Poetry Friday: “The Best of Today’s Little Ditty, 2016” AND a new way to purchase my children’s books!

You know how sometimes you get caught up doing one thing, and your focus prevents you from paying attention to everything else going on around you? Well, that happened to me a few weeks ago.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, friend and fellow children’s writer/blogger Michelle H. Barnes officially released her new poetry anthology, The Best of Today’s Little Ditty, 2016! And even though I helped select some of the poems (and even had two poems of my own included), I completely neglected to tell anyone! How much of a  schmuck does that make me, huh?

You see, I was in the middle of our #PoetryCubed challenge which we wrapped up last week, and it was only after I had announced our winner, Patty Richardson, that I realized my oversight. So let’s make amends right now, shall we?

Congratulations, Michelle!

Michelle’s latest collection features 75 “Ditty of the Month Challenge” poems – that is, poems which were written in response to various prompts by such highly regarded children’s poets as Jane Yolen, David Harrison, Kenn Nesbitt, and many others, all of whom had been guests on her blog.

Her first anthology of blog-inspired poems, The Best of Today’s Little Ditty 2014-2015, came out last year, so the fact that she had enough quality poems in just one year for another full-length book shows the level (as well as volume!) of writing one can find on her blog.

So the two poems I’m going to share today are one of mine that you can find in the book, and the other is one of my favorites from the book, written by Michelle herself. First, my response to the challenge of writing about something “small.” While some folks opted to write about insects, sand, and that sort of thing, I went…smaller:
.

Little(r) Things

Atoms, photons, bosons, quarks
have baffled many a scholar;
the more we see, the more we learn
there’s always something smaller.

– © 2017, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

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The other poem I wanted to spotlight today is this, which was Michelle’s response to a challenge to write about unlikely heroes – and a pigeon named Cher Ami definitely fit that description:

Cher Ami

If you were exchanged
for an ordinary pigeon
who fattens on white bread
and small bits of French fry,
if your iridescence was hidden
in the shade of an easy life,
then no one would know
your name, Cher Ami.

And somewhere in the world,
soldiers’ lives would be lost
because you were not there
to carry their hopes—
the weight dangling
on a bullet-shattered leg.

No one would know
your name, Cher Ami,
the burden you carried,
the pain that you bore,
as you rose like a Phoenix
though this wasn’t your war,
because you, like them,
just wanted to go home.

– © 2017, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, all rights reserved

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Congratulations to Michelle and everyone who had poems included! If you’re a fan of poetry – and not just children’s poetry, but poetry in general – I encourage you to pick up a copy. It’s truly amazing to see the vastly different reactions and responses writers had to each of these challenges.

I also encourage you to visit Steps & Staircases, where you’ll find today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, which includes a touching, powerful poem about grief which was inspired, in part, by…a Monopoly game piece. And of course, you’ll also find all of today’s poetry links, so please stop in!

 (ALSO: Please make a note to remind yourself to stop by here on Friday, Dec. 15, as I’ll be hosting a little online holiday party for everyone who loves children’s poetry!

This is a little shindig that David L. Harrison, Joy Acey, and I started at David’s blog a few years ago, and we decided that perhaps it might be fun to move the party around from venue to venue…so this year, it’s moving from David’s place to my little home on the web right here. We’ll have lots of food and conversation, possibly a game or two, and hopefully plenty of poetry! I look forward to welcoming you. That’s Dec. 15 – all day long! – right here at the ol’ Triple-R.)

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

In other news:  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!

My good friends at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH, a local, well-loved independent book store, have teamed up to present a very cool option for folks who don’t live anywhere near me, but still would like to have a signed copy of one of my books. They have ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personally signed!

Just log onto my website HERE 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?)

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WHAT ARE FOLKS SAYING ABOUT “FLASHLIGHT NIGHT”?

Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist

“Favorably recalls Where the Wild Things Are” – Shelf Awareness

“Readers, you must share ‘Flashlight Night’…as often as you can” – Margie Myers-Culver, Librarian’s Quest

“Begs to be read over and over” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

“A poetic and engaging journey” – Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian In Cute Shoes

“Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Beautiful words and stunning illustrations” – Jason Lewis, 5th grade teacher at Tyngsboro Elementary School, Tyngsboro, MA

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

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!

Poetry Friday: More #PoetryCubed entries AND we have a winner!

I’m so excited I have more #PoetryCubed! entries to share today! We have a winner to announce, book signing news, and a special Flashlight Night review from Jan at Bookseed Studio!

First up: #PoetryCubed! On The Food Network show “Chopped!“, chefs battle each other by creating dishes using specific, and sometimes odd, ingredients. For example, contestants might have to create appetizers using radicchio, bologna, and kumquats, and then turn around and come up with entrees using prawns, pork belly, and Cheez Wiz.

For #PoetryCubed!, I’ve taken the premise of the TV show and applied it to poetry – but without the 20-minute time limit and broken dreams:

  • Using the 3 images below as inspiratio, readers were asked to write a poem. (1 poem, to the 3rd power – “cubed!”)
    .
  • The poem could be any form, any genre, any number of lines, rhyming or not. And most importantly…it didn’t have to be very good! This was about having fun and stimulating a few brain cells; remember, #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading.
    .
  • The only hitch is that a reference to all three images in the poem needed to be included – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
    .
  • Out of all the poems submitted, one lucky writer would be chosen at random to receive a signed copy of Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press), just in time for holiday gift-giving!

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

    

.

Today we have two poems to round out the challenge. First up is Kay McGriff, whose title alone begs a person to read…

The Ghosts of Art

Headlights slash
flickering shadows
through the trees
to glitter against
the metal skeletons
whirling in the wind.
Whimsical sculptures
sprinkle light
with twirling blades
to shine a beacon
for unwary drivers
rounding the fateful curve
where no one really died.
But still the screams
echo from the backseat
as we chase a ghost
who only lived in legend.

– © 2017, Kay Jernigan McGriff, all rights reserved

.

And finally, we have something from my former Highlights Foundation workshop attendee, Lind Baie, who used the lighthouse image as a springboard to draw in the other images:

Lighthouse Home

Headlights show the final stop–
Miss Matilda’s Pastry Shop
where powdered sugar in the air
leaves tastes of home before we’re there.
Load gifts and sweets on a skiff that waits
for Mom and Pop, our Christmas date.

– © 2017, Linda Baie, all rights reserved

.

I have to say, these three images have been quite inspiring for a lot of people! I started things off with a senryu, but we’ve also had haikus & rhyming poems, poems about vegetables, chocolate, and submarines, and even poems about hangovers, Christmas cookies, and the souls of the dead. I encourage you to click these links and read all the different perspectives and angles that our blog followers have embraced – all based on these three simple photos.

But out of all these poems, only one name could be chosen at random, and that name is…

PATTY RICHARDSON!!

Congratulations, Patty! (Patty told me she’s never entered this sort of challenge before, so I’m glad her leap of faith paid off!) A signed copy of Flashlight Night will be in the mail and headed her way very soon…and thank you to everyone who took part!

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Speaking of Flashlight Night, Jan Godown Annino is sharing a review of my book at her Bookseed Studio blog today – and it appears she enjoyed it! She asked illustrator Fred Koehler and me to share a little childhood background; where we grew up, what we did, how our young experiences helped create this little adventure we call Flashlight Night. I do hope you check out her post!

I also encourage you to visit Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup.

Will there be cookies? Oh, yes!!

(ALSO: Please make a note to remind yourself to stop by here on Friday, Dec. 15, as I’ll be hosting a little online holiday party for everyone who loves children’s poetry!

This is a little shindig that David L. Harrison, Joy Acey, and I started at David’s blog a few years ago, and we decided that perhaps it might be fun to move the party around from venue to venue…so this year, it’s moving from David’s place to my little home on the web right here. We’ll have lots of food and conversation, possibly a game or two, and hopefully plenty of poetry! I look forward to welcoming you. That’s Dec. 15 – all day long! – right here at the ol’ Triple-R.)

