Poetry Friday + 2017 Progressive Poem of Kidlitosphere

The usual Poetry Friday frolic is collected
today at Dori Reads.
. . . .

We are just shy of the half-way point
in April & Nattional Poetry Month. Lucious links of the 2017 menu are
at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.
It’s a bodacious buffet!
I will tip you off to
Poetry Mosaic.
Take off your shoes, put up your feet & allow the poets on stage there to
entertain you with their readings. It’s among the wonderful new additions to the month.

Back here at Bookseedstudio’s Friday the 14th’s day in
the National Poetry Month Progressive Poem of
Kidlitosphere, I am
sculpting in the meandering
playground of words. We are creating
together but separately, smoothly, sweetly,
a new poem. Makes me giddy!  Yesterday’s mighty fine strong line from Margaret Simon/
Reflections on the Teche, officially known as line 13, needs a neighbor. So line 14 arrives:

Shiver me. Look who’s here. Must I disappear?

See if you think that fits
as the poem-to-date appears a bit further, below.

As always, we are soothingly stage-directed
by Progressive Poem pixie & perpetrator
Irene Latham at Live Your Poem. (Who quilted/created
our lovely logo.)
Handsprings are boing boing boinging
all around for her idea & influence.
Enjoy the dragonwords
and when this is titled at day 30
perhaps you’ll dare read it to a
captive
castle
audience?

Untitled 2017 Progressive Poem In Progress

I’m fidget, friction, ragged edges—
I sprout stories that frazzle-dazzle,
stories of castles, of fires that crackle,
with dragonwords that smoke and sizzle.

But edges sometimes need sandpaper,
like swords need stone and clouds need vapour.
So I shimmy out of my spurs and armour
facing the day as my fickle, freckled self.

I thread the crowd, wear freedom in my smile,
and warm to the coals of conversation.
Enticed to the stage by strands of story,
I skip up the stairs in anticipation.

Flip around, face the crowd, and freeze!
Shiver me. Look who’s here. Must I disappear?

. . . .

Now here’s the wand hand off to Brenda,
at Friendly Fairy Tales,
who will weave her magic over words for day 15.

Line-leaders day by day:
April 2017
1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Diane at Random Noodling
6 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
9 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Penny at a penny and her jots
11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
14 Jan at Bookseedstudio
15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
19 Pat at Writer on a Horse
20 BJ at Blue Window
21 Donna at Mainely Write
22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids

Happy Happy Poetry Friday! And please remember that
the collected castle of Friday characters is
at Dori Reads.

 

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

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!

 

 

 

 

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!

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.