Poetry Friday: Visiting, signing, and reminiscing

It’s been quite a busy couple of weeks for Yours Truly.

About a week and a half ago, I visited Bartlett Elementary School in Pinardville, NH for a day-long school visit. I shared my books Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (POW! Kids Books, 2018) and Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) as well as the stories behind the books, and also shared some of my poetry as part of a 4th grade poetry workshop. I talked to the students about different forms & styles and then led them in an exercise to ask questions about their subject and write a poem based on what they learned.

The kids had fun, I had fun, and the teachers all seemed to enjoy it, too – but the really, really cool thing for me was that this was my very first school I ever attended!

Way back in the ’70s, I had first grade with Miss Doherty (don’t know if I spelled that correctly), and now here we are in 2023 and I returned to share what I’ve learned about writing all these years in-between. It’s cliche to say, but it really felt like a ‘coming home’ sort of thing, especially when I saw my name on the sign.

I was thrilled that parents were so supportive, too! A number of them ordered copies of my books for their children, and yesterday, after having personally-signed all of them, I delivered all the books to the school:

Offering personally-signed copies is a great way to remind students of the experience of an author visit, and I try to work with local independent bookstores whenever possible. In this case, it was our hometown bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds.

In other news, I had a great time sharing my books and the craft of writing with students all over the country yesterday as part of World Read Aloud Day! Many thanks to all the teachers and librarians who helped make this happen – including Amy Hickman and her class at Anna C. Scott School in New Jersey:

I had so much fun with World Read Aloud Day, I’m going to be offering free, 20-minute virtual visits all day AGAIN next month, for Read Across America Day! If you’d like me to join your class or library, just scroll a wee bit down and you’ll see the details.

With all this talk about kids and reading and writing and such – and the nostalgia of returning to my orginial elementary school – I thought I’d share one of my first children’s poems ever, and one that spurred me to begin considering getting into the field of children’s literature.

I wote it about my two older daughters and although I’ve shared it before (you can see the original post HERE), it’s been about five years since anyone has seen it so I thought today might be the perfect time to dust it off and share it again:
.

Taylor Park, St. Albans, VT

Downtown at Taylor Park

Lovely Lauren, little daughter,
fishing in the fountain water,
looking for a leafy fin –
leaned too far and tumbled in.

Katie-B was fishing, too,
doing what her sister do.
Closed her eyes and made a wish…
don’t know how, but caught a fish!

– © 1999 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

.

For today’s Poetry Friay roundup, please visit my friend Laura Shovan’s blog where she shares a review of our mutual friend Laura Purdie Salas’ upcoming new picture book, Finding Family (Lerner, 2023).


~ Read Across America Day ~

It’s that time of year again, and I will once again be reading to schools and libraries all across the coutry one month from now!

Read Across America Day, sponsored by the NEA, spotlights the importance of reading to kids and I will once again be spending most of the day Thur., March 2, reading to students virtually! My day is usually jam-packed with a couple of visits every hour, all day long, and spots will be filling up.

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


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

Click the graphic for more details!

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

Student presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • How a Child Saved a Book
  • “Once Upon Another Time”
  • The Most Imporant Thing about Writing Poetry
  • “I Am Today”

Adult presentations include:

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

Learn more at MattForrest.com!

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

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

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE:
.
EVERYBODY COUNTS!
(The Little Fig, LLC, 2023)

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

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

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

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 here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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: Year-end musings of a 10-year career, and I AM TODAY gets TikTok love!

I first began looking into children’s lit back around 2009 or so and joined my first writer’s group in 2010 – but it was only when I left fulltime employment at the radio station in July 2012 that I fully immersed myself in the industry, learning everything I could about it, honing my craft, networking with other folks.

And here I am, ten years later…

Wow! 7 picture books of my own, 4 more under contract, and 30+ poems published in various anthologies and magazines!

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for following along here, watching my career begin, evolve, and grow. I get to do what I love because of the support of folks like you, so thank you!

I’m also grateful for the support of fellow creators, like my friends in my recent marketing groups…

I had been wondering what to share today and was leisurely scrolling through some of my past Christmas posts when I came upon a poem I’d written 6 years ago for Tabatha Yeatts‘ annual Winter Poetry Swap. This is a fun event she hosts every year and something in which I’ve unfortunately not been able to participate lately due to how busy I’ve become.

