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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Poetry, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. The Work of Jerome Rothenberg

I have no hesitation in saying that Jerome Rothenberg is one of our greatest living poets and that his latest book, Eye of Witness: A Jerome Rothenberg Reader, is among the top books published last year. Eye of Witness, published by the relentlessly pioneering Black Widow Press, is a huge, 580-page tome that encompasses the [...]

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2. April News

April has been a busy, crazy, fun, busy, poetical, busy, bunny business month--and it's not over yet.
So before it gets any crazier, I'll share what I've been reading, doing, writing...

Who says libraries are just for books? Not the Lorain, Ohio children's librarians! They are encouraging kids to explore their creative side in fashions with "Sew Lorain Kids." A long time ago I worked in a couple of libraries in the Cleveland area. I'm so glad to see that the librarians there are continuing to be innovative. There are so many great craft how-to books in libraries, but why not give kids a chance to actually put the lessons into practice. My hats off to all of you in Lorain!!!

 I've been working on a variety of writing projects--one of them is an easy reader narrative nonfiction book on stars. So I was delighted to see a new book by Kathleen T. Isaacs which highlights picture books dealing with nature: BUGS, BOGS, BATS, AND BOOKS. Young readers--as well as their parents--often need help in finding age-appropriate books on various nonfiction subjects. This title also including science activities relating to various topics in the book. Look for this book at the library or ask your librarian to help you find some delightful nonfiction books to share with your children.

Kuddos to another librarian--this time with the focus on poetry. Thinking totally outside of the norm, Cathy Jo Nelson, a South Carolina educator, blogs about "The Unexpected Perks of Poetry." She and a teacher collaborated on a poetry assignment--encouraging the students to create poems from words in book titles: spine poetry. Ms. Nelson elaborates in her blog about the many bonuses of this activity for both students and faculty. Poetry always seems to expand the world for us.

I'm writing the rough draft of chapter book with a poetic ghost in it. Although the story didn't start out with a lyrical ghost, she just appeared out of thin air--so to speak. And who am I to tell her that she doesn't belong in this story. I might be haunted for eternity...so I continue writing.

 Apparently April is also NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH. Although I was unaware of this, I have been reading some humorous picture books of late. A couple of favorites are CREEPY CARROTS by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. Here is a video by the illustrator explaining how he envisioned the sneaky carrots. My two-year-old grandson loves this books. We've read it over and over again. I've even made him his own creepy carrots with real carrots and a black sharpie. Beware biting into that next crispy, orange carrot! There may be many more lurking in the shadows--just waiting to pounce!!!

The other fun picture I've been studying of late is WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore, illustrated by Howard McWilliam. The author uses the "what if" storyline to create an elaborate beach day fantasy complete with fire-breathing dragon. And the illustrator brings the creature to life with humor and charm, sure to entertain children of all ages. But of course, there is the dilemma--once a dragon moves in how do you get him to move out??? Rather like the moles in my backyard, I'm afraid. :)

So here's hoping April is poetically humorous--and beware of carrot-eating dragons, or something like that!

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3. Writing Heals: My Poem for Poem In Your Pocket Day

Silvia Sala / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

When I don’t write
words get stuck in my throat,
tightening my muscles.
They curl up in my lungs
Making it hard to breathe
a slow, painful strangulation
sucking the life out of me.
Silence does that.

I had so many years of terrified silence
So many years of threats
to my life
Saw so many people in pain
and fear
the way I was
with no way to know
that they weren’t alone.

So now when my words
uncoil on the page,
become books that reach others
and I hear back how grateful they are
My throat loosens
My breath eases
My heart feels full,
And healing happens.

© Cheryl Rainfield, April 2014

4 Comments on Writing Heals: My Poem for Poem In Your Pocket Day, last added: 4/24/2014
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4. Call for Submissions: Tahoma Literary Review

Tahoma Literary Review is a new, print quarterly (with digital reader options available) that is dedicated not only to publishing the best new poetry and fiction, but also to paying our writers professional rates, promoting our contributors and helping their work find an audience. We publish a diverse selection of writers. All selections for publication come through the submission portal; we do not solicit writing from individual authors. We believe this ensures a fair and transparent selection process.

TLR offers professional payment by dedicating a substantial portion of our total income to support authors. Payment for fiction ranges from a minimum of $50 to $300. Payment for poetry and cover art is $25 to $50. The amount is determined by the revenues received from submission fees, print journal sales and contributions from sources such as donors and foundations. To ensure transparency, we publish an audited quarterly revenue statement to verify the funds received for each submission period.

In return for their fees, submitters also get access to our secure Endnotes area, featuring interviews, craft articles and much more. For guidelines, payment details, and editorial philosophy, please visit us at our website.

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5. Call for Submissions: Heyday Magazine

Heyday Magazine is a quarterly digital and print magazine of: Poetry and Artwork. Featuring: Articles, Advice, Interviews, and Reviews from reputable columnists in all aspects of Art.

Visit our website for archived poems, video performances and free articles.

Submissions now open until June 15th, 2014 for the July 2014 issue.

