
21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @Reading to the Core
23 Penny @a penny and her jots
24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference
25 Jan @Bookseestudio
26 Linda @Write Time
27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro
28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass
29 Irene @Live Your Poem
30 Donna @Mainely Write

=========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!


  Coming July 2, 2019!

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 for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’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!

SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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 Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: Early spring haiku AND the 2019 Progressive Poem is coming!

(click to enlarge)

I was thinking of how long winter’s been hanging on (it barely got over 40 yesterday and probably won’t go above 45 today), and thought I’d write something about a late spring…but then I came across this photo of Lake Tahoe from Photobucket entitled “Tahoe Early Spring” and changed my mind!

Well, it’s that time of year again – National Poetry Month arrives in just a few days, and so does Irene Latham‘s annual Progressive Poem, an opportunity for 30 bloggers and children’s writers to come together and create a poem over the course of the month. Each year Irene organizes this, and each year it’s a treat to see how the poem begins and grows and develops – and of course, how it ends!

This year, I’m excited to once again be a part of it (the only guy in the entire group – how did THAT happen??) and I’m especially honored to be given the opportunity to BEGIN the poem on April 1. What, pray tell, will be the opening line? I have no idea…although I have been kicking around several possibilities in my head. Be sure to check in Monday morning, when it all begins!

2019 Progressive Poem schedule:

April

1 Matt @Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
2 Kat @Kathryn Apel
3 Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites
4 Jone @DeoWriter
5 Linda @TeacherDance
6 Tara @Going to Walden
7 Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown
8 Mary Lee @A Year of Reading
9 Rebecca @Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @Live Your Poem
11 Dani @Doing the Work that Matters
12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine @Dori Reads
14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering
15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge
16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink
17 Amy @The Poem Farm
18 Linda @A Word Edgewise
19 Heidi @my juicy little universe
20 Buffy @Buffy’s Blog
21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @Reading to the Core
23 Penny @a penny and her jots
24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference
25 Jan @Bookseestudio
26 Linda @Write Time
27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro
28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass
29 Irene @Live Your Poem
30 Donna @Mainely Write

WINNER, WINNER!

Congratulations to the winner of a copy of Laura Purdie Salas’ new children’s poetry collection, In the Middle of the Night: Poems from a Wide-Awake House (Wordsong, 2019)…REBECCA HERZOG!! Out of all the folks who left comments on my post a couple of weeks ago (where I interviewed Laura’s “stuff!”), Rebecca’s name was drawn at random. Thanks for visiting, Rebecca, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book!

.

Madness!Poetry is down to the wire…my former adversary in the competition, author Lori Degman, has made it all the way to the final round and is up against my former fellow Poet’s Garage member, William Peery! Their poems will be posted soon, so don’t forget to vote in this all-important Final. And if you’re looking for more poetry, head on over to Carol’s Corner for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup!

=========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!


  Coming July 2, 2019!

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 for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’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!

SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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 Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

Poetry Friday: Spring mountain haiku (Happy Spring!)

(click to enlarge)

REMINDER:  You have less than one week to enter my drawing for a FREE copy of Laura Purdie Salas’ new book, In the Middle of the Night: Poems from a Wide-Awake House (Wordsong, 2019)! This children’s poetry collection imagines what the inanimate objects inside a home are doing after the lights go out…and between neckties and hair combs and cap-less markers, the house is a much busier place than one might expect. So check out my blog post featuring Laura (well, actually, it’s an interview with Laura’s inanimate objects!), and leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

Madness! Poetry continues! I got knocked out of the second round in my battle with Lori Grusman – but she is still soldiering on! So log on and check out all the match-ups, then vote for your favorite!

Rebecca Herzog is hosting Poetry Friday today at Sloth Reads while simultaneously celebrating national Goof Off Day! How in the world is she going to juggle both of these duties? You’ll have to pop on over and find out!

=========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!


  Coming July 2, 2019!

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 for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’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!

SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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 Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

Poetry Friday: Winter haiku

Last night was an icy one; roads, houses, and treetops awoke this morning with a crystal coating an eighth of an inch thick. Consequently, when I came upon this photo online, I knew I had a subject…

(click to enlarge)

For more poetry, head on over to Writing the World for Kids, where Laura Purdie Salas is hosting Poetry Friday today!

