Wow, what a busy day today! It’s Poetry Friday and there’s so much going on, I can’t wait to tell you…
First of all, Round One voting in the nation’s largest bracketed children’s poetry competition, Madness! Poetry, is underway…and wraps up TODAY!
As of this writing, a mere 1/10th of a percent separates us, so it’s a nail-biter among nail-biters!
Please vote for your favorites! Voting ends at various times this afternoon, but my matchup with Laurie Kaiser closes at 5:15pm EDST, which means there’s not much time left to cast your vote. BUT…if you do vote, please vote for your favorite, even if it’s not mine.
In case you don’t know, each pair of competitors (or ‘authletes’) is given a specific word; we then have 36 hours to write a children’s poem using that exact word. Voting then takes place, and whoever wins their round moves on to the next, much in the way that the NCAA’s March Madness works. Eventually, one winner will be crowned champion and receive “The Thinkier” trophy!
(AGAIN: Voting ends at 5:15pm EDST Today)
Feeding into this “poetry madness,” so to speak, is the fact that Construction People (Wordsong) arrives next Tuesday, March 17! It has always been an honor to be part of a Lee Bennett Hopkins anthology, and to be included in 3 of his final 4 books (Lee passed away last August), is truly a blessing.
Construction People is a follow-up to 2018’s School People, which featured poems about all the grown-ups a child meets at school. In this new book, there are poems about all the folks involved in building a skyscraper, from the architect to the carpenters, from the elevator installers to the plumbers!
But I have to admit…when Lee asked me to write a poem about the construction project manager, I was a bit leery. Where was the fun, the pizzazz, the cool sounds and energy and imagery one would expect? But once I did some research and realized how stressful – and integral – the position is, I knew I could do it. As for the structure of the poem, I knew it needed to be a villanelle, with its tall, skyscraper-like shape and almost obsessively repetitive lines. I hope you like it!
One of my favorite poems is Lee’s…although I’m not sure if I like it because it’s a wonderful poem, or if it’s because it was one of my friend’s last published poems:
Construction People arrives everywhere this coming Tuesday!
In other news…
Another of Lee’s last anthologies has a publishing date! In addition to Construction People (Wordsong), which comes out next week, have you heard about Night Wishes (Eerdmans), which arrives this fall? I just learned from the publisher that we can expect to see it in stores everywhere Sept. 15:
As a child falls asleep, all the inanimate objects in her room wish her “good night” in their own, special ways: the mattress, bookshelf, rocking horse…all of them offer their words through 14 poets, myself included. (In fact, you’ll notice my “Pillow” is even included in the official description!)
Here’s just a little taste of what to expect…
I wish I could share the rest of the poem, but we’ll all have to wait until we get closer to the publication date, Sept. 15! It’s such a beautiful book, I can’t wait for you to see it. Pre-orders are available now, though, so don’t let me stop you from clicking the links, ha!
Thanks so much for visiting the ol’ Triple-R! Please leave your links and news in the comments below and I’ll round them up old school-style throughout the day…
- Little Willow is sharing a few lines from Mary Oliver.
- Robyn Hood Black is sharing haiku from several of her writing friends.
- Laura Shovan is revisiting 10 years of her books, and spotlights her 2012 collection of poems and lessons entitled “Voices Fly.”
- Tabatha Yeatts is featuring a moving poem by Sarah Cannavo, “Fallen But Not Down.”
- Janice Scully offers a “Self Portrait” at Salt City Verse.
- Linda Kulp Trout has a very timely poem, considering our COVID-19 issues, entitled “TP Emergency!” (And by the way, what’s the deal with all the TP hoarding? This is a respiratory illness…why aren’t people buying Kleenex??)
- Over at Teacher Dance, Linda Baie is sharing sharing Irene Latham’s & Charles Waters’ new poetry collection, “Dictionary for A Better World.”
- Michelle H. Barnes is offering her response to Tabatha Yeatt’s Ditty of the Month Challenge to write a poem about a game!
- Art & poetry combine to create Michelel Kogan’s timely acrostic poem, “Relieving Anxiety.”
- Karen Eastlund is trying to remain positive with flowers, grandchildren, and a poem by Felgild Compline.
- Carol Varsalona is celebrating spring with robins, blue jays, and…clocks!
- St. Patrick’s Day has come early to Linda Mitchell’s A Word Edgewise.
- Art, poetry, and education combine in Laura Purdie Salas’ “Belief in Birds.”
- At My Juicy Little Universe, Heidi Mordhorst offers up some positivity regarding COVID-19.
- Have you ever heard of a redstart? It’s a bird – and Ruth has a touching poem about one at her blog, There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town.
- I just found out that Margaret Simon is taking over the Progressive Poem organizer duties from Irene Latham! You can sign up at Reflections on the Teche.
- Mary Lee has an “uncertain” poem of unanswered (or unanswerable?) questions.
- A trip to Phoenix, AZ inspired Rose Cappelli’s free verse poem, “Montezuma’s Castle.”
- At Live your Poem, Irene shares a new summer poem as part of her ARTSPEAK: RED series.
- Jama is serving up a delicious breakfast with a poem by Ryan Warren at Alphabet Soup.
- At The Poem Farm, Amy offers up a touching poem about uncertainty, positivity, and imagination in the age of COVID-19, “The Land of Notknowing.”
- Another timely poem is Lynn Unger’s poem, “Pandemic,” which you’ll find at Carol’s Corner.
- Catherine is getting ready for Pi Day tomorrow by combining poetry and chocolate at Reading to the Core – and really, who doesn’t love Pi??
- Donna Smith is also taking part in the Madness Poetry competition, and shares a poem she wrote about it – using all 32 words!
- Ramona Behnke shares a golden shovel poem (if you don’t know what that is, she’ll explain!) crafted from a line from Irene Latham’s & Charles Waters’ “Dictionary for A Better World.”
- You’ll find a “skinny” poem about keeping social distances while greeting at Jone Rush MacCulloch’s blog, along with student poetry postcard sign-ups!
- COVID-19 sparks a Macbeth-inspired poem for Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone.
- Icy ponds, Girl Scout cookies, and the virus everyone’s talking about come together in Rebecca Herzog’s post in which she shares a winter haiku.
- And finally, in the midst of all the news & chaos of the virus, Christie Wyman finds a lot to be thankful for at Wondering and Wandering.
I’ve teamed up with several other children’s authors to promote our upcoming books this year! And there are a LOT of them, too – including SEVEN in March, plus the new poetry anthology Construction People (Wordsong, March 17, 2020), of which I’m a contributor:
Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!
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, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017” AND “Staff Pick!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle Recommended Books!
- “Best Reads of 2017,” Unleashing Readers
- Finalist, 2019 New Hampshire Literary Awards
- Positive reviews from Horn Book, School Library Connection, School Library Connection, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf-Awareness!
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!