The premise is simple: everyone who signs up is randomly given someone else’s name, and you write a poem for that person and send them a small gift. I decided to combine these and used my poem AS the gift! The name I had been given was the wonderful Margaret Simon, poet, blogger, and educator extraordinaire, and decided to utilize her years of blogging as my inspiration.


.

Assessment

The power of meter,
of rhythm, of rhyme;
the guidance of mentors,
the blessing of time.
The support of strangers,
faith of friends –
only time will tell
where the journey ends.

© 2022 Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved

One of the many ways I’ve received support is from people like TikTokker Nica at Nica’s Collection Selection, who absolutely LOVES my picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books, 2022):
.

It’s reactions like this that make an author’s day! And not just because she’s talking about how much she likes it – the fact is, she likes it for the very reason I wrote it. To empower young people to realize they can make a difference now!

My friend Irene Latham is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup today at her blog, Live Your Poem, where she shares a couple of poems from a homeschool student who loves writing and poetry.

Have a wonderful holiday season, enjoy your weekend, and since I’ll be taking next Friday off to spend time with the family, I’ll see you in 2023!

= = = = = = = = = =

“EVERYBODY COUNTS!”

Everybody Counts! (The Little Fig, 1/2023) was scheduled for a Jan. 1 publishing date, but it’s already showing up at indie bookstores around the country! The book features 12 animals of varying ethnicities teaching the reader how to count to ten in each of their languages, along with an ethnic name and food item. Languages included in the book:

© 2022 The Little Fig, all rights reserved
  • Swedish
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • French
  • Swahili
  • Portugese
  • Arabic
  • Greek
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Navajo
    .

Readers who want to learn more will soon have the opportunity to go the The Little Fig website to find links to pronunciation videos and more. You can order directly from the publisher, but you can also pre-order through Amazon, B&N, Indie Bound, and Target.

My local hometown indie bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds, offers personally-signed copies – just let them know you’d like one when you place your order. They’ll send me an email, I’ll run downtown and sign it, and they’ll get it in the mail – usually within 24 hours!


Proud to be a First Round panelist for the Poetry Category!

I’m booking author visits for the 2022-23 school year:

Click the graphic for more details!

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

Student presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • How a Child Saved a Book
  • “Once Upon Another Time”
  • The Most Imporant Thing about Writing Poetry
  • “I Am Today”

Adult presentations include:

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

Learn more at MattForrest.com!

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

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

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE (soon!):
EVERYBODY COUNTS!
(The Little Fig, LLC, 2022)

or order now, directly from the publisher!

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

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

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

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

I’m very happy to be 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 here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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: With a #BookBirthday behind me, it’s time for “Apple-Stealing”

All I can say is…you are in luck, my friend.

You see, I am finally taking a break from the inordinate amount of shameless self-promotion I’ve been fomenting this past week and going back in time.

All images©2022 Beaming Books, all rights reserved

In case you haven’t heard, my newest book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022), is officially in bookstores everywhere, and a few days ago I celebrated with a special blog post and GIVEAWAY that you can still enter! (Just leave a comment on that post and I’ll pick a name at random next week!)

I would also like to take a moment and thank the many folks who have posted reviews over the past couple of weeks:

As happy and thrilled as I am to have a new book out in the world, I thought readers might enjoy a break from the excitement with a trip back in time…to ten years ago…to my first published poem for a non-adult!

I say “non-adult” because it wasn’t really a children’s poem – it was definitely more YA. But considering it was published in 2012 – the same year I had left fulltime employment to work from home and be a stay-at-home dad – it definitely helped me feel like I was moving in the right direction with regards to young people’s literature.

The poem was titled “Apple-Stealing” and was about one night in college when a couple of friends and I snuck into the apple orchard right next to the college to steal apples late at night. Full disclosure: I would never advocate stealing anything and was extremely hesitant to go, but once I learned that the college actually paid the orchard several hundred dollars each year due to students stealing apples – well, I figured I had already paid for them and I was going to get my money’s worth.

