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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Poetry Friday, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,964
1. Poetry Friday: Make Them Gold by Chvrches

We are made of our longest days
We are falling but not alone
We will take the best parts of ourselves
And make them gold

We are made of our smallest thoughts
We are breathing and letting go
We will take the best parts of ourselves
And make them gold

- from the song Make Them Gold by Chvrches

If you can't see the video player embedded above, click here to listen to the song on YouTube.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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2. While the Sun Shines

If you’re anywhere near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, look for me this weekend at the Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival. The celebration, October 9-11, features free programming for children, teens, and adults with 16 authors and illustrators presenting at three venues.

I’ll be presenting a program for children on Saturday at 11:30 at Bookworm Gardens. I’ll read Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move, and we’ll do a milkweed seed activity and talk about monarch butterflies.  I can hardly wait!

On Sunday at 1:30 at the Mead Public Library, I’ll present a workshop for adults about writing lively nonfiction and share examples from exciting nonfiction books for kids. I found such wonderful resources!

The following weekend is our SCBWI-Wisconsin Fall Conference, where I’ll present a breakout session on Activating Passive Language. I’m also doing critiques. Here, Im interviewed on the new SCBWI-Wisconsin Blog. You can read interviews with some of the other presenters here

Just in time for my conference planning, I finished revising a test passage for an educational publisher. Sometime before I take off for Sheboygan, I intend to send out a letter about a school visit. All this preparation can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s all fun stuff. After a pretty quiet summer, I’m happy to be busy! So when work is available, I always say "Yes!" if I can.

This week’s To-Do list demonstrates our current Teaching Authors topic: the variety of ways we try to make a living in addition to writing and marketing our books for children. Marti started us off with a post about her two articles in the 2016 Childrens Writers and Illustrator’s Market, including "Make a Living as a Writer." Last week Monday, Esther mentioned teaching, writing book reviews, and educational writing. On Wednesday, Laura Purdie Salas shared an exercise about writing on assignment. On Friday, April gave us three tips and a story. Mary Ann started this week with another story and her take on school visits and teaching. We all wear multiple hats!

When I’m busybusybusy, I have to remember to take breaks. Yesterday, I walked to the lake and saw this brief, tiny rainbow overhead.

Here’s a cloud-watching poem to go with the view:
Summer Job 
My favorite occupation
is to lie back and look at the sky.
If you find the right spot,
you can see quite a lot
in the shapes of the clouds rolling by. 
You can study the habits of insects.
You can see how they flutter and fly.
You’ll see birds on the wing.
You can hear how they sing
as they swoop and they soar through the sky. 
All in all, it’s a fabulous habit.
You really should give it a try.
There’s nothing to do
but consider the view.
As the day drifts away, so do I.
JoAnn Early Macken 
I hope to see some of you out and about! In the meantime, be sure to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the 2016 Childrens Writers and Illustrator’s Market (courtesy of Writer’s Digest Books)! Saturday, October 10, is the last day to enter.

Laura Purdie Salas is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Writing the World for Kids. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken

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3. Poetry Friday with a review of Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems

Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems
Mary Ann Hoberman
Illustrated by Marylin Hafner
Poetry Picture book
For ages 4 to 6
Little Brown, 2001, 978-0316362511
Families come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as small as “One and another,” and they can be big enough to include dear friends who are so close that they too are family. Humans are not the only ones who have families either. “A pair like a kanga and roo is a family,” as are “A calf and a cow that go moo.”
   In this heartwarming picture poetry book Mary Ann Hoberman celebrates families, bringing readers a collection of poems that explore relationships and connections. She begins with a little boy who tells us about his baby brother. We can hear the love in this child’s voice as he tells us that his brother is “beautiful” and how “when he laughs, his dimple shows.” Another child tells us about the walks that he takes with his father. Often his father talks about “how it was when he was small” when he used to take walks with his dad, and how his dad took walks with his dad. Four generations of children in this family have gone down to the beach to watch the ships go by.
   In another poem a little boy introduces us to all his grandparents. We hear how one grandma bakes him birthday cakes and “rubs my tummy when it aches.” His other grandma knits clothes for him, and when he got the chicken pox “She let me have her button box.” One of his grandfathers, the stout one, is teaching him how to yodel; and his tall and thin grandfather is good at basketball.
   In a wonderful poem called Relatives we get to meet one little boy’s colorful family when they are all gathered together in his home. Each one has a comment to make about the boy, and they all talk “as if I couldn’t hear.” He hears about how he has got “Uncle Perry’s nose,” “He looks a tiny bit too thin,” and “has his mother’s knobbly knees.” By the end of the discussion the poor little boy wonders “who I really am.”
  As the pages are turned we hear about special moments in children’s lives that are touched by the actions of their relatives. There is the little girl whose mother cares for her lovingly when the little girl is sick, and then there is the child whose father now lives in a different house and has “another family.” Every time the child and the father get together they have a visit full of happiness, but when the father drives away the child always feels the loss.

   Throughout this book wonderful verse is paired with artwork to give us a taste of moments in children’s lives that are sometimes sweet and sometimes funny. 