=========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!


  Coming July 2, 2019!

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 for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’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!

SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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 Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: CYBILS Shortlists announced!

Well, the new year is fully underway, and if you haven’t yet made your resolutions…don’t sweat it. Neither have I! And I don’t intend to. If you’re wondering why, I encourage you to check out this post from a couple of days ago – a re-post from five years ago – about the value of NOT resolving to do things at such an arbitrary time as a calendar date.

With the new year comes CYBILS Awards nominees! The official shortlists have been announced by the first-round judges, and these books are now heading to the second-round panelists, who will decide the winners. As a first-round judge in the Poetry Category, I helped narrow down 48 nominated titles to the following shortlist:

(click to enlarge)

You will notice there are only three verse novels listed; two are geared to Young Adults (YA) and one is Middle Grade (MG) or YA.  Two other books are poetry collections for younger readers; there is one collaborative collection with a narrative; and one is a MG-leaning anthology featuring multiple poets.

We were very deliberate in which books we chose to shortlist, evaluating each nominated title based on quality of poetic writing, substance, and the level of interest a potential reader might have in reading it. We tried our best not to allow other lists and reviews to influence our decisions.

The one disappointment we all felt was that verse novels continue to be included in the Poetry Category, when they are in actuality a genre unto themselves. Comparing Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X to David Elliott’s In the Past is like comparing Moby Dick to The Giving Tree. Yes, they are both prose – but their similarities begin and end there.

So we felt we had a responsibility to provide as well-rounded a sampling as possible, while maintaining the integrity of the list. One of the books we included, H is for Haiku (Penny Candy Books), was reviewed here at the ol’ Triple-R earlier this year, when it first came out, so I thought I’d share one of the poems from the book today:

©2018 Penny Candy Books, all rights reserved, reprinted with permission

Looking for more poetry? Head on over to Poetry For Children, where Sylvia Vardell is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup!

=========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!


  Coming July 2, 2019!

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 for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’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!

SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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 Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: Shroom-ku!

In an effort to encourage her Facebook followers to engage in some creative writing, author Jane Yolen recently shared a time-lapse video post of toadstools sprouting. It was beautiful, amazing – and, indeed, inspiring. So I thought I’d share the haiku I wrote as my response to the challenge…

flames burst forth, spatter
dull forest floors; flowers, sprites
claim undue credit
.
– © 2018 Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved
.

By the way, I have been neglect in mentioning that I am once again a first-round judge of the annual CYBILS Awards‘ Poetry category! This means that not only am I charged with narrowing down the 60 or so nominated books down to a shortlist of SEVEN…but I also have to find the time to read as many of those books as I can. So if you wonder why I haven’t been making the rounds on Poetry Friday as much as I usually do, it’s simply because time is so precious and scarce these days.

Speaking of neglecting to mention things…I’m also taking part in Tabatha Yeatts‘ annual Winter Poetry Swap, a sort of poetic Secret Santa type of thing, in which Tabatha gives each participant the name of another, and that person has to write a poem for the person and send it to him or her, often with a small gift. I’ll share the poem I wrote here, once I know the person I sent it to has received it – probably next week.

And speaking of Poetry Friday…for more poetry, be sure to visit Liz Steinglass’ blog for today’s complete roundup!

=========================================================

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 for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’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!

SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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 Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: Ocean storm haiku

(click to enlarge)

Mary Lee Hahn is hosting Poetry Friday today at A Year of Reading, so head on over for more poetry – and a look at an unusual form called a “Blitz Poem.”

=========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!


  (coming Sept. 25, 2018!)

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 for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’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!

SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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 FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: York Beach haiku

(click to enlarge)

My wife captured this photo during the last week of June, while we were staying at a friend’s cottage along York Beach, Maine. We were walking along the shore around 6pm or so, and after a brief rainfall, we noticed the sky attempting to display three separate rainbows. Alas, they were only pieces, but I’ve had this image stuck in my head for some time now, and wanted to find a few words to accompany it. Finally did!

By the way, if you missed my little “tip of the hat” to elementary school teachers, you’ll find a mid-summer poem HERE – along with links to a few of the summer reading lists that include Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, 2017)! Of course, if you’re still hungry for more poetry, you’ll find all of today’s links at Poetry for Children, where Sylvia Vardell is hosting Poetry Friday.