Not sure that logic is completely sound, but it was good enough for me at the time)

So here’s my poem, which was published by the now-defunct Young Adult Review Network (YARN):

.

Apple Stealing

Moonglow; steadfast, unwitting
cohort,
lights autumn evening
orchard shadows
while three devious figures skulk
quietly between Macs
and Cortlands.

Grey watercolor brushstrokes soften
the edges; forms flow
one into the next;
our eyes unreliable,
texture,
…..distance,
…..…..perspective
give way to guesswork
and guile.

Crickets, night birds
knowingly
talk amongst themselves, voyeurs
in anticipation
watching us from their posts;
fighting
our fears, we dismiss
guilt,
ready our bags,
…..plan our attack,
and move in, deftly
selecting our prizes.

Suddenly, a rustling –
massive darkness looms
before us, behind, in front, beside
the trees;
bags dropped, we stop
cold, eyes straining, hearts
racing faster, faster
than stone-heavy legs.
Our criminality
laid bare, devil creature
raises its head in frightful judgment…
and bites

leisurely

.…..…..into fruit.

.
Horses steal apples, too.

– © 2012 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved
.

This poem is special to me not just because it was my first young person’s poem published, but because poet/author Kip Wilson, who was one of the folks operating YARN at the time, nominated the poem for a prestigious Pushcart Prize! So this week I get to share both my newest piece of writing as well as my first piece of (young adult) writing. Hope you liked it.

Thrilled to be a Firstt Round panelist for the Poetry Category!

I also hope you’ll consider picking up a copy of Beginner’s Guide. You can order personally-signed copies of this or nearly any of my books from my local bookstore. And be sure to visit Wee Words for Wee Ones, where Bridget Magee is hosting today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup!


I’m also booking author visits for the 2022-23 school year!

Click the graphic for more details!

I love chatting with elementary and middle school classes about writing: why poetry is fun to read and write, the importance of revision, and how one’s imagination and creativity can lead to a fantastic career!

I tailor my presentations to fit the needs of the classroom. One day I might be sharing details of how a picture book like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) was created; the next, I’ll be discussing dinosaurs, tree ferns, or origami sea turtles!

Student presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • How a Child Saved a Book
  • “Once Upon Another Time”
  • The Most Imporant Thing about Writing Poetry
  • “I Am Today”

Adult presentations include:

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

Learn more at my website!

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

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

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE:
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN

(Beaming Books, 2022)

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

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

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

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

I’m very happy to be 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 here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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!

#BookBirthday for “A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human” – and a GIVEAWAY!

Well, I’ve been talking about it and talking about it and talking about it – and the day has finally arrived! That’s right…

My newest book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022), is officially out in the world, and I’m giving away a signed copy!

All images©2022 Beaming Books, all rights reserved

Beginner’s Guide is a very special book, too. Although it is my sixth book, it’s my very first creative nonfiction book and the first book I’ve ever written specifically for an editor who asked me to write it! (Even then, it wasn’t guaranteed that she’d accept it, so I breathed a sigh of relief when she said she’d take it – whew!)

“A delicate touch of humor weaves through the text…”

If you’d like to learn more about my approach to writing, the inspiration behind the book, and the process of creating this book (including the story of a manuscript the editor rejected, before asking me to write this one!), please check out the interview I had with Maria Marshall at The Picture Book Buzz!

Maria Marshall

We discuss the revision process, illustrator André Ceolin’s perfect illustrations, and a couple of new projects on the way. Maria calls it “a wonderful book for new ‘elder’ siblings, classrooms, parents, teachers, and caregivers working through emotions or just a really fun read.” I appreciate Maria’s kind words and support!

Huge thanks also to my friend/educator/poet Carol Varsalona for her wonderfully supportive review published yesterday at her blog Beyond Literacy Link.

Here’s a snippet:

“Friendly conversation, smiling faces, and a sense of community are felt. From the cover alone, a pre-book discussion could evolve on topics, such as inclusivity, diversity, and humanity. I believe that many children, parents, teachers, and librarians will be interested in reading this book with its hopeful message.”

Fellow author/blogger Deb Kalb published an interview we had recently at her little home on the web, Q&As with Deborah Kalb. We talk inspiration, how the book was created, and why you should NEVER give up on a manuscript (hint: the editor who bought Beginner’s Guide passed on the original manuscript I’d sent, but I held onto that one and ended up selling it elsewhere!).