Send us your music, videos, artwork, photography, poetry, art that goes along with your poetry, short fiction, comics, cartoons, ideas, suggestions, SEND US ANYTHING! We want to hear from you. Even if you haven’t been previously published or showcased, this is your chance to get an honest reading, hearing or viewing of your creative expression.

Please follow our submission guidelines.

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6. Poetry Fellowships: Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships

Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships

Five Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships in the amount of $25,800 each (previously $15,000), will be awarded to young poets through a national competition sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. Established in 1989 by the Indianapolis philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the fellowships are intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry.

Submissions will be accepted from March 1 – April 30 of this year, via the online submissions system.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and no older than 31 years of age as of April 30, 2014.
Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2014.
Applications must be made through our submissions website, according to the guidelines below.
Application materials sent via e-mail or standard mail will not be considered.


FIRST, you must assemble your application materials as a SINGLE Word document. This document must include:
An approximately 250-word introduction to your work (not to exceed one page).
Ten pages of poems, in standard font and size (Times New Roman, 12pt). You may include multiple poems on one page, but total pages of poems must not exceed ten.
Publication list. (Optional. If you choose to include it, please do so as the last page of your document.)
Name this document [LAST NAME]_[FIRST NAME].doc (example: Doe_John.doc).

THEN, proceed to our online submission manager where you can upload your application.

Finalists will be notified by e-mail by August 1.

Winners will be announced on September 1.

If you have any questions, contact Holly Amos at hamos@poetrymagazine.org.

* * *

About the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship Program
Established in 1989 by Ruth Lilly to encourage the further writing and study of poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship program has dramatically expanded since its inception. Until 1995, university writing programs nationwide each nominated one student poet for a single fellowship; from 1996 until 2007, two fellowships were awarded. In 2008 the competition was opened to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age, and the number of fellowships increased to five, totaling $75,000. In 2014, the Poetry Foundation received a generous gift from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund to create the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowships, which increased the fellowship amount from $15,000 to $25,800.

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7. Writing Competition: New Letters Literary Awards

The New Letters Literary Awards online entry

$4,500 in awards for writers | Deadline: May 18, 2014.

The $1,500 New Letters Prize for Poetry for the best group of three to six poems.

The $1,500 Dorothy Cappon Prize for the best Essay.

The $1,500 Alexander Cappon Prize for Fiction, for the best short story.


Upload your writing online by midnight Saturday, May 18th. Entries sent after midnight May 18th cannot be considered or refunded. Please read guidelines carefully to insure best service. For a printable version of the guidelines, click here.

Postmark by May 18, 2014.

Mail Entries to:
New Letters Awards for Writers
UMKC, University House
5101 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

Enclose with each entry:

--$15 for first entry; $10 for every entry after. Entry fee includes the cost of a one-year subscription, renewal, or gift subscription to New Letters, shipped to any address within the United States. (Subscriptions mailed outside the U.S. require a $15 postal surcharge.) Make checks payable to New Letters.
--Two cover sheets: the first with complete name, address, e-mail address, phone number, category, and title(s); and the second with category and title only. Your personal information should not appear anywhere else on the entry. For sample cover sheets, click here.
--A stamped, self-addressed postcard for notification of receipt and entry number.
--A stamped, self-addressed envelope for a list of winners. This is optional. Please send only one envelope if submitting more than one entry.


--Simultaneous submissions of unpublished entries are accepted with proper notification upon acceptance elsewhere.
--All entries will be considered for publication in New Letters.
--Fiction and essay entries should not exceed 8,000 words. A single poetry entry may contain up to six poems, and those poems need not be related.
--Multiple entries are accepted with appropriate fees. Please make cover sheets for each entry of fiction, essay, or group of poems.
--Manuscripts will not be returned.
--No substitutions after submissions. No refunds will be offered for withdrawn material.
--Current students and employees of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and current volunteer members of the New Letters and BkMk Press staffs, are not eligible.

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8. Michael J. Rosen: ‘Read poets from other countries, in other languages, if possible.’

Michael J RosenHappy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we will interview poets about working in this digital age. Recently, we spoke with writer Michael J. Rosen.

Throughout his writing career, Rosen (pictured, via) has authored more than a dozen books. Recently, he wrote two installments of a children’s book series that focuses on animal-themed haikus, The Cuckoo’s Haiku and The Hound Dog’s Haiku. Next Spring, Candlewick Press will release book three The Maine Coon’s Haiku. Check out the highlights from our interview below…


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9. T is for The T.E. Lawrence Poems

When I first moved to Albuquerque nearly eleven years ago, one of the first things I did was join a narrative poetry writing group. I saw their notice seeking new members up at my local indie bookstore, and wanted to join on the spot. I called the listed number, talked to a very nice poet, and attended my first meeting several days later. It was a great group, even if I didn't know that much about narrative poetry at the time, other than having read Gaudete, the subject of my "G" post for the A-Z Challenge. 

Unfortunately, several months later the group was the target of a hostile takeover (bet you didn't know groups could fall prey to things like that) and almost overnight it became a . . . science fiction novel writing group! Huh?? I don't write science fiction. I needed a new group, and soon.

