Poetry Friday: “I Shout, I Sing” for National Pride Month

A few weeks ago I was wondering what to share here to kick off the month of June, and what should I discover but a budding poet friend of mine who had written a golden shovel, of all things!

(Golden shovels are poems that take a line from another poem or book and use each of the words in that line as the end words to each line of the new poem.)

Anyway, my friend had written their poem as a form of empowerment, as a way of feeling positive in the face of adversity. I asked them if they’d mind if I posted it here, and they agreed, as long as I kept their name secret. I didn’t question, I simply happily obliged.

.

I Shout, I Sing (golden shovel from Whitman’s ‘I Sing the Body Electric’)

Some show, some flow, some hide their pride; not I,
no, not I – I shout! I raise my voice and sing!
Declare it to the world – the hometowns, downtowns, the
little spaces in-between – this is my dream, my body,
my life – a right to be part of the race of humanity, no vanity, this is my song, strong and electric!

Anon. 6-2-22

.
It’s interesting to note that Whitman’s poem, which was originally never titled and originally never even had the line “I sing the body electric” in it – electricity really wasn’t a very common thing at the time, you see – is about loving one’s body and loving the human form itself, in all its various iterations. I told my friend I thought it was a perfect poem to use for a golden shovel! (You can read Whitman’s poem HERE)

LIBRARIANS! Click the graphic to learn more about how you can receive TONS of free ocean-themed activities from me and my PB22Peekaboo partners – for use this summer, or beyond!

While we’re on the subject of famous classic poets, be sure to head on over to Karen Edmisten’s blog, where she is hosting today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup with Yeats’ ever-popular “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” Have a wonderful weekend!

.

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

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

Be sure to PRE-ORDER my upcoming new creative nonfiction picture book,
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN (Beaming Books, Oct. 2022)!

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my latest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
or ANY of my 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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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!

Poetry Friday: “The Echo of Hearts”

This post was originally published 6 years ago in April, 2016. While my mind is reeling from the events of this past week, my head itself is reeling – literally – as I battle Covid. Yep, it finally hit me! Other than a slight cough, a heavy head, and aching muscles, I’m doing ok, so no worries; but with so much going on right now in the world, and with my wife and I in the process of trying to buy a house, a brand-new post is not happening this week.                                                                                                                                                               . This is a favorite poem of mine, though, which I’ve never shared since it first debuted on Michelle H. Barnes’ blog, Today’s Little Ditty. It is a reverso, and was a difficult one to write, at that. I hope you like it! Linda Mitchell is also processing the senselessness of this week’s news by sharing a golden shovel she wrote in the wake of the events in Uvalde, TX. You can find her poem as well as the complete Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, A Word Edgewise.                                                                                                                                                 . Have a wonderful weekend, folks – and be sure to give your kids an extra hug. ======================================================== national-poetry-month 2016 Never one to shy away from a good challenge, I had to respond to my friend Michelle H. Barnes’ “Ditty of the Month Challenge’ for April…a reverso! What is a reverso, you ask? It’s a poem that is written in two sections, with each section comprised of the exact same lines but in the opposite order. In other words, the first line of the first section is the last line of the second section; conversely, the last line of the first section is the first line of the second section. Ideally, each section should say something different, rather than simply repeating the feelings or images of the other. In the case of my reverso, I wanted to show that the different feelings and memories of each speaker are actually quite similar – two heads of one coin, so to speak. I hope I accomplished that. poetryfridaybutton-fulllYou can read more about reversos and the amazing books that poet Marilyn Singer has created using them – like her newest, ECHO ECHO: Reverso Poems about Greek Myths (Dial Books, 2016) – by visiting Michelle’s interview with Singer. At the end of the interview, Singer challenges blog readers to come up with their own poems about echoes – and because I love going out of my way to make things harder on myself, I decided to write my poem as a reverso. I hope you’ll check out the poem and let me know what you think! You can find it posted HERE at Michelle’s blog, Today’s Little Ditty. Hope you like it! And for all of today’s Poetry Friday links and hi-jinks, Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup is the place to be! ========================================================

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

=====================================================
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 – pre-orders are available for “Beginner’s Guide!” 9781506481739
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! FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:
DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR: ======================================================
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!

Poetry Friday: “Spring,” a final #PoetryCUBED offering

(click to enlarge)

Last week, we wrapped up a month’s worth of #PoetryCUBED poems – responses to my unique writing prompt based on the Food Network show, “Chopped” – but I just couldn’t let it end there!

You see, my friend Carol Varsalona, a literacy advocate who participated in the #PoetryCUBED challenge, created a special National Poetry Month “Padlet” for Earth Day titled “Poetrylicious,” and shared a few of my poems. One of them was a new poem I wrote specifically for the challenge, titled “Spring.”