By the way, this isn’t the first time I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Deb; a few years ago, Deborah Bruss and I got to share our thoughts with Deb on our newly-published picture book, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur – you can read that interview HERE.

I’d also like to thank the following folks who have already posted reviews over the past couple of weeks:

One more thing: my friend Michele at Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook will be sharing her professional opinion about Beginner’s Guide tomorrow (Wed., 10/19) at her blog, so we’ll all get to read her review together!

I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy of Beginner’s Guide – and remember, you can order personally-signed copies of this or nearly any of my books from my local bookstore. (and if you don’t see the book your looking for at the link, do a quick search and it’ll probably pop up)


I’m also booking author visits for the 2022-23 school year!

Click the graphic for more details!

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

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

One final thought: THANK YOU so much for sharing this journey with me! I first began considering getting into the field of children’s lit about 12 years ago, joined my first critique group in 2010, had my first children’s poem published in 2012, my first paid published poem in 2015, and now I have 6 books out – with 5 more on the way – and more than 30 poems published in various anthologies like those listed below.

It’s not easy, but with patience, perseverance, and a willingness to do the work of learning the craft, you, too, could see your name on a nationally-recognized book! I certainly never thought my career would be moving along at the pace it is, but I couldn’t have done it without your support all these years. THANKS AGAIN!


~ ~ Giveaway! ~ ~

Would you like a free copy of A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human? Just let me know in the comments – or share this post on Twitter and tag me – and I’ll select one winner at random! The winner will be announced on Friday, Oct. 28. Good luck!


Click the link for more info!

I’m very proud to be a First Round Panelist for the Poetry Category this year!

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

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE:
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN

(Beaming Books, 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!

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

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

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

I’m very happy to be 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 here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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 Roundup: Gearing up for “Beginner’s Guide” with news, reviews, and a poem about FAMILY

No matter how many books I may publish, I’m pretty sure I’ll never not be excited when a new one comes out. My sixth book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022), is due in stores everywhere this coming Tue., Oct. 18 – and I can barely stay seated!

(And by the way…YES, I’m hosting the Poetry Friday shenanigans today, so please leave your links in the comments below and I’ll round them up old-school style throughout the day!)

First up: Reviews!

If you have not heard, my sixth book is actually my first creative nonfiction picture book and introduces emotions and concepts like empathy, forgiveness, and love. It was written during the height of the pandemic back in 2020 and I had no idea at the time how important these things would be two years later.

A number of children’s lit bloggers and reviewers will be sharing their thoughts on the book over the next few weeks, but I did want to thank the ones who have already posted reviews:

I’d also like to thank Dr. Diane Jackson Schnoor for inviting me on her Adventures in Learning podcast to celebrate the upcoming publication of the book as well as creative writing in general.

We discuss the story behind the book, my love of poetry, and how fun creative writing can be both in and out of the classroom. I hope you’ll check it out!

If you’d like to learn a little bit more about how Beginner’s Guide came about (it wasn’t even my own idea!), the process of creating it, and why getting the first rough draft down on paper is so important, please be sure to read Hollie Wolverton’s interview with me as part of her #FirstDraftFriday post last week.

What is “Family?”

Click to enlarge. Image ©2022 Beaming Books, all rights reserved

Over the past few weeks I’ve been sharing poems I’ve written relating to some of the concepts included in my book. Last week, it was a nonet poem about forgiveness and a couple of weeks prior to that it was a definito about empathy.

This week, I thought I’d focus on family. Since family can mean many things to many people, I thought I’d do a list poem with no punctuation – to give the sense that there are no boundaries or borders to a family. There are no limits as to who or what can be considered family, other than those who love us and care about us.

.

Family

mother father sister brother
aunt uncle one another
grammy grampy nonny nan
poppy pépère vovó gran
in-law papaw second cousin
best friend cat dog half a dozen
biologic step or foster
all can show up on the roster
black or brown or beige or white
forward backward left or right
born adopted taken in
anyone can be your kin
half or whole or not at all
accent lisp or southern drawl
doesn’t matter who you are
close to home or way too far
down below or up above
the only thing you need is love

.