Except there were no other narrative poetry groups in Albuquerque. When I told a poet friend in Canada about what had happened and how much I wanted to learn more about the genre, she immediately sent me a very special gift: a copy of The T.E. Lawrence Poems by Canadian poet Gwendolyn MacEwan, a book my friend described as "narrative poetry at its best." She was right.

The T.E. Lawrence Poems is a fictional "autobiography" told in verse from the point of view of Lawrence of Arabia. This Lawrence isn't Peter O'Toole, and maybe not even the author of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, but he sure comes across as real. Reading this book is worse than having an endless bowl of Fritos--once I start, I can't put it down.

I have never been the type of person who can describe poetry very well. I use words like amazing, fantastic, beautiful, soul-stirring, but none of them say what I want to say about poetry. Maybe it's because I just don't know how you can write about poetry, except maybe to write another poem!

Which is what I did on a trip to Taos, New Mexico a few summers back. It started with a simple misunderstanding: During much of the trip I kept talking about how much I wanted to see all the places D.H. Lawrence had been while he lived in Taos. It wasn't until we were at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House that I realized with a jolt that my husband thought I'd been talking all this time about T.E. Lawrence. I was stunned. Sons and Lovers had NOTHING to do with camels. I had to process this in my art journal before I felt as if I'd fallen down the rabbit hole:

Lawrence in Taos

There were no deserts he could recognize;
His motorbike too small and industrial;
His politics unpopular;
His clothing suspicious.
Arrested over and over for assisting--they thought--Al Qaeda, 
He could not convince them he wasn't who they thought he was:
It was terrible how narrow their vision was
And how much he wanted to go home . . .

Whew, that felt better.

I hope you get a chance to read The T.E. Lawrence Poems one day. The copy my friend sent was a used edition, and I was lucky to get it. There are some pencilled annotations in the margins from previous readers, and whoever they were, they seemed to have enjoyed the book almost as much as me! 

Happy National Poetry Month, everyone, and I'll see you tomorrow with the letter "U."

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10. Clint Smith Uses Spoken Word Poem ‘Memoir’ For Activism

What are your thoughts on immigration reform?

Clint Smith, a poet and a high school English teacher, decided to express his opinion in a poem. The video embedded above features Smith delivering a performance of “Memoir.”

In a Q&A with Food Politic, Smith talked about his inspiration for this piece: “‘Memoir’ wasn’t something I thought about until I had a student that said, ‘It doesn’t matter if I have a 4.0 and 2400 on my SATs. I don’t have a social security number so I can’t go to school.’ My poetry is me trying to reconcile my own life and opportunities I’ve had with opportunities my students aren’t given and how profoundly unfair that is.” What do you think? (via UpWorthy)

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11. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely

What a beautiful and curious book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine turned out to be. Rankine is a poet who had three collections under her belt when she published this book that is and is not poetry in 2004. I say it is poetry because it is beautifully lyrical and written in short pieces that could be poems except they are prose paragraphs, essays of a sort. Only each essay doesn’t even fill a page, is sometimes only a paragraph long. But each piece connects together sort of like a collage, accumulating and building up to a whole picture. Many of the poem-essays can stand alone and are gorgeous little gems:

Forgiveness, I finally decide, is not the death of amnesia, nor is it a form of madness, as Derrida claims. For the one who forgives, it is simply a death, a dying down in the heart, the position of the already dead. It is in the end the living through, the understanding that this has happened, is happening, happens. Period. It is a feeling of nothingness that cannot be communicated to another, an absence, a bottomless vacancy held by the living, beyond all that is hated or loved.

The book moves around many themes, death, grief, unhappiness, forgiveness, sadness, life, and most of all, loneliness:

Define loneliness?


It’s what we can’t do for each other.

What do we mean to each other?

What does life mean?

Why are we here if not for each other?

Even though the poem-essays are questioning, sometimes melancholic, sometimes baffled, and sometimes tragic, the book is not depressing. There is a softness, a gentleness to it that is present throughout no matter if it is about personal tragedy or the World Trade Center. And the book itself ends with a number of poem-essays on hope:

Such distress moved in with muscle and bone. Its entrance by necessity slowly translated my already grief into a tremendously exhausted hope. The translation occurred unconsciously, perhaps occurred simply because I am alive. The translation occurs as a form of life. Then life, which seems so full of waiting, awakes suddenly into a life of hope.

Loneliness never goes away, it is something that is and always will be with us, a part of the human condition. But with hope, with reaching out a hand to someone else, for just a little while we can forget our loneliness:

Or one meaning of here is ‘In this world, in this life, on earth. In this place or position, indicating the presence of,’ or in other words, I am here. It also means to hand something to somebody — Here you are. Here, he said to her. Here both recognizes and demands recognition. I see you, or here, he said to her. In order for something to be handed over a hand must extend and a hand must receive. We must both be here in this world in this life in this place indicating the presence of.

The whole book builds toward being “here” and recognizing the presence of someone else; recognizing another person’s existence, and what that existence entails — messy, sad, lonely, grief and hope filled life.