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The “Flashlight Night” road tour continues!

Here’s my latest schedule – and yes, this weekend is going to be a BUSY one:

  • Dec. 2, 12pm: Barnes & Noble, Peabody, MA (Children’s Author Book Panel)
  • Dec. 3, 1pm: Barnes & Noble, Newington, NH (Signing & Book Fair)
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed): Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH
  • (early 2018): Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH

I’ll continue revising this as dates are added or times are changed…so please check my FB page for any last-minute updates!

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

WHAT ARE FOLKS SAYING ABOUT “FLASHLIGHT NIGHT”?

Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist

“Favorably recalls Where the Wild Things Are” – Shelf Awareness

“Readers, you must share ‘Flashlight Night’…as often as you can” – Margie Myers-Culver, Librarian’s Quest

“Begs to be read over and over” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

“A poetic and engaging journey” – Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian In Cute Shoes

“Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Beautiful words and stunning illustrations” – Jason Lewis, 5th grade teacher at Tyngsboro Elementary School, Tyngsboro, MA

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

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!

Poetry Friday: New York Public Library news AND #PoetryCubed challenge continues with FIVE new poems!

Jane Yolen. Margarita Engle. Laura Purdie Salas. Nikki Grimes.

Me.

What do all these folks have in common? They all have books selected by the NY Public Library as one of the Best Books of 2017!

No one is more shocked than Yours Truly that my name is on a list that includes the names of those first four amazing folks. But I’m so happy that the NY Public Library loved Flashlight Night enough to include it – it’s quite an honor! If you want to see the complete list, click HERE.

I’m also pretty excited that Flashlight Night is now #3 on Amazon’s list of Best Selling children’s books about Libraries & Reading:

Thomas the Train, Llama Llama, and a little ol’ book called Flashlight Night…pretty cool, I have to say! So thank you, if you have purchased a copy!

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In other news, #PoetryCubed has returned! This is an opportunity to have some fun writing – and possibly win a signed copy of Flashlight Night! And if you’ve ever seen “Chopped!” on The Food Network, then you already know how this works…

#PoetryCubed is based on the TV show, where chefs compete by creating dishes using specific – and sometimes outlandish – ingredients. (Feel free to check out this post for a more detailed explanation)

For #PoetryCubed!, I’ve applied the premise of the TV show 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. And most importantly…it also doesn’t have to be very good! This is about having fun, so no pressure allowed! Remember my mantra: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading.
    .
  • Make sure you include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
    .
  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month of November. Out of all the poems submitted, one lucky writer will be chosen at random to receive a signed copy of Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press), just in time for holiday gift-giving!

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

    

This week we’ll start off with something from Heidi Mordhorst, who somehow managed to fit all three images into a 4-line list poem – while attending the NCTE CONFERENCE this weekend in Missouri:
.

beacons in the darkness:
mariner’s lighthouse
traveler’s headlights
hangover’s cure

– © 2017 Heidi Mordhorst, all rights reserved

.
Thank you, Heidi! Now get back to those workshops!

Our second entry comes from Brenda Davis Harsham, who gets extra credit (but, alas, no extra contest entries) for including Flashlight Night in her poem:

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Flashlight Finds

Some use their lights to find truth,
reading under blankets, riding word kites,
or they escape pain along dark shores,
down dark roads, disappearing in the night,
but I search for something else, magic and mighty.
Peanut blossoms, snickerdoodles, tea cakes,
sugar cookies, gingerbread girls, lemon curls:
the Christmas baking was finished tonight.
I know they are hidden, but I follow my nose.
Round, frosted, powdery, they are my
truth, my escape, my forbidden treat.
Who wants to stray far from home
when Christmas smells so sweet?

– © 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham, all rights reserved

.