I didn’t actually plan it that way – but as anyone who’s written poetry can attest, poems don’t often turn out the way you expect. I had planned on simply writing a poem about spring, but as I got into it I decided to add the challenge of working within the constraints of #PoetryCUBED, and it turned out quite well, I think!

By the way, in case you don’t know, #PoetryCUBED uses the same basic premise of the TV show, “Chopped!”, where chefs compete against one another by creating dishes with specific ingredients, 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 (vague or overt) to all three images needs to be included in the poem.

Many thanks, again, to all who participated – I’ll do it again! But that’s not the only giveaway I have for you…

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, I’m giving away TWO copies of any of my books to ONE teacher: one for them, and one for their classroom! If you’d like to enter, just check out my original Twitter post HERE and leave a comment and/or retweet – but don’t wait! The contest will close tonight, May 6, 2022, at 11:59pm and I’ll announce the winner this Monday. Just my way of giving back to all the folks who’ve supported me – as an author and a student!

For today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, please head over to Jama’s Alphabet Soup, where the wonderful and inimitable Jama Kim Rattigan is hosting the festivities with a special Mother’s Day celebration. (And with Jama, you KNOW there’ll be plenty of refreshments!)

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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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!

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
happy-tongue
terrier,

sure couldn’t care
a-lick ‘bout
tomatoes—

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
Haphazardconglomeration
there.

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.
Woof.

.
– © 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…

KARIN FISHER-GOLTON!

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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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!

Poetry Friday: #PoetryCUBED writing prompt enters its 3rd week!

We continue to celebrate National Poetry Month with #PoetryCUBED, a writing prompt that has been generating LOTS of great poems (you can read the post HERE to get a sense of what it is)!

As I’ve previously explained, #PoetryCUBED is based on The Food Network’s popular show, “Chopped!”, where chefs compete against one another by creating dishes with specific ingredients. The dishes are judged and after a series of elimination rounds where chefs are “chopped,” one chef one is crowned victorious.

So for #PoetryCUBED, I’ve applied the show’s premise to 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 shared my poetic response in my first blog post this month, then shared several others I’d received from folks like you – and today, I get to share even more!

.

A Dog with Good Taste

When our dog ate
the tomatoes, just picked,
by the shed,

some said he had
rocks in his head!

But like me
he’s a gourmet—

would eat an heirloom tomato
any day.
.

– © 2022, Janice Scully

secrets

the secret to growing tomatoes
is to listen to them chatter

after a soak in the sun
swinging from stems
summer heat reddens the skin

the secret to a walk on the shore
is to listen to stones

stories from the sea
stamina while sand
smoothes away rough edges
like the wisdom of a grandma

the secret to a Sunday drive
is to listen to a dog

an open window
wind on whiskers
a wink, a pink tongue
a willing lap

the secret is to listen

take a drive
walk the shore
grow tomatoes


– ©2022 (draft), Patricia J. Franz

.

Carol Varsalona took the challenge one step further (or was it three?) and wrote a tricube for her response:

.
licking good
tasty treat
tomatoes

all-season
tongue-slurping
heart love

taste, wink, smile-
childhood thoughts
in a jar
.

– ©2022, Carol Varsalona

If you’re unfamiliar with tricubes, they are a new form of poetry where each poem contains three stanzas, each stanza contains three lines, and each line contains three syllables. So hers is a poem that was cubed and cubed again, ha!

How will YOU approach this challenge? You have ONE WEEK LEFT to send in your poem and be entered in the drawing for a personally-signed copy of any one of my books, so be sure to email me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com as soon as you can!

Last week, I hosted the Poetry Friday roundup and shared an interview with my friend Leslie Bulion, whose new picture book Serengeti: Plains of Grass (Peachtree Publishing) came out March 1 – the same day as my I Am Today (POW! Kids Books). Her publisher was kind enough to offer a free copy of the book to one of my readers, and the person whose name was drawn at random is…

MICHELLE KOGAN!

Congratulations, Michelle! Out of all the folks who entered, hers was the name that was chosen from the ol’ random number generator, and she gets a copy of Leslie’s new book!

Margaret Simon is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup AND the annual Progressive Poem at Reflections on the Teche, so head on over for all the poetry links and fun!

They don’t mean no, they mean “no.” and they don’t mean parking – they mean “parking.”
Such an egregious waste of quotation marks.
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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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!

Poetry Friday: #PoetryCUBED contest means poems are pouring in!

Last week, to celebrate National Poetry Month, I brought back a little contest/writing prompt I created called #PoetryCUBED (you can read the post HERE to get a sense of what it is) – and already, I’m receiving lots of great responses to the challenge!