It is a beautiful and affirming book. The language is gorgeous. The poem-essays are often accompanied by small drawings or photos that provide additional impact. I read the book in less than a day. I had stopped about three-quarters of the way through thinking I should save the book and finish the next day. But when casting around for something else to read, nothing appealed except Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. So I finished it. I am glad I did because I think it is meant to be read in one day while all the connections and layerings are mingling around in the brain, fresh and pliable. I enjoyed the book so much I will gladly give one of Rankine’s poetry collections a go sometime.

Filed under: Books, Essays, Poetry, Reviews

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12. Julie Andrews Reads Her Poem ‘Missing’

In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve dug up a video of actress Julie Andrews performing a recitation of her poem, “Missing.” Andrews has collaborated with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, on several books including Dumpy the Dumptruck, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother and Child, and Very Fairy Princess.

The mother-daughter writing duo both served as narrators for the audiobook version of the Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. They won the 2011 Grammy Award in the “Best Spoken Word Album for Children” category. What’s your favorite poem?

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13. Attention Shoppers: Poetry Month Continues!

Poem Depot

Aisles of Smiles

Poems and drawings by Douglas Florian


Imagine a supermarket with aisles of poetry. Take a cart and wander up and down 11 aisles of puns, jokes, wit, belly laughs and just rhyming fun for the picture book set – and parents too! Couldn’t let April aka National Poetry Month, close out without a tip of the hat to Douglas Florian’s latest, called Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles.

Poetry, and the idea of it, can set kids running in the opposite direction! Maybe that’s because they haven’t been introduced to the poems that tickle their funny bones first and make them giggle. Time enough for the classic side, as their tastes mature. But for now, kids are masters at enjoying the ridiculous and silly. It’s a shame we adults lose that so quickly under the shoulder of adult responsibilities and the desire to be taken seriously! Serious comes quickly enough, so why not get in touch with your silly side again, and let your kids see someone that both YOU and THEY haven’t seen in a while! And this may just be the book to start you down that road this April. Read the poems aloud and laugh long and lyrically – together. Or maybe if it’s too much of a leap all at once, try a simple chuckle first.

Any actor will tell you it’s much harder to do comedy than it is to do the dramatic. It’s the timing, delivery and the language all intertwined. Mr. Florian has a gift in that regard for the “language of laughter.” And in Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles, his simple pen and ink drawings are the perfect complement to the poetry. He’s smart enough to let the words stand on their own with just the right touch of whimsy in the art to set the poetry off right!

His previous books like Laugh-eteria connect with kids and the funny things that happen in a child’s world. He is the winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins and Claudia Lewis awards. And speaking of Lee Bennett Hopkins, here is a man that has done much to foster the love, laughter and language of poetry in the younger set. If you have a chance, please also take a peek at HIS books too. Lee Bennett Hopkins is “one of America’s most prolific anthologists of poetry for young people”, says Anthony L. Manna in the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly. Try Days to Celebrate, Give Me Wings, Hand in Hand, I Am the Book, and the devilishly delicious, Nasty Bugs. These are some great compilations to whet the appetite of children for the dense compact language of poetry.

But first, just try a sample from Mr. Florian’s Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles:





                                         I’m scared of wild animals:

                                       Of lions, tigers, bears.

                                        I’m scared of climbing mountains,

                                       Or falling off of chairs.

                                       I’m mortified of monsters,

                                     Or each and every ghost.

                                     Next Thursday is a science test-

                                      And that scares me the most.



Can YOU relate? I can, and so will your young readers as they wander up and down the aisles of this depot filled with the sometimes silly, scary and searching world of childhood.

You’ll find ME in Aisle 6: Tons of Puns. Love’em and so will you!




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14. Exploring Content-Based Poetry

Looking for a writing exercise that effectively blends content learning and poetry? A technique borrowed from Georgia Heard could be just the thing.

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15. Poetry, The Art for All Occasions — Carolee Dean

This is the final post for National Poetry Month. Much thanks to all who have participated and those who have read.

A couple of weeks ago my father-in-law died and I went to Texas to be with my mother-in-law. The ashes were coming from California and it was going to take several days to have them shipped from Texas, so we settled down to write the obituary and to share stories of his long and colorful life. There was a continuous stream of people arriving with food, flowers, and good wishes.

I had to leave to return to work and go on a long-planned trip to Colorado to see my son and daughter in college there. As I was back in New Mexico packing, I received a phone call from my mother-in-law asking if I could recommend a short poem to print on the thank you notes she was planning to send. I told her I would take some books of poetry on my road trip and send her a selection.

I searched the shelves in my daughter’s old room, where all the books of poetry are kept. Tired and a little frazzled, I couldn’t seem to find anything but a collection by Walt Whitman. Not many short selections there.

The next morning, armed with coffee, my suitcase, and a book of poems about two inches thick, I recalled that Whitman had written an elegy to Abraham Lincoln upon his death. As my husband drove north on Interstate 25, I found the poem and excitedly typed the first stanza into my phone to send to my mother-in-law.

