Lee Bennett Hopkins, please

Poetry Friday percolates perfectly at READING TO THE CORE this week.

It is a good week at Bookseedstudio.
With permission from generous educator and poet,
Lee Bennett Hopkins,
some of his words on poetry are here today.

Also gathered today are
three recent poetry links,
important to me. They appear after
the words from LBH.

Lee Bennett Hopkins, briefly, on the Poet, on Poetry

A poet is, in the narrowest sense, a maker of verses.
A poet is also imaginative in thought, expressive in
language, and graceful in form.

Good poetry is imaginative. It deals with emotion and has
significance beyond the act of creation. It uses figurative
language, yet is compact in thought and expression. Good
poetry has an element of beauty and truth which appears
unstable outside of the poem.

Poetry both predates and transcends the written word.
It is the rhythmic expression of imaginative thoughts
about our world and its people. –
Lee Bennett Hopkins

I will dwell with those thoughts this weekend.

The awards for the winner and honor books
in the 2016 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for Children
were given this week at Penn State.
The Honor Books are
MY SENECA VILLAGE by Marilyn Nelson
HYPNOTIZE A TIGER by Calef Brown
with Winner,
ENCHANTED AIR by magical poet Margarita Engle.
These winning titles shine like moonbeams on my reading list.

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Three links, promised above, are

A Sept. 19, 2016 online celebration of LBH,
where he shares a bit about his 2017
title due from Lee & Low.

A septercet poem, attempted. The
septercet is a classy form
originated by wondrous Jane Yolen.

An explainer of the septercet form,
as covered at TODAY’s LITTLE DITTY,
treasured blog that is celebrating
septercet creator Jane Yolen
this very month. Look sharp,
the septercet challenge is offered
near the end of the informative
post.

This very week here in Florida,
I presented assemblies
to about 80 attentive
4th graders & also to their pals,
about 100 attentive 5th graders.
I snuck in a little poetry appreciation,
too, although the talk was about
non-fiction research
& writing, of the
non-poetry flavor.

Finally, here I am back at Poetry Friday.
Yes, a good week.

img_5463

A pantoum: Read a spell

Read a Spell
By J.G. Annino

c. 2016 Jan Godown Annino "Foreign Language Edition"

c. 2016 Jan Godown Annino
“Foreign Language Edition”


You want to escape into a good book.

When they call your name, don’t answer.

Begin where you left off.

A side patio may be the right place to read.

When they call your name, don’t answer.

Some sly books can hide inside a jacket.

The laundry room is often good for one chapter.

Be prepared to say it is school work.

A jacket pocket may hold it.

It is right to enjoy a book for pleasure.

Be prepared to say it for a test.

Their entertainment makes your head spin.

It is your right to enjoy any book.

Offer to read a chapter out loud.

Their entertainment makes your head spin.

They lack something you have.

Offer to read a chapter out loud.

Begin where you left off.

They lack something you have.

You escaped into a good book.

2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino "Fulham Palace Book Cat"

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino
“Fulham Palace Book Cat”


……………..

10 Good Things After Hurricane Hermine

10 Good Things After Hurricane Hermine
(arrived Sept. 2, 2016)
by J.G. Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

10 Unlimited chocolates.

9 First butterfly seen, after.

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

8 Early to bed.

7 Unlimited reading.

6 Utility bill (pool pump, garage-door automatic opener, A/C + device use) will plummet.

5 Candlelight.

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

4 New poems + other writing (#amwritng.)

3 So many helpers.

2 Hand-written notes/cards/letters accomplished.

1 Unscathed by Hermine.

~ jga

Although we are without electric power as I post this,
our experience with Hurricane Hermine was a breeze.
Hurricane season lasts through October; this was our first
brush with a hurricane in 2016. The damage picture is
a current scene at the entrance to our street & not our
house. We count our blessings.

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

ISLAND’S END by Padma Venkatraman

(Heidi, at My Juicy Little Universe, squeezes flavors on Poetry Friday this week.)

Island’s End, a novel from
Padma Venkatraman

This spring through a workshop,
I learned about a novel from poet &
award-winning novelist Padma Venkatraman.
Although this post isn’t about her novel-in-verse,
A TIME TO DANCE, which I expect to
bring to a post later,
I hope you will like beginning to know her works.
And if you already found her, I’m glad we share
appreciation for Padma (also known as T V Padma)

ISLAND’S END by Padma Venkatraman

This contemporary-set novel welcomed me to
meet a hunter-gatherer tribe, lead by the elder,
Lah-ame.
I became pulled into their ways. The characters
& the setting feel so real, I would welcome a
story about their earlier years, leading up to the
time that we meet the communal villagers.

ISLAND's END by Padma Venkatram, Penguin Young Readers Group

ISLAND’s END by Padma Venkatram, Penguin Young Readers Group

Ideal Readers of this book, look for stories involving:

Nature
Back country camping
Self-sufficient subsistence societies
Coastal-set stories
Girl leaders
Little brothers/families
First Peoples
Love

The story line
Lah-ame, the tribal family’s longtime & wise male
leader, and the main character, Uido, the chosen new leader,
a young woman, are faced with an intrusion of outsiders
coveting wood of fabulous trees, set in contemporary times.

Favorite line
“Maya covers her face with her hands, as though tears
are something to be ashamed of. I put my arms around
her, but she does not sob.”
(about a visiting outsider, Maya, who doesn’t want to harm
the people or resources of the isolated island)

Favorite scene
If I say, I’ll be sharing a key plot element, but
the rituals & traditions of the tribe call out
to my inner-anthropologist self.

Book bonus 1
Pitcher plants! Seasonal pitcher plant bogs grace
the wild part of our North Florida world; I can’t
remember when I’ve found these unusual plants
to be an important feature of a
beautiful novel the way they are here.

Book bonus 2
Inspired by a writing prompt shared at
Reflections on the Teche by Poetry Friday’s
Margaret Simon,
I selected words that feel charged, played with them
& offer this found poem,
inspired by ISLAND’S END:

Water slurps
by Jan Annino

Healer
Drumbeat
Dreams

Healer prays
Apprentice prays

Drongo bird*
Crocodile
Monitor lizard

Turtle fat
Bear skin
Beeswax glue

Healer prays
Apprentice prays

Cliff
Beach
Reef

Healer prays
Apprentice prays

~ Jan Annino

*Drongo bird

Book bonus # 3
The author’s oceanography career before publishing novels
sailed her to many places, including islands off India.
In learning that some island groups inexplicably avoided
harm from the disastrous 2004 tsunami, she found a
story route into how that could be.

For more on Padma Venkatraman, author of
CLIMBING THE STAIRS
ISLAND’S END
A TIME TO DANCE

The Nerdy Book Club

Padma Venkatraman’s website

Meet Padma at these places:
James River Writers Conference 2016

Highlights Foundation, 2017

Pete’s Dragon, August 2016 movie

Pete’s Dragon, yes!

 

 

The whys:

I left the movie wanting to
climb a tree.

A key part of the plot is that
a child reads & rereads & rereads….
a specific picture book that is very important to him.

Music & lyrics sound as if they are
from a mighty fine acoustical concert.

Legends & myths are some of my
favorite literary tropes.

Respect for imagination, forests & loyalty that is deserving, are to be appreciated.

The child actor, Oakes Fegley, is exceptional.

51TLfMvP4wL._SY400_BO1,204,203,200_

So, too are the special effects to make
the facial expressions of Elliot (the dragon)
seem real.

All the key actors are quite spiffy in
their roles. It’s cool to see
Robert Redford comfortable in his
good-lookin’ older guy skin as a
neighborhood storyteller.

Wood whittling. Not a lot, so get there
on time.

I award a nest of green pixie dust
to the creative maker, David Lowery. Bravo!

This was a movie I was too busy to see.
But when I read this  USA TODAY feature, I was motivated to get myself into the theater.

 

Dr. Carla D. Hayden, welcome!

    I am interrupting a blog break for a special announcement.

(But first – please know that this week perky Poetry Friday is beautifully shelved,
here at Books4Learning.)..

This week news arrived of a dynamic, digital-sharp, new
Library of Congress head Librarian, for the decade hence.

Her name is Dr. Carla Diane Hayden.

I must skip to the most important morsel about her
– for me –
she was born in Tallahassee, my town.
Now follows a poem, only after some significant
skinny about our new Librarian of Congress, first —-

* Book she read over and over as a child, Bright April, by Margurite
De Angeli.

1941880

* Well-liked leader in Chicago at that huge public library system.

* One bold year spent at the helm of the American Library Association.

* Innovative leader in Baltimore, where she leaves colleagues sad
at her departure from the historic Enoch Pratt Free Library System.

During riots last year in Baltimore, Dr. Hayden earned praise because
she kept the main library open although it was close “to the epicenter
of unrest.” When so much was shuttered, Dr. Hayden felt that
peaceable folks deserved a safe public haven. According to many
reports, the library became that, not only for reading, but also
offering a place to receive food and to meet other needs.
Here is a video that speaks to those moments, & others.

President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Hayden was challenged.
Despite full clarification of some important questions that
should have satisfied all.

And this week, 18 senators still voted
against this illustrious candidate.
Fortunately the bi-partisan majority ruled.
She is especially needed immediately because of several
reports indicating that the LOC is woefully & perhaps threateningly
for some of the public’s collection, behind in many aspects of librarianship
in the digital age.
See the state-by-state vote (& three who didn’t vote) here.

In Honor of Dr. Hayden, newly of the LOC
By Jan Godown Annino

May you find time to read.
From Bright April, to I Almost Forgot About You,
time to read books
may be
miniscule. (The Flag of Childhood is quick to dip in and out of.)

May you find a windowed nest.
From Georgetown to Capitol Hill,
finding a D.C. condo, like yours in Baltimore,
may be
challenging. (Try Brookland.)

May you ignore racist, sexist remarks.
From the Old South to Badlands survivalists,
bleeping, blocking & (privately) booing
those uglies can be
fun. (They hope for a book contract.)

May you be appreciated.
At office bookshelves and home library stacks,
please know that most real readers are
glad you are
#1 at the LOC. (About time!)

May you visit Tallahassee.
From the Meek-Eaton Black Archives at FAMU, to the Mayor’s office,
it’s a whole new town
than how things before,
went down. (In 1952.)

– c.jga

Unknown

Salty summer with Langston Hughes & Ashley Bryan

Poetry Friday’s weekend picnic is collected by Tabatha!!!

Today, my little corner of the blogosphere
washes ashore with
a picture book poetry collection and artwork
that may make you sail fast,
to the nearest beach.

On a recent humid, landlocked night at the library,
I hooked into the splashy, floaty cover of SAIL AWAY.

This bounty is a group of poems by Langston Hughes,
with art
from puppet maker, painter, creative wizard,
Ashley Bryan.

SAIL AWAY  cover artwork  c. Ashley Bryan,  poems c. Langston Hughes

SAIL AWAY
cover artwork
c. Ashley Bryan,
poems c. Langston Hughes


Many readers know that Mr. Bryan is a long-time,
year-round dweller of an island off the coast of Maine.
His artwork collage compositions for this collection
are rolling, liquid beauties.
(A surprise on the endpapers reflects his love of his Mother, is all I will say about his process for this book.)

Not many of us – me included – are familiar
with the years that the late, great, Mr. Hughes
labored as a seaman.
This book tells us that his appreciation of the
salt life stems from jobs he landed on ships and boats
in Europe and Africa.

Long Trip
by Langston Hughes

“…We dip and dive,
Rise and roll,
Hide and are hidden
On the sea….”

lines from “Long Trip”
c.Langston Hughes

My first editor in the news bureau where I worked
upon college graduation was also a licensed
U.S. Coast Guard Captain.
Capt. Mike, who was as gentle a wordsmith
& boatsmith as you could find, would
understand those lines.

The seas become inscrutably flat at
times, which is how our family likes it
when we pop up a big umbrella at the shore.
But who knows what flat water covers?

Sea Calm
by Langston Hughes

“How still
How strangely still
The water is today.
It is not good
For water
To be so still that way.”
c.Langston Hughes

I hope you can ship off to your favorite pond, lake,
creek, river, bay, ocean, or backyard kiddie pool,
with Capt. Hughes & Capt. Bryan.
I’d like to give a basket of tumbled-in-surf, St. George
Island, Florida, shells to the brilliant publishing team that
hauled this catch ashore for the world to sing.

For more on Ashley Bryan, I found an important
interview from The Horn Book, with details about
SAIL AWAY.
http://www.hbook.com/2015/08/talks-with-roger/ashley-bryan-talks-with-roger/#_

Of the many online resources about Langston Hughes, I think this
one from Howard University Library is especially wonderful.
http://www.howard.edu/library/reference/guides/hughes/

And I hope you swim back here, likely sometime
in August, after this blog returns from break.

Oyster Boat c. JanGodownAnnino

Oyster Boat c. JanGodownAnnino

A visit with Irene Latham

Happy summer! The very helpful Diane is herding haiku folks &
other poetry people into the weekly partee known as Poetry Friday.

A visit with Irene Latham

I have twice bumped into Alabama-based author
Irene Latham.
We exchanged grins at a cozy SCBWI Southern
Breeze workshop. Then months later, we appreciated
the airy space of The Bookshelf, a friendly emporium
in a Georgia village.

Irene Latham P.B. Shelf (with approving elephant) The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA  c. 2016 JanGodownAnnino

Irene Latham P.B. Shelf (with approving elephant) The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA
c. 2016 JanGodownAnnino

All my moments with this often-traveling, award-winning poet,
novelist & picture book author give me the feeling that
I want to be a calmer & kinder person & a much more
creative writer. No wonder I’m craving an Irene Latham fix. 

I left a trail of peanuts, in hopes of enticing this
elephant-loving woman into the Bookseedstudio studio.
The snacks worked. We are today’s exclusive site for,
A visit with Irene Latham.

Q.  
Peanuts or popcorn?

I can’t pick… enjoy them both! Especially if there’s
chocolate involved…

Q.  
 Book wrangling. Keep them in a tall, narrow bookcase? A
short, fold-up bookstair? Alphabetized by author?  How do
you tame your home/office library?

I have books in every room of the house — but I try really
hard to keep only the books to which I have strong attachments.
(Books are meant to be read, not collecting dust on a shelf!) I don’t
do alphabetical, though it sure would make things easier to find! I
tend to group according to emotional impact. I do have several
bookshelves devoted to only children’s literature.

Q.  
Background sounds. What is your writing zone playlist?
Is silence when you write, golden?

Silence is my sound of choice. Or birdsong.

Q.  
We are visiting Birmingham, your town. 
What are 3 places you’d take us to?

Vulcan at night,
Johnny’s in Homewood for the best
upscale meat-n-three you will ever eat,
and Reed Books.
And then there’s the Civil Rights Museum, Railroad Park,
Birmingham Museum of Art, the Botanical Gardens,
our fabulous zoo… 

Q.  
Please finish the sentence. A map is…

. . . unnecessary.
Let the journey guide you, not the map! (I actually love maps
and am learning some of the best things ever are found when
you put the map away.)

Q.  
If your name weren’t Irene, it would be…

. . . Hannah. (I am named after my great-grandmother,
Hannah Irene.)

Q.  
If writing weren’t your work, it would be… ?

My husband and I love to travel and love to EAT, so
maybe together we’d host a TV travel show? 
 
Q.  
What should children’s writers ask
themselves when they start a new project? 

Am I having fun? Am I delighted?
Does this story fill me with wonder and joy?

Irene Latham with young friends, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

Irene Latham with young friends, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

Appreciations
to Irene for these fun thoughts. You can glean a fine dollop of
poem-making tips & shake paws with the elephant-loving
Irene Latham at these fresh & delicious 2016 events: 

Alabama Writers Conclave (Birmingham, AL) – July 15-17
Mississippi Book Festival (Jackson, MS) – August 20 
Poetry Camp (Bellingham, WA) – October 1
SCBWI Writing & Illustrating for Kids (Birmingham, AL) – October 8
Louisiana Book Festival (Baton Rouge, LA) – October 29
NCTE (Atlanta, GA) – November 17-20

ALSO
you will not want to miss, coming to a bookshelf near you
(sooner or later) this hard-working poet’s way with words in:
IT’S NOT BLACK AND WHITE
(poetry picture book, co-authored with Charles Waters)
FRANK AND MISS FANCY
(historical fiction picture book)
POP, BAM, BOOM!
(poetry picture book)
THE OCTOPUS POSTCARDS
(nonfiction picture book)

FOR
more juicy details visit www.irenelatham.com

AND
if you have’t already, read these Irene Latham books
find them fast:
FRESH DELICIOUS
DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST
WHEN SHE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA<
/>

LEAVING GEE’S BEND
DON’T FEED THE BOY


THE COLOR OF LOST ROOMS
THE SKY BETWEEN US
WHAT CAME BEFORE <
/>

Here is a little Irene Lantham poem-in-progress,
about Irene,
but certainly not BY Irene.

Brave Irene

Deep down in
another writer’s desk
dwelled fusty words,
not the best.

Irene swatted the dull things
away. She clapped her paws:
“Walloping crisp verbs,
come in and play.”

A calvacade of tight terms
appeared:
crack
creak

gulp
flick
shine
peel

hammer
squabble
gobble
burble

leap
convene
squint
grimace

Multitudinous words danced
in the now-lively place.
Appreciations extended!
Violets in a vase.

“Tut, tut,” Irene said,
“Good words always lived here.
You just had to banish
that writerly fear.”

-jga

#OrlandoStrong

It is good to see how the world, this country, my state,
& the city that lies four hours south of us – Orlando –
pulls together. Daily there are expressions of love &
comfort, for the families of the June 12, 2016 mass shooting.
One sweet event is a PLANTING PEACE garden just around the corner
from the lovely Henry. P. Leu Gardens on Lake Rowena, with each
fallen person or survivor, honored by a specific colorful
flower planted & later, the garden always cared for, very visible,
in the median of a prominent street.

#OrlandoStrong  c. 2016 Anna Annino

#OrlandoStrong
c. 2016 Anna Annino


We also learn about those who have passed on as their
funerals occur. One story that strikes me is of a mother,
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool. She forced her
21-year-old son to flee for his life, after she was shot.
At his invitation she went with him to dance to lively Latin music.
She did not survive; her son did.

OneOrlando is the fund Mayor Buddy Dyer has created to assist
the families of those killed & also the survivors; some still face
more surgeries & long recovery. It is OneOrlando, P.O. Box 4990,
Orlando, FL 32802-4990.

Passages – Joan Perry Morris

Many researchers work with the resource, American Memory, in the Library of Congress.

A buncha history hunters – Ken Burns, other well-established popular &
academic historians – also seek images from Florida Memory. It is an unparalleled digital library of historic documents with millions of visits, worldwide.