Next up is Kathy Mazurowski…with another haiku! It’s so great to see folks getting so much imagery into just 3 lines:
.
.
Quaint island cottage
sparkles in clear sunshine, but
spotlight on pastries.
.
– © 2017 Kathleen Mazurowski, all rights reserved

.

Longtime blog follower and fellow Highlights workshop alum Karen Eastlund shared the following thoughtful scene…

.
Afternoon on Rainy Lake

The haze brought a sense of the surreal
The world in shades of gray
Yet infused by light
The sun glazed
The surface of the water
Warping and distorting with each new wave

Far away
On a small rocky outcrop
A social gathering
Gulls, pelicans, geese
I could hear their raucous calls
Inviting me

I floated out
Entranced by the birds
Their colorless bodies
Just above water’s surface
Winging to and fro
Like souls of the dead

Such a sense of calm
Wonderful and eerie
The great flapping birds
The sun
The rocky shore
The lake itself, huge and lapping
All mysteriously bathed
In silvery light
A confection of nature
Delicious
Tranquil
Beauty

– © 2017 Karen Eastlund, all rights reserved
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And last but not least, our friend from Down Under, children’s author Sally Murphy, shares her response to the challenge:
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Late night quest
To slay sugar cravings.
Headlights search for an open store
Stop!
Bakery sign
Like a beacon
On a stormy sea.

– © 2017 Sally Murphy, all rights reserved

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A bakery is like a beacon on a stormy sea…truer words never spoken, Sally!

The Poetry Friday roundup can be found at Carol’s Corner today, so try to shake off that Thanksgiving turkey coma and enjoy all the poetry links and fun!

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The “Flashlight Night” road tour continues!

If you’re wondering where I’ll be and when I’ll be there, here’s my updated schedule – and yes, next weekend is going to be BUSY:

  • Dec. 2, 12pm: Barnes & Noble, Peabody, MA
  • Dec. 3, 11am: Barnes & Noble, Newington, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed): Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH
  • (early 2018): Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH

I’ll continue revising this as dates are added or times are changed…so please check my FB page for any last-minute updates!

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

WHAT ARE FOLKS SAYING ABOUT “FLASHLIGHT NIGHT”?

Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist

“Favorably recalls Where the Wild Things Are” – Shelf Awareness

“Readers, you must share ‘Flashlight Night’…as often as you can” – Margie Myers-Culver, Librarian’s Quest

“Begs to be read over and over” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

“A poetic and engaging journey” – Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian In Cute Shoes

“Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Beautiful words and stunning illustrations” – Jason Lewis, 5th grade teacher at Tyngsboro Elementary School, Tyngsboro, MA

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

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!

Poetry Friday: Rhyme Revolution interview & more #PoetryCubed responses!

Ah, yes…#PoetryCubed has returned, and lots of folks are getting into the action! If you’d like to try win a signed copy of Flashlight Night, I hope you’ll consider joining us on this little writing challenge.

#PoetryCubed is based on the TV show “Chopped!” on The Food Network, where chefs compete by creating dishes using specific – and sometimes outlandish – ingredients. (Feel free to check out this previous post for details) For #PoetryCubed, I’ve applied the premise of the TV show…to writing:

  • 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. And most importantly…it also doesn’t have to be very good! This is about having fun, so no pressure allowed! Remember my mantra: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading.
    .
  • Make sure you include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
    .
  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month of November. Out of all the poems submitted, one lucky writer will be chosen at random to receive a signed copy of Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press), just in time for holiday gift-giving!

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

    

The first week, I started the ball rolling with a senryu; last week, author Deb Bruss responded with a haiku. This week, we kick things off with another haiku – this time, from author/illustrator Michelle Kogan:
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artificial light
illuminates empty isles
powdery palate.

– © 2017 Michelle Kogan, all rights reserved

.

Next up is a poem by Patty Richardson, who has never entered #PoetryCubed  before, but responded to the challenge mightily with 8 – count ’em, 8! – stanzas! Way to go, Patty!

.
My secret….