As I explained in that post, PoetryCUBED is based on The Food Network’s popular show, “Chopped!”, where chefs try to outdo each other by creating dishes with specific ingredients. The dishes are then critiqued by a panel of judges and the chefs go through a series of elimination rounds until one is victorious.

So for this contest, I’ve applied this premise to 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. 
  • Be sure to include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract. 
  • Then 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 one of my books!

If you read last week’s post, you saw my poetic response; here are a few responses I’ve received from fellow blog readers like you!

.

add more tomatoes
chef fluffy tastes and declares
yes, perfect stone soup

© 2022 Kathleen Mazurowski

.

Puppy Love

Tomatoes are not my thing!
After all,
you can’t catch them,
fetch them,
or s t r e t c h them.
But…
fresh from the vine,
that grassy-green aroma
will turn
this tomato-aversion heart of stone
to mush…
every time.

© 2022 Rose Cappelli

.

untitled

Doggone! I love tomatoes,
juicy-sweet, taste can’t be beat.
My heart rocks with impatience
‘cause they take a summer’s song
all three months long
to ripen.

© 2022 Linda Baie

.

Wow! Some pretty cool solutions to this challenge. Using words like “fluffy,” “fetch,” and “doggone” to discreetly reference the dog photo, using images like stone soup to connect the rock with the tomatoes, and even using the word “rocks” as a verb are all creative ways to make use of these images.

How will YOU approach the challenge? You’ve still got a few weeks to send them in, so be sure to email me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com – I’ll share them here and enter you in the contest!

Next week, I’ll be hosting the Poetry Friday roundup here and have an interview planned with my friend Leslie Bulion, whose brand-new picture book Serengeti: Plains of Grass (Peachtree Publishing) came out March 1 – the same day as my I Am Today (POW! Kids Books)! We’ll chat about the book and the craft of writing on April 15, so I hope you’ll join us. Plus, you could win a FREE COPY of the book!

Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is at Salt City Verse, so be sure to stop by Janice Scully’s home on the web for all the poetry links and fun – and a special interview with my friend and neighbor, David Elliott!

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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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!

Poetry Friday: #PoetryCUBED returns, just in time for National Poetry Month!

Welcome to National Poetry Month!

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been busy working on some new picture book manuscripts and a couple of new poetry collection proposals, but I couldn’t let this month go by without celebrating – so I thought it was about time I brought back a popular little writing contest that hasn’t seen the light of day in FOUR years!

That’s right, the last PoetryCUBED contest was way back in April 2018, to celebrate the publication of what was my second picture book at the time, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (POW! Kids Books). I’m not sure how or why it never returned, but there’s no time like the present right?

If you’re unfamiliar with PoetryCUBED, it’s based on the premise of The Food Network’s popular show, “Chopped!

In this reality-TV game show, chefs battle each other by trying creating the best dishes they can using specific ingredients given to them in a special basket. For example, one round might have the chefs cooking with canned chicken, jelly beans, and arugula. The next round might include novalox, puff pastry, and durian. (Trust me, you don’t want to cook with durian). But really, the ingredients are very often that bizarre. 

The dishes are then critiqued by a panel of judges and the chef with the least appealing dish is “chopped.” The remaining chefs then move on to the followings rounds until all but one are eliminated and the final chef gets to claim victory.

So for this contest, I’ve applied this premise to poetry – but without the sliced index fingers and broken dreams. I call it “PoetryCUBED!” Here’s how it works:

  • 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. 
  • The only hitch is that you need to include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract. 
  • Then email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month – and at the end of April, one name will be drawn at random to receive a free, personally-signed copy of any of my books, your choice!

A dog, tomatoes, and a stone. What the heck are you gonna do with these, eh???

Well, to get things rolling, here’s a haiku (actually, a senryu, to those of you keeping score) I wrote using these three images as inspiration – and I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on it. 15 minutes, max. PoetryCUBED is simply a creative way to have fun writing and find new, unusual connections (this is poetry, after all!), so please don’t fret if the poem isn’t as perfect as you’d like! (Big words coming from Perfectionist Me)

sweet acidity
washes over eager tongue
silent, love blushes
.

© 2022 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

You’ll notice references to all three photos in these three short lines: the taste of the tomatoes as well as their blushes, the heart-shaped stone, and a tongue. So it doesn’t have to be a long poem and the references don’t always have to be obvious – just have fun with it! And be sure to send them to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com so I can share them here and enter you in the contest!

And be watching for a special interview I have planned later this month with my friend Leslie Bulion, whose brand-new picture book Serengeti: Plains of Grass (Peachtree Publishing) came out March 1 – the same day as my I Am Today (POW! Kids Books)! She’ll be here to talk about the book and the craft of writing on April 15, when I host the Poetry Friday roundup!