The talented creator, Joan Perry Morris, was a
longtime friend who assisted my mother in the 1970s with
Mom’s research on a local history book about the Fort Myers,
Florida region (Sanibel-Captiva to the beachbound.)
Later I appreciated my turn, in relying on Joan for significant
boosts during Florida newspaper & travel book years, before
I wrote children’s books. Joan was zesty about tracking
down topics & tidbits & served up spot-on ideas for other projects.
As Tropical Storm Colin sogged up our way, Joan Perry Morris was
remembered this past weekend, in North Florida, with both reverence & wit,
by state leaders & by just folks, like us.
We felt fortunate to be invited to share in this special celebration
of her 81 years with us. Love you always, Joanie.

https://www.floridamemory.com/
Find more “In Memoriam,” April 22, 2016 via Latest blog posts
tab, lower right of tabs, or the search button.

The Florida Handbook, one edition of those where Joan invited my chapter contributions.

The Florida Handbook, one edition of those where Joan invited my chapter contributions.

Highlights of Working at Writer’s Wonderland – 2

Favorites from the Workshop – The Work at The Novel-in-Verse Workshop
by Jan Annino

(Seekers of the POETRY FRIDAY round-up, of which this article is a part, are collected by Jone at CHECK IT OUT. https://maclibrary.wordpress.com/)

To cope from withdrawal symptoms
following a Highlights Foundation Workshop
last month, I’m writing about my favorites
from the experience.
In the last post I listed High Five
Favorites from The Tour of The Office.

Favorites from the Workshop – The Work

Work!
A lot of it.
In an ardent
doodle, doodle, idea, idea, scribble, scribble,
sense.

Breakthrough moments
bubbled up,
so I chucked swaths of lines,
retooled others in light of
directions newly imagined.
Terrific progress.

Mornings I awoke to birdsong.
First light filtered in from a wood,
across a red clover field where
a red tractor sat.
A breeze tickled delicate white curtains
against honey blond, paneled, cabin walls.

Each of the perfect-weather mornings,
I grabbed my journal/notebook that wears
an embossed mantra,
“A moment of gratitude makes a difference in attitude.”
It arrived home juicy with impressions,
characters, thoughts, titles, snatches of
dialogue & questions.

I tugged myself away from the cabin’s
spell & went outside early.
Plump robins worked to make a nest
in a beam of my front porch.
Writers also saw Baltimore orioles.
I stopped in my path for the flight
of an indigo bunting.
Bluebirds visited me uncountable times.
And more delight –
chipmunks wove in an out of slate walls near the 5,200 square
foot airy conference center fittingly known as The Barn.

copyright 2016 Joanne R. Fritz, all rights  reserved

copyright 2016
Joanne R. Fritz, all rights
reserved


More Work
Each morning top-drawer authors,
Kathryn Erskine and Alma Fullerton,
guided us with pithy & lively lectures & writing prompts.
They are each of them such
physical presenters, it felt at times as if we
watched theater.
We listened to a potent talk &
enjoyed many conversations with
visiting author Padma Venkatraman,
(A Time to Dance, Island’s End, Climbing the Stairs.)

Afternoons offered time for one-on-one
meetings with the mentors.
Plus, individual writing marathons inside.
Or out, with assistance from previously noted
chipmunks and avians.
Writers found the creek at the bottom of the hill.
It reflected a clearness that guided
thoughts & work.

copyright,  Kathryn Erskine,  all right reserved

copyright,
Kathryn Erskine,
all right reserved


<

By 4 we collected in the living room of The Barn
in a daily group critique
for the brave. Everyone felt brave,
drawn out by the nurturing faculty.
We appreciated the Floyd Cooper art on the walls &
the big sofas holding red pillows emblazoned with the
distinctive H for Highlights, logo.

The nights were usually free for reading,
writing, or discussion. I felt fortunate that an
insightful librarian, also working on historical fiction
like me, asked to share evening work time in The Barn.
Another night we were gifted with visits from City
Folk, an accomplished agent & an esteemed editor.
Such insights, we gleaned. Such access, we appreciated.

Favorite Words of Wisdom
Katherine Erskine, whose books include Mockingbird, Quaking,
The Badger Knight, plus the forthcoming, Mama Africa:

All of your stories will make wonderful books.

Imagine an elaborate line-up of dominoes that you will be setting off, in touching
the first one. Each domino must connect. Each scene must connect with the next.

Keep in mind who is the antagonist. Who is the battle against.

Alma Fullerton, whose books include In The Garage, Libertad, Burn
& the forthcoming, 50 Lashes:

Don’t sacrifice story for poetic form.

My first draft is basically barfing on the paper.

The evil person can be even nastier if we don’t see him/him from
his point of view, but when we view that antagonist from the outside.

Bonus Staff
The kind & funny chef staff (hello there, Marcia,
Amanda, Megan, Derrick & a spot-on walk-on, Kent!) matched
the quality of the story-crafting faculty. And their treats are
missed (hello there, toasted kale appetizer, mushroom loaf,
stuffed peppers, cream of squash soup, rhubarb crunch,
grilled asparagus, local cheeses, et. al!)

In Summary
Pages were required with the application;
this varies workshop to workshop. We 12 brought
library or teaching or children’s bookselling or publishing
tales with us. Students traveled from as far as Idaho, and as
next-door as N.J. and PA.
We grew close to each other, in sharing about our novel-in-verse
(one biography-in-verse) projects.
I’m anticipating news in the months ahead about terrific progress.
I’ve already brought fresh work to an at-home writing partner
at the library last night.

To Be Continued
How cool it is to be collected in an online group by our
spiffy librarian techie, my sharp critique partner
that night, to continue the journey begun at Highlights.
Appreciations to all.
With extra thanks to Kathryn Erskine & Joanne Fritz for
sharing the photos for this article. My 125 images
I took in the 5 days didn’t make it home, but
that’s another Story.

Highlights of Working at Writer’s Wonderland – 1

Highlights of Working at a Writer’s Wonderland – The Tour
by Jan Annino

I write this blog article as a coping mechanism
to soothe withdrawal, from leaving
a Writer’s Wonderland.

Last month I attended my first Highlights Foundation
Workshop for Children’s and Illustrators. A two-word
writing results summary is – terrific progress.
I hope the days there aren’t my last visit to the Highlights
nirvana for writers, editors, and illustrators.

Here today, from the recent Highlights Foundation
Workshop for writers of novels-in-verse, are my High Fives
about The Tour. Tomorrow’s blog article is about The Workshop.

The Tour
My High Five Favorites at the Office – The Tour

images-2
Highlights logo is cheerily emblazoned on scattered carpets.

images-1
A giant skull sits in the editor-in-chief’s office (ask about it on
tour.)
images-2
Magazine editors work in an historic downtown former mayor’s home,
a building accented with high ceilings, big, built-in
bookcases, and tall windows.
images-3

Editor name plates are old Scrabble tile holders that display the
wood letters spelling first names. (Hello Joelle, Channing & everyone!)
images-4
All on the magazine staff answer mail from children; every piece of
child mail is answered.

Finally, my heart also melted when I saw that books created by
book friends (Lee Bennett Hopkins, Lisa Desimini, Irene Latham)
are so handy for reference.

Okay, so I gave you one more – that makes six. The Highlights
folks like to overdeliver and I feel we all carried that spirit
away with us.

I hope you can visit this blog again; tomorrow I expect to post High Five Favorites from the Workshop – The Work.

(printablenumbers.org a resource for educators, is much appreciated
for today’s numbers.)

Verse novels love persona poems

Creative Margaret hosts the Poetry drumming this week at
https://reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com/

LOVE for persona poems

posted by J.G. Annino

I’ve been enjoying a stack of novels in
verse & they send me looking into what these engaging
creatures are all about.

A visit to poet/instructor/sweet Poetry Friday pal/Tuscany expert
Renee LaTulippe’s No Water Water poetry site,
led me to that site section of Post Index & the entry, Verse Novels.
Many nourishing details there! www.nowaterriver.com/

Then I toggled over to Michelle H. Barnes’
Today’s Little Ditty. In this month, May 2016,
Michelle, my poetry workshop pal/Poetry Friday guru & all-around
wonderful Florida colleague, features an interview with poet Laura Shovan about personal poems. Laura’s debut MG novel, which I featured here in my last post, is a novel in verse.
Laura asked for poems written in response to her writing prompt
and they appear daily on Today’s Little Ditty this month.
michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/

Did you know persona poems love verse novels and
of course, vice versa?

A persona poem lands

The shore at our part of the Gulf of Mexico is sand marsh. And that marsh and that shore make all the difference, in spring & fall.

For some birds, the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is the first
landfall, after a punishing migratory haul across water.

And so it was that recently we ventured on an
old path at the St. Marks refuge. Old, but never before trod by us.
The grassy way was busy with plant & insect inhabitants,
but not with visiting uprights.

c.JanGodownAnnino

c.JanGodownAnnino


We admired everything, including water lilies opened to the sun
in still pools, the last pom pom bursts of purple thistle spikes
and assorted small yellow and orange beauties.

We found adult butterflies and juvenile grasshoppers.
When we met one critter I couldn’t identify & I wondered –
who are you?

Think
by J.G. Annino

Dear bird watcher,

Ah!
You saw a flash, pale yellow
I heard you – “What a pretty fellow>”
Do not think me here for show
I face treacherous miles to go

While you watch me on this thistle
Think – he had to stop and wet his whistle
Think – what other creatures has he seen
Think – what is his perch when humans dream

Flash!
I lift my wings – I’ve seen seeds
After drink and rest it’s food I need
While wings beat steady steady again
Go write a poem, be my friend

I must fly,
Bob, traveling bobolink

c. Jan Godown Annino 2016

c. JanGodownAnnino

c. JanGodownAnnino


Some after story
Bob O’Lincoln is the call some birders
attributed to this bird. Over long time that name
evolved to the lyrical way we say it today.
A tagged bobolink once traveled 12,000 miles in migration.
In a day a bobolink can fly up to 1,000 miles. Without a
suitcase! Bobolinks like rice fields, to glean the grains, such as
in Louisiana & South Carolina on their way to Canada or The North U.S.
Sources: Cornell Ornithology Lab online
Wikipedia
MyDictionary.com

A thank you chirp for bobolink identification of this photo –
which I took May 7, 2016 on our walk at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge –
trilled out to my birding/writing pal, dear/near neighbor, Ann Morrow.
And two chirps of thanks to Michelle H. Barnes of the always illuminating Today’s Little Ditty, & to Laura Shovan for the persona poem prompt.

Laura Shovan, April Halprin Wayland, Jame Richards

Happy Last Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month goodness!
Bloggers of the poetry party, are well-rounded up by the
talented Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog
http://www.buffysblog.com/

My post here at Bookseedstudio
is about three novels in verse new to me, which
I recently devoured.

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL by Laura Shovan
GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING by April Halprin Wayland
THREE RIVERS RISING by Jame Richards

Each of these stories look at love in an eloquent & moving way.
I admit my bias toward the first two. They float from the pen
& keyboards of two exceptionally talented Poetry Friday folks.
When our big black mailbox offered the third author’s novel,
and I began reading I decided I hope to know her, too.

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL is a
fresh-born book I wish I could have read in my middle grade years when I moved far from one beloved school to an unknown district. The students in this class face the final days of their beloved school buidling, which is an old friend. I like how with humor & feeling Laura Shovan profiles the different & sometimes volatile personalities that make up a 5th grade class. Laura deftly brings them all together in their feelings for the old school. They want to keep it from being demolished. She crafts this effort with surprises & even musical riffs, for a charming debut novel about an entire classroom of kids.

Ideal readers are fans of stories involving
conflicts within a diverse, middle-class community
friendships within same
disagreement process with parents and school authority figures
exemplary teachers
student ingenuity
poetry
Favorite character voice
With 18 enjoyable narrators I will allow myself two – Gaby Vargas & Jason “Seuss” Chen
Favorite line (s)
“I wish we had school in the woods.” Ben Kidwell in “Dream School” poem.
“I love the dragonfly appearing on my paper.” Rachel Chieka Stein, “Japanese Painting”
“A stranger, a reader,
a poet, a brain?
Will you forget who I was
or stay just the same?” Edgar Lee Jones “Time Capsule Rap
Book bonus
perfect student portraits by Abigail Halpin
some students are in Zoo Creatures Band
end pages – poetry forms explained, prompts & poetry glossary, given
If you are a 60s fan, some fun references via a teacher

images
It’s fitting that nourishing articles about the wonderful
THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
abound online, along with top reviews. Please see
Linda B at TeacherDance, Jama R at Alphabet Soup,
(4.21.16 edition) & a host of others.
Laura’s blog & website are http://www.laurashovan.com

GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING is school-set too, in the vibrant
voice of one middle grader who remains unnamed. Multiple poems from
the student narrator – about poems! – make me selfishly love this story. I expect to read some of them to my writer’s groups.
Ideal readers are fans of stories involving
challenges of the school year
young romance
the heart & soul of an emerging poet
exemplary teachers
family connections
poetry
Favorite line (s)
“…music is so amazing
it builds a nest of tears
in my throat.”
Book bonus
Elaine Clayton’s distinctive artwork, created for each of 100+ poems
Shakespeare’s Sonnet Number Twelve

images-1
April Halprin Wayland’s website is http://www.aprilwayland.com/
I first found my way to her titles through the nourishing blog, Teaching Authors, where April is a frequent contributor. http://www.TeachingAuthors.com/

THREE RIVERS RISING is a race for life, during the 1889 Johnstown, Ohio Flood. Events in days leading up to the break of an insufficiently engineered dam owned by wealthy men including Andrea Carnegie, are shared via the story of a budding romance. I liked being pulled into eddies created by the couple’s deceptions & joys. I was also swept into the story of the sensible & sad nurse, ministering to the flood victims. With multiple narrators and voices, the true love between Celestia & Peter make their poems poignant & powerful.
Ideal readers are fans of stories involving
actual disasters in times past
young romance
differences between the powerful & those without power
individual heroics
dysfunctional family dynamics
Favorite character
Peter
Favorite lines
“When will this hell of rain end?
I haven’t seen the stars in so long.” Peter
“Fun always knows where to find her.” Celestia
Book bonus
detailed South Fork Dam chronology, suggested readings
images-2
Jame Richards lives in Connecticut & her blog is at http://jamerichards.blogspot.com

posted by J.G. Annino/Bookseedstudio

Progressive Poem, Poem in Your Pocket Day & More

Hello from Bookseedstudio.

It’s the 21st day of National Poetry Month.

It’s Poem in Your Pocket Day.

It’s also the 21st day of the 2016 Progressive Poem party,
with a new line for you to read, below.

The poem party is an annual online meetup launched by my (& your)
terrific poetry pal, Irene Latham.
of Live Your Poem fame.
Who by the way, has a brand new ARTSPEAK poem up
at her site. Along with picture book, poetry book & adult
novel, goodness. http://www.irenelatham.blogspot.com/

2016 Kidlit Progressive Poem
After today the 2016 Progressive Poem, as yet unnamed,
bounces from Florida up to South Carolina, to my
Haiku & artist pal Robyn Hood Black at
Life on the Deckle Edge. Yesterday the poem
visited Haiti, and Ruth at
There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken
Town. From that important post, she provided an intriguing line.
April 1st the lively children’s poet, picture book
author & mentor, Laura Purdie Salas, set the stage.

2016 Progressive Poem

A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky.
A hummingbird holds and then hies.
If I could fly, I’d choose to be
Sailing through a forest of poet-trees.

A cast of crabs engraves the sand
Delighting a child’s outstretched hand.
If I could breathe under the sea,
I’d dive, I’d dip, I’d dance with glee.

A clump of crocuses crave the sun.
Kites soar while joyful dogs run.
I sing to spring, to budding green,
to all of life – seen and unseen.

Wee whispers drift from cloud to ear
and finally reach one divining seer
who looks up from her perch and beams —
West Wind is dreaming May, it seems.



Golden wings open and gleam
as I greet the prancing team.
Gliding aside with lyrical speed,
I’d ride Pegasus to Ganymede.

To a pied pocket, the zephyr returns

. . .
But there is more. First, here are each line’s contributors:
1 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Diane at Random Noodling
5 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots
6 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
7 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
10 Pat at Writer on a Horse
11 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
12 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
13 Linda at TeacherDance
14 Jone at Deo Writer
15 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
16 Violet at Violet Nesdoly
17 Kim at Flukeprints
18 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Charles Waters at Poetry Time
20 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
21 Me at Bookseedstudio
22 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
23 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Mark at Jackett Writes
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Mary Lee at Poetrepository
28 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
29 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
30 Donna at Mainely Write

Quite a crew, eh?
But wait – there is more.
Remember Poem in Your Pocket Day?
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A pocket is one of my favorite features of clothes.
Pockets tie in first place
with buttons & hats in my delightful duds pantheon.
For 2016 Poem Your Pocket Day, I wear an apron for its pockets,
to carry poems for sharing in Kindergarten, where I am a longtime
volunteer with the lovely national literacy program,
BookPALS. Some of those poems are quite naturally, from poetry picture books of the Poetry Friday crowd.
https://www.poets.org/national-poetry…/poem-your-pocket-day

But there is more.
As I said, it’s National Poetry Month.

In a lovely surge of synchronicity, I’ve soaked up
up wisdom in person from poetry greats. In my April 15
article here at this site, I wrote about past U.S. Poet Laureate
Robert Pinsky’s visit to our town.

Devon Glover’s lively Sonnet Man
visit to our just-closed
Shakespeare Festival
immersed me that historic form,
& also as it can be recast in rap.

thesonnetman
Nikky Finney’s visit to FAMU’s literature conference
last month set a sensational poetry stage. She told how
her Talladega College mentor strode up to her on a Friday
when she saw that this student was, as students will do
on a Friday at 4 p.m., goofing off with her pals before they
headed to the gym to dance.

“Miss Finney, tell me, do you really have time to sit there, have you
finished reading every book in the library?” asked
Dr. Gloria Wade Gayles.
The formidable mentor turned and strode off with her briefcase.

Nikky Finney said the abrupt reminder – great expectations are held
for the promise of your talent – kept her reading books in the library instead of goofing off all through college. And yes, she read in the library that night instead of hanging out in the gym.

Who is Nikky Finney? Child of South Carolina
segregation-into-integration times.
National Book Award Winner for Poetry for the atmospheric
HEAD OFF & SPLIT and winner of other mighty fine honors
including fellowships, grants & awards. Her other titles include
ON WINGS MADE OF GAUZE, RICE, HEARTWOOD and THE WORLD
IS ROUND.

Happy Poetry Month to you & yours
in all its varied celebrations!
Jan
unnamed-10

Favorite Poem Project & Robert Pinsky

Favorite Poem Project & Robert Pinsky
http://www.favoritepoem.org/

Such an honor! The former U.S. poet laureate,
Robert Pinsky, brought the national Favorite Poem Reading
Project to our town, Tallahassee, recently.

images
Of course we managed to get to the event.
Everyday people from around the state of Florida read a poem,
by an established author. This is the road show for a previous online invitation at the Favorite Poem website. I didn’t enter, as it was some time back. But I’m so glad so many (at least 18,000) people did.