.
As I approached the lighthouse
To avoid being heard or seen,
I dimmed my headlights, turned off the engine
Then reached for a Krispy Kreme.
.
My wife was waiting patiently,
Dinner had been prepared
The last thing she would appreciate
Would be my interest in this eclair.
.
I savored every morsel ,
Licked my fingers to the bone
There’s nothing like powdered sugar
Atop a fresh baked,  chocolate scone.
.
Brocolli awaits me,
Along with brussel sprouts and kale
I won’t let on that I’ve faltered
I’ll avoid getting up on the scale.
.
Chocolate is my weakness,
Forget the collard greens,
Give me a brownie a l mode
And a scoop of ….that fresh whipped cream.
.
What she doesn’t know,  won’t hurt her
I’ll keep this secret to myself
I’ll finish my veggies and smoothie
Then ask for a  serving of kelp.
.
She certainly does mean well
And I know I need to control
This sugar habit I’ve developed
And the lies that I have blatantly told.
.
Gotta kick the habit,
Go cold turkey,  just like that….
Give up my sugary addiction
Give up those sugary snacks!

– © 2017 Patty Richardson, all rights reserved

.

Last but not least, we have a poem from the Haiku Queen herself, Diane Mayr, who shares this engaging little scene from her youth:

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Submarine Race Watching
Parked at the marina
headlights out
we barely noted
the revolving lighthouse
beam in the bay.
The race’s end
signaled by a light
wielded by an officer
sporting a kiss
of powdered sugar.
.
– © 2017 Diane Mayr, all rights reserved
.
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I love how so many different poems have come from so many different aspects of these images! I hope you’ll consider entering #PoetryCubed – and please remember, it’s not about how awesome or polished it is, the important thing is that it gets written, period. So send me your poem and I’ll share it here throughout the month!

By the way, Jane Whittingham (better known as The Rain City Librarian) is hosting Poetry Friday today for the very first time – so head on over to her blog for all of the day’s poetry links and hi-jinks!

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“FLASHLIGHT NIGHT” makes a Top 10 list!

I was so happy to learn that Flashlight Night is now one of only 10 books now in consideration for the 2017 Best in Rhyme Award, handed out by Angie Karcher and the folks involved with Rhyme Revolution!

One of the judges, Deborah Williams, recently interviewed me about the book, my career path so far, and what’s on the horizon…and if you are so inclined, you can read the complete interview HERE!

Although it’s not possible to be everywhere at once, I certainly can’t be accused of not making the effort! If you’re wondering where to find me on this crazy journey, here’s my latest schedule:

  • Nov. 18, 3pm: Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH (“Local Authors Open House”)
  • Dec. 2, 12pm: Barnes & Noble, Peabody, MA
  • Dec. 3, 11am: Barnes & Noble, Newington, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed: Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH

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

WHAT ARE FOLKS SAYING ABOUT “FLASHLIGHT NIGHT”?

Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist

“Favorably recalls Where the Wild Things Are” – Shelf Awareness

“Readers, you must share ‘Flashlight Night’…as often as you can” – Margie Myers-Culver, Librarian’s Quest

“Begs to be read over and over” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

“A poetic and engaging journey” – Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian In Cute Shoes

“Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Beautiful words and stunning illustrations” – Jason Lewis, 5th grade teacher at Tyngsboro Elementary School, Tyngsboro, MA

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

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!

Poetry Friday: #PoetryCubed early entries!

In case you missed the announcement last week, #PoetryCubed has returned! If you’d like to get those creative juices flowing and possibly win a signed copy of Flashlight Night, then read on, my friend…

If you’ve ever seen “Chopped!” on The Food Network (or have participated in #PoetryCubed! before), then you already know how this works…

#PoetryCubed is based on the TV show “Chopped!” on The Food Network, where chefs compete by creating dishes using specific – and sometimes outlandish – ingredients. (Feel free to check out last week’s post for a more detailed explanation)

So for #PoetryCubed!, I’ve applied the premise of the TV show 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. And most importantly…it also doesn’t have to be very good! This is about having fun, so no pressure allowed! Remember my mantra: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading.
    .
  • Make sure you include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
    .
  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month of November. Out of all the poems submitted, one lucky writer will be chosen at random to receive a signed copy of Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press), just in time for holiday gift-giving!