– ©2022 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

.

I do want to give a quick shout-out to Sara Grochowski, a youth librarian from Michigan who just shared a glowing review of Beginner’s Guide on her Instagram account yesterday! She told me that she’s working with twelve K-3 classrooms to overhaul their libraries this year and will be recommending they all add Beginner’s Guide. Wow!

The Poetry Friday Roundup:

As I mentioned earlier, the Poetry Friday roundup is here – so leave your links in the comments below and I’ll be sure to share them all. Thanks for visiting!

  • Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference shares two poems, one about a two-headed calf and another about snow – and they are both brilliant.
  • Patricia Franz is celebrating the release of WHAT IS A FRIEND?, Pomelo Books’ latest anthology which inclues one of her poems!
  • Marci Atkins also contributed a poem to WHAT IS A FRIEND? and you can read hers, as well, along with an original haiku.
  • Do you know what an ATC is? How about happy mail? Well, Linda Mitchell will shed some light on these terms with a new triolet at A Word Edgewise!
  • At an Alabama state park, a new Japanese garden that has been installed features haiku from several conemporary poets, including our own Robyn Hood Black, who shares hers at Life on the Deckle Edge.
  • Sally Murphy has written two “Wordy 30’s”. What is it with all these new vocab words today??
  • Not to be outdone, Jone MacCulloch shares three Wordy 30’s at her little home on the web!
  • You know what this world needs? A good tomato poem. Fortunately for us, JoAnn Early Macken has one!
  • Do you remember doing leaf rubs as a child? I’d forgotten about them until two years ago when we had to homeschool our two kids and that was a combo science/art project I devised for them. At Imagine the Possibilities, Rose recounts the fun and discovery with an original poem.
  • Over at Alphabet Soup, Jama Kim Rattigan “opens a book” – a poem by Julia Donaldson – and shares her love of books with some beautiful illustrative artwork and lovely memories.
  • Karen Edmisten celebrates October with a poem by Barbara Crooker.
  • Autumn also takes the spotlight at Teacher Dance where Linda Baie shares an original poem based on the prompt, “forgotten.”
  • Have you heard of “Birdtober?” It’s an artistic/writing challenge to create something each day of the month based on a different bird. Today, Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town responds to the challenge (for the 14th time this month!) with a beautiful original poem about the Phillipine Eagle.
  • At More Art 4 All, Michelle Kogan shares two haiku – one inspired by a recent walk and another inspired by her dad.
  • What’s better than crisp autumn days, apple cider, and pumpkins? Ice cream, of course! At The Poem Farm, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is in with a whimsical yet profound poem that includes all these wonderful things.
  • Since October is the 10th month, Bridget Magee at Wee Words for Wee Ones is celebrating the first anniversary of her poetry anthology 10.10 Poetry Anthology: Celebrating 10 in 10 Different Ways with a poem by Irene Latham about – you guessed it – the 10th month!
  • Margaret Simon’s class has been participating in the National Writing Project and National Parks Service’s Write Out, and shares a couple of her students poems at Reflections on the Teche.
  • Heidi Mordhorst is “keeping it all together” (or trying!) by celebrating her 14th blogiversary with an original acrostic at My Juicy Little Universe.
  • Irene Latham at Live Your Poem continues her series of haiku paired with Picasso drawings with an ostrich poem she readily identifies with!
  • Dusty, musty, spiced up smells permeate Mary Lee Hahn’s new poem about fall, which you can read at A(nother) Year of Reading.
  • Head on over to Reading to the Core and Catherine will show you what a mock strawberry looks like, along with a draft of her a poem about it.
  • Karen Eastlund is enjoying the spookiness of Halloween by sharing some very non-spooky – and quite beautiful – spiderweb photos along with an original poem.
  • Janice Scully at Salt City Verse also has October 31 on her mind and shares a pre-Halloween poem from an unlikely persepctive!
  • Sarah Grace Tuttle offers brief reviews about two new books of poetry she’s been reading – and has a giveaway winner to announce, too!
  • Molly Hogan has been writing poems in response to various Inktober prompts and today she shares several at her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone.
  • Joanne at WordDancer reflects on the fall foliage she enjoyed while on a revent trip to Vermont.
  • Last but certainly not least, Carol Varsalona recently gave a keynote address, “Teacher Writers, Awakeners of Learning,” for the Reading Specialists Council of Suffolk professional development program and shares a short poem inspired by teachers who are also writers at her blog, Beyond Literacy Link!
“Flashlight Night” in Encyclopedia Brittanica!
Click the link to nominate your favorite book(s)!