=========================================================

Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!


  (coming Sept. 25, 2018!)

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 for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’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!

SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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 FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

National Poetry Month: Only FOUR DAYS left to enter “Poetry Cubed #5” and “Dinosaur” Giveaway!

Before we get to today’s poems, I want to encourage you to check out this past Tuesday’s post, in which I shared some 5th grade student poetry from a middle school in Redditch, England! For kids who have been struggling with literacy learning, I was so happy to learn how much they dove into this writing project, following a Skype visit I had with them earlier this year.

They should be very proud of themselves – not only for the writing itself, but for being willing to share their work with all my readers!

I also need to remind you that you only have FOUR DAYS left to enter my Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books) giveaway!

To celebrate the release of my newest picture book, I wanted to offer several opportunities to win copies. One way to win a copy of DAAD, signed by both me and my co-author, Deborah Bruss, is to simply share the news!

  1. Comment on THIS POST
  2. Share THIS POST via Facebook or Twitter
  3. Share my interview with illustrator Louie Chin
  4. Share the book trailer and activity sheets featured at Kate Narita’s blog
  5. Do all four!

.
Each one of these counts as an entry, which means you could have as many as four entries…and if you add in the other 2 contests, that’s SIX different opportunities to win THREE copies! Just be sure to tag me when you share these links, so I can count you. I’ll draw ONE NAME at the end of the month. Good luck, and thank you!

Today, I have more “Poetry Cubed!” poems to share – and each one of them is also an opportunity to win!

If you’ve ever seen “Chopped!” on The Food Network, you know that chefs try to outdo each other by creating dishes using specific and sometimes rather strange ingredients. So for this contest, I’ve taken the premise of the TV show and applied it to poetry! Here’s how it works:

  • Use the 3 images below as inspiration to write a poem. (1 poem, to the 3rd power – “cubed!”)
    .
  • The poem can be any form, any genre, any number of lines, rhyming or not. Most importantly, remember: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading! This is about having fun and being creative!
    .
  • Include a reference to all three images in the one poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract. (And since this is poetry we’re talking about, we play fast and loose with this rule!)
    .
  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month. Out of all poems submitted, one writer will be chosen at random to receive a personally-signed copy of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!

Here are the three images (click on any to enlarge):

Today we have two more poems to share:
.

untitled cherita

after the celebration

birthday gifts sorted
thank-you cards await

in a shadowy corner
he shines his new lampe de poche
Merci, Mémé!” he whispers

– © 2018 Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

.
haiku

dark birthday surprise
clawed hand steers my shoulder-
saved by a light beam

– © 2018 Joyce Ray, all rights reserve

.

This time, instead of very different imagery, we have two poems both playing with the contract of light and dark – and both make specific references to birthdays. (By the way, a ‘cherita’ is a poem consisting of 1 line, then 2 lines, then 3 lines, and is usually narrative. Find out more about the form HERE)

One final poem – not at all like these! – from another reader who preferred to remain anonymous:

untitled

Hold the light; hands
scaly
and ancient search
dry earth
one more day

– anonymous

I’ll continue taking entries until the end of the month – which is THIS MONDAY – so send in your poems to Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com! Good luck!

The incredibly talented (and very busy!) Irene Latham is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Live Your Poem – where she also shares poetry and answers questions about her contributions to this year’s ARTSPEAK! project.

=========================================================

The Dinosaur Tour blog tour continues all month and into May! My thanks to all these bloggers for their support:

April 6:       Michelle H. Barnes (Interview w/month-long writing prompt & GIVEAWAY!)
April 8:       Kate Narita (Book trailer & activity sheet spotlight)
April 11:     Deborah Kalb (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
April 13:     Yours Truly! (Interview w/illustrator Louie Chin)
April 16:     KidLit Exchange (Blog post re: process of illustration)
April 17:     Momma’s Bacon (DAAD review)
April 17:     Yours Truly(DAAD book birthday news AND GIVEAWAY!)
April 18:     Bonnie Ferrante (DAAD review)
April 19:     KidLit Exchange (DAAD review)

April 19:     Brenda Davis Harsham (DAAD micro review)
April 25:     Bonnie Ferrante (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
May 2:        Unleashing Readers (DAAD review)
May 30:      Bookseedstudio (DAAD review/interview) 

=========================================================

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR”
is now available everywhere!