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

    

I got things rolling last week with my own response to the challenge, a senryu, and wouldn’t you know…someone else decided to respond with a haiku:
.

Powdered sugar snow
Covers rocky island light
Shining out to sea

– © 2017 Deborah Bruss, all rights reserved

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Many thanks to Deb for contributing this! You’ll be hearing a LOT more about Deb in the coming months, as she and I are co-authors of the picture book, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books) which is due out this March.

A second poem took a different route with structure, consisting of four short,  metrical lines that rhyme:

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Rocky start
empty grill
morning breaks
pillow still

– Anonymous

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One of my regular contributors prefers to go unidentified, so I’m honoring his request. I hope you’ll consider entering #PoetryCubed! Send me an email with your poem, and I’ll share it here throughout the month!

What better way to celebrate Friday than with coffee and donuts…today, Jama at Alphabet Soup is hosting Poetry Friday with The Book of Donuts (Terrapin, 2017), a collection of poems I submitted to earlier this year, but alas, was rejected. But it’s a wonderful book, and Jama offers a complete yummy review!

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The “Flashlight Night” road tour continues!

If you’re wondering where I’ll be and when I’ll be there, here’s my updated schedule:

  • Nov. 11, noon: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA (“The Making of a Book” Children’s Author Day)
  • Nov. 18, 3pm: Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH
  • Dec. 2, 12pm: Barnes & Noble, Peabody, MA
  • Dec. 3, 11am: Barnes & Noble, Newington, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed: Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH

I’ll continue revising this as dates are added or times are changed…so please check my FB page for any last-minute updates!

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

WHAT ARE FOLKS SAYING ABOUT “FLASHLIGHT NIGHT”?

Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist

“Favorably recalls Where the Wild Things Are” – Shelf Awareness

“Readers, you must share ‘Flashlight Night’…as often as you can” – Margie Myers-Culver, Librarian’s Quest

“Begs to be read over and over” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

“A poetic and engaging journey” – Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian In Cute Shoes

“Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Beautiful words and stunning illustrations” – Jason Lewis, 5th grade teacher at Tyngsboro Elementary School, Tyngsboro, MA

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

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!

Poetry Friday: #PoetryCubed! Part IV

It’s back again! An opportunity to kick some brain cells into gear and write some poetry – and maybe win a free book, as well!

If you’ve ever seen “Chopped!” on The Food Network (or have participated in #PoetryCubed! before), then you already know how this works…

On the TV show, chefs battle each other by creating dishes using specific, and sometimes odd, ingredients. For example, contestants might have to create appetizers using pork belly, pickles, and Oreos, and then come up with entrees using tripe, fennel, and boxed mac ‘n cheese.

For #PoetryCubed!, I’ve taken the premise of the TV show and applied it to poetry – but without the 20-minute time limit, lacerated appendages, and broken dreams. Here’s how it works:

  • Use the 3 images below as inspiration to write a poem. (1 poem, to the 3rd power – “cubed!”)
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  • The poem can be any form, any genre, any number of lines, rhyming or not. And most importantly…it also doesn’t have to be very good! This is about having fun, so no pressure allowed! Remember my mantra: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading.
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  • 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.
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  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month of November. Out of all the poems submitted, one lucky writer will be chosen at random to receive a signed copy of a little book you may have heard about called Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press), just in time for holiday gift-giving!