     When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning

     O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

From “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”
by  Walt Whitman

After sending off the poem and returning numerous phone calls regarding the obituary, I breathed a great sigh of relief and opened a book I’d been meaning to read since Christmas, The Discovery of Poetry by Frances Mayes. It was my son’s college text from his poetry class. I’d read a bit of it while he was home for Thanksgiving and wanted to read more, so I asked him for a copy for Christmas.

Because I knew he was a poor college student, I told him he could even give me the used copy from class. And that’s exactly what he did, he gave me a book tattered around the edges, filled with notes and bent back corners. An absolute treasure. Best of all, he included some holiday haiku he’d written. Here is one of them:

Bells jingle and ring.
Tis the season to believe
everyone can sing.

As we sped past the Rocky Mountains and I read my son ‘s haiku, I thought of the many times I’ve given poems printed on bookmarks as Christmas gifts, and I was reminded of how much poetry touches our everyday lives. I also thought of how often I have received poems as gifts and how many of those poems now hang on the walls of my home.

Poetry has been used throughout the centuries to express thanks, regret, sorrow, humor, love, and a host of other emotions. It is printed on cards and written on walls. It is tucked into books on little slips of paper.

But most of all, poetry is engraved on our hearts and imprinted in our minds so that even after reading a poem years or decades earlier, we can recall its lines.

Carolee Dean is the author of several books including the young adult verse novel, Forget Me Not.
You may follow her blog at http://caroleedeanbooks.blogspot.com
Twitter @CaroleeJDean
Facebook Carolee Dean, Author



The post Poetry, The Art for All Occasions — Carolee Dean appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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16. How to Read a Poem Aloud (Revised) and 2 Giveaway Reminders

Hi Everyone,
This month, we've been having a great time celebrating our BlogiVERSEary by sharing audio and video clips of the TeachingAuthors reciting some of our favorite poems. If you missed any of them, here are the links one more time, in the order posted:

Our actual blogiversary is tomorrow, April 22. Believe it or not, we've been posting for FIVE years!

Our blogiversary giveaway runs through Wednesday, April 23, so if you haven't entered yet, be sure to do so on this blog post. And while our blogiversary celebration is coming to a close, the Poetry Month fun continues with JoAnn's weekly poetry-themed Wednesday Writing Workouts. JoAnn is also giving away copies of her terrific book, Write a Poem Step by Step on her blog.

Before publishing my last blog post, I double-checked with April regarding the formatting of her poem "How to Read a Poem Aloud," which I was sharing in my post. I was surprised to learn that she'd revised the poem since its first publication. Unfortunately, the news came after I'd already uploaded my recording of the original poem to SoundCloud and I didn't have time to re-record it before the post went live. I realized later that today's post was a great opportunity to share that revised version with you. I uploaded a new recording (email subscribers can listen to it here) and I copied the latest version of the poem below. If you want to compare the two, you can go back to my last post.

I'm hoping April will share with us her revision process, because, to be honest, I loved the poem the way it was. Of course, I like this version, too. J

                 How to Read a Poem Aloud (Revised Version)
                    by April Halprin Wayland

            To begin,
            tell the poet’s name 
            and the title 
            to your friend.

            Savor every word—

          read it one more time.

          Now, take a breath—
          and sigh.

          Then think about the poet,
          at her desk,
          late at night,
          picking up her pen to write—

          and why.
                             © April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved. 

Happy writing!

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17. Writing & Poetry Contest


This colorful fun illustration was sent in by Louise Bergeron Lousie was feature on Illustrator Saturday May 26th, 2012. Here is the link:http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/illustrator-saturday-louise-c-bergeron/ Take a look. Her artwork is so much fun.  website:  www.illustrationquebec.com/louisecbergeron

Do you love to play with words, arrange them in artistic ways?  Have you written poetry or a short story?  If the answer is yes, then maybe you will want to consider The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. The people at Dream Quest say if you have an ability to dream, you have an ability to win. Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash prizes. All works must be original.

Guidelines: Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed.  And/or write a short story, five pages maximum length, on any subject or theme, creative writing fiction or non-fiction (including essay compositions, diary, journal entries and screenwriting). Also, must be typed or neatly hand printed. Multiple poetry and short story entries are accepted.

Postmark deadline: July 31, 2014 All contest winners will be published online in the Dare to Dream pages, on September 20, 2014. Entry Form: http://www.dreamquestone.com/entryform.html

Prizes: Writing Contest First Prize is $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $100. Poetry Contest First Prize is $250. Second Prize: $125.  Third Prize: $50. Entry fees: $10 per short story. $5 per poem.

To send entries: Include title(s) with your story (ies) or poem(s), along with your name, address, phone#, email, brief biographical  info. (Tell us a little about yourself), on the coversheet. Add a self-addressed stamped envelope for entry confirmation.