This is going to be a busy weekend, with THREE APPEARANCES over two days – including a wild DOUBLE DINO DAY tomorrow, with author Sara Levine:

  • Sat., April 28, 10:30am: Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
  • Sat., April 28, 2pm: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
  • Sun., April 29, 2pm:  MainStreet BookEnds, Warner, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur, School People, and Flashlight Night reading/signing and discussion
  • Sat., May 5, 10am: Barnes & Noble, Burlington, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 5, 1pm:  Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and Flashlight Night reading/signing
  • Sat., May 12, 11am:  Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Wed., May 15, 12pm: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People signing
  • Sat., May 19, 11:30am-3pm: Barnes & Noble, Salem, NH, National Storytime at 11am, followed by Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., June 2, 1-3pm: Books-A-Million, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing

=========================================================

The 2018 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem!

A little seed is on an adventure…the 2018 Progressive Poem is underway! Here’s the list of all the writers/bloggers participating, so you can follow along:

April 1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

=========================================================

Thank you so much to all the librarians, bloggers, and parents who are still discovering “Flashlight Night!” 

=========================================================

Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new way to purchase personalized signed copies of not only Flashlight Night, but ANY of my books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!

Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)

=========================================================

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!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on 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 FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

National Poetry Month: “H is for Haiku” Interview with Amy Losak AND The 2018 Progressive Poem Day 10!

National Poetry Month is underway and I’ve got a lot going on: poetry, interviews, student writing, a national book launch for my second picture book! Today, in addition to my contribution to the 2018 Progressive Poem, I have an interview with Amy Losak about H is for Haiku (Penny Candy Books), a brand-new children’s poetry collection written by her late mom, Sydell Rosenberg.

Amy Losak Click to enlarge)

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat, Amy! First of all, congratulations on the book – it’s been a long time coming. Can you please share with my readers what the book is about?

Matt, thanks very much for your kindness and interest! H Is For Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z (Penny Candy Books, illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi) is an alphabet collection of short poems – haiku and senryu –written by my mother, Sydell Rosenberg. Syd was a charter member of the Haiku Society of America in 1968 and served as HSA secretary in 1975. Mom was a New Yorker, so she called her short poems “city haiku” (in a classic book released in 1974, The Haiku Anthology, edited by Cor van den Heuvel and published by Doubleday Anchor). Some of her poems in this new picture book have an urban “flavor” or “feel,” yet they also are universal – and timeless.

In addition, mom’s senryu will be featured in a new anthology from National Geographic, The Poetry of USedited by former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis. It will be released in late September.

That’s terrific! I know a number of folks who will have poems included in that book, myself included, so it’s an honor to be in it with her. I remember when we first met online, you were in the process of finding a publisher for this book. How long did it take you to go from searching to finally nailing down a deal?

In truth, this has been a long and often arduous journey. Mom had completed at least a couple of kids’ poetry manuscripts, including a haiku A-B-C reader. She submitted them to publishers in the 1980s, perhaps even in the 1970s. (I have some of her saved rejection letters somewhere).

At mom’s funeral in 1996, I remember that my brother Nathan, sister-in-law Debbie, and I promised to fulfill her dream of publishing a picture book. But I didn’t start to get “get serious” until around 2011. Then it became an act of almost Herculean mobilization, because her work is disorganized. And emotionally, I wasn’t ready to tackle a project of this magnitude sooner.

But I finally began to wade through a welter of her papers, notebooks, etc., that had been thrown into boxes and bags after she died. I managed to assemble a lovely cache of her work, including poems from those old manuscripts. I contacted arts education and literacy organizations with proposals about partnering on programs to use her haiku as teaching tools. I connected with a terrific nonprofit arts education organization in New York, Arts For All (arts-for-all.org).

For several years, we have had a successful collaboration. Mom’s haiku and senryu are used to teach the basics of painting, drawing and collage; music; and theater in a Bronx school and a Queens school. I’ve also conducted readings of her adult and kids’ poetry at the Queens Botanical Garden and The Poets House in NY, respectively. And a few years ago at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York, teaching artists even created a gorgeous, golden structure: a haiku PoeTree!