Now…without any further ado…here are your three images (click on any to enlarge):

    

Is your mind tickling yet? I’ll start things off with my own response to this prompt, a senryu:
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carnival ride love
spins the head, lights up eyes, tastes
sickeningly sweet

– © 2017 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

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There are two things you should know about this poem:

  • I wrote it in about 15 minutes, so I don’t want you thinking you need to spend hours perfecting something. #PoetryCubed is about kick-starting your creative juices, not polishing a terza rima for The Atlantic.
  • It’s a 3-line poem that uses imagery from all 3 photos (sweet carnival food, a lighthouse candle spinning, and the “ride” and “head, lights” references) so your poem doesn’t need to be that long – although it can be a hundred lines long if that’s where the muse leads you.

Good luck! I’ll look forward to seeing what you come up with and will announce the winner on Fri., Dec. 1! In the meantime, I hope you’ll stop by Teacher Dance, where Linda Baie is hosting Poetry Friday today with a couple of November cinquains.

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

The “Flashlight Night” road tour continues!

If you’re wondering where I’ll be and when I’ll be there, here’s my updated schedule:

  • Nov. 11: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA (“The Making of a Book” Children’s Author Day)
  • Nov. 18, 3pm: Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH
  • Dec. 2, 12pm: Barnes & Noble, Peabody, MA
  • Dec. 3, 11am: Barnes & Noble, Newington, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed: Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH

I’ll continue revising this as dates are added or times are changed…so please check my FB page for any last-minute updates!

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

Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist

“Favorably recalls Where the Wild Things Are” – Shelf Awareness

“Begs to be read over and over” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

“A poetic and engaging journey” – Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian In Cute Shoes

“Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Beautiful words and stunning illustrations” – Jason Lewis, 5th grade teacher at Tyngsboro Elementary School, Tyngsboro, MA

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

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!

Poetry Friday: “Poems are Teachers” winner & a nighttime tanka

Before we get to poetry or book signing schedules or anything like that, I need to take care of some business…by announcing a WINNER!

Last Friday, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and her Poems Are Teachers publishing company, Heinemann, were kind enough to offer a free copy of the book to one of my blog readers.

Well, there were a LOT of entries…but only one name could be drawn. So thanks to the official Random Number Generator, the winner of a free copy of Poems Are Teachers is…

KRISTEN PICONE!!

Congratulations, Kristen! Thank you so, so much for following my blog and connecting on Twitter – your book is on its way, direct from Heinemann!

As for today’s poem, I thought a little Halloween-themed ditty might be apropos. But as any writer knows, what you plan to write and what you end up writing are often two different things. As I sat down to write – late at night, as per usual – my mind was tired, my eyes were heavy, and…well, I’ll let you read:

(click to enlarge)

Yep, a tanka about falling asleep while trying to write. No idea where that came from, huh??

By the way, my friend Brenda Davis Harsham is hosting Poetry Friday today at her blog, Friendly Fairy Tales – and I know she definitely has some Halloween-inspired poetry to share, even if Yours Truly failed on that account! I’m also excited to be spending Poetry Friday at Barnes & Noble in Manchester, NH tonight at 6, as I take part in a benefit to raise money for Ste. Marie Child Care in the Queen City. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop by and get a book signed!

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Speaking of book signings…

The Flashlight Night road tour continues! If you’re trying to find me, here’s my updated schedule:

  • Oct. 27, 6pm (TONIGHT!):  Barnes & Noble, Manchester, NH
  • Nov. 1, 12pm:  Concord Hospital Early Childhood Learning Center / Gift Shop, Concord, NH
  • Nov. 11: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA (“The Making of a Book” Children’s Author Day)
  • Nov. 18, 3pm: Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH
  • Dec. 2: Barnes & Noble, Peabody, MA
  • Dec. 3, 11am: Barnes & Noble, Newington, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed: Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH

I’ll continue revising this as dates are added or times are changed…so please check my FB page for any last-minute updates!

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

Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist

“Favorably recalls Where the Wild Things Are” – Shelf Awareness

“Begs to be read over and over” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

“A poetic and engaging journey” – Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian In Cute Shoes

“Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Beautiful words and stunning illustrations” – Jason Lewis, 5th grade teacher at Tyngsboro Elementary School, Tyngsboro, MA

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

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!