I’m very proud to be a First Round Panelist for the Poetry Category this year!

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

PRE-ORDER NOW:
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!

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

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

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

I’m very happy to be 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 here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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 #FirstDraftFriday interview, Brittanica, “Beginner’s Guide,” and a nonet, too!

Y’know…I should write my post titles in rhyme more often. (ha!)

You see, I’m very excited to share with you all the fun things that have been happening around here lately, and when I get excited, I speak in rhyme – not now and then, but all the time! What to share first? A photo? Reviews? #FirstDraftFriday? It’s hard to choose!

Ok, I’d better stop before this gets out of hand.

I’m sure, as a reader, you understand.

>Ahem<…

As I was saying, there’s a whole lot of news to share today, so let’s get to it!

#FirstDraftFriday

First off, I’d like to thank Hollie Wolverton for inviting me to chat with her for #FirstDraftFriday, a regular feature at her blog. For #FirstDraftFriday, Hollie likes to talk to authors about their books – but specifically how their manuscript’s first draft came about and their process for completing it, polishing it, and publishing it.

I’m so honored that Hollie asked me about the story behind A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022)! She asked me about how the book came to be, how I went about working on revisions, and tips on getting through the first draft – which, honestly, is the hardest part sometimes. But as the saying goes, you can’t edit an empty page, so finish up that first draft and then get revising!

(And if you visit her #FirstDraftFriday blog post today, you could win a manuscript critique from little, loveable me!)

“Beginner’s Guide” at the library

My first creative nonfiction book (from the publishers of Once Upon Another Timeintroduces concepts like kindness, empathy, and self-control and will officially be in bookstores everywhere Oct. 18.

But as I mentioned last week, some stores are getting their copies early and putting them out on the shelves immediately – which is wonderful! Any opportunity for readers to see the book and flip through it is an opportunity I’m happy to offer.

Another place that just received their copy of Beginner’s Guide is our local library, and it was so nice to see it standing proudly among all the other new books on display. Apparently, the librarian had just put it up a few moments before I walked in the door, so that’s what I call perfect timing.

“Flashlight Night” in Encyclopedia Brittanica??

Well, Brittanica’s website, at least! Before I get to today’s poem, I have to tell you how flabbergasted I was to discover that my debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) was included on Encyclopedia Brittanica’s list of “11 Children’s Books that Inspire Imagination.”

Wow! And what a list, too, with famous, award-winning titles from folks like Dan Santat, Julie Fogliano, and Andrea Beaty. It’s quite an honor, and I’m still flying high.

A ‘forgiveness’ nonet

I was recently reading Irene Latham’s poetry collection Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems (Charlesbridge, 2020) so the nonet form was fresh in my mind when I began thinking about what to write for today’s post. (Learn more about the form at Irene’s link)

As I looked through the pages of A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human for inspiration, one spread jumped out at me; of a father apologizing to his son. When I wrote the book, I felt it was important to show an adult asking for forgiveness rather than a child, and my editors agreed…

Image ©2022 Beaming Books, all rights reserved

Children are always the ones having to say “sorry,” and I thought it was about time to show that we parents mess up sometimes, too. We’re not as infallible as we like to think, and we need to fess up.

So with that in mind, I wrote this nonet:

.

Forgiveness

One
mistake
may not seem
like a big deal,
but to the other –
the child whose eyes rain tears –
it could mean everything.
Set aside your parental pride
and ask for the forgiveness you need.

– ©2022 Matt Forrest Esenwine

.
I hope you like it! And I hope you’ll check out A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human, too. Sarah Grace Tuttle is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, where she is sharing her process for writing metrical verse. For those unfamilair with meter, iambs, and syllable counts, it’s a great primer!