They picked one poem that, over and over, calls to them.
This is one of Robert Pinsky’s favorite challenges. To ask everyone to find a favorite poem or two, read them regularly, and further, he urges us to read the poem out loud and not stop there. Memorize a favorite poem. That allows us to carry it with you, everywhere.

Now, if you are a Poetry Friday regular, this is a given. But
for Bookseedstudio readers who are here from other paths,
might this be a good thing for you to try?

Recently I saw this:

“When was the last time
you did something
for the first time?”

Maybe memorizing a poem will be that new first time
neuron nudger.

Back to Pinsky

This acclaimed poet looks like a cross between Bill Nye, the
Science Guy & that great space educator Carl Sagan. With a
wide grin & great voice, he was just as engaging
as each of them.
“A poem is a work of art made for a human voice,” he told us.
“But it’s not the art of one expert. It’s the art of any and all.”

Here are just three of the poems read that evening.

“Nick and the Candlestick,” Sylvia Plath
“Why I Am Not A Painter,” Frank O’Hara
“Soneto XVII” Pablo Neruda

And I still remember how Pinsky quoted James Baldwin,
“Culture is everybody’s birthright.”

So, everybody, I have always been one of those who can’t pick one
favorite poem. But he said in that case, know that you are
working with one of your favorites. Despite the title of the project,
it doesn’t have to be THE one and true only favorite. Like picking
among children, impossible to do.

So here is the title of a poem section I like a whole lot among
many favorites. It is, “Alphabets,” (part 1) and it is
from the pen of the great Seamus Heaney. It begins:

Alphabets
by Seamus Heaney

“A shadow his father makes with joined hands
And thumbs and fingers nibbles on the wall
Like a rabbit’s head. He understands
He will understand more when he goes to school.

There he draws smoke with chalk the whole first week.
Then he draws the forked stick that they call a Y.
This is writing. A swan’s neck and swan’s back
Make the 2 he can see now as well as say…”
c. Seamus Heaney

Now, I must not have been paying attention because
I didn’t have much advance notice of this long-planned
event & jammed in time, was I, so I had no Pinsky
collection, to nail a book autograph, one of my hobbies.
But everyone says to start with “The Song of Poetry,”
which is both a terrific poetry collection &
an informal primer for poem-making. So it’s on the way.

Thank you Robert Pinsky, for your service as U.S.
Poet Laureaut, for putting Tallahassee
on your map & to Erin Belieu of FSU,
for making this evening happen.

Next time I expect to have a few words about
Tallahassee’s great good luck in the visit to FAMU of
transformative poet Nikki Finney (Head Off & Split.)

Also then, I expect to be playing the National Poetry
Month 2016 Progressive Poetry Game, with Irene
Latham at Live Your Poem & Equally Wonderful
Others. Here’s the lineup (apologies for
computer gremlins -drat! & no links…)

2016 KIDLITOSPHERE PROGRESSIVE POEM
1 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
2 Joy at Joy Acey
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Diane at Random Noodling
5 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots
6 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
7 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
10 Pat at Writer on a Horse
11 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
12 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
13 Linda at TeacherDance
14 Jone at Deo Writer
15 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
16 Violet at Violet Nesdoly
17 Kim at Flukeprints
18 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Charles at Poetry Time
20 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
21 Jan at Bookseedstudio
22 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
23 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Mark at Jackett Writes
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Mary Lee at Poetrepository
28 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
29 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
30 Donna at Mainely Write

AND today’s Poetry Friday frolic is hosted by my pal Michelle H.
Barnes at the tuneful Today’s Little Ditty.

FRESH DELICIOUS, Irene Latham, Mique Moriuchi

If you are in the market for a market,
grab your basket and stop by
the vendors of FRESH DELICOUS.
It is a crisp collection of
more clever than a cucumber poems
from Poetry Friday’s perfectly wonderful
poem vendor, Irene Latham.

It may be the only poetry collection for children
& I also think for adults, to be honored by its
publisher with a poem printed right
on the BACK COVER!
With artwork front, back & middle,
of adorable paper cut outs,
by Mique Morichi.

"Pole Beans" by Irene Latham, from FRESH DELICIOUS, artwork including back cover, by Mique Moriuchi.  Do you see there is a poem printed on the back cover? Yay!

“Pole Beans” by Irene Latham, from FRESH DELICIOUS, artwork including back cover, by Mique Moriuchi.
Do you see there is a poem printed on the back cover? Yay!

Pole Beans
by Irene Latham

Plucked
from vines,
they no longer
climb.

Now they
swim
in bins-

schooling
fish
soon to be
hooked.

©2016 Irene Latham

I’m the delighted owner of three of Irene’s books,
one poetry collection for adults
(THE COLOR OF LOST ROOMS)
this tasty one I’m munching on today,
FRESH DELICOUS & also,
DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST.

I can’t imagine what will arrive from her
desk, next. But I will be so eager for it.

I wonder if the next publisher will be as wonderful
as this publisher WordSong, to put a poem on the back cover?

For grammar groupies, this clever collection also
tickles the funny bone when Irene finds
punctuation –
in summer squash.

But it’s not just me. FRESH DELICIOUS is piling up a
buncha fresh accolades, such as:

“A collection of lively poems celebrate edible delights from the farmers market…. Written mostly in free verse, clever poems show farmers market produce in a new light…. Moriuchi’s colorful collages pair perfectly with Latham’s poems…. This poetry collection will inspire readers to rush to the farmers market to compare Latham’s images with their real-life counterparts. Kid-friendly recipes are also included at the end of the book. Whimsical poems will inspire readers to play with their fruits and vegetables.” —Kirkus Reviews

I think you’ll want to pick your favorite poem from this collection soon!
FRESH DELICIOUS-web

This is my introduction for this fantabulous month –  April. It is when poem making,  poets & poem reading is celebrated.

Today is Poetry Friday. Host  Amy Lv dives into it with a poem about coral at

THE POEM FARM. That’s at https://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/

Also, beginning today, lines of a community game known as

the Progressive Poem, take shape on various blogs. The complete list

is with FRESH DELICIOUS author, my friend, Irene Latham, at

LIVE YOUR POEM.   I’ll be back with the URL for that goodness.

Am noodling on not my regular laptop & doing my best.

Happy poem reading, poem teaching & poem making!

 

 

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day

I like thinking about my Irish roots in March.
Bailey is like Smith is like Jones, eh?

But I snatch my mother’s few stories from my memory
& stir my own recollections. My dear mother
was New Jersey-born, but her grandparents hailed from
the Emerald Isle, I’m told.
My mother made Irish soda bread, or more correctly named,
railway cake, because of her added raisins. She and her
sisters (one of six girls & boys) were religious about
sending St. Patrick’s Day greeting cards, often homemade.
I have asked one cousin, who seems to have
more detail about which part of Ireland our Baileys
immigrated from, for connections because Mom emphasized
my father’s interesting French Huguneout lineage,
& shirked the Irish side of things.

9780815624059-us
IRISH LITERATURE, edited by Maureen O’Rourke Murphy
& James MacKillop, helps stir the pot. Here are lines of
a poem I like returning to, among several, from this collection.

Emily Dickinson
by Michael Longley
Emily Dickinson, I think of you
Wakening early each morning to write
Dressing with care for the act of poetry.
Yours is always a perfect progress
Through such cluttered rooms to eloquence, delight,
To words – your window on the mystery.

I’ve been considering how writers of some lyrics are
poets, especially when I listen to ballads and other
songs performed live.

"Leaving Connolly Station" CD -  Sligo Line

“Leaving Connolly Station” CD –
Sligo Line

We recently enjoyed a performance of our area’s premier
Irish music group #Sligo Line. Now their lovely CD is headed down the line
to our daughter’s godmother,
Florida-born but Irish through and through.

Happy Luck o’ the Irish & good poetry
reading & writing to you.

The weekly Poetry Friday ceili (dance) & feasta (party)
are hosted by wonderful poet & Haiku Highness
Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle edge. It is
for new participants as well as returning contributors &
just for fun, readers. So take a look.

Snappy alligator, sleepy alligator

Last Sunday we went out the door and ran into a bunch
of alligators.
They were loafing.

#St.MarksRefuge c.JanGodownAnnino

#St.MarksRefuge c.JanGodownAnnino


I decided their back story was that they
were full from hunting blue crabs, snakes, mullet
& turtle & similar meals abundant in their home, about
45 minutes from our home.

I was there hunting.
For ideas – poem thoughts, finger play actions,
things to say about alligators. In town I’m looking for
children’s books, quotations, crafts about alligators.
To have fun with kids next month
at a regional literary event, outdoors in a park in
the StoryFort. All ages kids possible, but likely 2-6.
Your suggestions are most welcome.

Which brings me to Muhammad Ali.
I enjoy the lines & verses I read from
this underrated poem maker. As a reporter
I was at a campus press conference for his
appearance in town. It was a thrill to hear him
recite, with joy & great expressions, his ditties.
I also know from the reporter who rode
two hours back to the airport with The Great One,
that Ali grabbed the tape recorder & made up a funny
ditty on the spot for the reporter’s father, when Ali
learned he was a fan.

ALI RAP,  The First Heavyweight Champion of Rap

ALI RAP,
The First Heavyweight Champion of Rap

Here is part of one Ali ditty on my current topic:

“I’ve wrestled with alligators.
I’ve tussled with a whale.
I done handcuffed lightning,
And throwed thunder in jail.”
c. Muhammad Ali

I don’t like Ali’s sport that is damaging to
the human brain & body. I want to say that.
But I do like his talent with words. And his
many humanitarian actions.

Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee is more likely
one pleasure I will share with the kids.

I am also appreciating my visits with serious
poems that reference alligators, such as The
Alligator Bride by Donald Hall.

Happy (alligator-absent) weekend & coming week,
to all.

Today’s Poetry Friday is a lovely walk in the park
with Live Your Poem/Irene Latham.

That same alligator weekend for me, was a book debut weekend for the wonderful & talented Irene. And fortunately for me she was in a Georgia bookstore that we love to visit from Tallahassee. I expect to return here this month for a visit with FRESH DELICIOUS,
her third enchanting poetry collection for young readers.

Here are some more looks at last weekend’s resident reptiles.

#St.MarksRefugec.JanGodownAnnino

#St.MarksRefugec.JanGodownAnnino

#St.MarksRefugec.JanGodownAnnino

#St.MarksRefugec.JanGodownAnnino

#St.MarksRefugec.JanGodownAnnino

#St.MarksRefugec.JanGodownAnnino

For our bird lovers!

#St.MarksRefugec.JanGodownAnnino  - we lucked into white pelicans, too!

#St.MarksRefugec.JanGodownAnnino – we lucked into white pelicans, too!

More poetry, promptly!

DAY 28 of Laura Shovan’s found prompt project

Today is the most special Sunday in February 2016
because it is the last Sunday of Feb. 2016
we will ever see rise
& set. Ever.
We will see other last February Sundays, but
never the exquisite 2016 version that today is.

If you are seeking a way to make it live on,
add a poem to this day’s incredible photograph
from Mary Lee Hahn. Appreciations to Mary Lee!

photograph from Poetry Friday's Mary Lee Hahn, Day 28, Laura Shovan's 2016 Found Object Poetry

photograph from Poetry Friday’s Mary Lee Hahn, Day 28, Laura Shovan’s 2016 Found Object Poetry

Add your responses in the comment section,
or provide links there to your poem making at
your site.

Here is one to start

Showtime

Dear garden pals,

And so I see you
puff your stuff –
golden ears
bleeding hearts
floret duets
cotton bolls
paper coins
pods of pea
and the assorted
riff raff
fly by
volunteer
plants

Now is my year to bolt
molt
burst my veil
do not be alarmed
by this cascade bloom
my offering is
from
the part of me
that doesn’t
clear the room

love,
Mum Allium
c. 2016 Jan Godown Annino

Also please visit the site curated by Carol Varsalona her
for “Spring is in the Air,” her lovely response.

And join the joy tucked within this contribution from
poet Charles Waters

Day 28

GRADUATION

Seedlings huddle

for one final group hug

before sprouting away

to feed the world.
c. Charles Waters

I appreciate the brevity with a punch, of these from Carol & Charles.

And now Margaret Simon sets the stage –

Blossom shrouded in
lace waiting for curtain call
to dance moonlit waltz.
c. Margaret Simon

And Diane Mayr backs up for the wide perspective –

Day 28 was almost a nonstarter. I managed a tanka, but without the alluring allium flower!

new neighbors
riding their new mower
we roll our eyes
at the dandelions and
spring onions gone to waste
c. Diane Mayr

Appreciations to creative Margaret, Diane, & to all you inventive poem makers.
Some day I will catch up to you.

Appreciations to Laura Shovan, who is one fantabulous poem maker,
debut MG author & poetry blogging pal.

Promptly, poetry! Laura Shovan’s February gift.

Each year poet Laura Shovan plays with words and poem-making,
by sharing prompts, catalysts for creativity with words.

This year photographic images are the wardrobe door into idea spinning.
(And we are all spinning about Laura’s forthcoming novel in verse.)

Today’s photo is one I snapped in Washington, D.C., in the tunnel
between the Library of Congress buildings.

I’m pleased to have this response to the photo prompt,
from poet Charles Waters, via Laura Shovan.

Day 23

MAIL BAG
My pouch is bundled with news,
thoughts, sweepstakes, prayers
that I can’t wait to share.
c. Charles Waters

. . .
Another look at it –

Bin binge
by Jan Godown Annino

O what treats
what treatises
treasure maps
photographs

poems
ballads
rhymes

cartoons
stories
picturebooks

babbling brooks

have been rollin’
in this underground
river of words.
© 2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.JanGodownAnnino

c.JanGodownAnnino

This traveling photo prompt party would be pleased to have your thoughts, lines or even poems.
Share here in comments.
Or at Laura’s blog (the link is in the first line of this post, above. And there is another link, below.)

Or via your own blog, with a link to your blog left in comments here.

And you can do this any time.
Or use the prompts but keep your results to yourself.
That’s mighty fine, too.

If you are joining recently here’s Laura’s intro.

And here is the way the found poems went last week –
Week Three

One little word 2016

Both my one little word for 2016 &
also a new occasional feature here
are the lovely term –

MOMENTS
There are also some lovely links below.
. . .
MOMENTS collected in December by JGA
MOM Annino serves her Sicilian stuffing of perfectly seasoned ground beef & rice
GARDEN-clogging past the front-step toad
FIRST-time learner! I now unzip the big purple red ball to share & devour the arils of the French fruit, grenade, a giant pomegranate berry splash zone! (scroll to 2nd item…)
OUR daughter’s moist golden ring cake of dried papaya, cherries, pecans & cashews
MY hubby finding dolphins as they charge & devour fish caught behind a sand bar in Ochlockonee Bay (Tampa’s SaltStrong’s video – it looked just like this!)
LEAVING extra postage stamps on the P.O. packaging counter, various walks to
our neighborhood USPS, in December
GINGER cat is back to his jumping, joyful self, after a worrisome muscle attack.
. . .

In February I plan to return here with January MOMENTS
. . .
The MOMENTS inspiration comes from an author
I was fortunate to meet in 2015, after following along
in social media for some time.
You may have guessed she is the smile-spreading Irene Latham.
She writes beautifully, for adults and children.

Next month you can put on a parka for one of her new books,
WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA, And Other Poems from the Frozen Continent.

by Irene Latham illustrations by Anna Wadham

by Irene Latham
illustrations by Anna Wadham

After this Antarctica book has me fluffing up
my feathers for warmth up against a picture
book shiver – I can develop goose bumps
at 50 degrees – I’ll be taking my market basket out to carry her
FRESH! DELICIOUS! Poems from the Farmer’s Market.

(Maybe there’s a pomegranate poem in there.)

So, my occasional MOMENTS blog here at Bookseedstudio
is inspired by Irene’s Live Your Poem blog listing of experiences
that elicit her gratitude.

MORE MOMENTS
If you like the idea of thinking further about the magnitude
of our Moments,
you may want to visit with two more muses:
MUSICIAN Velma Frye’s original poem song, “Moments,”
from the album/CD I AM TO SOMEONE. (Proud that two
comments of praise for her talents at this site are quotes from my magazine feature.)
AND
ACTOR/performer Roberto Benigni, having the best MOMENT,
with life, with his favorite poets, with love! Settle in -not to miss.

APPRECIATIONS to you for sharing your moments with me here this year.

MOMENTS & Poetry Friday
I’m content to find MOMENT as this year’s guiding word, my first Poetry Friday OWL (one little word)
If you want to read more about Poetry Friday, this article is for you.
AND here is the Poetry Friday organizing plan in 2016.

In progress – anaphora to the P degree

Happy New Year! It’s Jan here.
And good day or good evening to you, with my special best
cheer for a chirpy 1st week of 2016.

In summer, which conveniently lasts through October at a
minimum, on humid beach walks that turned into Gulf
of Mexico floats, I attempted to write
a pantoum poem.

DSCN4376
The winter holidays brought me the gift of more salty
beach hikes. Now I walked against cool breezes,
even wind, wrapped up in jacket, long pants
+ my hubby who doesn’t feel cold
the way I do.

So I had images from quite a stretch of sand, surf & sound
to work with, revising the poem.

A pantoum uses anaphora, repetition, which
was what I was doing visiting the same shores
and the topic felt like a smooth fit.

I’ve enjoyed some appreciative eyes on this
one-in-progress, with a generous + patient
critique reader kindly arriving from
points north to school me in the
traditional pantoum ZAZA close,
which carries the final line back to
the 1st. Thank you, Donna at
Mainely Write.

http://mainelywrite.blogspot.com/

My gratitude extends also to my weekly
critique partner, the poetic Adrian at
Slow Dance Journal.

https://slowdancejournal.wordpress.com/2016/01/

My pantoum attempt is incomplete,
but it washed me with a swoosh!
into the first full writing
week of my New Writing Year.

DSCN2343_4
The challenge to try an original pantoum
popped up from the creativity & generosity of
Angie Karcher and the poet wizard J. Patrick Lewis
who teamed up last April inside this article.

https://angiekarcher.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/rhypibomo-2015-day-8-j-patrick-lewis/

They have my warm breezes of appreciation, with a
a beach picnic on top (if they come to town.)

https://angiekarcher.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/rhypibomo-2015-day-8-j-patrick-lewis/

Pantoum plan
lines 2+ 4 become 1 + 3 of the next stanza,
except that the last stanza goes wild,
with lines 2 + 4 appearing as lines 3 + 1 of the
1st stanza. This is known as ZAZA. I think.