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4. leave 'em hanging

"finally arrived at Grandmother's door."

and that's the end of
part 1. tonight, while you're waiting
to fall asleep, you

may find Little Red
lifting the latch of your dreams.
all the better to

be continued

HM 2015 (c)

The Diamond Miners are in the midst of comparing points of view in different versions of well-known folktales--you can guess which one this week.  We read slowly, we stop and start, stop and restart, check for comprehension ("BING!"), break the story into Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.  I'm finding that at the accomplished age of seven children are susceptible to relying on what they already know and are prone to "unhearing" new information.  That's why Lon Po Po has been so gripping--familiar but different, and what's a gingko nut?

From an Education Week article on how we pose our questions to support deep interpretation: "teachers often read through a chapter or text selection completely before starting a discussion....As part of the training course, they are learning to plan stopping points where the text is ambiguous and launch questions that get students thinking about what is going on. "We want to teach kids to not just start at the beginning and read all the way through," Matsumura said. "A good reader is thinking about what they are reading as they are going through."" Well, duh.

But my goal is "never a duh moment."  I can't assume that even the high flyers in my class are coordinating all the moving parts that deep comprehension depends upon. We teachers and writers do it easily, but precisely BECAUSE we are skilled and effective literacy practitioners, it can be hard for us to slow down enough to elucidate this "behind the scenes" thinking we are doing as we read.

So, again, there is no way I can get through 6-8 titles in a week, and the ones we do spend precious time with better be really good.  So thanks, Trina Schart Hyman, for Little Red Riding Hood, and thanks, Ed Young for Lon Po Po, and thanks  Wilhelmina Harper for The Gunniwolf....you make us want to work hard to be deeper readers.

The roundup today is with Laura at her spiffy new-look blog at Writing the World for Kids--go lift the latch on her door and see what hiding inside!

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5. Poetry Friday -- Rereading Frost

Rereading Frost 
by Linda Pastan

Sometimes I think all the best poems
have been written already,
and no one has time to read them,
so why try to write more?

At other times though,
I remember how one flower
in a meadow already full of flowers
somehow adds to the general fireworks effect

as you get to the top of a hill
in Colorado, say, in high summer
and just look down at all that brimming color.

(read the rest of the poem here)

That first stanza...so true, right? But the best part of writing is working through the "Why bother?", keeping my eyes open and my pencil ready, and receiving amazing gifts from the universe and my imagination. Ah, writing!

Laura has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Writing the World for Kids, and -- make a note of this -- on October 30, the roundup will be at Jone's place, Check It Out, instead of here at A Year of Reading.

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6. Poetry Friday -- Beyond Thrilled

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry
edited by J. Patrick Lewis
National Geographic, October, 2015

I am beyond thrilled to have a poem in this gorgeous book! To have my words share covers with some of my favorite poems of all times, and to be included with so many of my favorite poets (some whose words-on-page I know, but some whose handshake-hug-or smile I know)...wow! And to be able to page through this book savoring the pictures as much as the words...wow! Thank you, Mr. JPL, for this opportunity, this gift.

My poem is in the ocean section, and to write it, I did exactly what Pat encourages in his forward:
"You needn't leave your chair to write a poem about the wilder shores of creation. A book is your ticket to ride; a photograph is rapid transit to the brain. What kind of poem would you  write if all you had in front of you was an image...?"
I've never been to the Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize, so I went there through pictures and research. I gazed into its depths and wondered (both with questions and awe). When I finally wrote, I let the Great Blue Hole speak, giving its tribute to the water that created it one drop at a time with the eternal power of erosion.

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Eric Pheterson

I Owe it All to Water

Back in the ice age,
I became a cave.
In my hollow heart, I meditated
on my maker.

Water’s three little atoms have such power:
dripping steadily,
grinding microscopically,
sculpting artistically.

(or so it seemed)
the oceans rose, my ceiling fell, and I was completely
submerged. Filled to the brim. Literally.

Now I am a deep, indigo blue. A circular
sapphire in a turquoise sea: singular.
Breathtakingly spectacular.
And I owe it all to water.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Heidi has the Poetry Friday roundup today at My Juicy Little Universe.

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7. Poetry Friday: Etheree

When I first heard the word etheree, I thought it was an old-fashioned name, the kind given to a girl who shucks peas on a weathered porch, with a Bowie knife strapped to her ankle, in case a rattlesnake gets to rattlin', or a rancher gets to raunchin'. Surely it wasn't a form of poetry, as my Poetry Sisters claimed?

I found out it was, indeed, both. Turns out that the Arkansas poet, Etheree Taylor Armstrong, invented a poetic shape in which each line has one more syllable than the one before, and while she was hardly famous, the form named after her has a growing following.  Apparently, many people like it for its simplicity.

I kind of hate simplicity. It's darn hard to pull off.  In fact, I couldn't pull it off. I had to resort to word play.  Lots and lots of word play. (Old ee cummings may still have a grip on me.)

