Sing dance submit: call for poems

[nota bene: book covers to know, below] 

Subject: Children, reading, writing or both
Form: Any. 40 Line Limit.
1st PL $40. 2nd PL $20. 3rd PL $15. 

Conjure your own memory. Or you might pen a poem about other real-child readers or writers. How about imagining a character-child? This call for a poem is part of the 2021 Florida State Poets’ Association’s annual effort to raise poetry’s profile. You don’t have to be a Florida resident or a member of this non-profit to enter. Details are here. The group often looks for new ways to engage poets, so, as someone who joined only in 2020,  I was pleased they accepted my suggestion (it does exempt me from this fun category but not you!). Detail: The contest team (which I’m not on) receives poems postally. No submissions are considered that are sent in before 1 May, for the deadline, 15 June 2021. Take care with submission details, as category #s must be included. (My guess is that overseas submissions are not invited, as a small fee in check form, is asked for the entry.) Last year I floated, when my poem “Surfing” won an Honorable from Oregon poet Tiel Aisha Ansari.

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“Dear Poet.” Now for a second take on submissions, at Poetry for Children last month, I learned of an essay opportunity for students called “Dear Poet.”  I plan to listen to as many of these richly experienced and published poets Poetry.org has collected, reading a poem on line. Students will do the same, but can submit their responses to the poems. I began with Marilyn Chin, reading her original piece “The Floral Apron.” If I were a student I would write an essay about how this inky poem reminded me of watching my mother-in-law take her knife to squid, about the depth of family ties and why it’s important to share family history. Hey, an idea. Hmm. 

Sing!

I laffed in attempted bopping to a Jerusalema loop. Song, music and lyrics of the isiXhosa language of South Africa (nearly 19 percent of souls there use it) filled our spaces, in the space of an evening. It’s a 2019 to present day song/dance phenom in wide parts of El Mundo. A few ~  Antigua/Barbados, Argentina, Finland, Israel, Italy, Ireland (my own fun fumble in Florida, unrecorded thank you very much!) Palestine, Sweden (at winter shore!) & onward. Despite cute video versions of wiggle kids and flapping animals, my favorite visit with this levitating song & line dance remains the initial launch, staged outdoors in a small community courtyard between simple low buildings as friends enjoy a meal. The mood is casual joy. The skillful choreography wink to the audience – this regards plates – is a contributing pleasure. The performers are Angolan dance troupe Fenómenos do Sembato, celebrated widely in Africa and now, The World. The song is reimagined from a hymn sung in South African, bought forward by South African music dance impresario, MasterKG (Kgaogelo Moagiand singer Nomcebo Zikode, also now famous.

After the original video, my 2nd favorite Jerusalema goodjuju includes all socially distanced medical professionals who undertake the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge in the sterile halls of hospitals.  And my 3rd fave arrives with the airport crew at Antigua/Barbados Bird Airport. Find them & hundreds on YouTube.

In a nod to “May the wind be always at your back” St. Patrick’s Month (part of my heritage is iconically Irish) I’ll share that several versions from The Emerald Isle were uploaded online just last month. Here is one at Twitter Beyond the bounce, I wanted to know the words.

Jerusalema ikhaya lami
Ngilondoloze
Uhambe nami
Zungangishiyi lana
Ndawo yami ayikho lana
Mbuso wami awukho lana

Jerusalem my home
Keep me
Walk with me
Don’t leave me here
My place is not here
My kingdom is not here

South African theology student Nkosi Mlambo wrote his take on  Jerusalema – The Dance, the Meaning, the Theology”, linked here.The song struck him deeply, remembering an original version in primary school at morning assembly. This article is source of verses I’ve shared here.

Jerusalema – The Dance, The Meaning, The Theology

 

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The #PoetryFriday March 2021 Hosts line-up is beautiful to behold.

5 Kat at Kathryn Apel

12 Heidi at my juicy little universe

19 Linda at TeacherDance

26 Susan at Soul Blossom Living

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978110199629451xi6ZCDwiL._SX353_BO1,204,203,200_519u53azjPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

It’s Women’s History Month! I’m pleased to note 2 verse novels and one p.b. bio forthcoming in spring or summer 2021 with girl or women characters worth remembering.// Saving American Beach by Heidi King and Caldecott Honoree Ekula Holmes, p. b. bio about a little-known Black eco-warrior who left an opera career to advocate in Florida. // 37 Days at Sea by Barbara Krasner, a MG family story verse novel inspired by a heart-tugging true event of the Holocaust that also touches Florida history. // Everywhere Blue by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz, a MG family story verse novel of oboe practice, siblings and a missing person emergency that triggers mental health concerns.


A Pause. Woot!Woot! Except for some short appearances this blog will be taking a pause.  Expected appearances are: A line of the one and only April 2021 #PoetryFriday’s Progressive Poem hosted by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A warble of “wonderful” with more of the verse novels shown above, each that I love to the moon and back ~ 37 DAYS AT SEA by Barbara Krasner and also EVERYWHERE BLUE by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz.