Feel free to float by with –

better explanations
links to your pantoums
others’ pantoums
your beloved pantoum sources/wisdom/shrieks.
Among my consultations –
THE TEACHERS & WRITERS HANDBOOK of POETIC FORMS (Ron Padgett, editor)
E.O. Parrott’s HOW TO BE WELL-VERSED IN POETRY
+ the colorfully illustrated by Chris Raschka, A KICK IN THE HEAD from Paul B. Janeczko (I’ve always liked a man with Jan in his name.)
…..
Salt Beach
by Jan Godown Annino

Listen when the laughing gull is silent
Catch winds that sigh down the shore
Dig where coquinas click in sand
Jump a purring tide that rolls to land

Catch winds that sigh down the shore
A bare foot squeaks on slanted sand
Jump a purring tide that rolls to land
Ghost crabs scuttle and then retreat

A bare foot squeaks on slanted sand
A wet wash of shells chime in rhyme
Ghost crabs scuttle and then retreat
Jump a purring tide that rolls to land

A wet wash of shells chime in rhyme
This will take you where you want to go
Jump a purring a tide that rolls to land
Listen when coquinas click in sand
©Jan Godown Annino, 2016


Now, if you are still here, you see how
this is NOT a pantoum.
I didn’t rhyme correctly +
I don’t have a ZAZA pattern close.
Maybe even more pantoum errors
have drifted in there.
So I expect to return with this poem
in true or at least, truer pantoum form,
later. But it’s
fun to be this far along +
to share the process.

Here’s a ripple of pantoum joy.

An animated pantoum!

http://mseffie.com/assignments/poem-a-day/19.html

An Oscar
(Hammerstein)!

http://www.mldb.org/song-145571-i-am-going-to-like-it-here.html

And lessons!

http://www.floodmarkpoetry.com/2014/12/pantoums.htmlhttp://www.floodmarkpoetry.com/2014/12/pantoums.html

http://www.windowsproject.co.uk/wbweb/wwbg25.htm

http://www.write4web.com/tag/pantoum/

Christmas tree + more

Are you seeking the gifts of Poetry Friday this week?
It is generously hosted at LIVE YOUR POEM by kind Irene Latham.
. . .

Inspired by Adrian Fogelin at Slow Dance Journal,
I’m dreaming of Christmas past.

DSCN4074_3_2

I hope you like the recollections.
My special best Christmas cheer to you!

In my child days my dear Dad walked into the flatwoods just
outside our little red house’s kitchen door, a wide,
double-Dutch door that stood just past the coal-burning
pot-bellied stove, near Quakertown, N.J.

I never said “Hey, Pa, where are you going with that ax?”
I knew where.

He brought back a little tree that he felled by himself. (I wasn’t
allowed to take but a few steps into the woods. I was told the
Jersey Devil might be in there.)
In our second house, set among eight large and flowering dogwood
trees, where I enjoyed Christmas from ages eight to 12, I was
allowed to skitter down into the ravine woods behind our cul-de-sac street
of 10 homes. (Maybe the Jersey Devil had gotten his due.)

But this world of fragrant trees and rushing creek was off limits
for tree-cutting. So we went into the town & brought back a tree
from Dad’s pal, the tree farmer who propped his, leaning on posts,
under lights strung across his wide side yard.

Today in Florida we delight in going to our kind neighbor
whose family still runs a tree farm in the mountains. He
personally brings our tree down here (snuggled with a full
load of other homegrown firs.) The fee for the tree
goes to charity.

And so I sit reading + writing before dawn, in the glow of the magic
of bubbles. Bubbles rising in the bubble lights, bubbles that echo
the old glass bubble lights of my childhood, treasured hand-me-down lights
linked on a frayed old electric cord that miraculously
never caught fire.

The continuation of traditions are what I wrap up most, at Christmas.

Our many angel ornaments, especially the hand-made oyster shell
angel from lively Mrs. Danford, our gal’s 4th grade teacher,
cluster in a choir at the top of the tree.

Although I rarely make a Christmas card these days, I still
like signing a special card for card-exchanging folks.
(Mindful that sending paper is discouraged by some pals
these days.) My annual card is made by a United Nations
artist & carries the message of Peace in as many
languages as possible.

I also continue the tradition of the crèche tableau, although
along the way, the handmade stable of my child days, cut and nailed
by my dear Uncle John, had to be replaced with a wood stable
from a store. And the chipped manger players, who moved with
us from New Jersey to Florida, gave way to a
newer, still reverent, crew.

Our glued, painted and sparkled Popsicle Star of David that
our daughter made at preschool is still a favorite ornament.
As are the nearly 30-year-old hand-made felt creations – Woodstock, Snoopy,
and others, from my crafting sister-in-law, Lynn.
And the ornaments sent by my dear pal Susan, who left our town
for Washington.D.C., feel like a little hug each year I place them on the tree.
I have a sturdy metal star from a dear pal that doesn’t
go on the tree, although it guides me elsewhere in the house.

We often drive highway miles during the holidays, so it’s fun
to sing carols along the way. There are more loving traditions
carried on. But I’ve been up since five (that darn but loveable
Ginger cat!) I’m hungry & want to get into the kitchen & start
a pot of oatmeal, served at the table with glass bowls of nuts & berries,
with a cinnamon shaker nearby. So I’ll close with more thoughts of food. Our Christmas Eve
meal will be homemade seafood dishes. Most likely, 12 separate items. Our daughter’s
passion is baking treats, so aromas wafting from our oven this
time of year include: rosemary shortbread, gingerbread, pecan pie,
sweet potato pie & a special request, fruit cake with papaya &
pineapple nestled in it.

Our new tradition is that as long as they last, we gift special folks with juicy Meyer lemons from our sheltered tree in the side yard. Not a tradition from my child days, but I feel my long passed-on gardening parents are approving of that addition.

dscn3951_2

ELF

c. Jan Godown Annino

c. Jan Godown Annino

With the arrival of our gal from Boston,
we here in the little yellow cottage are feeling
much Christmas cheer.

Inspired by J. Patrick Lewis, who created a poetry
form called Careerhyme, I offer, “ELF.”

ELF: A sprite, an industrious assister;
A rare visitor; A child charmer,
Who delivers wishes come true;
A needed part of Holiday frivolity.
I wish one, or a bunch, for you.
– c. Jan Godown Annino

Appreciations not only to JPL, but also to his
colleague David L. Harrison, for his generous blog,
which shares writing prompts + much more.

Do you love Christmas books as much as I do?
This year, the first book I’m reading is the volume of
Father Christmas letters of J.R. R. Tolkein to his children.
Then I will nest in the rest.

I hope your nest is your best!

cedar-key-christmas-tree-inside-0011

It’s now Hanukkah 2015 + #Readukkah

After posting one of the incredible poems of the Karen Hesse/

Brian Pinkney Hanukkah book, THE STONE LAMP last Friday,

I was away for the weekend with my hubby on a delayed & delicious

anniversary trip to the coast. It was accented with lighthouse

lights, not Hanukkah lights & by long walks on near-wild beaches.

So – I’m late in posting the second part of that column & I’m

eager to make the rounds of Poetry Friday columns from the first Friday

of this festive month. I’m alsp part of Heidi Estrin’s round

up of Hanukkah columns, so for Heidi I’ll add – #Readukkuh.

Along city streets or in country village homes menorahs in

windows through Dec. 13 are a special sight.

So I have a video treat for this season. I’m of Christian

faith, with an interest in some other faith’s ways of worship. I

feel that we all deserve the advantage of knowing about a variety of

holiday faith traditions. Especially so for children, who are likely

to wonder about new ways when overheard at school or when visiting new

friends. I’m also researching my Holocaust-topic illustrated

manuscript, finding myself immersed in all manner of good books on

Jewish themes.

HANUKKAH in ALASKA, read for BookPALS

HANUKKAH in ALASKA, read for BookPALS

I’m tickled to share a lively animated children’s menorah story,

read engagingly from the book, which was written Barbara Brown.

The reading is by a young talent you may recognize.

It’s fun to see the clever animation of the mighty fine book

illustrations Stacey Schuett created for HANUKKAH IN ALASKA.

The animator is Jacqueline Godsey. It puts a whole new spin

on Hanukkah!

The video comes to us via a volunteer literacy organization I love

deeply – BookPALS. (I’m lucky to have many years experience reading in

schools for BookPALS.)

Here are more Hanukkah picture book titles I’m happy to share:

BEAUTIFUL YETTA’S HANUKKAH KITTEN
by the husband and wife children’s literature team of Daniel
Pinkwater (author) & Jill Pinkwater (artist.)

HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY HAPPY CHANUKAH?
by the team who bring us all these fun dinosaur
visits – Jane Yolen (author) & Mark Teague (artist)

HANUKKAH BEAR
by Eric Kimmel & Mike Wohnoutka

Thank you Diane Mayr for the Hanukkah Bear recommendation and I like it that it was already on my list. Diane also thoughtfully suggests LATKES and APPLESAUCE by Frank Manushkin.

I appreciate Buffy Silverman’s idea to look for HANUKKAH GHOST & HERSCHEL and the HANUKKAH GOBLINS, which are also by Eric Kimmel.

And I’m grateful to Liz Steinglass for mentioning her family’s
fun in reading THE MIRACLE OF POTATO LATKES by Malika Penn.

Now, here is a light of the coast kind, with my wishes for bright & peaceful December lights, to all. It is from our area’s historic
Crooked River Lighthouse, a treat to visit in Florida’s Panhandle.

c. 2013 Bob May, for Crooked River Lighhouse Association Lanternfest, all rights reserved.

c. 2013 Bob May, for Crooked River Lighhouse Association Lanternfest/McKenzie News Service, all rights reserved.

Hello, it’s almost Hanukkah

(A weekly Friday roundup of doings in the children’s literature world that centers on poetry is provided by the delightful
BUFFY’s BLOG.)

Today I share lines from the poetry of Karen Hesse in
THE STONE LAMP, which features the artwork
of Brian Pinkney.

Third Night,
Third Light

by Karen Hesse

Venice, Italy 1546

. . .

Mother makes ready the lamp,
though she dare not place it in the tall window.
The stone lamp is not our most beautiful.
But it is our oldest and dearest, a present from Uncle Diogo,
dear uncle Diogo, who always smelled of honeyed lemons.
.
. .

Outside, the call of geese.
I glimpse a flutter of white
and for a moment I see
angels gliding past our widow,
the light from our room glazing their wings.

© Karen Hesse

This excerpt above is from the poem-story of Reyna, age 15, one of eight child characters, ages eight through 16, Karen Hesse creates to tell of the endurance of Jewish families through history.

Reyna’s story is for all. Adults, surely, and let’s say, students
ages 9 and up, maybe younger, depending upon the family & the school.

The full title is THE STONE LAMP, Eight Stories of Hanukkah Through History.

I feel when you locate it at your library, you will want this collection for your school or home library,
The free verse poems are offset with a page of history, for each period of time reflected.

Because the artist for this project is Brian Pinkney,
you also know that the illustrations are museum quality. If you are
seeking to add one in-depth, beautiful, illustrated resource about
the enduring love of family, and the resilience of a celebration of
freedom of religion against indescribable hardship, this can be it.

9853

Each of eight poem stories, beginning in 1190 at the time of
the Christian war against the Muslims to retake Jerusalem,
and completing the circle with a night after Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated in Tel Aviv in 1995,
reflects a child’s beloved moment with Family and with
the treasured Hanukkah lamp.

I have become educated in a way I already should have been
by now, from this richly researched and exquisitely illustrated journey among Hanukkah ceremonies that span the centuries.

THE STONE LAMP pulls me in with a similar luminous effect
as I feel from the poems in AMONG ANGELS, by Jane Yolen and
Nancy Willard, (illustrations by S. Saelig Gallagher.)
AMONG ANGELS is not about the Holocaust or Hanukkah; it shares
meditations between friends, one Jewish and one Christian writer
(but O, like Karen Hesse, what masterful writers we know they are) about angels.

Your titles?

This Monday, Dec. 7, the second night of Hanukkah
2015(and also, we know, Pearl Harbor Day), I plan to post a sweet Hanukkah
book-video for young readers.
I’ll also share two other young-reader Hanukkah picture book titles that
I felt fortunate to carry home this week from the library.

It would be nice to have more titles, so if you can recommend Hanukkah picture books,
now or next week, I will want to light a candle to celebrate you!

How to find a ThankU

courtesy of TEACHING AUTHORS

courtesy of
TEACHING AUTHORS

How to find a ThankU
by Jan Godown Annino

(first- a deertale – follow the blue words for POETRY FRIDAY.)

My heart is wrapped in appreciations.
& I want to share a few of them.

I have seen the eyes-wide
open photographs of Ian, a bursting-new babe in my
Circle of Love world.

ON THE DAY YOU  WERE BORN c. Debra Frasier

ON THE DAY YOU
WERE BORN
c. Debra Frasier

I wake up every morning & am fortunate to see
the smiling face of my handsome husband.

And, this is indulgent, forgive me, but I see
good news for my work.

So I am thinking – THANKU

As you may guess from the inventive name,
a Thanku is a form of Haiku.

I read about it via the Teaching Authors of 2011 –
April, Carmela, Esther, JoAnn, Laura & Mary_Ann_Rodman”
(I hope I’m not forgetting anyone vintage 2011.)

And it was author/teacher Esther Hershenshorn who created the Thanku.

So, a 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables construct is the guide.
An appreciation is given. Like that – a ThankU.

So if you have time to read now, or later, I’m sharing
three. All c. Jan Godown Annino. And ThankU, for visiting
this page.

ThankU, Ian

Stretchy legs feel air
Wide eyes seek out shapes of love
Toes say “nibble me”

ThankU, Paolo

Morning wake-up call
Wrinkled faces meet at lips
Doesn’t feel routine

ThankU, Book notes

“Congratulations!”
Unanticipated joy
is the finest kind

Regarding the last ThankU, recent developments
related to a book of mine published back in 2010
are quite fine.

BETTY MAE TIGER JUMPER, first news
In 2016 the trail-blazing BETTY MAE TIGER JUMPER (1923-2001),
the subject of SHE SANG PROMISE, will be celebrated alongside other
great women of achievement. The National Women’s History Project will honor Betty Mae Tiger Jumper’s historic leadership of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

NWHP-carttop
As if that isn’t enough to appreciate…

BETTY MAE TIGER JUMPER, 2nd news
This fall, Betty Mae Tiger Jumper was honored by the Library of
Congress when that same title was featured at the LOC
National Book Festival, as one of 52 Great Reads for Young Readers.

(see poster, below)

Also, Scholastic has brought out SHE SANG PROMISE in a lovely paperbound edition. It’s on sale at a nifty price right now at the Scholastic Teacher Store.

Some of the opening lines in SHE SANG PROMISE are –

Think of the gigantic glades near the end of land
A mama alligator floats babies on her back
And itchy black bear takes a palm tree scratch
Leaving soft fur tufts that swamp mice fetch

© Jan Godown Annino

My November cornucopia is ripe, sweet, spilling.

I am thankful to all helping along this book’s path, especially
the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum & Store (where She Sang Promise is sold online),
the family of Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, notably Moses Jumper, Jr. the artist
Lisa Desimini, the editors, especially Jennifer Emmett.

12191003_10153293472581588_4613888682482509910_n

a WILD lesson

a WILD lesson

For more articles on today’s topic prompt – wild –
look for them at Live Your Poem, tamed by Irene Latham,
who is celebrating a 10th Anniversary of Live your Poem!

I

Wild oceans

c. all rights reserved  Jan Godown Annino

c. all rights reserved
Jan Godown Annino

At graduation from Coastal Systems Class last

week, I brought some of my mollusks. The animals were long dead (not by

my hand.)

unnamed-10

(I am holding my rugged old conch)

Ever since my pudgy toddler hand picked up a Jersey shore

clam, I’ve been lured to shores to collect more.

c.2015 all rights  eserved JanGodownAnnino

c.2015 all rights eserved JanGodownAnnino

My pink Queen conch here ( found empty on Cayman Island sands)

amplified a traditional Pomp + Circumstance played

on another student’s phone, during the awarding of our certificates.

The pale, rugged Queen conch, a family relic from the mid-1800s

(fuzzy on the decades) found a student who knew what to do with

the sliced-off tip.

She got everyone’s attention.

c. 2015 all rights reserved Rugged queen conch is a horn, again

c. 2015 all rights reserved
Rugged queen conch is a horn,
again

The original owner sounded it long ago on the Delaware River

as he rounded bends. Family legend says this river trumpet belonged

to our relative, maybe even the boatman who used it as a horn.

I feel honored that it is entrusted to me.

A Wild Horn, Plenty
by Jan Godown

Conch spiral leads me inward

unwinding a calcium chamber

a big grit at birth

queenly large at death

How many years did this

creature vacuum sea grass beds

before a plucking by man

from coastal waters

I ask it

Who ate you

Who sliced your tip, making you into a tool

How many times did your dead chamber

trumpet

Aural warning of a barge’s path

Siren saving river travelers lives

Many times I pet your shell, wondering this

©2015JanGodownAnnino

II

Wild child

You will likely have similar remembrances to mine,
of two often-read children’s books with wild in their titles.
So I won’t spend a buncha time with them here.

WILD WILD SUNFLOWER CHILD, ANNA is probably the first
book I read our daughter that she remembers me reading
to her. When I want to look at it, I can’t find it among the
hundreds of books on my wall of shelves. It’s in her room.
And she is post-college now.

It helped that her name is Anna.
But it more perfectly worked that Nancy White Carlstrom’s
tumbling words celebrating a child in nature, matched our Anna’s whirling
days splashing and dashing. But a child of any name and their parent
will want to run into the wild with this one. The crownng piece of the creativity
is the abandon Jerry Pinkney brings to his paintings of character Anna at the babbling
brook, blowing on the dandelion, always a spinning, turning, wild child.
I hope this will call you to go back to be wild with this book again or meet it, fresh.
Here is a peek of what awaits in it, by Nancy White Carlstrom.

c. Nancy White Carlstrom and Jerry Pinkney, WILD WILD SUNFLOWER CHILD ANNA

c. Nancy White Carlstrom and Jerry Pinkney, WILD WILD SUNFLOWER CHILD ANNA

Lifting up the pressing stone
beetles rushing giddy

Silent spinning
buzzing, blinking
breathing rainbows

©Nancy White Carlstrom


WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
is even more wild a walk
through childhood than I remember, when read by
wild man actor Christopher Walken.
That’s all I’m sayin’. Go listen to what Walken does
with Maurice Sendak’s masterpiece. WILD!

And remember to congratulate Irene Latham at Live Your Poem (link above)

Grackles cackle! It’s Halloween 2015!!!

Grackles cackle. Crows glow. Ghouls drool.

It’s Halloween 2015!
(If you are seeking the Poetry Friday link click-clack, scit-scat over to
Check It Out’s post, which beautifully looks ahead to Veteran’s Day.)