Anyhow, the poem was inspired by my mint tea, informed by some judicious Googling of the astonishing varieties of mint, and ultimately, built around this simple admonition to would-be mint growers that was stark in its advice:

Different varieties of mint should be planted far away from each other. On opposite sides of the garden,  if possible.

Now there was a simple fact I could use.


tendrils left
can crosspollispear
til, oh! calaminty--
scharp-scented, increeping vaders
brandnewishing fresh varietrials
demand mint conditions: no leaf unturned.

---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

Please see Miss Rumphius' blog for a much more considered definition of the form.

My Poetry Sisters' etherees are here:

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.

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8. 3 Tips to Making a Living as a Writer & a Funny Story About Making Money as a Poet

Howdy, Campers ~ and Happy Poetry Friday!  My poem's below, as is the link to today's Poetry Friday round-up.

The topic we TeachingAuthors are knocking around this time is Making a Living as a Writer.

Carmela starts us off with a TeachingAuthors' Book Giveaway of the 2016 CWIM which includes two of her articles, once of which is aptly titled, Making a Living as a Writer; Esther addresses the many ways she's made writing pay...and other pay-offs that result, and our Wednesday Writing Workout, written by former TeachingAuthor Laura Purdie Salas, is titled Is Writing on Assignment Right for You?

So--what are my 3 Tips to Make a Living as a Writer?

1) Write a Classic.
2) Find a Secondary Occupation which actually pays.
3) Define Making a Living

(Hmm...maybe Define Making a Living should come first.)

from morguefile.com

And now for a story about making money as a poet.

I've sold poems to anthologies, testing services and magazines.  Between 1995 and 2011 I sold 30 poems to Carus Publishing Company (publisher of Cricket Magazine and many others). I'm going to brag here because it still makes me proud: in 2003 they asked me to write a poem for a progressive story in honor of the 30th anniversary of Cricket.

At the time, they paid $3 per line.

In 1997 I asked John D. Allen, my all-time favorite editor, if I might possibly be given a raise.

John's response: "As for $4.00 per line...well, I'm afraid we can't do that. Our policy is to keep the same pay scale for all poems.  Sorry. I hope that's not too much of a problem."

Okay, I wrote. Could you give me a free subscription to Cricket? My son was then eight years old.

He replied: "I wish I could offer you an author discount or a subscription credit against your sales, but I'm told I can't. We don't give out much of any discounts besides the early renewal one you checked on your form.  And shifting author payments toward subscriptions would create some sort of accountant's nightmare around here. (Actually, that's all a lie. I was told I could offer you any sort of discount I wanted, as long as the difference came out of my salary. So I thought, Well, I could make April's life a little easier, and it wouldn't cost me much--probably just the price of the cinnamon Pop-Tarts I was planning to buy for an afternoon snack. But then, well, one thing led to another, and to make a long story short, the Pop-Tarts were delicious.)

I loved working with John.  I loved seeing my poems in BabyBug, Ladybug, Spider and Cricket. I surrendered.  Sort of.

In 1998, I responded to his suggestion that I cut a repeated stanza from a poem he'd accepted:

"I'm so glad you like the poem, "Music Critic"! I have enclosed the poem as it reads without the repetition and also another version to see if there might be some way we could keep the repetition in the poem.  Do the new repeats make it any clearer for your readers? If not, I'd be glad to omit the second stanza. I do like the repetition and will probably re-insert it if it gets published again...but I also trust your judgment for your readers.

My husband Gary, who is a CPA (deep into Tax Season as I write this) asked me to ask you if you were going to pay me for the invisible stanza."

Here is the poem John critiqued--without the repetition:

by April Halprin Wayland

This guy drags his drum set onto the sand
so that I have a front row seat
takes off his jeans jacket
snaps his wide red suspenders
and lets loose:

he is in his space
sun is on his face
gulls in the air
clouds in his hair
Go man, go! 
I clap against the shore,

rise up and give him a standing ovation 

published in Cricket Magazine December 1999
© 2015 by April Halprin Wayland. Used with permission of the author, who controls all rights

This poem was subsequently awarded SCBWI's 1999 Magazine Merit Award for Poetry. (You're right, John!  I take it all back!)

*  *  *

If you haven't already done so, enter our latest Book Giveaway of the 2016 Children's Writer's & Illustrators Market

Now, click over to today's Poetry Friday on my juicy little universe ~ thanks for hosting, Heidi!

posted with love by April Halprin Wayland, who just got home after a beautiful and challenging six mile hike in Malibu followed by an electric car adventure (long story)

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9. Poetry Seven Write Etherees

This month my poetry sisters and I tackled the etheree. An etheree is a poem of ten lines in which each line contains one more syllable than the last. Beginning with one syllable and ending with ten, this unrhymed form is named for its creator, 20th century American poet Etheree Taylor Armstrong.

Variant forms of the etheree include the reverse form, which begins with 10 syllables and ends with one. The double etheree is twenty lines, moving from one syllable to 10, and then from 10 back to one. (I suppose a double etheree could also move from 10 syllables to one, and then from one back to 10.)