I expect to draw nourishment from visits to your posts & to keep social media active, but less so. Below, some goodies. The calendar of April #PoetryFriday hosts. A give-away book plate. And this reminder: consider creating a poem for the Childhood award at the contest mentioned above. Woot! Woot!

Gifting a complimentary bookplate download, courtesy of My Home LibraryDan_Morelle_2

For great April expectations, the 2021 #PoetryFriday hosts in an #AprilPoetryMonth lovely line-up!

2 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

9 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

16 Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup

23 Catherine at Reading to the Core

30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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Collected at Reflections on the Teche by Margaret Simon, April 2021 Progressive Poem contributors!

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26

 

Gone from the shelf – book gifts

Gone from my shelves – book gifts + original poem

Lee Bennett Hopkins wrote
Good books,
Good times,
Good stories,
Good rhymes…

from GOOD BOOKS,GOOD TIMES!
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, pictures by Harvey Stevenson

Today I share some good books, good rhymes that
no longer belong to me!
First up is the story of Aida de Acosta (1884-1962).
I know. Who?

Aida’s aviation history is
told winningly, lyrically in
THE FLYING GIRL,by Margarita Engle,
with illustrations from Sara Palacios –
both of these talents are awarded book creators.
Margarita is a favorite author I read, especially delving into islands
of her verse novels. Sara Palacios is new to me, but she
shouldn’t be, as illustrator of MARISOL MCDONALD
DOESN’T MATCH & other titles.

This high-flying story of Aida,
a teen in Paris who dreamed
of airship wings
is a charmed picture book biography, with an historical note
about the world of this teen at the end.
I love how the author channels young Aida’s strong voice:

If that man can fly
so can I
All I need are some lessons
and a chance to try!

The colorful drawings capture the period & lift the reader
to dream high.
Memorable moments, such as a dinner on elephant-tall
tables served by waiters on stilts,
feather in a magical quality to this totally real-life story
about flying pioneer,
a young woman too, who few of us know. At least, I didn’t.
I’ve packed Aida & sent her off flying
with a pack of cloud postcards,
to a 3rd-grade poet of the Silver Star Postcard Project in Canada,
Inspired by the pacesetting aviator “Queen” Bessie Coleman, this young poet wrote me that she loves to fly, a connection courtesy of
Poetry Friday’s wonderful Check it Out,
The student’s poem inspires me at my desk.

And right here, Carolyn Angus with the International Reading Association
shares about THE FLYING GIRL.

***
What if…
You opened a book
About dinosaurs
And one stumbled out
And another and another….

C. Isabel Joshlin Glaser
in the poem “What if” by Isabel Joshlin Glaser in
GOOD BOOKS,GOOD TIMES!
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins,
with pictures from Harvey Stevenson

Dinosaurs, one after another, are
thumpingly, exactly what I experienced
when I opened the gift package from a children’s book imprint
new to me, POW! in Brooklyn.
Inside I met the characters of
DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR by authors Deborah Bruss & Matt Forrestt Esenwine
(a pal through Poetry Friday)
with color-pow comics style illustrations by Louie Chin.
Two children tackle a list:

“If you’re going to plan
a birthday party,
stop and think it through.
Be careful
what you dare
to ask a dinosaur to do.”

This jolly story
romps around with the ways
dinosaurs that once partied on Earth
might add mayhem to a child’s
living room hee-haw.
I love how this book is clever in bringing to
the youngest read-aloud set, the famous but also
lesser-known
dinos, along with a specific
characteristic for each. It’s fun, it’s a party,
but at the same time, now I know about the one who would be a
balloon-buster, (yes, they all would, but this one, specifically)
DIE-noh-KIRE-us, meaning terrible hands, thanks to DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR.
We have a curious, busy, wonderful, dino-crazy Kindergarten guy
in our own famly zoo,
so this book stomps, crashes, tears, off to him in Rhode Island.

POW! is here.
http://powkidsbooks.com

***
Earlier in springtime, at the beloved
class I’ve visited all schoolyear long,
I gifted the animal antics in
PET CRAZY to Ms. Camoesas,
a vibrant teacher of all things, but an especially
facile guide for young poem-makers.

One of many poems in this lively
work book anthology
that pulls me to it over & over, is
“Loose Tooth, Whose Tooth?”
from the novelist, poet & award-winning children’s literature icon
Carole Boston Weatherford.

Sooooo creative this list poem is, in
tackling the crucially important
loose tooth topic,
enticing young readers with rhyme,
but in a new way,
by drilling us about other teeth,
such as
“Bat’s tooth, rat’s tooth…” or
“Piranha’s tooth, iguana’s tooth..”

c.2017 Carole Boston Weatherford
Pomelo Books
CBWeatherford.Com

I was enticed by this book at
every turn & especially at page 90,
where I was
invited to try my hand at cat art.
And tackling the drawing lesson
from illustrator Franzi Paetzold,
I became inspired to dash off this
this un-rhyme:

Outline thumb
Add three triangles
Two half-macaroni
One moustache
Six toothpicks

Stand back,
find
a
feline
made from your
lines.

c. 2018 JanGodownAnnino


PET CRAZY drawing lesson!
The children’s literature specialists behind PET CRAZY,
part of a popular series from Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong
are here at POMELO Books.
http://pomelobooks.com

Special appreciations to Alphabet Soup/Jama Kim Rattigan forthe gift of this book.