My favorite goblin-night reading for teens & adults is a privately
printed poetry chapbook, ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT.
It was a gift to me in 1992 from the poet author, Audrey Parente. It
is one of the first orange items I reach for each year to decorate
the house.

ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT c.1992 Audrey Parente, read by woman with ghost-color legs!

ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT c.1992 Audrey Parente, read by woman with ghost-color legs!

The spine-tinglers in Audrey’s collection are creepy
& kooky & make adults shiver.

Here is a less-ghoulish poem for the wee ones.

When Goblins Sing
by Audrey Parente
in the chapbook, ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT

Oh, when the goblins sing,
your skin begins to crawl
with bumpy, goosey flesh
which drives you up a wall.
But scary as this is,
if they seem down the hall,
don’t you worry dear,
for they’re not there at all!

©1992 Audrey Parente

I love how I always go back & read it again to see what
she did there! Her Halloween poems are perfect presents.

Fortunately we held a Halloween poetry partee last weekend,
before All Hallow’s Eve. This way we would be free this weekend to enjoy
some of the many bubbling cauldrons of festivals & treats our town puts on.
But this year we are both under a sick spell (bad sore throats, etc.) now
at Halloween & feel fortunate to have these pre-Halloween memories.

c.2015JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved

c.2015JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved

The first set of images are from the partee.
Outdoors images in the second group were
made at our nearby park. It provides a naturally ghostly atmosphere
with rugged live oaks, swaying Spanish moss (not truly a moss but an
epiphyte) & an annual scarecrow row. The artists who create them
are local folks who love Halloween.

My Halloween picture books for young readers can fill a bottomless caludron but include –
TRICK OR TREAT, SMELL MY FEET by Lisa Desimini, TRICK OR TREAT, OLD ARMADILLO, by Larry Dane Brimner, with illustrations from Dominic Catalano, THE MONSTORE by Tara Lazar & HAMPIRE by Sudipta Bardhan Quallen.

c.2015JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved. subject: Abraham Lincoln & a bear.

c.2015JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved. subject: Abraham Lincoln & a bear.

Walk this way! c.1992, all rights reserved

Walk this way! c.1992, all rights reserved

c.2015 Classic Scarecrow

c.2015 Classic Scarecrow

c,1992 Bee-utiful Scarecrow

c,1992 Bee-utiful Scarecrow

c.2015 Village Philosopher

c.2015 Village Philosopher

c.2015 Eyes so sad... could it be...

c.2015 Eyes so sad… could it be…

c.2015 Cheer up, dear!!!

c.2015 Cheer up, dear!!!

c.2015 GO AWAY BIG GREEN MONSTER, by Ed Emberly. The Emberly family has several cool monster picture books. Check 'em out of your libraree!

c.2015 GO AWAY BIG GREEN MONSTER, by Ed Emberly. The Emberly family has several cool monster picture books. Check ’em out of your libraree!

c.2015 Classic Caludron Gals

c.2015 Classic Caludron Gals

c.2015 That's right dearie, this way...

c.2015 That’s right dearie, this way…

c.2015 Good. You're drawing closer....

c.2015 Good. You’re drawing closer….

c.2015 Good. You're drawing closer....

c.2015 Good. You’re drawing closer….

c.2015 You are at The End, protected by Classic Smiley Pumpkin! Happy times always.

c.2015 You are at The End, protected by Classic Smiley Pumpkin! Happy times always.

In poetry this week – Beach bear, 1800s

In poetry this week/ Beach bear of 1800s
by Jan Godown Annino

(!st – Poetry Friday is served by Jama’s Alphabet Soup</a>.)

I’m sharing a bear on the beach poem I wrote, published
in 2006. It was inspired by an account of a traveler
in 1800s Florida.

You may not know what is happening in Florida
now.

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 a nearly 20-year ban on killing
this state’s remaining wild bears is to be lifted.
Up to 320 random bears, mostly minding their own
business in woods of North Florida &
Central Florida, far away from tourists, can be
shot. And shot. And shot. And killed.

I repeat, wild black bears in our lovely & wild forests
which remain mainly in Central and North Florida, will
lose the safety of deep woods for the duration of the hunt.
This includes females who have cubs.
Where will they run to? Where will they hide?

milkweed-book-covers-165

Here is my poem.

Beach Meal, 1820s
by Jan Godown Annino

first published by Milkweed Editions, 2006

The beach is lit by the light of the moon
when she-bear pads along the shore

She stops
lifts wet snout to salted air
moves on

She repeats this testing until
sniffs satisfy

She pads to a sandy place on strong feet
stops,
digs

Sand and shell bits plume
skyward

to snow back down on thick fur
still,
she digs

She stops
shoves her mouth into a mound

She tears and slurps
soft gift from the sea
round white balls

A secret treasure chest
buried by a sea mother

She-bear shoulders through palmetto
to home,
nourished

frosted with smear of yolk
with glitter of sand
©2006-2015 Jan Godown Annino
revised 2015

I hope your news outlets will carry information about
protests of the hunt.

For years, this state that still holds pockets of paradise
despite being loved to death by a populous that has made it 3rd in
the nation, has struggled with balancing panther, sea turtles + bears
against growth, new housing + winter visitors.

Almost magically, we have areas where wild panther
roam.
And we have clear waters with several species of sea turtles. They
are protected by lights out or lights dim at night, so the pregnant
females can be encouraged to pull themselves along sand, to lay eggs. Once,
our state residents + visitors took them for soup and shell.

And, once, bears were protected in Florida.
Until now.

I don’t know what accounts for the political change.
Visitors + residents still rank our nature parks + national forests +
protected estuaries + beaches as top reasons they return.

I do know that uninformed residents feed wild bears, either deliberately
or inadvertently via trash. This makes me think of
uninformed visitors + residents who try to get close to alligators
for a photo op.

There are so many ways to restrict garbage collection sites, to
impose rules, as in Canada, about family trash bins. So many
other strong education measures to take that is more than advice.
So many enforcement measures about feeding bears.

Instead, bear-feeding people have flaunted the situation. And
that provoked encounters that sent people to the hospital.
And now we have a bear hunt.

If you are interested, here is the address of the Florida
Chamber of Commerce. It may be worthwhile to let them know
that the business of hunting bear isn’t as important as
the business of attracting wildlife-appreciating visitors

Florida Chamber of Commerce PO Box 11309 Tallahassee FL 32302
info@flchamber.com
twitter @FLChamber

If you have a connection with a visitors/tourism bureau in a
part of the state, you may also want to contact them.

I don’t know what accounts for the political change.
Visitors + residents still rank our nature parks + national forests +
protected estuaries + beaches as top reasons they return.

image copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino

image copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino

We don’t hunt manatee. Anymore.
Why bear?

In poetry this week

This seems like a moment to share a collection of
poems by creatives who are deeply connected to places
such as Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Saudia Arabia, Palestine, Syria,
Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Yemen, Turkey & even as far east
as India.

This volume of adult-written poems for students,
selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, is an original Aladdin Paperback,
offered to classrooms where students ages 8-12 are
expanding their horizons.

With many national flags represented in the collection.
one of the poems I especially return to has this in it –

“ …the ones who raise the flag of childhood high.”

51yYALkEI5L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

In this season of anguished refugee news & intense military fighting
around the world, I meditate on the idea that despite everyting that is
rotten among countires on the planet, families are united by the flag of childhood.

Here is more of that poem.

from Letters to Childhood
Mohammed Shehadeh
translator: Aziz Shihab

All the children of the world
in all my abodes
you are the roses in my courtyard,
the green and the fresh,
the sun and the stars,
you are the beautiful hands,
the ones who raise the flag of childhood high.

©Mohammed Shehadeh

Other poems in, THE FLAG OF CHILDHOOD, carry titles such as “Beginning Speech,” “History Class,” “Growing (after Pablo Neruda’s ‘Walking Around’), “Class Pictures,” “I Have No Address,” & “Why Are We in Exile, the Refugees Ask.”

Another poem in this 98-page collection that I return to is, “The Bridge” by Kaissar Afif, who writes, in part – Poetry is a river/ And solitude a bridge

I have appreciated that Naomi Nye collected this group of poems.

poetryfriday180
Also this week, I turned to Worlds, Words & Wings, for a list of books about peace. The link is for middle grade; at the end of the post you can find links for the other school ages.

http://wordsworldandwings.blogspot.com/2009/11/top-ten-books-for-middle-grades-that.html

Also this week–

In some of the English-speaking world, such as Scotland, Ireland & England,
readers & writers celebrated National Poetry Day – October 8, 2015.

Perhaps I tune into it even tho I am on the Florida side of the Big Pond,
because of my good fortune at Hollins University to take one class with an invigorating guest lecturer from Wales via England – Prof. Morag Styles.

For Your Inquiring Mind

What is National Poetry Day, Oct. 8?
http://www.forwardartsfoundation.org/national-poetry-day/what-is-national-poetry-day/

Did anything happen in the U.S.?
Student Poet Event Washington D.C
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/08/remarks-first-lady-national-student-poets-ceremony

I had absolutely no role in this but I would like to raise up one student from my state, Chasity Hale, who was honored in a ceremony with President Obama and Mrs. Obama, for her poetry this week! Here is a link to a lovely photograph of the ceremony.
Brava!

Please find Poetry Friday well-schooled by Laura at WRITING THE WORLD FOR KIDS
To be ready for next week, Poetry Friday cultivation on Oct. 16 is in the autumn garden with Amy, at The Poetry Farm

Malala

images

If books and pens and words are your loves, you
have likely scheduled in time to find & see
the film about the Pakastani child, a girl of 12,
who was shot in the brain, on her school bus.

For the crime of being a girl, for going to school.

She lived.

And the film, HE NAMED ME MALALA
just completed an advance screening for students
of Florida State University. My husband is on the
faculty of the law school & we were privileged to
attend & to listen to the panel, afterwards.

This is not a column where I recommend movies. But.
This documentary was sold out, with tickets grabbed
days in advance by the students. And for good reason.

Books, literature & the freedeom to speak are woven
through this story that manages to be elegantly told.
It is about an entire family, & a daughter’s
bond with her father.
This young woman (she is now about 18) is
likely to lead us as a world people the rest of her
life. I hope to hear her speak in person some day.
We are fortunate she walks the Earth.

If you know of sites relating to her story, I’m
pleased to have you share them here or on my fb page
on twitter, or thru email. jgaoffice at gmail.com

Appreciations.

Sites to see

CHILDREN’s BOOKS HEAL

More on Jeanette Winter’s double book, MALALA & IQBAL

fid15346

#HeNamedMeMalala
#MalalaFund

images-3

An apple poem by Barbara Juster Esbensen

For more about poetry & young readers,
please see Heidi’s drinkable roundup at
My Juicy Little Universe.

apple star photo/kiwicrate.com

courtesy of kiwicrate

courtesy of kiwicrate

All you living in autumnland, as I write this it is
summer weather here.

And yet at the market the best fresh berries are
gone. Or, they are too far from Florida, for me to be
interested in them.

I was happy to carry home a fruit I haven’t bought
since spring. A reliable crisp round fruit, to slice, with a
sprinkle of cinnamon on it, for a snack & to add to my
cereal – hot or cold.

And I thought of one of my favorite children’s poets,
Barbara Esbensen.

I went looking for her poem about this treat that
tucks a sky surprise inside. I’m sure this teacher and mother,
savored many of them, coming from far north Wisconsin & living there
or in Minnesota.

Discovery
by Barbara Juster Esbensen

Within its polished universe
The apple holds a star,
A secret constellation
To scatter near and far.

©Barbara Juster Esbensen

For the rest of this lovely poem find the first
edition (1964) or the second edition ( 2003) of her seasonal
poems, collected as SWING AROUND THE SUN.
I’m also a fan of the artist Mary GrandPre, so the 2003
edition is handy on my books-to-travel shelves to share in school.
Mary GrandPre’s apple face is all-knowing and kind, even though
it’s about to get eaten.

(My Nikon died & I haven’t aced levitating images from
my new Canon into digital world, so I don’t have a photo of the lovely
apple page in the collection.)

SwingAroundTheSun_2003
Each season’s poems by Barbara Esbensen in
SWING AROUND THE SUN are illustrated by a different artist – Winter,
Stephen Gammell, Spring, Cheng-Khee Chee, summer, Janice Lee Porter
& five luxurious images from Mary GrandPre, for autumn.

I came to Barbara Esbensen’s work in 2007, through her
WHO SHRANK MY GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE? illustrated by Eric Beddow,
which I found in a Roanoke, Va. bookshop. Many of the poems
in this collection are free verse. And that is the style of
poetry writing she taught to children, so they would be able
to put pencil to paper pouring out vivid imagery & without
the constraint of rhyming.

I am struck by the poet’s artful way of arranging
words. And I like to share with children how she lavished poem
attention on one of my beloved everyday objects, the pencil.

Here, from WHO SHRANK MY GRANDMOTHER’S
HOUSE? are thoughts within another autumnal poem,
by Barbara Esbensen.

Tell Me
by Barbara Esbensen


“Why do you think
the birches
are standing in our yard
in their underwear?”

shrank

If you would like to treat yourself to a visit with
one of our best children’s poets, I’ve collected a few resources.

A CELEBRATION OF BEES, Helping Children to Write Poetry
by Barbara Juster Esbensen, foreword by Lee Bennett Hopkins

The poet shares fabulous works created by her young students,
sometimes in their own printing or cursive & occasionally
with their own art, such as on the cover. It is an uplifting
guide to helping children discover the poetry inside themselves.

A Celebration of Bees, Helping Children to Write Poetry by Barbara Juster Esbensen

A Celebration of Bees, Helping Children to Write Poetry
by Barbara Juster Esbensen

NCTE interview by M.Jean Greenlaw

Article at Bookology, by her husband Tory Esbensen

An homage to this literary artist (1925-1996)

An article by her editor-fan, fellow poet, Lee Bennett Hopkins

And fortunately, a nourishing video recollection by Lee Bennett Hopkins at the generous Renee LaTulippe’s
NO WATER RIVER site.

And remember, the Poetry Friday go-go juice is with Heidi at her tasty site.

THE SEA IS CALLING ME, poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins

[This week’s Kidlitosphere celebration of poetry is hosted by the beachy keen Linda Baie at TEACHERDANCE]

Happy to be back apace after a summer of
three very varied trips, porchstep farming of
potted cotton, eggplant & hot peppers &
coastal jaunts for a new class I’m taking.

Horse conch, August 2015, Florida  copyright, all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino

Horse conch, August 2015, Florida copyright, all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino

This summer, among other writerly feats attempted, I wrote a pantoum, as part of an early
challenge in the year, made in an online picture book class interview with the incomparable J. Patrick Lewis, whose books brighten my world.

My other poetry thrill of the summer was to return home from a workshop with autographed books from the Guinness record holding anthologist and inspiring poetry guide, Lee Bennett Hopkins. One summery title is THE SEA IS CALLING ME, poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Walter Gaffner-Kessell.
In case your summer found you near salty shores, “Seashell” by poet
Sandra Liatsos may provide a reflective swoosh. Here are lines from it.

Seashell
by Sandra Liatsos

This seashell is an ocean cove
That holds a liquid sound
Of waves that rush a hidden shore
Where stranger shells are found…

c. SANDRA LIATSOS all rights reserved

THE SEA IS CALLING ME, poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrations by Walter Gaffney-Kessell

THE SEA IS CALLING ME, poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrations by Walter Gaffney-Kessell

Of all the elements that flow together to create a memorable shore experience for children, can it be that shells are the
most accessible? I know fishing is a big part of some beach excursions, but think of how often those fishesget away! The skeletons of marine snails are a more universal accessible treasure. (Although my dear Paolo caught five different species of fish on our last shore trip, all caught & released.)

As for the giant marine snail in the photo, it of course was released back into its home, to forage among turtle grass
& grow even fatter. It is our official state shell, this being Florida & the kind of place where we have a state shell.

Back on my struggle with the pantoum, which is on a salty topic, if you are in the PF community & can spare the time to comment on my
d r a f t , please message me on facebook with your email or leave it here. Or send me an email note at jgaoffice at gmail dot com. I’ll be always grateful. And I would read a poem of yours & comment, in exchange.

Happy hallways, sweet school seats, fabulous Fridays, each week of this school year!

Interview with Katheryn Russell-Brown

It’s back to days of alarm clocks and paying attention in class.
This summer I found a new author who will be easy to pay attention to, for Bookseedstudio’s first interview of the fall semester.

I met the author of LITTLE MELBA and HER BIG TROMBONE
after sweet trombone sounds accompanied her lively library talk.

It was the most musical children’s book signing I’ve ever attended.

Extra fun floated through the room of our downtown library, because Dr. Russell-Brown’s daughter Sasha, a fifth-grader, stood proudly on stage, playing select notes on her very own big trombone.
When the author kindly asked if a little boy in the enrapt audience
wanted to try out Sasha’s big trombone, he did! It almost felt like it
could be a scene from the author’s lyrical Coretta Scott King honor book, illustrated beautifully by Frank Morrison with signature elongated touches. But, we were attending another nourishing event
for readers at the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library.

images

Some background, from the story

Melba Doretta Liston grew up pushing the pedals on a player piano, while
beloved aunties danced in the living room. She was blessed with a mom who
bought the seven-year-old girl a trombone on the spot when Melba spied it offered
by a Kansas City traveling vendor. She insisted THAT was the instrument for her!
The rest is history. A history not widely known.
But it’s told for young readers via a spirited storytelling style in LITTLE MELBA.

Melba was one of the first women of any race to become a world-class trombone virtuoso – playing, composing and arranging. The back-of- the-book material shows a photograph of Melba with Quincy Jones. She also played for many others,
including Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin and the Supremes.

artwork c. 2014 copyright, al rights reserved FRANK MORRISON from Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

artwork c. 2014 copyright, al rights reserved FRANK MORRISON from Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

Melba experienced discrimination based on her race and for being a woman in a male-dominated artistic realm. Yet she performed all over the world, received many honors such as Jazz Master designation from the National Endowment for the Arts, and she eventually formed her own band. She was composing as recently as the 1990s. She was born in 1926 and died in 1999.

You might suspect the author is a music teacher but at the University of Florida College of Law, she is Dr. Katheryn Russell-Brown, professor of law and
director of the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations.

I know you’ll want to learn more about the author of LITTLE MELBA and HER BIG TROMBONE (Lee & Low Books) so let me bring her onstage.

Favorite music to listen to.
I’m a rhythm & blues girl, with particular affection for 1970s r & b. My list of favorite bands and singers is long. Let’s see, I love Earth Wind & Fire, the Isley Brothers, the O’Jays, the Spinners, James Brown, the Emotions, the Whispers, Maze, Stevie Wonder, Heatwave, the Commodores, Rufus, Kool & the Gang, the Jackson 5, Deniece Williams, the Dramatics…. I could go on for pages, there were so many amazing groups of musicians.