I made the etheree the first poetry stretch for the month of September. I did this to avoid procrastination and to encourage myself to write early. How did I do? Terribly! I was still writing and rewriting in the wee hours before this post was scheduled to go live, in the hopes that something good would come out of the bits and pieces I was tinkering with. Early in the month the theme of relationships was bandied about, and that's when I really got stuck. It seemed to me that relationships required two poems, or at least a conversation. Alas, I couldn't seem to make this one work.

As I prepare this post I am reminded that we promised ourselves to write and share REGARDLESS of the state of the poems, knowing that much of the time they won't be perfect. That means today I am embracing imperfection and sharing the most polished pieces of the lot.

First up is a pair of poems I wrote about a dog and cat who share the same home. They are untitled.

Flea scratcher,
frisbee catcher,
king of the beggars …
you think you are special,
but our human loves me most!
With my playful pounce, tender touch,
intelligent and commanding ways …
look and see! No one can resist a cat.

Mouse chaser,
sun spot bather,
queen of aloofness …
you think you are all that,
but our human loves me most!
With my soulful eyes, thumping tail,
affectionate and faithful ways …
look and see! No one can resist a dog.

I also wrote numerous poems about my dog. I like this one best, as it's a true story.

Finding Cooper

watching humans
come and go. He waits
for one tender hearted
to heal, to love, to comfort
him. She falls in love at first sight,
knows without doubt that he is the one
who will save her. They rescue each other.

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2015. All rights reserved.

You can read the etherees written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. 

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

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10. Poetry Friday - Math Storytelling Day and Infinity

Today is Math Storytelling Day. In honor of this auspicious event, I'm sharing a video, a book, and some related poems.

A wonderful book to accompany this video is The Cat In Numberland, written by Ivar Ekeland and illustrated by John O'Brien. David Hilbert, a mathematician interested in how infinity works and different sizes of infinities, first made up the basic story (see video above). In this version of the story, Mr. and Mrs. Hilbert run a hotel called the Hotel Infinity. That cat who lives there becomes confused when the Hilberts are able to find room for new guests, even when the hotel is full.  
To learn more about the book, see this comprehensive review from the American Mathematical Society.

Let's wrap this up today with a few poems about infinity.

by William Blake

To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower;
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

by Jacob Bernoulli (a 17th century mathematician)

Even as the finite encloses an infinite series
And in the unlimited limits appear,
So the soul of immensity dwells in minutia
And in narrowest limits no limit in here.
What joy to discern the minute in infinity!
The vast to perceive in the small, what divinity!

Revelation At Midnight
by Piet Hein (a Danish mathematician known for writing gruks)

Infinity's taken
by everyone
as a figure-of-eight
written sideways on.
But all of a sudden
I now comprehend
that eight is infinity
standing on end.

That's it for me on this Friday. I do hope you'll take some time to check out all things poetry being shared and collected today by Janet Wong over at Poetry for Children. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

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11. Poetry Friday: The Lesson by William Wordsworth

There is a flower, the lesser celandine,
That shrinks like many more from cold and rain,
And the first moment that the sun may shine,
Bright as the sun himself, 'tis out again!

- the first stanza of The Lesson by William Wordsworth

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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12. Poetry Friday -- Eclipse

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by John 'K'

As If to Demonstrate an Eclipse
by Billy Collins

I pick an orange from a wicker basket
and place it on the table
to represent the sun.
Then down at the other end
a blue and white marble
becomes the earth
and nearby I lay the little moon of an aspirin.

(read the rest of the poem here)

Mark your calendar and set your alarm -- there's going to be a total lunar eclipse this Sunday night peaking about 10:00 PM. It's an eclipse of a Supermoon! Way cool. The eastern half of North America will be able to see the entire eclipse. Read more about it here and here.

This week, Janet Wong is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at Sylvia's blog Poetry For Children.

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13. Poetry Friday with a review of Double Happiness

Moving to a new home can be hard for children. They often have to leave friends and family members behind and it can be scary not knowing what your new life is going to be like.

In this delightful poetry title the author uses a series of poems to tell the story of two children who are moving away from their home in San Francisco and going to a new house many miles away in a different state.

Double Happiness
Nancy Tupper Ling
Illustrated by Alina Chau
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Chronicle, 2015, 978-1-4521-2918-1
Gracie and her brother Jake are leaving their home in San Francisco and they are going to live in a new place far away from family members, and far from their “city house / by the trolley tracks.” Gracie is not happy about this change but her brother is excited about the prospect of having a new room with all kinds of ‘cool’ things in it.
   Before they leave, the children’s grandmother, Nai Nai, gives each of the children a box in which to put four items, treasures that will lead them “from this home / to your new.” The first item to go into Gracie’s box is her Nai Nai’s panda toy, which Nai Nai gives her. On the bus to the airport Jake finds a lucky penny, which goes into his box. As Gracie gets off the bus at the airport a eucalyptus leaf drifts down in front of her. The leaf is “the perfect treasure to remind me of home” so it is placed carefully into her box.
   As the journey to their new home unfolds, we join Gracie and Jake in their adventures as they visit the plane’s cockpit, try not to fall asleep, and then see their new home “from the sky.”  With their happiness boxes by their sides, the children experience change that is both painful and exciting.
   In this unique book the journey two children take is told in a series of poems. Some of the poems are from Gracie’s point of view, and some are from her exuberant brother’s. Some of them are told using both ‘voices,’ which beautifully capture how different the children are.
   Throughout the book the poems are accompanied by beautiful and emotive illustrations that capture the connection that the children have with their former home, and that also explore the hopes and fears that they have about their new one.