But my ultimate goal has always been this book. I first began submitting mom’s manuscript directly to publishers in early April of 2015 – I believe on April 1 (no fooling!). I signed the contract with the wonderful Penny Candy Books (the principals are Chad Reynolds and Alexis Orgera, who also are poets) on October 31 in 2016 (yes, Halloween). When you add it all up, it has taken decades to reach this destination.

I have to give thanks to the extraordinary encouragement of many people: family, friends, colleagues, poets and children’s authors. I am deeply grateful for this wellspring of support – it’s been invaluable.

There are a lot of folks writing haiku these days. What do you think your mom’s poetry offers readers they may not have experienced before?

Haiku is global in scope and popularity today. Poets around the world are producing glorious work and supporting each other’s creative spirits. My mom’s style changed somewhat over her thirty-odd years as a “haijin” (haiku poet) – at times, her work got sparer. The poems in HIFH are more like, I think, miniature stories. I refer to them as “word-pictures” that capture nature and human nature “in nuggets.” They are gentle, and gently humorous —  observant “slices” of life to make readers smile.

From “H is for Haiku,” © 2018 Amy Losak, Sawsan Chalabi, Penny Candy Press; all rights reserved, used with permission (Click to enlarge)

Back in the ’80’s, you helped create promotional materials for the PBS TV series, “Voices & Visions”…how did your business and broadcast experience help – if it all – during the process of getting this poetry collection off the ground?

This assignment was early in my career as a publicist, thanks to the mentorship and guidance of my two female bosses at the time, Charlotte Klein and Betty Travis. They were senior public relations executives, I helped promote this TV series about American poets – which “distance learners” could take for college credit — on behalf of The Annenberg/CPB Project. I loved the creative challenges and opportunities Charlotte and Betty gave me.

But I had no inkling then that, decades later, I would undertake this “mission” of publishing my mother’s work, not to mention writing (and sometimes publishing) my own short poetry too. And yet, in hindsight, perhaps my career helped lay the groundwork.

I also worked on the press kit and media relations outreach for the 1980’s PBS series, “Anne of Green Gables,” thanks to my mentors. I grew up with L.M. Montgomery’s books (my parents took us on a jaunt to Prince Edward Island when I was a teen), and Anne’s poetic sensibility resonated with me. I thought of her as a “kindred spirit.” I still do! (See my blog here: https://www.pennycandybooks.com/blog-1/losak)

Which poem is your favorite from this collection, and why?

I confess I have several. One that I have come to love is:
.

So pale — it hardly sat

    on the outstretched branch

       of the winter night.

.

This award-winning haiku was published twice in the journal, Haiku West (1968 and 1975) and was also published on mom’s tribute page in the December, 1996 issue of Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America. I am captivated by the mystery of this poem, because “it” isn’t specified. “It” can be anything the reader imagines – the friendly moon, certainly (Sawsan’s lovely interpretation in the book), but other things too. This haiku is serene, simple… yet striking.   

Indeed, it is, Amy…and I agree, the ambiguity is key. There are  wonderful, unique visuals in several other poems, as well, like children with umbrellas compared to rows of mushrooms and flamingos’ legs “melting” in the lake water. My favorite poem happens to be on the very first page:

From “H is for Haiku,” © 2018 Amy Losak, Sawsan Chalabi, Penny Candy Press; all rights reserved, used with permission (Click to enlarge)

One last question: if you could tell someone unfamiliar with haiku why they should purchase this book, what would you say?

Syd’s haiku (and haiku in general) will open children’s eyes – awaken their senses –to the expansive possibilities in the “small moments” of their everyday lives. Haiku is about happiness, discovery, fun, play…and awareness.

Well, thank you again, Amy, and best wishes for success with this book!

Thank you, Matt! I hope readers – kids and adults alike – find joy in H Is For Haiku, and use the collection as a springboard for reading more great haiku and writing their own, too!

Again, H Is For Haiku is now in stores everywhere – so Happy Book Birthday, Amy! One week from today, I’ll be interviewing illustrator Louie Chin, for our book birthday of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books), so please keep an eye out for that!

=========================================================

The 2018 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem is HERE!