Mail entries/fees payable to: “DREAMQUESTONE.COM” Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest P.O. Box 3141 Chicago, IL  60654

Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details on how to enter!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Contest, opportunity, Places to sumit, poetry, Win Tagged: Dream Quest Contest, Louise Bergeron, Poetry, Short Story contest

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18. Call for Poetry Submissions: Pinwheel

Pinwheel’s Online Submission Party Invitation

Welcome to the party! You are cordially invited to submit YOUR BEST WORK to the online poetry journal Pinwheel during the month of May. We want to read the poems you have labored over. Define “labored” in any personal context you want, but you better feel bad if your submission isn’t the kind of poetry you’re ready to set on a gilded altar. Read poems in our ARCHIVE to get an idea of what we prefer to publish.

What: Pinwheel Open Submissions Period

Email to submit: 
pinwheelsubmissionsATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

When: May 1­ – May 31

Disclaimer: Any unsolicited submissions sent to us outside of our submission period will be discarded.

Send us up to 5 poems totaling 10 pages during the month of May. We want poems that will throw and take a goddamn punch. Rock the boat and burn the bridge, send us those poems. Simultaneous submissions are fine, as long as you let us know immediately via the email address above. Any poems we accept will be eligible for publication in future issues of Pinwheel during 2014.

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19. Prose and Poetry Competitions for Women: A Room of Her Own

$1000 Poetry and Prose Publication Prizes for women

A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO), a transformational community for women writers and artists, is seeking submissions from women writers for the $1,000 To the Lighthouse Poetry Publication Prize (previously unpublished collection of poetry 48 to 96 pages in length) and $1000 Clarissa Dalloway “everything but poetry” Book Prize (previously unpublished, 50,000 to 150,000 words)

There is a $20 submission fee for each manuscript. Our 2014 deadline has been extended to July 31st. Winning manuscripts will be published by Red Hen Press.

Read more here on how to apply.

Please address all inquiries to:

infoATaroomofherownfoundationDOTorg (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

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20. ‘To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter’ Poem Goes Viral

How would you treat the people who may become a love interest for your children? Jesse Parent penned a cautionary spoken-word poem entitled “To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter.”

The video embedded above features Parent performing his piece at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted it earlier this month and it has since attracted more than 840,000 views.


New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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21. A Pawful of Poem Quotes — Lee Wardlaw


“A dog…is prose; 
   a cat is a poem.”
– Jean Burden

I’m a poet – and a cat person. So in honor of National Poetry Month, here is a small pawful of my favorite poem quotes and cat pix.  Enjoy!  – L.W.

“A poet is… 
a person who is passionately in love with language.”
– W.H. Auden

“Poetry is life distilled.”
– Gwendolyn Brooks

“A poet’s autobiography is his poetry. 
Anything else is just a footnote.”
– Yevgeny Yevtushenko

“Poetry and I fit together. 
I can’t imagine being without it…
It is food and drink, it is all seasons, 
it is the stuff of all existence.” 
– Lee Bennett Hopkins


“Like a piece of ice on a hot stove
the poem must ride on its own melting.”
– Robert Frost

“Never let the mud puddle get lost in the poetry
 because, in many ways, the mud puddle is the poetry.” 
– Valerie Worth

“Poetry is a language 
in which man explores his own amazement.”
– Christopher Fry

“I am a revolutionary so my son can be a farmer 
so his son can be a poet.” 
– John Adams


“Poetry is like fish: 
if it’s fresh, it’s good; 
if it’s stale, it’s bad; 
and if you’re not certain, 
try it on the cat.”
– Osbert Sitwell

“A poet dares be just so clear and no clearer….
He unzips the veil from beauty, but does not remove it. 
A poet utterly clear is a trifle glaring.” 
– E.B. White

“If you can’t be a poet, be the poem.” 
– David Carradine

“Poems are the ‘daredevil’ of writing
because a poem will say what nobody else wants to say.”
– Ralph Fletcher


“A good poem leaves me with further questions about
what came before and what came after, 
just like a photograph.
Of course, I could make up my mind
 that poetry is like pond algae, too.
Or even ice cream.”
– Thalia Chaltas

“Writing a poem is making music with words and space.”
– Arnold Adoff

“Prose is words in their best order;
 Poetry is the best words in their best order.”
– Samuel Coleridge

Kid snack

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” 
– G.K. Chesterton

“Poetry is the tunnel at the end of the light.” 
– J. Patrick Lewis

“The distinction between historian and poet
is not in the one writing prose and the other verse…
the one describes the thing that has been,
and the other a kind of thing that might be. 
Hence, poetry is something more philosophical
 and of graver import than history,
 since its statements are of the nature rather of universals, 
whereas those of history are singulars.” 
– Aristotle

“We especially need imagination in science. 
It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, 
but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.”
– Maria Montessori

“As poets we are archaeologists of the interior and external worlds.  
Our work builds bridges between the two.”
– Ellen Kelley

“I have no doubts that the Devil grins,
As seas of ink I spatter.
Ye gods, forgive my ‘literary’ sins –
The other kind don’t matter.”