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14. 2016 CWIM Giveaway Celebrating TWO! New Articles, Plus a Poem Excerpt for Poetry Friday

I'm back!
Carmela here. I've been on a blogging break for much of this year, busy working on other projects, both personal and professional. (I have continued behind-the-scenes as our TeachingAuthors blog administrator, though, so I haven't been completely out of touch.) Today, I'm back to celebrate the publication of two of my articles in the just-released 2016 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market (also known as the CWIM) edited by Chuck Sambuchino (Writer's Digest Books).

At the end of this post, you'll have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win your very own copy of the 2016 CWIM (courtesy of Writer's Digest Books)!

Since today is Poetry Friday, I'll also be sharing a poem--an excerpt from Barney Saltzberg's new picture book Inside this Book (Are Three Books), published by Abrams Appleseed. One of my articles in the 2016 CWIM is an interview with Barney, who is an amazing author, illustrator, singer, and songwriter. More about him and his new book below.

First, I'd like to talk a little about my other article in the 2016 CWIM: "Make a Living as a Writer."
[My original title was "Making a Living Writing, Even If You’re Not a Bestselling Author" but I guess that was too long. :-) ]

For "Make a Living as a Writer," I invited four traditionally published trade book authors who are also successful freelancers to share their experiences and advice regarding ways to supplement book royalty income. The four authors included my fellow TeachingAuthor, JoAnn Early Macken, former TeachingAuthor, Laura Purdie Salas, author and writing coach, Lisa Bullard, and scientist-turned-children's author, Vijaya Bodach. The article includes their tips on landing work-for-hire assignments, balancing work-for-hire with other career goals, and preparing submission packages for educational publishers.

The four authors also shared specific resources for finding supplemental income, including:
Over the next few weeks, my fellow TeachingAuthors will continue the conversation on this topic by sharing their own advice related to finding supplemental income. And Laura Purdie Salas will return to post a special Guest Wednesday Writing Workout on September 30, called "Is Writing on Assignment Right for You?" If this topic is of interest to you, be sure to enter our giveaway so you can read more about how to "Make a Living as a Writer." 

Even if you're not looking for ways to supplement your writing income, you'll want your own copy of the 2016 CWIM for my interview with the amazing Barney Saltzberg, along with all the other helpful articles, interviews, and market information!

Barney Saltzberg, for those of you who may not know, is the author and/or illustrator of over FIFTY books. Back in January, April wrote a great post in honor of Beautiful Oops! Day, a day inspired by Barney's wonderful book, Beautiful Oops! (Workman Publishing). Since then, Barney has published three more books: The first two books in a new board book series from Workman Publishing, Redbird: Colors, Colors Everywhere and Redbird: Friends Come in Different Sizes, and the picture book Inside this Book (Are Three Books), published by Abrams Appleseed. Here's a brief description of Inside this Book:
"Inside This Book is a tribute to self-publishing in its most pure and endearing form. Three siblings create three books of their own using blank paper that they bind together (in descending sizes to match birth order). One sibling's work inspires the next, and so on, with each book's text and art mirroring the distinct interests and abilities of its creator. Upon completion of their works, the siblings put one book inside the other, creating a new book to be read and shared by all.
The second sibling in the book is named Fiona. She is "an artist and a poet," so her "book" is filled with poetry. In honor of Poetry Friday, here's an excerpt from Fiona's section of  Inside this Book.

            from Inside this Book, Too, by Fiona
            . . .  Can you tell I love to rhyme?
            I play with words all the time.
            I write a poem every day.
            My new favorite is “Who Wants to Play?” . . . 

 © Barney Saltzberg, used with permission, all rights reserved 

I've kept this excerpt short to inspire you to get Barney's book for yourself. After you've read it, you'll understand why the School Library Journal review of Inside this Book said:
 "Readers may well be empowered to write their very own stories or books." 
Be sure to check out today's Poetry Friday roundup over at the Poetry for Children blog AFTER you enter our giveaway drawing.

And now, for our giveaway info:

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win your own copy of the 2016 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market , You may enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options.
If you choose option 2, you MUST leave a comment on TODAY'S blog post. If your name isn't part of your comment "identity," please include it in your comment for verification purposes!

(If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com.)

Email subscribers: if you received this post via email, you can click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of this message to access the entry form.

The giveaway ends October 10 and is open to U.S. residents only.

Good luck and happy writing!

P.S. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address.
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15. Poetry Friday - Consignment Shop Finds

I spent some time "junking" over the last few weeks in an effort to find inexpensive artifacts for some social studies lessons. In my travels I came across these two wonderful books.