Author you’d like to meet.
Hands down, Toni Morrison. She writes with a twinkle in her eye. She is a masterful writer. Her fiction has received lots of attention but she also wields a mighty pen when writing non-fiction (“Birth of a Nation ‘Hood) and she’s written children’s books to boot (my kids love “The Big Box”).

What fact about Melba Doretta Liston amazes you the most?
Her incredible intellect and perseverance.

How did you learn about Melba Liston?
I heard a wonderful NPR radio broadcast in 2010 called, “Melba Liston: Bones of an Arranger,” narrated by Nancy Wilson.

Some favorite children’s movies.
I have two favorites. “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (the original with Gene Wilder) is one. It was absolutely magical. I saw it at the MacArthur/Broadway Mall in Oakland in 1971, when it first came out. The movie house was packed with kids who had been dropped off by their parents.

I also love “The Wiz” (1978). The music, the acting, and the production were fantastic. I’m thrilled that it will be back on Broadway next year. I’m taking my kids!

Future projects.
I have a few more stories up my sleeve. Please stay tuned!


Thank you, Katheryn.
It will be a pleasure to listen & stay tuned for more of your books.
Here is a website about LITTLE MELBA AND HER BIG TROMBONE
https://www.leeandlow.com/books/2854
Here is a website about Katheryn Russell-Brown
http://krbrown.net/CHILDRENS.html

Those of us who are filling our book baskets with titles to read
this school year will want to add in LITTLE MELBA, which is a Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book, illustrated by Frank Morrison. It fits several good connections including stories on

high-achieving girls & women

African-American role models

musical instrumentals, jazz & orchestras

Here are two websites about children’s books on girls & women
Amelia Bloomer List/ALA
https://ameliabloomer.wordpress.com/

KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month (article by Katheryn Russell-Brown,
which includes a link to a video of a grown up Melba, performing)

http://kidlitwhm.blogspot.com/2015/03/little-melba-and-her-big-trombone.html

Here are two websites about books on African-American topics
Coretta Scott King Book Awards
http://www.ala.org/emiert/cskbookawards
The Brown Bookshelf
http://thebrownbookshelf.com/about/

Here is a website about children’s books on music

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/childrens-music

I hope your school year sings.

LOVE Jimmy Carter

He will always be Pres. Jimmy Carter to me. And he will always be robust in my mind. With typical humor & grit, he is offering many
people challenged by cancer, renewed vigor this week with his upbeat remarks & the love he is sharing around the world as his Emory Medical Center team tackles his cancer.

Jimmy Carter met uncountable numbers of people after his Presidency including our family, twice. Plains, Ga. c. Jan Godown Annino

Jimmy Carter met uncountable numbers of people after his Presidency including our family, twice. Plains, Ga.
c. Jan Godown Annino

Gathering Moments, Hours, Days…

(there is an August update to this earlier post…)

I Meant To Do My Work Today
by Richard Le Gallienne

…“but a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
and a butterfly flitted across the field,
and all the leaves were calling me
and the wind went sighing over the land
and…”
– copyright Richard Le Gallienne

Exploring and experiencing are elements of what the talent-saturated & prolific author Jane Yolen calls Gathering Days. In these summer days & nights,
she recently reminded social media followers to take time to fill the
wells of experience.
For many of us, that includes looking for unusual plants & animals.
Your everyday chipmunk may be my great find. They aren’t known to be in Florida, Disney-contrarwise…

So
Or wild walk.
Acorn Street, Boston – May 2015
Gathering Wobble!

A Gathering Day, or the Gathering Times & Gathering Moments are

Our yellow cottage front yard blossoms that
will = eggplants!

some of the many ways we connect with the thrum of activities that
can hold kernels of energy that lead to eyedears & stories.

For example, how much better for me to write a garden story,
when I have wet dirt under my fingernails (my garden gloves become soaked
& mucky so I usually pull them off.) And when I attempt to grow a new plant
to my garden patch, such as this year’s eggplant & cotton.

How better it is for me to write these poems
about the seashore that I’m at work on after I’ve been engrossed in
following this olive snail’s trail, down on the Gulf of Mexico at St. George Island.

How easier it is to write about fear if I’ve climbed telephone-
pole-high in tree tops, to wobble along Myakka River State
Park’s shaky tree canopy walkway. I do NOT like heights so much.
Or, even a leetle bit.
And I did this!!

Gather Ye Gathers in Summer!

Gathering Days ought to be sprinkled in our life all year, but for many
with family & work rhythms tied to the school year, summer is a
fine time to gather aromas, to touch farm animals, to ride horses,
to observe sea creatures, to walk far into fields, run up hills,
even traipse into mountains.

Here are a few Gathering Day moments of mine, through the years,
woven into my stories & poems.

* Meeting a mama bear and her two cubs when they walked up –
and I walked RAN! along a steep Mt. LeConte, TN trail.

* Meeting a Florida panther in South Florida (an actor for movies &
commercials, but nonetheless a moving, bounding panther.)
I JUMPED back!

* Riding horses on Paynes Prairie, Florida, to see bison up close. (They
were re-introduced, having once roamed there.) But the touch-and-go
moment of the ride was dealing with alligators strewn about this wet
prairie, which made the horses nervous. My husband & I are alive to
tale the tell. Or to tell the tale. I rather like tale the tell.

(Todd… this Florida bison is for you!)

If the heat index for recent days wasn’t 103 upwards here in North Florida,
I would go out for my Daily Gathering during the day, instead of at nite.
On a regular foot journey, we small- city nayborhood dwellers can
easily walk from this little yellow cottage to a vet’s office, post office, sub and burger chain & an independent country buffet & indy cookie/cake shop, plus a chain grocery, & bank. And yet –
we can also climb hilly streets intensely wooded in swaths with tall growth pines, live oaks, dogwoods, cypress & other tree beauties.

The area is pocketed with an elevated road thru swamp, undeveloped grassy and woodsy gathering places where the animals in hiding (sometimes not in hiding) include fox, bunnies, coyotes, armadillos, opossums, bats & other small mammals such as the daily tree scrambles of the squirrels. Herons, Canada geese, owls and many song birds such as jays, cardinals, wrens & warblers visit. As do blackbirds, cowbirds, & treat of treats, hummingbirds.
Surprising for a swamp, no gator spotted yet!
Oh – quail. Can’t forget the juvenile quail.

(Cutie flew away last week when I went to fix a leetle
box lined with soft stuff… Our cat is strictly inside,
we have no doggie, so why it landed on our door
mat is a mystery.)

To get back to that Gathering Wobble, our daughter works in Boston
& the Gathering Day events she’s written to us about include bunny-watching,
turkey watching, maple syrup making & kayak drifting on the Charles River.

Some gathering moments our family enjoyed together with her in
May in Boston were chipmunk watching, lilac sniffing, bleeding tooth-plant
finding, cobblestone walking on Acorn Street in Beacon Hill,
(avoiding falling) & robin-watching.

Where do you like to spend gathering days?
What have you gathered in summers past?
Is it too soon to report in on your “gathers” this season?
I wish you many great gathering moments that will fill you with eyedears, words,
poems, pages, stories, scripts, illustrations & books.

APPRECIATIONS update in August/2015 – to author & garden muse Sharon Lovejoy who collected armloads of goodness in her lovely book, SUNFLOWER HOUSES. It’s where I first came across Richard Le Gallienne.


Free Event!
If you would like to join me & several Group Bloggers in an online summer children’s writing school, which is a great boost in gathering pages accomplished and in writing THE END,
please read my essay about it & think about becoming a summer student in the comfort of your own home. It’s created by two energetic SCBWI members. Last summer National Book Award-winning children’s author Kathryn Erskine set the nourishing & exciting pace as the first day’s faculty member.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Cecil The Lion

by Jan Godown Annino

Marjory Stoneman Douglas sat in my living room when she told our
book group that she was flummoxed by people who couldn’t control
the urge to insert themselves into the wild.

by Irene Latham with artwork from Anna Wadham

by Irene Latham with artwork from Anna Wadham

As I remember, the words from MSD that have guided my expeditions since went something like
– After all, isn’t the wild the only place wild creatures have to live naturally? Why go and spoil it for them by your being there? And believe
me, even if well-intentioned, people in wild places can ruin it for the animals.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas wasn’t talking about scientists conducting research.
Or about preserve staff on regular patrol or other duties.
She was thinking of folks taking their entertainment from inching as close as possible to wild animals as the exquisite creatures fed, mated, gave birth, took care of young, simply wandered or rested.
This is different from a wandering wild beast crossing your path unexpectedly as you
amble in your basic park or your own field or even your yard.

Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoons got the people intrusion from the animal perspective just right. Here is letter to the universe from him –
http://www.creators.com/a-note-from-gary-larson.html
And this is a url to his The FarSide postings on twitter.
https://twitter.com/TheDailyFarSide

Having already inserted myself into the wild by walking two mountains – Katahdin in Maine and LeConte, which borders Tennessee and North Carolina, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, whose environmental credentials made her a lioness of advocacy, changed my view during that visit. National, state and local parks became gloriously wild enough for these eyes and feet, without my needing/wanting to access more wilderness zones where the animals likely didn’t need me there.

I understand the photo safaris support conservation in many important habitat parks around the globe. I am talking only about my path choices, after hearing MSD.

I also like to direct animal lovers’ attentions to captive exquisite animals bred and housed humanely.
And most accessible to all, I read lyrical books about animals to children, such as the poetry in the very topical, timely & eloquently clever
Dear Wandering Wildebeest.

Here is the Letter to the Editor I sent after the #CeciltheLion news.

“Please go and find a copy of a new book about animals sharing a waterhole in Africa, by Alabama children’s author Irene Latham, with pictures from British artist Anna Wadham.
The title is Dear Wandering Wildebeest. Among the opening lines are the words –

Welcome wildebeest
and beetle
oxpecker and lion.
This water hole is yours.

If future dentists and gynecological oncologists learn poetry for children about lions, wildebeests, giraffes, rhinos and other exquisite animals that deserve existence, it’s possible that future grisly outcomes U.S. medical professionals have visited upon the wildlife population in Zimbabwe, can be reduced.

And if you would like to learn more about writing beautifully for young readers, please attend the Sept. 26, Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators’ workshop (10 a.m. – 3 p.m., fee $75) with award-winning local author Adrian Fogelin, at Uptown Café, 1325 Miccosukee Road. Look for registration details to be submitted later, to this newspaper’s calendar.

Jan Godown Annino”

My local newspaper publishes most of my letters so this may be in print and online, soon.

illustration copyright Anna Wadham, from Dear Wandering Wildebeest, by Irene Latham[/caption]

Dear Wandering Wildebeest pages (book borrowed from LeRoyCollinsLeonCounty Public Library)

Another important advocate, Anne Rudloe, scientist, poet, professor, was co-creator of Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory. She wrote Butterflies On A Sea Wind. My copy escapes me on my shelf search as I write this, or I would quote from it. But she once said-
“Protecting the earth gives meaning and wholeness and a sense that you are contributing to a greater good.
This earth should not be allowed to disappear.
Now it is your turn.”

Anne Rudloe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Rudloe

copyright Jan Godown Annino collection/Paolo Annino photographer -  MSD wears the white hat.

copyright Jan Godown Annino collection/Paolo Annino photographer –
As she so often did, MSD wears the white hat.

Explore some more

EXPLORING
Judith Viorst

“…I’ll ponder the sea serpent’s slither; the shark’s slashing fin,
I’ll wander the world and beyond it, by foot and by rocket,
To where the sky ends and mysterious rivers begin…”
copyright Judith Viorst, in her poetry collection, SAD UNDERWEAR

A link to the poet, Judith Viorst

http://www.poemhunter.com/judith-viorst/

I Meant To Do My Work Today
by Richard Le Gallienne

…“but a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
and a butterfly flitted across the field,
and all the leaves were calling me
and the wind went sighing over the land
and…”
– copyright Richard Le Gallienne

A link to the poet, Richard Le Gallienne

http://www.poemhunter.com/richard-le-gallienne/biography/
(* added July 22, 2015
This poem came to me years ago in the huggable book,
SUNFLOWER HOUSES by my favorite celebrity garden guru, Sharon Lovejoy. It does the soul good, to dwell with not only Gallienne’s poem, but with Lovejoy’s lovely book.)

I am betwixt Judith Viorst and Richard Le Gallienne to explain
my sensation this summer. I have delighted in discovery of
the next child’s swaying & singing at a reading
but also,
a chimpmunk feeding
a snail leaving a trail

unnamed-13
Boston chipmunk I snapped in a garden.

-9
Elegant land snail in our front yard.

I’ve enjoyed three summer presentations to students at two day camps & one at our library. And I’ve managed a mighty fine amount of writing, which is my only summer goal. At the library we sang a verse of mine in the voice of books stuck inside the library on shelves, books that would love to glide out & go home with us.

I’m so happy
I’m so happy
Because
I’m gliding
not hiding
away..

-11

So, lucky me to experience another kind of gliding on the Wakulla River with my family & giant marine potatoes we joined on the long float.

copyright A.A  2015, Anna Annino, all rights reserved

copyright A.A. 2015, Anna Annino, all rights reserved

Because I am fortunate to live in Florida these weren’t my first manatees, but season after season, nothing prepares me for the exotic scene – slow rolls of table-long loaves. In the quiet that falls upon us as we turn our bodies above water to keep them in sight by our side, we hope for the moments when we hear the
pfffft! one emits, when it enters our shared airspace to exhale old air and fill lungs again.
Every breath they take that I witness is the opening of a sea treasure chest.

SCBWI-FL 2015 MIDYEAR CONFERENCE SCRIBBLES

Bulletin, week of July 13 addition –
This is a gre8t week to use regular registration for Summer School created by two SCBWI members. (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. (pre-reg ended, but not to worry!)

Just after I returned from the SCBWI conference in June, I came across a cute writer chickie handling an impressive eyepiece.
She was pecking around in my mail online.
Chipping about something called the Nerdy Chicks Rule KIDLIT SUMMER SCHOOL.
Here is all about it!

artwork c. JOYCE WAN, all rights reserved, used with permission

artwork c. JOYCE WAN, all rights reserved, used with permission


FRESH from the 2015 SCBWI-FL MIDYEAR HOOPLA

These are impressions that can’t have been unique to me.
The dedicated artists & writers shared laughs,
love of books & stories & lively discussions
through the weekend.
Perhaps being in magic Florida, helped!

My poetry crit partner Christine & I sat rapt all
Saturday. I was also lucky to soak up picture book
lessons on Friday. Worth. Every. Penny.
The thrills + wisdom shared offset motoring 9 hours round-trip.

(With thanks to my dear hubby who made the trip too & our
generous longtime pals we stayed with who just moved into a big new house,
Brad + Sandy. The neighborhood elementary school is
Spanish-speaking & Sandy is a volunteer reader/tutor with
school stories to share, a bonus for me.)

Still applauding conference volunteers – including
Linda Bernfeld, Gaby Triana, Linda Shute & Curtis Sponsler &
my longtime SCBWI pal, Gloria Rothstein. They conducted
two auctions – live & silent, matched critique givers to
the artists & writers, arranged meals, transportation for
faculty, meeting rooms, onsite bookstore & much more.

unnamed-4
INSIDER, INSIDER, INSIDER NEWS
FORTHCOMING TITLES!

You-Heard-It-Here-Today/ Picture Books –
Lee Bennett Hopkin’s JUMPING OFF LIBRARY SHELVES (illus. Jane Manning)
Alexandra Penfold’s EAT, SLEEP, POOP (illus., Jane Massey)
Rob Sanders’ RUBY ROSE ON HER TOES (illus Debbi Ohi)
Tim Miller’s MOO IN A TUTU (he is illus)
Douglas Florian’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (he is illus)
Irene Latham’s FRESH DELICIOUS, Poems from the Farmer’s Market &
also her WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANARTICA
Mika Song’s TEA WITH OLIVER (he is illus)
Bonus – how about that last author-illustrator’s name?

MORE FORTHCOMING
For a sneak peek at an Advance Reader Copy of a yet-to-be
released Middle Grade novel by the talented author of
Nory Ryan’s Song & about 90 other books, I invite you HERE.
Thrilled to have a 1st look.

INFO bits on the detailed PROCESS to PUBLISHING

>An editor rejected books that another house published. When she
saw them between covers, she wished she discerned, in manuscript form
what the other house perceived in manuscript form – the books turned
out quite good & she wished she had pubbed them.
This is to help us understand how our manuscripts can be wonderful,
just not right at that moment for the editor/publisher we’ve sent it to.

>This same editor shared that when she was at a house where the sales
force wielded manuscript rejection power, one of her championed children’s
books was rejected. She eventually had it published by that house. How?
“There is a lot of turnover.”
She sent to back to the writer to keep working on it. Later the editor
resubmitted it when the naysayer had moved on to another house.

>An editor said a picture book that she originally didn’t like, even
sort of derided to close associates, still had this kernel of emotion that
stuck to her.
She could never shake it from her mind. She went back. Looked at it.
Six years later she is publishing it, pleased with the results.

<Listening to an editor share how short p.b. manuscripts can make her
heart beat fast – I feel I got it. Revising. Short.

A successful YA author said her years of taking picture book classes
to learn to write 500 word manuscripts helped her write succinctly
(I will add successfully) in verse for the high school reader.

First lines that are direct & simple make all the difference in picture books.
Examples an editor shared that she loves –
“Hattie was a big black hen.” Mem Fox
“The mice made a teeter-totter.” Ellen Stoll Walsh

Look up the SCBWI Edited By list to help find editors whose books you like.

MEET & GREET
Agents, editors, artists & writers! Even spouses, partners & children.
Too many to name, but here is one moment of many from the conference
that are treasures. He is poet, editor & poetry anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins, known
as The Pied Piper of Children’s Poetry.

Lee Bennett Hopkins & Jan

Every faculty member was accessible, warm & funny. If I garbled my words
getting them out, or didn’t get any words out to those I intended to, it was my
own cold feet. Next time, Jan!

I feel good that at lunch I linked a writer I didn’t know before that much appreciated meal,into a nice conversation with an agent at our large table, because the writer had shared with me info about her work I knew the agent would like to know. Put on the spot, I am usually more advanced at promoting others than myself.

BEST MOMENT
At a workshop an editor said spiffy remarks after
I read aloud from my fresh-scribbled words. They were three pieces
of brief writing in response to the unexpected writing prompt. I
blushed, floated. Haven’t quite landed, yet.

BOOKSTORE
Orlando’s newish indy shop, Bookmark It, received a warm welcome.
http://bookmarkitorlando.com/
I turned out to be their first conference book buyer (not just looking)
customer. One of the best sellers of the SCBWI weekend is the book
cradled in my hand, in the photo,
LULLABY & KISSES SWEET.
I am so stoked that writer pals, especially Robyn Hood Black,
are represented in this huggable chubby board book, alongside Jane Yolen, X.J. Kennedy, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Kristine O’Connell George, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Alice Schertle & other children’s author luminaries. I am happy it winged away, inscribed, to the dear baby in our family in Rhode Island, who celebrates his 1st birthday this very month.