– Robert W. Service


“I once found a pretty good poem in the ear of my cat.”
– Alice Schertle

Lee Wardlaw swears that her first spoken word was ‘kitty’. Since then, she’s shared her life with 30 cats (not all at the same time!) and published 30 books for young readers, including WON TON – A CAT TALE TOLD IN HAIKU (illustrated by Eugene Yelchin), recipient of the 2012 Lee Bennett Hopkins Children’s Poetry Award, the 2012 Myra Cohn Livingston Poetry Award, and the Beehive (Utah) Poetry Book Award.  WON TON AND CHOPSTICK, a companion title also illustrated by Yelchin, will be released by Holt in 2015.



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22. Top five hip hop references in poetry

By David Caplan

Hip hop has influenced a generation of poets coming to prominence, poets I call “The Inheritors of Hip Hop.” Signaling how the music serves as a shared experience and inspiration, they  mention performers and songs as well as anecdotes from the genre’s development and the artists’ lives, while epigraphs and titles quote songs. The influence of hip hop can be heard in the work of many poets including (but certainly not limited to): Kevin Coval, Erica Dawson, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Matthew Dickman, Major Jackson, Terrance Hayes, Dorothea Lasky, John Murillo, Eugene Ostashevsky, D.A. Powell, Roger Reeves, and Michael Robbins.


In no particular order, here are my five favorite hip hop references in poetry:

(1)   Kevin Young, “Expecting”
To capture the experience of first hearing his child’s heartbeat during a sonogram exam, Young develops a wildly inventive simile followed by metaphors borrowed from hip hop:

And there
it is: faint, an echo, faster and further

away than mother’s, all beat box
and fuzzy feedback. You are like hearing
hip-hop for the first time–power

hijacked from the lamppost–all promise.
You couldn’t sound better, break-
dancer, my favorite song bumping

from a passing car. You’ve snuck
into the club underage and stayed!

(2)   Rowan Ricardo Phillips, “Mappa Mundi
Describing his hometown of the Bronx, Phillips combines Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon’s verse in “Triumph,” “Aiyyo, that’s amazing gun-in-your-mouth talk,” and Samuel Coleridge’s “Frost at Midnight,” “the redbreast sit and sing”:

Whether red birds sit and sing from rooftops

Or rappers cypher deep into the night,
The gun-in-your-mouth talk of a ransomed
God, nature is a lapse in city life.

(3)   Harryette Mullen, “Dim Lady”
Hip hop is nearly everywhere in Mullen’s earlier collection, Muse and Drudge, but my single favorite reference in her work to hip hop appears in “Dim Lady,” collected in Sleeping with the Dictionary. The prose poem rewrites and updates Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130. In the place of Shakespeare’s lines,

“I love to hear her speak, yet well I know / That music hath a far more pleasing sound,”

Mullen offers,

“I love to hear her rap, yet I’m aware that Muzak has a hipper beat.” 

(The poem’s ending always makes me laugh, “And yet, by gosh, my scrumptious Twinkie has as much sex appeal for me as any lanky model or platinum movie idol who’s hyped beyond belief.”

(4)   A. Van Jordan, “R&B
A subgenre of poems about hip hop criticizes the music. A rare exception to the ignorance such work typically show (see, for instance, Tony Hoagland’s “Rap Music”), “R & B” offers a well-informed, thoughtful critique. “Listen long enough to the radio, and you’ll think / maybe C. Dolores Tucker was right,” the poem opens and an endnote reminds readers of Tucker’s significant contributions to the black civil rights movement.

(5)   Michael Cirelli, “Dead Ass”
“I am not afraid of dope lyrics,” Michael Cirelli writes in “Dead Ass.” Several poems in Lobster with Ol’ Dirty Bastard retell moments from hip hop history. To describe teens grooving to the music, “Dead Ass” borrows from Oakland slang, “hyphy,” meaning “crazy” in a good sense, “hyphy / music makes their bodies dip up and down / like oil drills.” (My favorite line in the book, though, describes eighties pop, not hip hop, “We danced incestuously to Michael and Janet that night.”)

Bonus Tracks

(6)   Adrien Matejka, “Wheels of Steel
“I got me two songs instead of eyes,” the poem opens then swaggering quotes five songs in twenty-seven lines.

(7)   Marcus Wicker, “Love Letter to Flavor Flav” tries to make sense of Public Enemy’s most puzzling member:

How you’ve lived saying nothing
save the same words each day
is a kind of freedom or beauty.
Please, tell me I’m not lying to us.

David Caplan is Charles M. Weis Chair in English and Associate Director of Creative Writing at Ohio Wesleyan University. He is the author of Rhyme’s Challenge: Hip Hop, Poetry, and Contemporary Rhyming Culture. His previous books include Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form and the poetry collection In the World He Created According to His Will.

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Image credit: turntable spinning. Photo by Tengilorg, 2005. CC-BY-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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23. Harts Pass No. 197

I'll say it again, inspiration abounds!

0 Comments on Harts Pass No. 197 as of 4/18/2014 1:05:00 PM
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24. Call for Submissions: The Ofi Press Literary Magazine

The Ofi Press, a cultural ezine with a real international flavour, is looking for fiction, poetry, visual arts, and interviews for possible publication in issue 36. So far, for this issue we have work lined up from top and emerging writers from Mexico, Canada, the USA, the UK, Sierra Leone, Slovakia and Nigeria.