Next week, the roundup arrives HERE – and I’ll be celebrating with more Beginner’s Guide news, our first reviews, and a whole bunch of poetry. Be sure to stop by Oct. 12!

Click the link to nominate your favorite book(s)!

I’m very proud to be a First Round Panelist for the Poetry Category this year!

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

PRE-ORDER NOW:
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!

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

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

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

I’m very happy to be 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 here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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: Thoughts on the “Tao Te Ching”

I feel bad I neglected to post for Poetry Friday last week; however, I had been spending the first half of the week preparing for my live announcing gig at our local state fair, which began Thur., Sept. 1, at which point I began my 55-hour weekend.

I’ll share my thoughts and insights on the fair, as I do every year, next week – but for now, I’m sharing a golden shovel poem based on the famous words of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, who is credited (likely improperly) with writing the Tao Te Ching, a series of texts upon which the philosophy and religion of Taosim is based.

In a nutshell, Taoism is the belief that aligning oneself with the Tao – also known as The Way, the universal rhythmic force that binds everything and everyone – is the key to happiness. Rather than fighting in opposition to the flow of the Tao, a Taoist allows the flow to guide them, using a principle of wu wei, roughly translated as “action through inaction.” This is not to mean one should be lazy or exert no effort at all, but to work with the flow of life and not against it.

With this in mind, I took a walk along the brook that borders our property and was inspired to write a short golden shovel using a portion of Lao Tzu’s famous quote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”:

My friend (and wonderful supporter) Carol Varsalona is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup today at her blog Beyond LiteracyLink with a couple of poems celebrating the season we are leaving behind, one of which is a cento – a poem created from lines of other poems. I see we are both openly inspired by others’ words today!

COMING SOON…

Arriving everywhere books are sold on Oct. 18 from Beaming Books!

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

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!

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

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

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

I’m very happy to be 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 here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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: Rainbow Eucalyptus Part II, the poem you never saw

Sometimes, blog posts just sort of create themselves.

Case in point: last week, I shared my Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree poem that was included in J. Patrick Lewis’ The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (National Geographic Kids, 2015). But then just a few days later, I discovered that I’d never shared the poem that didn’t make it!

You see, when Pat asked me to write a poem about these trees, I had to do a lot of research – having never heard of them before, I needed to learn about what they looked like, why they looked like they did, and where on Earth one would even find them. This took me a solid day, at least. I then set about trying to come up with a poem worthy of a National Geographic book, and eventually wrote two of them.

The poem I shared last week, the one that made it into the book, was actually the second poem I wrote; the first one never saw the light of day. I sent Pat both poems so he could decide which he preferred, but I was glad to see he chose the second poem, as that was my favorite of the two, as well.

But that first poem was nice, nonetheless, and I always regretted that no one would ever read it. So why not publish it here??
.

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Near a clearing in the forest,
jungle pixies paint with glee
the canvas of a eucalyptus;
Nature’s artist-tree.

– © 2014 Matt Forrest Esenwine 

.

Rainbow Eucalyptus, Wikimedia Commons, by amelia

You can probably see why both Pat and I preferred the second poem; this is nice, but very simple and not exceptionally engaging. The second poem is much more vivid and contains fun, inventive wordplay.

Analyzing it now, this feels more like the “rough draft” of the second poem – although I didn’t realize it when I wrote it. Just goes to show you how important it is to keep working at your project, even when you think you’re done, ha!

For today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, head on over to Tanita Davis’ blog fiction, instead of lies, where she shares a poetic exercise that was a lot more taxing than she ever imagined!

ALSO:

My next picture book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human  (Beaming Books, 2022) is only two months away from publication, and we could use your help!

My first-ever creative nonfiction book comes out October 18 and you’d like to help share the news with the world, I’d love for you to be part of our official Launch Team! Just send me an email at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and let me know. We’ll send you a link so you can read the digital ARC (Advance Review Copy) and will coordinate news and announcements with you to share.

It’s not a lot of work – sharing social media posts, leaving reviews, etc. – but it’s a significant way you can lend a hand in showing support for a book you like. And if you’re a blogger or influencer and would like to be part of our official blog tour/virtual launch, I can make sure you’ll receive a free copy of Beginner’s Guide to give away to one of your followers!