The Mouse of Amherst, written by Elizabeth Spires and illustrated by Claire Nivola
I Never Told And Other Poems, written by Myra Cohn Livingston

I'm quite taken with the story of Emmaline, a mouse who lives in Emily Dickinson's bedroom and finds in her a kindred spirit. I'm also quite fond of her poems. Here is one Emmaline wrote in response to a poem of Emily's she read.

I am a Little Thing.
I wear a Little Dress.
I go about my Days and Nights
Taking little barefoot Steps.

But though You never notice me
Nor count me as your Guest,
My soul can soar as High as yours
And Hope burns in my chest!

I hope you have a chance to pick up this gem of a book. Until then, you can read more of the poems in the NYTimes book review.

I never miss a chance to pick up a book of Myra's. This one has some lovely poems. Here's a shape poem I particularly like.
This is a quirky little collection about everyday things. Here's one more poem. Given all the talk of Syria, it's one that has taken hold of me and won't let go.

The Game
by Myra Cohn Livingston

Plastic soldiers march on the floor
Off to fight a terrible war.

The green troops charge. The gray side falls.
Guns splatter bullets on the walls.

Tanks move in. Jet fighters zoom
Dropping bombs all over the room.

All the soldiers are dead but two.
The game is over. The war is through.

The plastic soldiers are put away.
What other game is there to play?

That's it for me on this Friday. I do hope you'll take some time to check out all things poetry being shared and collected today by Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

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16. Poetry Friday with a review of Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems

Getting used to a new school can be very unnerving. I remember how I felt when I moved from my familiar elementary school to the big high school. I was suddenly in school with much older youngsters (the seventeen and eighteen year olds were huge). I had to figure out how to get to many different classrooms, I had more homework, and I had to get used to being with children I did not know at all.

Today's poetry title explores what just such a transition is like for a girl who is going to middle school for the first time. The poems take us through her first middle school year and we share the may low and high points that she experiences.

Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems
Swimming Upstream: Middle School PoemsKristine O’Connell George
Illustrated by Debbie Tilley
For ages 9 to 12
Clarion, 2002, 978-0618152506
It is September again and a new school year at a new school has begun. For some it is time full of dread, and for others it is a time that they have been looking forward to. Before the first bell rings, a girl sees friends whom she knew when she was in elementary school. Some look the same, and some have changed over the summer. Then the bell rings and “everyone scatters, / each of us going / our separate ways.”
    Now the confusion begins. A locker won’t open, she gets lost, she is late because she is lost, and by the time she finds her homeroom all she wants to do is to hide in “the last row.” Then, when the bell rings again, the confusion starts all over as she swims “upstream” against the flow of students to get to her next class. As the crazy day unfolds, even the inside of the girl’s locker start to look comfortingly cozy. At least the locker is “a space all my own.”
   At lunchtime she has no idea where to sit. Her friends from last year have changed and now there all these new people that she has to deal with, people she doesn’t know at all. She sees Margo, but Margo doesn’t see her and soon is gone. Then she sees Kori, the friend from second grade who moved away but who is now back. A familiar face at last!
   Middle school is different from elementary school on so many levels. Not only is it bigger, louder, and very confusing, but she is soon loaded down with homework, textbooks, and a musical instrument.
   As the days go by, some things, like math, friends, and books from the library, make her days brighter and better. Other things, like the flute that refuses to play properly, the gossips, and the snobs, make the days worse. Middle school is a very yes and no, good and bad, sort of place.

   Using a series of wonderful, relatively short, poems, the author of this book takes us into the world of a new middle school student. We follow as she falls for a boy, takes and aces tests, learns phrases in French and Spanish from her friends, and learns how to find her way around what, at first, is a very alien environment. With humor, candor and sensitivity, the author gives us slices of a year in the girl’s life, and we are left knowing that though there were hard times, she comes out of it stronger and happier than she went in. 

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17. Poetry Friday -- To My Students


You be the leader, and I'll be the cheer,
You be the pilot; I'll let you steer.

You be the talent, and I'll be the scout,
You be applause; I'll be a shout.

I'll be the sleep, and you be the dream,
I'll be the banks; you be the stream.

I'll be the roots, and you be the pine,
I'll be the fence; you be the vine.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

I've had fun with this form, introduced to us by Tabatha a couple of weeks ago.

This week, Michelle has the Poetry Friday roundup at Today's Little Ditty, and next week, Janet Wong will be the guest hostess at Sylvia Vardell's blog, Poetry For Children.

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18. Poetry Friday: That Old Planet - Doctor Who

A little something different for Poetry Friday this week: a quote from the Doctor Who episode Gridlock, in which the Tenth Doctor fondly remembers his home:

"Oh, you should have seen it, that old planet. The second sun would rise in the south, and the mountains would shine. The leaves on the trees were silver, and when they caught the light every morning, it looked like a forest on fire. When the autumn came, the breeze would blow through the branches like a song."