Visit our website

Our response time is from 2-14 days and we have around a 5% acceptance rate. We are not able to provide payment for works published on our site but we offer assistance with the promotion of books and projects via our facebook and twitter feeds for all of our collaborators.

Submissions are open year-round for our bimonthly issues but to be considered for our next edition, please submit your work by the 9th of May 2014. All submissions will be read and responded to by the editor Jack Little.

While the edition has no specific theme, issues of identity, gender, colonialism are o particular interest to the editor. The most important thing though is that we love your work, that it moves us, or even better, excites us.

For our full submission guidelines, please check here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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25. Three Ways to Teach Etched In Clay by Andrea Cheng

Jill_EisenbergJill Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators.

1. Teaching Students About Narrator Bias

Etched In Clay is a compelling case study for narrator bias and trustworthiness. The text structure with 13 narrators and its economy of words make Dave’s story captivating, especially to middle grade Etched in Clay written and illustrated by Andrea Chengstudents who are beginning to engage with primary sources from the period of American slavery. Students can analyze how each speaker’s social experiences, status, motivations, and values influence his/her point of view, such as evaluating the poems of the slave-owners who would have had a vested interest in popularizing a particular narrative of slavery.

Using multiple perspectives to tell the story of one life is a striking display of how events can be interpreted and portrayed by different positions in the community. Students face the task of examining the meaning and nuance of each narrator (13 in total!) and what they choose to convey (or don’t).

Discussion questions include:

  • Why might the author choose to share Dave’s story using multiple speakers? How do multiple narrations develop or affirm the central idea?
  • How do the author’s choices of telling a historical story in present tense and first person narration affect our sympathy toward the narrators and events in the book?
  • Select a poem, such as “Nat Turner,” and defend why the author chose a particular narrator to tell that event or moment. How would the event and poem be different if another, like Reuben Drake, had told it?
  • Are there narrators the readers can trust more than others? Why or why not? What makes a narrator (un)trustworthy? How is each narrator (un)reliable? Why might one of these narrators not tell readers the “whole” truth? Does having more than one narrator make the story overall more reliable? Why or why not?
  • How does a narrator’s position in society or in Dave’s life affect what he/she knows? How does the historical context affect what a narrator may or may not know and his/her reliability? How can readers check a narrator’s knowledge of facts?
  • What is the motivation of each narrator to share?
  • Does this alternation between narrators build compassion or detachment for Dave in readers? How so?
  • Why is it important to learn the history of slavery from slaves themselves?
  • Compare and contrast the conditions of slavery from Dave’s point of view and Lewis Miles.
  • How do the slaveholders depict the relationships with their slaves? How do the slaves depict their relationships with the slaveholders?
  • Compare Dave and Lewis Miles’ perceptions of the Civil War.
  • Consider whether Dave and David Drake should be considered one perspective or two.
  • Contrast how each narrator feels about antebellum South Carolina.
  • Who might be the audience the narrators are telling their version of events to (themselves, God, a news reporter, etc.)? Are they the same? Why is intended audience important to consider?
  • Argue whether 13 points of view flesh out this figure or make Dave and his life even more elusive.

2. Poetry Month and Primary Sources

As “Primary Sources + Found Poetry = Celebrate Poetry Month” suggests, the Library of Congress proposes an innovative way to combine poetry and nonfiction. Teaching With The Library of Congress recently re-posted the Found Poetry Primary Source Set that “supports students in honing their reading and historical comprehension skills by creating poetry based upon informational text and images.” Students will study primary source documents, pull words and phrases that show the central idea, and then use those pieces to create their own poems.

This project not only enables teachers to identify whether a student grasps a central idea of a text, but also encourages students to interact with primary sources in much the same way as Etched In Clay’s Andrea Cheng. When researching Dave’s life and drawing inspiration for her verses, Andrea Cheng integrated the small pieces of evidence of Dave’s life, including poems on his pots and the bills of sale.

3. Common Core and the Appendix B Document

Many middle school educators are currently using Henrietta Buckmaster’s “Underground Railroad,” a recommended text exemplar for grades 4-5, and Ann Petry’s Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad and Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave, Written by Himself, recommended text exemplars for grades 6-8 in the Common Core State Standards’ Appendix B document.

Educators can couple Etched In Clay with those texts to involve reluctant or struggling readers, prepare incoming middle school students, and scaffold content and language for English Language Learners. Additionally, Andrea Cheng’s biography offers educators an inquiry-based project for ready and advanced readers to analyze “how two texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9).

For a more inclusive, diversity-themed collection of contemporary authors and characters of color, check out our Appendix B Diversity Supplement.

Further reading:

Andrea Cheng on Writing Biography in Verse

A Poem from Etched in Clay

Filed under: Curriculum Corner Tagged: African/African American Interest, appendix b, CCSS, close reading, common core standards, Educators, ELA common core standards, History, National Poetry Month, poetry, reading comprehension, slavery

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