A little seed is on an adventure! The 2018 Progressive Poem is underway, and our little heroine has just invented a game. What type of game? We’re not sure at this point, because she’s feasting on stardrops with Owl and has invited Moon to join her – but he has other ideas.

I’ve had to think quite a bit about what I should add for my line; the seed has invented a game, but she’s not playing it – which is a conundrum as far as a narrative goes. Interestingly, this is probably the tightest narrative we’ve had in all the years of the Progressive Poem – we usually go on these vast, epic, poetic journeys of discovery!

When the poem began on April 1, I saw the imagery of the seed…of the morning… of stretching…as symbolic of new beginnings and adventure. I was hoping this year’s poem would take us into uncharted territory – and that’s what it appears to be doing! My main concern, to be honest, was that I didn’t want the plot to become too similar to Frank Asch’s Moongame. So without being too specific, I tried to move the poem forward and leave the next writer something creative to work with.

Here is the poem so far, with my line at the end…
.

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.
Oh, what wonderful dreams she had had!
Blooming in midnight moonlight, dancing with
the pulse of a thousand stars, sweet Jasmine
invented a game.
“Moon?” she called across warm, honeyed air.
“I’m sad you’re alone; come join Owl and me.
We’re feasting on stardrops, we’ll share them with you.”
“Come find me,” Moon called, hiding behind a cloud.

Secure in gentle talons’ embrace, Jasmine rose

Being the only guy taking part in this year’s Progressive Poem, I was inclined to include something about motorcycles, power tools, or bikinis…but I restrained myself.

Take it away, Brenda! Here’s a list of all the folks participating, so you can follow along!

April
1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

=========================================================

“THE DINOSAUR TOUR” blog tour continues TOMORROW, April 11, at Deb Kalb’s place! My thanks to all the bloggers who are joining in the celebration of the launch of my new book, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur, co-authored with Deborah Bruss.

The complete list of blogs taking part in the DINOSAUR TOUR:

April 6:       Michelle H. Barnes (Interview w/month-long writing prompt)
April 8:       Kate Narita (Book trailer & activity sheet spotlight)
April 11:     Deborah Kalb (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
April 13:     Yours Truly! (Interview w/illustrator Louie Chin)
April 16:     KidLit Exchange (Blog post re: process of illustration)
April 17:     Momma’s Bacon (DAAD review)
April 17:     Yours Truly!  (I’ll be sharing a couple of spreads of the book here – and gearing up for our National Book Launch that night in Cambridge, MA!)
April 18:     Bonnie Ferrante (DAAD review)
April 19:     Brenda Davis Harsham (DAAD micro review)
April 25:     Bonnie Ferrante (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
May 2:        Unleashing Readers (DAAD review)
TBD:           KidLit Exchange (DAAD review)
May 30:     Bookseedstudio (DAAD review/interview) 

I hope you’ll stop by these various blogs, as you’ll learn something new at each one, plus you’ll have multiple opportunities to win copies of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!

=========================================================

The DINOSAURS are COMING…

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR” arrives in stores April 17!

New dates continue to be added to the Dinosaur Tour! Here’s the most up-to-date schedule:

  • Sat., April 14, 11am:  Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Sat., April 14, 2pm:  Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Tue., April 17, 7pm:  Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur Dual National Launch Party!! (with Holly Thompson, One Wave at a Time reading/signing/discussion)
  • Thur., April 26, 10:30am:  Pillsbury Free Library, Warner, NH, Dinosaur Storytime with Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People!
  • Sat., April 28, 10:30am: Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., April 28, 2pm: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
  • Sun., April 29, 2pm:  MainStreet BookEnds, Warner, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing and discussion
  • Sat., May 5, 10am: Barnes & Noble, Burlington, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 5, 1pm:  Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 12, 11am:  Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Wed., May 16, 12pm: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People signing
  • Sat., May 19, 11:30am-3pm: Barnes & Noble, Salem, NH, National Storytime at 11am, followed by Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., June 2, 1-3pm: Books-A-Million, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing

=========================================================

Thank you so much to all the librarians, bloggers, and parents who are still discovering “Flashlight Night!” 

=========================================================

Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new way to purchase personalized signed copies of not only Flashlight Night, but ANY of my books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!

Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)

=========================================================

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!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on 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 FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!