Here are lines from that book’s SWEET by Peggy Janousky
Next time when I eat this fruit
I think I’ll wear a bathing suit

Since many of us are fortunate to be dripping with watermelon
this time of year, Peggy’s poem is particulary refreshing here
at our house.

ORLANDO is BEAUTIFUL
We arrived in Orlando not long after visiting our family in CT & MASS during
days of a big ol’ eyetalyen wedding, so it was fun to reflect on very different cities.
We saw a chipmunk in Boston and an otter in Orlando. We saw the pencil
sculpture in Orlando in a downtown art park.
And it strikes me as something Boston would be proud to own.

unnamed-6
Consider the SCBWI-FL MidyearConference in 2016. Information on
it will be posted at the Florida site. SCBWI = Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.
unnamed-7

IMPACT
While I was in Orlando, several title eyedears & other creative writing
thoughts came to mind. My conference-inspired scribbles continue.
I’ve re-read & re-read notes from the two conference
critiques, have thought, made scribbles of phrases, lines, more.

One final summer presentation as a children’s author is on my
calendar. (Since the conference I visited a well-off private school one week
& then drove over to a needy community center program the next &
I appreciated having those contrasts.) The next event is at our lovely library.
Following that I expect to slack off non-manuscript writing
(including here) in these precious summer weeks,
in expectations of manuscript progress & to begin new project eyedears
that bubbled up as a result of this nourishing SCBWI-FL weekend.

PATRICIA REILLY GIFF: UNTIL I FIND JULIAN

51YHqItTPLL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
Too long since I had cracked open a middle grade novel by
Patricia Reilly Giff who I met with her Irish potato famine tale,
NORY RYAN’S SONG, which taught me much about my Irish heritage.
This author of more than 90 books for children including
two Newbery Honor titles offers a new one at the end of summer.

Fortunately for me, UNTIL I FIND JULIAN is on a topic I glom onto in
headlines and book titles.
Here in Florida, like in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, we feel
immigration pressures directly at state borders, which unlike, say, Wyoming,
are also international/national borders.

MATEO-MATTY
Mateo, who must take on the Americanized name Matty,
in his parched journey north, is the sort of child anyone would like to
have doing chores such he handles for his mother, grandmother & a man who
befriends him later when he is far from home.
Matty has an artist’s eye & he loves the hand-stitched notebook his grandmother
created – maybe more than her hand-stitched quilts.
Older brother Julian has covered for Matty’s mild mistakes, such as
skipping school to fish & has also shown him how to be kind to the eccentric
woman who lives down the creek.
Now Julian, eight years older, is missing in Arkansas. He was working
odd jobs illegally, to send money back to the impoverished Mexican family.
Word has come back to the family that he may have been injured in a fall
from a construction site.
Matty’s quest begins. He finds a disreputable man to help with the trip.
There is a river to cross. And despite living by a creek, Matty can’t swim.

Memorable moments
“I kick against the fast moving water, my legs deep under the surface.
Head up like a turtle, I keep my eyes on the island in the center of the river.”
Sidekick moment – Angel, a runaway girl, guides Matty into the U.S. after
he escapes from the human trafficker. She hides sad secrets
that Matty tries to fathom.
On the hunt – Julian is like a ghost, tracked by Matty from one fleeting jobsite to
another in Arkansas, each step dangerous for the younger brother; he has entered illegally & is a child who speaks very little English. How can he “pass?”
Bonus – Because Matty has always dreamed of publishing a book some day,
he manages to take a few notes on the journey. His writings are included,
throughout the novel as, “I Remember.”

I can see great classroom connections for this vivid story of Mateo-Matty, Julian & Angel. Look for it in September or
pre-order now at your favorite bookseller or from the publisher.
About Patricia Reilly Giff
I imagine there will be more conversations near the release date, but here
is an interview in The New York Times by Tammy La Gorce in 2008.

unnamed-7
It was my honor to win this book as part of the Florida-SCBWI MidYear conference. Thank you!

Sizzle

image copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino

image copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino

[Poetry bloggers can find the weekly reads superbly rounded up by Buffy Silverman.]

Our family of the North hopes for 80 degree days &
cools off with 50 degree nites.

But here in Florida we blister now until, October to early November.
A dear pal transplanted to Florida is not only under the sun, but also, gloriously pregnant. So for encouragement I scratched the memory of my own summer pregnancy days and thought of cool ways.

AVOIDS

Teach family/friends to avoid speaking these words or their various iterations near you –

baking
blistering
boiling
broil
flame
fire
fricassee
heat
hot
humid
roasting
sizzle
solar
steam
suffocating
sun
tar
toasting

Forget that you like spicy food

DO

Pop into your mouth –
washed individual grapes, spaced apart on a tray, covered, from freezer
same with frozen melon balls, any color; blueberries; ice slivers

A cold salad meal every day or several times in one day isn’t overdoing it

Baked/broiled/cooked foods can taste fantastic cold – steak in salad, for example, shrimp in salad, chicken in…

Move perfume/cologne stick to the fridge for impulsive wrist & ankle rubs

Keep a soft washcloth & small towel in a plastic bag in the fridge

Walk barefoot or watershoe-footed in water – the sea shore, lake shore, splash fountain, creek, pool

Walk on cool grass & in the shade of grandmother trees

DSCN1776
Seek the outdoors in early a.m. & in the p.m.

Adore full moonlight & accomplish outdoors work during it

Adore the evening

Embrace linen without a worry about wrinkles – every breeze passes right through it

Before entering a parked vehicle, it should be prepared – windows down, A/C running a blast, dashboard fan on & towel on seat so you don’t stick

Sidewalks, pathways & roads are for walking in the evening

Keep 2 kiddie pools in the backyard – one for little ones & one for
you

Find books that bring you into the cool – GOING TO EXTREMES, COMING INTO THE COUNTRY…

Floating on your back in an expanse of cool should be the cardinal rule

images copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino

images copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino


Floating
by Jan Godown Annino

Eyes closed
Face up

Water buoys beyond sun shafts

A womb of wet
Where have I gone?

Afloat in an ocean
Drifting in a pond
Lazing on a lake

Am I also somewhere else?

Free of Fahrenheits
Feeling more like me
I am the queen of cool
copyrightJanGodownAnnino

And what about hats you may say.
Patience to read this far is rewarded with the best.
Thinking of sun hats I felt an old memory linking hats to E.B. White.
Sure enough when I pulled a collection down from the shelf, I found a marker for a summer poem.
These lines excerpted are from “A Father Does His Best,”
connecting summer sizzle, E.B. White & hats.

When this stanza begins, the narrator is at Lord & Taylor & later will visit other emporiums.

“A Father Does His Best”
by E. B. White

Said I to Lord & Taylor:
“Hot are the summer skies
And my son Joe would like to go
In a big straw hat in the year-old size
Have you got such a thing for, for summer skies,
A nice straw hat in the year-old size?
Said Lord & Taylor: “No.”
copyright E.B. White, all rights reserved

excerpted from p. 73, “A Father Does His Best”
in POEMS & SKETCHES of E. B. White

10824

A palette + Kristine O’Connell George pantoum

Hello – Poetry Friday is hosted by the creative Diane Mayr –
photographer to the woodchuck kingdom – at
Random Noodling.
(And, in truth, she is a whole lot more.)

A Palette
Out of the goodness of her heart, an artist of moody
coastal shacks and lush palmetto thickets invited
strangers to her easel. Her lessons benefited an art program
for public school students in an historic Florida oyster village
where a water use war over the Apalachicola River may end up
at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Oyster Boat c. JanGodownAnnino

Oyster Boat c. JanGodownAnnino

She scraped off her palette – Cynthia Edmonds uses glass,
because it’s easier to clean. She shared her color choices of the
day and showed off the canvas possibilities that recent Sunday
of the cerulean blue sky. Such fun I had, to stand next to this
ultratalented & fascinating artist & pick up a brush &
push around real oil paints.

http://cynthiaedmonds.com/

tip: a glass easel may be easier to clean

tip: a glass easel may be easier to clean

So this day of play rewarded me many times over. My hubby & I enjoyed more of this slice of Florida Panhandle coast, which I’ve visited since 1980 (and where my novel in progress is set.) At home, I pulled down
my books that blend art and literature. I re-read a longtime favorite,
EXCHANGING HATS (1971 edition, William Benton)
The subject, poet Elisabeth Bishop, lived for awhile in Key West.
And she painted there.

you tube book synopsis

But today for Poetry Friday, the volume I’m sharing some lines from, is compiled by award-winning art topic author Jan Greenberg. HEART TO HEART, New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art pairs works by O’Keefe, Calder, Benton, Avery & others with works by poets.

A Pantoum

Have you written pantoums? What was your path into them?

Last month I was challenged by J. Patrick Lewis to write in more forms that I usually attempt. So I’ve selected the repeated-line pantoum poem form.
(I am not special – he suggested that of everyone reading his article on a specific day as presented by Angie Karcher, my Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators colleague.
I’m reading more pantoums than I have ever before, piled on my plate due to the urging on to stretch, from Mr. JPL.
One that blinks at me is from a poet whose book FOLD ME A POEM, I find such fun to share with K & 1st graders through BookPALS.
images-1
But the pantoum is not in the lovely FOLD picture book from poet Kristine O’Connell George & beautifully illustrated by Lauren Stringer.

Kristine O’Connell George selected an intriguing print by
Kiki Smith, Untitled (Fluttering Eyes) 1990 to use as catalyst for her poem.

Pantoum for These Eyes
by Kristine O’Connell George
Let yourself slide under their spell –
these eyes have something to say.
Write the stories these eye tell,
look deeply, don’t look away.

These eyes have something to say
Come, come meet these eyes.
Look deeply, don’t look away,
find their truth, discover their lies.

© Kristine O’Connell George

This shivers me. For the impact of the complete poem and print together, please find the book, HEART TO HEART.
greenberg_hearttoheart
The form is perfect for the eyes in the KiKi Smith print (if I find a link to an
image online will come back & post later. But I didn’t see it & that included looking at her representative, Barbara Krakow Gallery.) There are four sets of the eyes. The poems’ repetition is as hypnotic as the eyes. How could there ever be an equal pantoum?

So now I have a way to conjure a topic for a pantoum. When an art image speaks to me, it may be my pantoum catalyst. I would like to be well along working on this JPL pantoum challenge by the end of the year. Have you written a pantoum? What inspired it? Are you still writing them?

And I hope your path takes you listening & looking,
down Apalachicola way some day.
greenberg_hearttoheart

Painter Cynthia Edmonds., on the right, in Apalachicola.

Painter Cynthia Edmonds., on the right, in Apalachicola.

Katherine Paterson: In Collaboration! Poetry Friday + Children’s Book Week

Could this be true?

The chance to collaborate in writing with Katherine Paterson? And for the price of my time?
True.

And so, I have done just that. Fast, before I chickened out. So today’s poem is fresh. For more in the Poetry Friday world, please visit today’s kind host, TODAY’S LITTLE DITTY, created by Michelle Barnes.

TEACHING AUTHORS
To learn how you can work with the beloved author of the BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA or – with Daniel Handler, Barbara Park, Jon Scieszka & others modern legends in the children’s literature world, visit the generous Teaching Authors. These teachers of me and many others, are my go-to boutique online, for spiffy eyedeers, encouragement & just plain goodness.

http://www.teachingauthors.com/2015/05/wednesday-writing-workout-celebrate.html

So here ‘tis.
WHAT I DID

Begun by National Ambassador for Children’s Literature Katherine Paterson and completed by Jan Annino at Bookseedstudio

I’d be the first to admit
I’d done plenty of things in my life
have gotten into trouble
some I’ve even regretted
but I never imagined a simple

walk in the little park across the street on Sunday night
would bring me to a vacant bench
empty except for a book
that I took

It said “The Hithchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”
I sat there in the light of the park lamp
I found that when I read the story
I sat
in the little park across the street on Sunday night
but when I looked up I was not there

When I looked up it was different
From my street and my park
It was not a street or a park
When I looked up each time
I found I was driving a car

A Ford Prefect like my pal Samantha’s family owns
And I love cars
I will get my permanent permit in June
And Mum has promised a Ford Mustang
But this was a Prefect

But you know what?
I thought the it was perfect
To drive the Ford Prefect in the dark
In the little park across the street on a Sunday night

And I still have that stolen book
© 2015 Jan Godown Annino (beginning at line 6)

(Although the lines via Children’s Book Week, shared at Teaching Authors are prose, I think in the spirit of creativity your or your student writers can put them into poem form.)
………………………………………

Here is a Ford Prefect, courtesy of Wikipedia

280px-Ford_Prefect_997cc_June_1960

Children’s Book Week, 2015

So many Poetry Friday readers have just motored out
of the week’s partees of Children’s Book Week. Me too.
Here is an image of part of my celebration of the week,
presenting on my children’s book, She Sang Promise,
The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader
.
(Illustrated by Lisa Desimini, with a letter to readers from Moses Jumper, Jr.)
I read, we sang alligator songs (BMTJ wrestled alligators)
& the children played their handmade rattles, all arranged
by the very creative art teacher Sally Ash of Woodville
Elementary School, Florida, who also thoughtfully snapped
this picture on her phone.

unnamed-3

Poem in Your Pocket Day + Poetry Month Wrap + Alligator

Poem In Your Pocket Day is fun to play.

The poem in my pocket is my original little ditty, created this month for an outdoors presentation where no alligators showed up. But they could have – it’s Florida here, all day & night.

"...Watch that mouth..." from  "How Do You Make an Alligator?" by Jan Godown Anninp
How Do You Make An Alligator?
By Jan Godown Annino

Stinky breath
Slappy tail
Watch that mouth
Or we will land in alligator jail!

If you are a wrangler of pre-K & K you may already be practicing this as a finger play poem, with hand signs for each line.
I hope you have fun with it! I’ll be bringing it to some little ones soon.

BERNICE SCHENCK de REGNIERS

images-3

The bouncy Poem In Your Pocket Day name, derives from the bouncy opening words of Beatrice Schenk de Regniers’ beloved creation.

KEEP A POEM IN YOUR POCKET
by Beatrice Schenk De Regnigers

Keep a poem in your pocket
and a picture in your head…

These lines are repeated often, but
for today I plucked them,
tucked in a favorite
illustrated poetry book, INNER CHIMES,
selected by Bobbye S. Goldstein
& illustrated by Jane Breskin Zalben.

And besides ordering the book yourself,
you can read the entire poem here online at a handy clip n’ paste site.

END GAME

The end of April means the end of what has been a packed
poetry month of postings.

Collectively, the 2015

National Poetry Month Progressive Poem has swum ashore.

What Are You Wearing to National Poetry Month is all beautifully buttoned up.

Rhyming Picture Book Month pages are all well-read.

And at this page’s end space is my Rhyming Picture Book Month Report
(when you go there it’s incomplete – finishing from notes, presently

ARTSPEAK has hung the last lovely poem and image

hotTEAS of Poetry have steeped sweetly – but did you catch the outlier?

It was all a right fine rumble & I am tickled to be
included in the presentations, either by direct invitation or by commenting. Appreciations, ever’body!

This is my Poetry Friday Post – please visit our host & see what May be in store for you at Space City Scribes.

And, although I’m writing & posting this on April 30, 2015, a Thursday, my communication with my site is such that it & I are dwell in another time zone, meaning, I’m ahead of myself! That’s cool.

The 2015 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem – Day 27

Good Monday, poem readers & poem writers.

The 2015 Progressive Poem in Kidlitosphere’s National Poetry Month Celebration swims here today.

2015ProgressivePoem

In writing my addition & revising & I felt appreciations to each Day 1-26 poster.
And the most appreciation is directed to novelist & poet Irene Lantham,
originator & organizer of this creative challenge.

In summary

Our water spirits are father and daughter (such a surprise!) & the tide turned.
Yesterday, Sunday, we learned from the educator Brian Kelley –

Straining for fading incandescence, flecks of silver, his eyes and hands clasp cold silt,
flakes of sharp shale seething through fingers – crimson palms stinging.

I linger over his rich terms
incandescence
cold silt
sharp shale
crimson palms
And follow this action! Straining, fading, seething, stinging.

Don’t you want to get back to middle school for one of Brian’s
classes? You can at least sit on the sidelines over at Walk The Walk.

Find the poem to date with today’s catch of lines, just below, alongside Brian’s words from Sunday.

Tomorrow, who sings our sea shanty? None other than National Poetry Month’s sing-along sensation, creative Amy at The Poem Farm whose Sing That Poem! series has everyone warbling (me less wonderfully than Amy.) Amy, your turn to navigate!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

TO BE TITLED,
2015 Poetry Friday Progressive Poem by an assembly collected by poet Irene Latham

She lives without a net, walking along the alluvium of the delta.
Shoes swing over her shoulder, on her bare feet stick jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing at the ends of bare brown arms.
Her hair flows, snows in wild wind as she digs in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval cuffed bracelet,
 strokes the turquoise stones,
and steps through the curved doorway.

Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide…splash!
She glides past glossy water hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,
listens to the ibises roosting in the trees of the cypress swamp

an echo of Grandmother’s words, still fresh in her windswept memory;
“Born from the oyster, expect the pearl. Reach for the rainbow reflection on the smallest dewdrop.”

The surface glistens, a shadow slips above her head, a paddle dips
she reaches, seizes. She’s electric energy and turquoise eyes.

Lifted high, she gulps strange air – stares clearly into
 Green pirogue, crawfish trap,
startled fisherman with turquoise eyes, twins of her own, riveted on her wrist–

She’s swifter than a dolphin, slipping away,
leaving him only a handful of memories of his own grandmother’s counsel:

“Watch for her. You’ll have but one chance to 
determine—to decide.
Garner wisdom from the water and from the pearl of the past.”

In a quicksilver flash, an arc of resolution, he leaps
into the shimmering water
where hidden sentries restrain any pursuit
and the bitter taste of impulse rushes into his lungs.

Her flipper flutters his weathered toes – Pearl’s signal –
Stop struggling. The Sentinels will escort you

He stills, closes his eyes,
takes an uncharacteristic breath of…water!

Released, he swims, chasing the glimmer of the bracelet
Gran gave the daughter who reveled in waves.

Straining for fading incandescence, flecks of silver, his eyes and hands clasp cold silt,
flakes of sharp shale seething through fingers – crimson palms stinging.

A sea change ripples his shuddering back.
With a force summoned from the depths, her charged turquoise eyes unsuffer his heart

…………

April 24, 2015 Poetry Friday What Are You Wearing? and prelude to Progressive Poem lines

DSCN2110  What are YOU wearing to Poetry Friday?