Image © 2022 Beaming Books, all rights reserved; reprinted with permission

Again, just email me if you’d like to learn more and I’ll take it from there. I hope you’ll jump on board!

And thank you so much for all your support – I couldn’t have come this far without you!

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

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!

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

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

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

I’m very happy to be 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 here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

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 10th anniversary of blogging? Can it be true??

Apparently…yes!

It’s hard for me to believe, but my first blog post was ten years ago on August 1, 2012. It was an introduction to me and why I had even begun the blog (to showcase my poetry and market my writing and voiceover business). I had just left my job in radio the month before and was eager to begin my new journey!

A few days later, on Aug. 3, 2012, I published my very first Poetry Friday blog post – a poem I had written as part of my wedding vows a few years prior:
.

Constancy
For Jennifer

How many have, before me, tried in vain
To capture beauty, constancy, and love
Through fluent phrase, in happiness and pain,
And simile of summer, star, or dove?
Their words so eloquent, imagery lush –
In perfect imperfection testify…

(you can read the rest HERE)
.

I made a promise that I would re-post that poem every year here at the ol’ Triple-R in order to celebrate our 14th anniversary on Aug. 10, and I’m honoring that today. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support (emotional as well as financial!) of my bride, and I’ll never be able to repay her for it.

Another ten-year milestone was my leaving fulltime employment on July 5, 2012, which our local bookstore celebrated last month with a special one-day only book bundle. Five books out so far, 30+ poems published, and several more books on the way; it’s amazing hard work, perseverance, and a smidgen of talent can do!

Over the years: a few blog stats, by the numbers…

82,000+: total number of views
49,114: total number of visitors
1,024: total followers
674: posts published
176: number of distinct countries that have viewed my blog

Honestly, it boggles my mind that there are that many people who care what I have to say every week. But I’m grateful, nonetheless! And although I don’t focus so much on radio/media or even parenting quite as much as I did when I first began, I continue to post poetry and share interviews with children’s lit authors and poets – and will continue to do so as long as the blog keeps rolling along.

~ GIVEAWAY! ~

To celebrate my 10-year “blogiversary,” I’m offering a signed copy of any one of my five books! Just leave a comment below letting me know you’d like to be entered in the drawing – and if you’d like an extra entry, simply share this post on Twitter and tag me! I’ll pick one name at random next Thur., Aug. 11 and announce the winner here on Fri., Aug. 12.

Looking for more poetry? Molly Hogan is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone with a couple of original baseball poems and all of today’s links!

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 here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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

Thank you to everyone for your support!

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT:

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:

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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 4th-grader celebrates a famous flycatcher with a poem

I always love seeing kids writing poetry. I don’t know if it’s because I see my younger self in them or if it’s because I want to encourage them to engage writing in a genre that is both highly esteemed yet gravely misunderstood.

Either way, I’m happy to show my support by publishing students’ work here whenever I have the opportunity. Today, it’s a poem from a young writer who is OK.

He’s actually a really cool kid, with lots of interests, kind heart, and an inquisitive mind. I say he’s OK because…those are his initials!

This young homeschooled poet has taken a great interest in writing poetry lately, and his folks shared one his poems with me a few days ago. I thought it was so well done for someone so young, that I offered to share it here with the world:
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Phoebe flying, perching low,
On a windowsill below.
Milky belly, silver back,
Catching bugs with beak of black.
Partners switch, pumping wings
As it sings,
……….phoe-be,
………………..phoe-be.
Sitting on a mossy ledge,
Sipping on the river’s edge.
Back to nest, to feed their young,
A Phoebe’s work is never done,
Make it strong with grass and twig,
Web works best
to form the nest.

– written by O.K., July 2022

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Pretty impressive for a 4th-grader, yes? I told him I’m quite partial to phoebe flycatchers, which are quite plentiful around here, so I was extra-excited to share it on my blog. Well done, OK! You and your folks should be proud.

For more poetry, be sure to check out today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup at Unexpected Intersections, where Elisabeth shares an original poem about breaking routine and changing direction. Also, if you happened to miss National Mac and Cheese Day yesterday (July 14), you can still celebrate with my ode to luscious fat and carbs HERE!

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)

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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!