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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19. Poetry Friday: That Music Always Round Me by Walt Whitman

That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning - yet long untaught I did not hear;
But now the chorus I hear, and am elated;
A tenor, strong, ascending, with power and health, with glad notes of day-break I hear,
A soprano, at intervals, sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense waves,
A transparent bass, shuddering lusciously under and through the universe,
The triumphant tutti - the funeral wailings, with sweet flutes and violins - all these I fill myself with;
I hear not the volumes of sound merely - I am moved by the exquisite meanings,
I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving, contending with fiery vehemence to excel each other in emotion;
I do not think the performers know themselves - but now I think I begin to know them.

- That Music Always Round Me by Walt Whitman

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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20. Poetry Friday with a review of For Laughing Out Loud: Poems to tickle your funny bone

I have been working very hard these last few days and am, therefore, rather stressed. I can feel it in my shoulders and know that I need to relax, but how? Last night my husband cracked one of his word pun jokes and made me laugh. It was almost as if someone had flipped a switch. I immediately felt less tight, and the feeling lasted. Clearly laughter really is good for you!

To help you bring laughter into your lives I bring you a book that was put together just so that you would laugh!

For Laughing Out Loud: Poems to tickle your funny bone 
For Laughing Out Loud: Poems to Tickle Your FunnyboneSelected by Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Random House, 1991, 978-0394821443
When he set about choosing poems for this collection, poet Jack Prelutsky was interested in finding poems that would make his readers “laugh out loud.” Actually, he wanted even more than that. He wanted his readers to “crow for weeks” and “laugh until you cry.”
   Now, this may seem like a rather peculiar thing to want to do, but making people laugh is a wonderful goal to have. Surely the world would be a better place if we all smiled, giggled, and chuckled a little (or a lot) more.
   Throughout the book poems of all kinds offer readers amusing anecdotes, stories, and descriptions to enjoy. There are limericks galore, and poems that parody other poems. There are long poems and short ones. There are poems by famous poets such as Michael Rosen, Jane Yolen, and Ogden Nash. There are poems that Jack Prelutsky himself wrote.
   The topics that the poems explore are varied, and often they are quite ridiculous, which is exactly what you would expect in a collection of this kind. We read about a man who collects pancakes and whose whole house is decorated with examples of his edible collection. What is nice about this man is that he is a generous collector who is quite willing to let visitors take some of his pancakes home with them; so long as they “say nice things about them.”
   The pancake collector is only one of many odd characters who appear on the pages. There is Hughbert who glued himself to the floor, and Chester who, when his sweater unravels, disappears altogether. Beanbag Jim is so loose and limber that he appears to be quite boneless.
   Readers will also find a recipe for rhinoceros stew, and will learn how to make a snowflake soufflé. They will hear from a dodo who is terrible sick, and they will even find a poem that consists of a list of rules, one of which is, “Do not bathe in chocolate pudding.”
   This is the kind of book a reader can dip into at will. There will always be something that will appeal, no matter what kind of mood the reader is in; and there is always something that will, at the very least, make the reader grin.

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21. 3 Words To The Wise To New Writers

Howdy, Campers--Happy Poetry Friday! The link is at the bottom of the page, right below my poem.

Our topic this round is Dear Younger Me. JoAnn started us off by encouraging her younger self not only to carry around notebooks...but to actually go back and mine them for ideas. Esther lovingly reassures her younger self--as she has encouraged me and countless others. Carla talks to her past self when she decided to write what would become her first nonfiction book.

I love this topic. We seem to be universally hard on ourselves. I am constantly giving myself tickets for the things I haven't accomplished...

Are you intimidated by the police in your head?
Have you considered the possibility that you haven't done anything wrong?
So here's what I'd tell my younger self...the one embarking on a voyage to the Children's Book Writers Planet:

Dear Enthusiastic, Younger, Much-Prettier-Than-You-Realize-Right-Now Me,

~ Trust your gut. I know, I know. Your mother kept saying this and you looked at her cross-eyed.

What in the heck does that MEAN?

Well--it means yes, take those classes, read children's literature, find a critique group, attend conferences, read how-to books...

...but give yourself the silence in which to discover that still, small voice within. She's there, I promise. But she whispers. The crazy clutter of our culture makes is hard to locate her (and Honey, it's only going to get worse, believe me. Buckle your seat belt.) 

She knows when that marvelous critique group is sending your story in the wrong direction, when the business advice you just heard from the podium does not fit your work habits or your style or your something-else.

Trust her. Wander with her. She usually doesn't take the well-traveled path.

~ Be patient. Ha ha--that's a good one, right? When you're still in your twenties, your very smart husband will say."Y'know...I think we'll both reach our peak in our 50s and 60s."  HA! He can't be right, can he?


~ Keep creating content.  That is, keep writing books. Because one day you could look up after visiting 19 gazillion schools, and you'll not only be exhausted to the bone...but your books will begin going out of print. ACK!

So yes, accept invitations to do school visits and teach workshops, because you love teaching.  But be careful not to let them take over your writing time like some big blobby thing.

It's so tempting, isn't it? Your ego is definitely well-fed by those second graders who think you're the Queen of England.
from Morguefile.com

That's all, Kiddo. You'll do fine.