 

Hats on! National Poetry Month is this merry merry month of April, a time when folks canvas closets for lighter, flightier,

spring fling frocks (my heavy Big Bird costume socks are a mash up with spring sandals.) I tip my hat to the one and only poet who provides NPM with a month-long bead on how connected some of us feel to the vests, shoes, shirts, skirts, scarves, boots, belts & the sundry other mottled frippery & finery we array ourselves in.

And that poet is the talented Laura Shovan at AUTHOR AMOK. (If you are seeking today’s Poetry Friday host, please visit

NO WATER RIVER & the talented Renee LaTulippe

SKIRTING

But back to our What Are You Wearing? topic, for a roundly wild wrap up on skirts – please unbutton the April 22, 2015 AUTHOR AMOK page. There, Laura, as we have mentioned, hosts
Donna JT Smith’s silky poems. On skirts.

Donna’s contribution enfolds a deft tutu drawing & zippy skirt images, including fun skirts her daughter created, such as one skirt her gal whipped up from recycling classic menswear ties. It’s a sweet whirl. And I can imagine it flapping at the beach over a swimsuit or in a summer parade of style.

If you haven’t gotten too wrapped up in those wraps that run from waist to various lengths (someone please share your synonym for skirt? I can’t conjure up one today) I’ve provided a skirt poem for Author Amok, April 24, 2015 – that’s today.   

Laura, appreciations to you, for including me in this ensemble.

BETTY MAE TIGER JUMPER

My contribution is about a woman who is remembering a beloved homemade skirt she missed as a child, one that was far away from her as she studied in boarding school. The poem stems from a person so memorable & important in history, that I went on to write about her in newspapers & magazines & later, when I wrote books, I was able to present her story to young readers in picture book biography format. I met this woman as she sat at a table outdoors, selling skirts and jackets & I was among the purchasers. Each clothing item she offered was sewn by her family or friends; some were made by her. The poem is a tribute to this high-achiever I knew a long time before I wrote about her – Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, elected leader of the Seminole Tribe of Florida (elected, 1967.)

 

APRIL’S APPAREL at AUTHOR AMOK

To enjoy the full ensemble – to date – of Laura Shovan’s signature month-long outfit of poetry, please poke into these pockets –

Introductory Post/Laura Shovan

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/03/what-are-you-wearing-for-national.html

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/03/what-are-you-wearing-for-national.html

Jane Elkin looks in her childhood closet. Poems by Mark Irwin and Ron Koertge.

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-jane-elkin.html

Tabatha Yeatts shares an ensemble of clothing poems by Greg Pincus.

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-tabatha.html

Margaret Gibson Simon tries on orange high heels. Poem by Ellen Bass.

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-margaret.html

Robyn Hood Black borrows Alice Schertle’s “Hand-me-down Sweatshirt.”

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-robyn.html

Jone MacCulloch wears her Grandma Mac’s aprons.

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-jone.html

Heidi Mordhorst pulls on some big, black boots.

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-heidi.html

Linda Baie’s outfit would not be complete without a poem in her pocket.

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-linda-baie.html

Catherine Johnson getting dressed with Alexander Resnikoff.

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-catherine.html

Robyn Campbell is showing off her favorite vintage clothes with a poetic picture book from Mary Ann Hoberman.

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-robyn_20.html

Donna JT Smith savors skirts

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing- donna.html

Bookseedstudio/Jan Annino shares about a skirt-maker

http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2015/04/npm-2015-what-are-you-wearing-jan.html

As the layers continue, return for more What Are You Wearing? National Poetry Month links through April.

 

PROGRESSIVE POEM 2015 in National Poetry Month

poetryfriday

 

Since April 1, new lines of a progressively arriving poem surface at various

Poetry Friday contributor sites/blogs. Each person in communion by keyboard one

following another, adds after pondering the newest words. So far & likely to the end, there is one perfect exclamation point –  it is a splash tale.

I’m progressively scared & then giddy that a line is soon to be mine. I haven’t written it and won’t until just before my deadline to post it here – Monday, April 27, 2015. I can’t write until I read the day’s previous line – popping up this very Sunday. Dactyl danger? Couplet craziness? I calm myself by saying stanza symphony.

The charmed 2015 NPM Progressive Poem is a seaworthy meander awash with mica, pearls, turquoise and a fisherman & a mermaid. You don’t have to wait for my line to read this creation that has me in awe of the previous line leaders. There is a depth to it that I hope I don’t take into the shallows.

Here it is, to date.

(Arrayed artistically & looking to credit the arrangement, which varies from how I first saw it…)

 

TO BE TITLED, 2015 Poetry Friday Progressive Poem by an assembly collected by Irene Latham

Now titled & completed!

………………………..

“Ocean Dreams”
(The 2015 Poetry Friday Progressive Poem)

She lives without a net,

walking along the alluvium of the delta.

Shoes swing over her shoulder,

on her bare feet stick

jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing

at the ends of bare brown arms.

Her hair flows,

snows

in wild wind

as she digs

in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval

cuffed bracelet,
 strokes the turquoise stones, and steps

through the curved doorway.

Tripping

on

her

tail

she

slips

hair first

down

the

slide…

splash!

She                  glides               past                 glossy              water

hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,

listens to the ibises

roosting in the trees

of the cypress swamp

an echo

of Grandmother’s words, still fresh

in her windswept memory;

“Born from the oyster,

expect the pearl.

Reach for the rainbow

reflection on the smallest dewdrop.”

 

The surface glistens, a shadow

slips

above her head, a paddle

dips

she reaches, seizes. She’s electric energy

and turquoise eyes.

Lifted high, she gulps strange air – stares

clearly into
 Green pirogue, crawfish trap, startled

fisherman with turquoise eyes, twins

of her own, riveted on her wrist–

She’s swifter than a dolphin,

slipping away,

leaving him only

a handful

of memories

of his own

grandmother’s counsel:

“Watch for her.

You’ll have but one chance

to 
determine—

to decide. Garner wisdom from the water

and from the pearl

of the past.”

 

In a quicksilver flash,

an arc of resolution, he

leaps

into the shimmering water

where hidden sentries restrain

any pursuit and the bitter taste

of impulse rushes

into his lungs.

Her flipper flutters his weathered toes

–      Pearl’s signal –

Stop struggling.

The Sentinels will escort you

He stills, closes his eyes,
takes an uncharacteristic breath of …
water!
Released, he swims

chasing the

glimmer

of the bracelet

Gran gave the daughter

who reveled in waves,

Straining for fading incandescence, flecks of silver, his eyes and hands clasp cold silt,
flakes of sharp shale seething through fingers – crimson palms stinging.

A sea change ripples his shuddering back.
With a force summoned from the depths, her charged turquoise eyes unsuffer his heart

And holding out her hand to him, she knows. He knows. She speaks,
as his hand curls ’round her bracelet-clad wrist,

“Papa, just a little longer in the pool! One more time down the slide! Please!”

He nods; she won’t be his little mermaid much longer.

…………………………………………………..
I expect to add the daily lines above as they emerge from the water… And I must not forget to weigh in on Monday. (As if!)

C. Jan Godown Annino, all rights reserved

C. Jan Godown Annino, all rights reserved

PROGRESSIVE POEM ORIGINS

Please visit the creative site conducted by talented poet & novelist, Irene Lantham,

LIVE YOUR POEM to learn more about the Progressive Poem origins.

To see the flow tide by tide, follow each days links/site I’ve tucked, here.

 

2015 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem

1 Jone at Check it Out

https://maclibrary.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/national-poetry-month-2015-kidlitosphere-progressive-poem/

 

2

Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/search?q=progressive+poem+2015

3

Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

http://myjuicylittleuniverse.blogspot.com/2015/04/progressive-poem-2015-line-3.html

 

4

Laura at Writing the World for Kids

http://www.laurasalas.com/blog/for-teachers/2015-prog-poem/

5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog

http://www.charleswaterspoetry.com/#!POETRY-TIME-BLOG-24/c23vc/5519ad2d0cf21933cd241eb1

6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

http://pleasuresfromthepage.blogspot.com/2015/04/2015-kidlitosphere-progressive-poem.html

7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson

http://www.catherinemjohnson.com/?p=8875

8 Irene at Live Your Poem

http://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2015/04/artspeak-poem-8-our-progressive-poem.html

9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository

http://www.maryleehahn.com/2015/04/2015-progressive-poem-my-line.html

10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

http://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/2015/04/day-10-of-progressive-poem-plus.html

11 Kim at Flukeprints

https://flukeprints.wordpress.com/

12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

https://reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/2015-progressive-poem/

13 Doraine at DoriReads

http://dorireads.blogspot.com/2015/04/2015-progressive-poem.html

14 Renee at No Water River

http://www.nowaterriver.com/the-progressive-poem-2015-is-here/

15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm?post=992838

16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town

http://thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.co.uk/

17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog

http://buffysilverman.com/blog/?p=725

18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro

http://www.sheilarenfro.blogspot.com/2015/04/progressive-poem-2015-and-poetry-book.html

19 Linda at Teacher Dance

http://www.sheilarenfro.blogspot.com/2015/04/progressive-poem-2015-and-poetry-book.html

20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots

http://pennyklostermann.com/blog-a-penny-and-her-jots/

21 Tara at A Teaching life

https://ateachinglifedotcom.wordpress.com/ara at A Teaching Life

22 Pat at Writer on a Horse

http://writeronahorse.blogspot.com/

23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy

http://www.tamerawillwissinger.com/the-writers-whimsy/2015/4/23/2015-progressive-poem-day-23-is-here.html

24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com/2015/04/poetry-friday-2015-progressive-poem.html

25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference

http://www.tabathayeatts.blogspot.com/

26 Brian at Walk the Walk

27 Jan at Bookseedstudio

28 Amy at The Poem Farm

29 Donna at Mainely Write

30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

If those are your eyes I see here, you have reached the part of this post with the couplet iteration –

TO BE TITLED, 2015 Poetry Friday Progressive Poem by an assembly collected by Irene Latham

Now titled & completed!

……………………………….

“Ocean Dreams”
(The 2015 Poetry Friday Progressive Poem)

She lives without a net, walking along the alluvium of the delta.
Shoes swing over her shoulder, on her bare feet stick jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing at the ends of bare brown arms. Her hair flows,
snows in wild wind as she digs in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval cuffed bracelet,
strokes the turquoise stones, and steps through the curved doorway.

Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide… splash!
She glides past glossy water hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,

listens to the ibises roosting in the trees of the cypress swamp
an echo of Grandmother’s words, still fresh in her windswept memory.

Born from the oyster, expect the pearl.
Reach for the rainbow reflection on the smallest dewdrop.

The surface glistens, a shadow slips above her head, a paddle dips
she reaches, seizes. She’s electric energy and turquoise eyes.

Lifted high, she gulps strange air – stares clearly into
Green pirogue, crawfish trap, startled fisherman

with turquoise eyes, twins of her own, riveted on her wrist–
She’s swifter than a dolphin, slipping away, leaving him only a handful of

memories of his own grandmother’s counsel: Watch for her. You’ll have but one chance to
determine—to decide. Garner wisdom from the water and from the pearl of the past.

In a quicksilver flash, an arc of resolution, he leaps into the shimmering water
Where hidden sentries restrain any pursuit and the bitter taste of impulse rushes into his lungs

Her flipper flutters his weathered toes –Pearl’s signal–Stop struggling. The Sentinels will escort you
He stills, closes his eyes, takes an uncharacteristic breath of … water! Released, he swims

Chasing the glimmer of the bracelet Gran gave the daughter who reveled in waves,

Straining for fading incandescence, flecks of silver, his eyes and hands clasp cold silt,
flakes of sharp shale seething through fingers – crimson palms stinging.

A sea change ripples his shuddering back.
With a force summoned from the depths, her charged turquoise eyes unsuffer his heart

And holding out her hand to him, she knows. He knows. She speaks,
as his hand curls ’round her bracelet-clad wrist,

“Papa, just a little longer in the pool! One more time down the slide! Please!”

He nods; she won’t be his little mermaid much longer.

…..
To be continued here Monday, April 27, 2015

Newly minted. Song + story = WordofSouthFestival

If given a chance to waltz in pro bono time in the cause of literature,

who wouldn’t want to attend that dance?

And if this shimmy arrived wrapped up with seats at the feet of author Ann Patchett,

or before expressive storyteller Romona King, or with comics ace Nathan Archer leading children
in story-making, wouldn’t you do that?

 

RAMONA KING, STORYTELLER

RAMONA KING, STORYTELLER

So it was that I found myself signed on with a new Southern tradition this month – WordofSouth.
This festival of sound and story unfolded in my hometown, but I would have traveled for it,
just as it was designed to be enjoyed here by folks from far away.

COMICS ACE NATHAN ARCHER

COMICS ACE NATHAN ARCHER

 

Creative writers and performers from New York City – STORY PIRATES –
entertained. As did Gustafer YELLOWGOLD. And the Emmy-winning
actor Tony Hale, read from his new children’s book ARCHIBALD’S NEXT BIG THING,
(created with Tony Biaggne)

 

On the sound side of things, the stages rocked to SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK & also with the poignant melodies of Aaron Copland’s LINCOLN PORTRAIT, spoken by newly minted Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons.

 

unnamed-4
It was so much wonderfulness. Even with April showers.

 

Storyteller Ann Patchett

 

What I kept thinking of, as I sat with writers on the floor at the feet of Ann Patchett was – Stephen King. Not that the two occupy the same genre bookshelves. But the last time I heard a novelist as generous in public speaking
in our town, it was masterwriter King, who spun personal story after story for us in a sweet – yes, sweet – way. And then, he genially autographed our daughter’s books in a privately memorable way.
Ann Patchett, wearing her stand-up comic mask well, gifted her audience with one story after another direct from her life. (Ann Patchett is on right, introduced by Mary Ann Lindley.)

Novelist Ann Patchett (right) introduced by Mary Ann Lindley

Now we know something of her sister/college administrator, of Ann’s own personal nun, the endearing employee who fled NYC, the endearing employee who sells poetry books for her in her headline grabbing store, Parnassus, Sparky & the shop’s dogs & lotsa other morsels readers & writers gobble like so much kibble.   On opening day a photo of Ann in her revolutionary bookstore in Nashville appeared on Page One of The New York Times. Newly opened indy bookstores that carry new books are a rarity. My hubby & I love visiting our two, which are a hike, WOS sponsor –THANK YOU Annie & Jordan – the bookshelf in nearby Georgia & down by the bay, Downtown Books & Purl.

unnamed-14

Story Fort

So now onto the part of WordofSouth that stole my heart, as much as I loved
Ann Patchett’s and other main stage presentations & I now am committed to reading all her books that are out & will be published henceforth.

 

Story Fort is the WordofSouth
safe place for the youngest ones, a festival within a festival.  Artist Linda Hall, ghost tales-teller Doug Alderson & others were on hand to create fun for young ones. Danielle Shelton, who has impressive educational degrees with her name, brought her geetar & lovely voice to kneel on the Story Fort mats & create songs about the toddlers. She was a lively close-up wee ones’ entertainer.

My hubby & I saw many Story Fort events but we are human & weren’t able to spend time with every performances & art project, of the two days.

Danielle Shelton - Story Fort - WordofSouth Festival

Danielle Shelton – Story Fort – WordofSouth FestivalWe clapped along with our one-and-only-, beloved babytime/storytime/Legostime icon, “Mr. Gary” from our favorite local public book palace – the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library.  And we sang “This Land is Your Land” with the equally beloved, one and only duo of HOT TAMALE, (with Craig Reeder) which uniquely features musician and songwriter Adrian Fogelin. Adrian, my dear pal who appears in my posts now and again, is also a hot-off-the-press book-launching middle grade author, with SOME KIND OF MAGIC. And it’s her most recent novel for students, following the legendary CROSSING JORDAN & other titles, such as SORTA SISTERS. Her books justifiably win mega awards. It won’t be long before Publishers Weekly starts granting her column space, I predict.

DSCN7443

 

Here are more, incomplete, images from WordofSouth. In a previous articles here at Bookseedstudio and over at Group Blog, I covered commemoration of Days of Rememrance, which we honored at Story Fort.

I felt fortunate to present to the kiddos three times in the Story Fort during the WOS weekend. Thank you to author Mark Mustian for originating this festival of sound and story. If you travel to attend book festivals WordofSouth has got the power to return, so keep visiting the site for the eventual posting of next spring’s date. Sponsors included the National Endowment for the Arts. And that’s company we like to keep.
art-works-logo

Sara, Ayla &  Jan - Story Fort - WordofSouth Festival 2015

Sara, Ayla & Jan – Story Fort – WordofSouth Festival 2015

TCC scholar Briana Byrd  at WOS Festival's Story Fort

TCC scholar Briana Byrd at WOS Festival’s Story Fort

 

 

 

 

 

April 17, 2015 Poetry Friday post

So much to ponder this glorious day. But before pondering,

Poetry Friday today is hosted by

my pal with the perfect name,

haiku wrangler Robyn Hood Black, at her blog, Life on the Deckle Edge.

 

Days of Remembrance.

The White Rose resistance of teens against Hitler is on my mind

these days of Remembrance April 16-19.

And I have no book of poems for younger students on The Holocaust

to recommend. (Later in the post the poems from Terezin are mentioned.)

 

Bully Poems for the youngest?

An illustrated collection of poems about bullies, for the youngest

readers could be a start, if anyone knows such a collection. If not,

perhaps Poetry Friday should originate one. I would imagine subjects

of the poems would be bully-animals in the wild or at home,

top-cat, top-dog pets who scratch and bite the other family feline &

canine members. Perhaps.

Our bully is Ginger, who will not tolerate any other animals.

 

When the puppy visited

by Jan Godown Annino

Old Ginger cat arches at the door

stares down the

visiting

shivering

pup

hisses

glares

scares

him back out the door

©JanGodownAnnino

 

Remembrance References.

I hope any educator researching for their classroom can

look at award-winning former teacher Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s

HITLER’S YOUTH. This non-fiction 170-page photo-illustrated reference

not only documents what you would expect from the title, but also those

brave German non-Jewish teens who paid with their lives, by creating an underground in Hamburg and other locations.

 

 

images-1

Artwork & poems of the children and young people

held in the Czech concentration camp

called Terezin are presented with important contextual essays of the

history of the enclave in I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERFLY. It is for

teachers and older students and very ably illuminated at this school site.

 

It’s National Library Week.

I was able to hug not one, not two, but three favorite librarians recently

at the WordofSouth celebration of books and music. Where, I am proud to say

our StoryFort’s offerings including the sharing of student art submitted to our

regional Holocaust Resource Education Council.My hubby & I attended
other gre8t events, which I will cover here on another day.

unnamed-1

Appreciate your family, your friends & your one & only life, this day & every day.