For the Poetry Friday RoundUp, rustle on over to visit Rebecca at SLOTH READS.

 

***
………….

“Ballet slippers and saxophones:” #Lee Bennett Hopkins

Kwame Alexander
When I was 2 my mom read me poems by #NikkiGiovanni & #LeeBennettHopkins. So cool that #TheCrossover has won the LBHopkins Poetry award!”

By Jan Godown Annino

If there is a King of Children’s Poetry in the U. S.
he is Lee Bennett Hopkins (the Queen would be
Jane Yolen.)

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Center Stage, Florida Artists' Hall of Fame  c. 2017 Stephanie Salkin, all rights reserved

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Center Stage, Florida Artists’ Hall of Fame
c. 2017 Stephanie Salkin, all rights reserved

LBH is a world-wide record holder in poetry.
And as young poets can attest, for 25 years
he has become the leader in establishing poetry awards
that lift up the art of poem-making and poem-reading,
to the highest levels.

This poet – and novelist- is also a long time leader in championing diversity of characters and themes in children’s books.

I can not say LBH chose Florida for retirement,
because so many projects are popping
for him. During a small dinner in his honor
with his lifetime partner Charles Egita, at
Paramount Grill, LBH talked of
juggling 60 poets’ work. That is because
in addition to writing his own heartfelt poems,
LBH a supreme anthologist of poetry for children.

So among tempting aromas, I selected
tofu scramble in his honor last week,
the night before
he took the stage with rock stars
Don Felder (The Eagles) ,
Billy Dean and Jim Stafford,
to be inducted
into the Florida Artists’ Hall of Fame.

Move over Ray Charles,
Tennessee Williams,
Zora Neale Hurston
and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who proceeded
LBH as honorees in the Artists’ Hall of Fame.

Much has already been written and
will be written
about this honor.

Enjoy Robyn Hood Black piece on LBH,
and futurewise, look for a Michelle Henderich Barnes’
report on the Florida
Convening Culture Conference that was
wrapped around the awards event. (Stick with the link to MB
above, for a cuter than candy pix of LBH!)

But let me just say that I felt as if
I was a
mermaid swimming sweetly on Sanibel sands,
among sandcastles made of syllables
and sounds ripe for poem-making,
as a result of being with LBH & his posse.

So now,
I’m back to writing, reading,
critiquing & visiting schools.
(It’s Dr. Seuss week!)

I close with big appreciations to
Secretary of State Ken Detzner and
his posse including Sandy Shaughnessy,
for bestowing the honor, which was
championed by many, including
poets Stephanie Salkin & Jude Mandell

A VIDEO TO NOTE
I do expect to return here with more on
LBH and the award. But first,
visit with this great video record
of the ceremony, which I enjoyed
straight-through as I couldn’t be in the
Gainesville audience,
scooting home for scheduled events.
Hint: when you have time, stick with this
Florida Channel memory for the poetic line,
we need ballet slippers and saxophones.”
Did you hear the crowd’s applause?

. . .
WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED
I am still focused on the continued
hate speech in this country.
For my Poetry Friday piece this week, I will again
highlight the resistance anthem, WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
But I am happy to provide links on Friday to some
poetry blogs keyed to an exciting March poetry
commemoration,
which I very much look forward to reading.

………..

A book, a month of books

I am fortunate to be part of today’s crew at
POETRY FRIDAY.

This week I completed THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
by Colson Whitehead, whose many honors for
bringing the main character, Cora, and her mother,
Mabel, to us, include
the 2016 National Book Award.

“The world may be mean, but people
don’t have to be, not if they refuse.”


– Mabel The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

I cried through much of it, especially at the end.
The author combines history and his own magical realism.
With those tools, he giftedly presents powerful suggestions
about the physical and emotional torture of the
enslavement business that are visceral and I flinched.
It is a swift thing to convict in our minds the U.S. businessmen and women who perpetuated imprisonment and brutality upon children, women and men.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD also delivers us to others
whose complicity must also be remembered and discussed.
The author’s ultimate gift is a fiercely independent young
woman whose spirit will not be squelched. At an imagined
museum in South Carolina, a temporarily-free Cora plays
parts in three different time-period dioramas of black history.
It gave me chills to see her assignment. I made an air-first
as Cora figures out how to get back at gawking white visitors.

Teachers should read this novel; it will be good to see how
it informs both history and literature classes,
for more mature students.
It may also be widely available on television.

This is a 2016 NPR interview with Colson Whitehead

. . .
Although any day of the year is an important time
to learn about more
titles on the black experience, here are some links,
in celebration of
February, Black History Month.

The Brown Bookshelf

Debut author Leah Henderson

I enjoyed meeting author Leah Henderson at a workshop
and think you will want to follow this talented
thinker as her writing career expands.

Poetry for Children
This site, above, created by children’s literature/poetry specialist Sylvia Vardell,
who I hope to meed some day as many of you have, features a link
to SoundCloud posts of poems on various aspects of the black experience. the-underground-railroad<