Oh--one more thing: slow down when you read your beautiful kid bedtime stories. I know, I know: you want to get to your work, but trust me...take a breath, take your time, and soak in the pleasure of reading to your kid.


P.S: I know you're not going to take any of this advice. And that's okay, too.

by April Halprin Wayland

Michael is lying.

Michael is lying.
I know that you're flying on wings of romance.
His teeth gleam, he loves you--well, at least at first glance.

But Michael is caught in the web he is weaving
Michael is out the door.
Michael is leaving.
Michael is lying.
Michael is lying.
Oh, dear.
It's coming:

the Niagara of crying.

poem and drawing (c) 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.
Thanks to my friend Robyn Hood Black for hosting today!

posted by April Halprin Wayland with the help of that still, small voice within.

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22. Poetry Friday -- Parched

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Nic McPhee


It's not that the well
of creativity has
run dry

it's that those lovely
crystal spring-fed waters have
been channelized.

Groundwater runs deep.
And aquifers can be

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Robyn has the Poetry Friday roundup today at Life on the Deckle Edge.

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23. Poetry Friday: If I Were by Mary Oliver

There are lots of ways to dance and
to spin, sometimes it just starts my
feet first then my entire body, I am
spinning no one can see it but it is
happening. I am so glad to be alive,
I am so glad to be loving and loved.
Even if I were close to the finish,
even if I were at my final breath, I
would be here to take a stand, bereft
of such astonishments, but for them.

- If I Were by Mary Oliver

I found this poem thanks to the fabulous Courtney Sheinmel.

Related Posts at Bildungsroman:
Next Time by Mary Oliver
How I Go to the Woods by Mary Oliver
The Uses of Sorrow by Mary Oliver
Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver
I Want to Write Something So Simply by Mary Oliver

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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24. Poetry Friday - September Twelfth

In memory ...

Image from the National Park Service

September Twelfth, 2001
by X.J. Kennedy

Two caught on film who hurtle
from the eighty-second floor,
choosing between a fireball
and to jump holding hands,

aren't us. I wake beside you,

Read the poem in its entirety.

If you are interested in 9-11 poetry, see The Response of American Poets to 9-11: A Provisional Report at the Michigan Quarterly Review. You'll also find a helpful Web Guide to the Poetry of 9-11 from the Library of Congress.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all things poetry being shared and collected today by Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

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25. Poetry Friday with a review of Poems in the Attic

When I was a child my Aunt D used to tell me stories about the childhood that she and my father shared in India. I love those stories because they helped me better understand who my father was and why he grew up to become such a thoughtful, bookish man who was fascinated by people.

In today's poetry title you will meet a little girl who gets to know her mother better by reading a collection of poems that her mother wrote when she was a child. The litter girl finds out about the adventures that her mother, had and about the challenges that she faced. The free verse and Japanese tanka poems that cover the pages in this book give readers the opportunity to shift between the child of the present and the child of the past.

Poems in the AtticPoems in the Attic
Nikki Grimes
Illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon
Poetry Picture Book
For ages
Lee and Low, 2015, 978-1-62014-027-7
One day a seven-year-old girl goes into the attic in her grandmother’s house to explore. She finds a cedar box full of poems that her mother wrote when she was seven years old. As the daughter of a military man, Mama moved around a lot, and she had many memorable experiences. Now her daughter can read about these experiences in her mother’s poems.
   She reads about how her mama, when she lived in California, went to the beach with her father to see the Grunion Run. Together Mama and her father saw “slim fish, silver as new dimes” wriggling onto the beach where they laid their eggs.
   She reads about how Mama and Grandma made paper bag luminaries when they lived in Mexico, and how they used the bags, with their “scalloped” tops and happy painted faces, to decorate the path leading up to their adobe home. Grandma even teaches the little girl the “kind of magic she and Mama used to make / every December, in New Mexico.” Through their craft activity they have a wonderful time together connecting with the past.
   Looking through a photo album the little girl see a picture of her mother with a snowman “that stands taller than she.” The child also reads her mother’s poem, in which Mama describes how she used the skies her father gave her to shuffle around her back yard in the snow. In her dreams she was “flying downhill.”
   Often Mama’s father was away from the family for months, and when they lived in Colorado Mama had to bring a photo of her father to school for Bring Your Dad Day because he was away. The little girl is sure that Mama must have missed her father very much during those long separations.
   When she reads her mother’s poem describing how she and her family members went canoeing when they lived in Virginia, the little girl understands why her mother has so many pictures of kayaks and canoes on their walls at home.  
   In this remarkable book every spread gives readers a free verse poem that captures the little girl’s feelings as she gets to know her mother through her poems. On the facing page readers will find her mother’s poems. The mother’s poems are written in the Japanese tanka format, which use five lines. There are five syllables in the first and third lines, and seven syllables in the second, fourth, and fifth lines.
   It is fascinating to see how Nikki Grimes uses poems to tell a story that is powerful and poignant, and that celebrates the connection that a child shares with her mother; a connection that reaches back into the past.

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