Speaking of Poetry Friday…for all of today’s links and fun, be sure to visit Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe, where she is very busy celebrating a book birthday, a human birthday, some National Poetry Month traditions, and a brand-new poem of her own!

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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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!

Poetry Friday: A trip back to my alma mater…AND Poetry Out Loud!

.

Me standing outside Woodruff Hall

Yesterday was a great day.

I was asked to speak to the creative writing class at Castleton University, the school I graduated from way back in 1989, when it was still called Castleton State College.

And the really cool, coincidental thing is…the class was run by the very same professor whom I’d had as a freshman!

More specifically…a professor who began working for the college the same semester I began attending the college! You see, Dr. Florence Keyes was an adjunct who was still working on her PhD at the time, and her class was the first class I ever took at the college.

Little did we know we’d reconnect last fall and it would lead to this day. Funny how life works, isn’t it?

Anyhoo…Dr. Keyes had asked me to talk about poetry, which had been the recent focus of the class, as well as publishing. So I shared some poems as well as insights into the craft, talking about everything from free verse and villanelles to ulteriority and the benefits of specificity.

Oh, yes, we covered an awful lot in an hour and 15 minutes!

One of the poems I shared was this one, published in the TallGrass Writer’s Guild’s Seasons of Change (Outrider Press, 2010):

With this poem in particular, I showed importance of enjambment and internal rhyme as well as what happens to a poem if a few words are edited out; it can change the entire poem. If you don’t believe me, check out the original version HERE and note the words in the last couple of stanzas that were inadvertently removed.

The poem needed those extra words because the entire scene is about The Giving Tree – what happened to the stump 50, 75, 100 years later? Without those words, this poem is about a simple scene in the woods featuring a stump; with those few words, however, the scene becomes something else entirely.

It was also nice to stop into the university’s library and find two of my books! Dr. Keyes teaches a children’s lit course in the fall and has invited me back to chat to that class, so there’s something else I can look forward to!

Speaking of things I’m looking forward to…tonight is the night of the NH State Poetry Out Loud finals, and I’m very honored to be one of the judges.

I’ve been a judge for the state regional finals for a umber of years, but this will be the first time I’ve ever judges the state finals at the statehouse, so I’m really looking forward to it!

If you’re not familiar with Poetry Out Loud, it’s a national recitation competition – and the winning students are truly incredible! I wish there had been something like this when I was in high school.

Students will be reciting poems as varied as “The Charge of Light Brigade” by Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Whenever You See a Tree” by Padma Venkatraman, “Emily Dickinson at the Poetry Slam” by Dan Vera, and my all-time favorite poem, ever: “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

It’s a wonderful event and a great cause, so I’m happy and proud to be able to be a part of it every year. (Especially this year, as everything needed to be prerecorded last year due to the pandemic and much of the excitement and energy that comes from a live performance was lost)

Thanks for visiting today! For the entire Poetry Friday roundup, be sure to head on over to Poetry for Children, where Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong are hosting the festivities with a brand-new food anthology!

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!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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

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!

Poetry Friday: “I Am Today” is officially everywhere – and so are sea turtles!

Well, it finally happened.

I Am Today (POW! Kids Books) was officially published this past Tuesday!

Children are always being told they are the “Future”…but what if a child doesn’t want to wait, to make a difference? I Am Today is about a young girl who recognizes a need to take action, but also recognizes that she needn’t wait to take that action.

Many thanks to all the wonderful bloggers
who have shared their opinions about
I AM TODAY:
.

  • “An evocative story of a young girl standing up for what she believes in.”
    Roxanne Troup, GoodReads with Ronna
    .
  • “Flawless rhymes and stunning illustrations…A wonderful book that should be in every home, classroom and library!”
    The Momma Spot / Future Bookworms
    .
  • “An inspirational and motivational story about a young girl who is acting TODAY rather than waiting for the future to make change”
    Little Book Locker
  • “This inspiring, heartfelt picture book literally gave me goosebumps with its hopeful message.”
    Marianne Knowles, author and STEM Curriculum Coordinator at the Museum of Science, Boston
    .
  • “[The book] brings to mind that every child is unique and has a VOICE. Hopefully, it will find cozy corners in bedrooms and reading/writing stations in classrooms.”
    Carol Varsalona, literacy advocate and Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis
    .
  • “An absolute delight…Love, love, love it!”
    Brian Gehrlein, author of THE BOOK OF RULES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)

.

All images © 2022 POW! Kids Books, all rights reserved

Learn more about the book and read reviews at the “I Am Today” Blog Tour:

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of I AM TODAY from my local independent bookstore today!

Sea turtles play a big role in the story. In fact, readers can even learn how to make their own origami sea turtles – just like the main character makes – using instructions included at the end of the book! So as I