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an eclectic feast of food, fiction and folderol
1. 2016 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup


Did you know that National Poetry Month is “the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives every April”? And 2016 marks the 20th Anniversary of NPM!

Visit poets.org for the full scoop on how you can participate, including 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 21, 2016), Poem-a-Day, and especially for students and teachers, the Dear Poet Project. Check the state-by-state listings to find poetry-related events near you. And there’s still time to order your free Poetry Month poster (designed by Debbie Millman)!

Now, here’s a list of what some kidlit bloggers are doing. If you’re also celebrating Poetry Month with a special project or blog event, or know of anyone else who is, please email me: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so I can add the information to this Roundup. Thanks!

*    *    *



🌺  Irene Latham at Live Your Poem has recruited 30 poets for her fifth annual Kidlit Progressive Poem. This is a wonderful community writing project where a poem travels daily from blog to blog, with each host adding a new line. Laura Purdie Salas will kick things off on April 1 at Writing the World for Kids. Here’s the full schedule of participating bloggers:


1 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

2 Joy at Joy Acey

3 Doraine at Dori Reads

4 Diane at Random Noodling

5 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots

6 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink

7 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass

8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem

9 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

10 Pat at Writer on a Horse

11 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog

12 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

13 Linda at TeacherDance

14 Jone at Deo Writer

15 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

16 Violet at Violet Nesdoly

17 Kim at Flukeprints

18 Irene at Live Your Poem

19 Charles at Charles Waters Poetry

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

21 Jan at Bookseedstudio

22 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

23 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

24 Amy at The Poem Farm

25 Mark at Jackett Writes

26 Renee at No Water River

27 Mary Lee at Poetrepository

28 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

29 Sheila at Sheila Renfro

30 Donna at Mainely Write


🌸 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem will also continue ARTSPEAK!, the poem-a-day project she started during 2015 in which she responds to images found in the online collection at the National Gallery of Art. This year all the art and poems will be on the theme of “Plant. Grow. Eat.”


🌼  Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect will be spotlighting April holidays and celebrations with her special project:

“Inspired by World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of (written by J. Patrick Lewis) and The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations: Holiday Poems for the Whole Year in English and Spanish (compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong), this time around I’ve decided to focus on daily, weekly, and monthly celebrations held during the month of April. In addition to information about each celebration, I’ll offer up poems, books of poetry, children’s books, and more.”

Click here for a list of topics to be covered.


🌹 Jone MacCulloch will be sharing student poetry daily at Check It Out. She’s also once again doing her annual Poetry Postcard Project, where Silver Star ES students send out illustrated poetry postcards to anyone requesting them. Sign up HERE if you’d like to receive one. This is a wonderful project — eight years running so far — I always enjoy receiving my postcard each April.


💐 This year, Mary Lee Hahn’s poetry month project is “Bygones” — poems inspired by old personal photographs.

“When Mom and I were sorting through a drawer full of old pictures last December, I was struck by the forgotten faces and the unknown stories that were captured on film. This April, I’ll bring 30 of the photos back to life through poetry.”

Check in daily with Mary Lee at her personal poetry blog, Poetrepository.


🌻 Keep a song in your mind, heart, and step all month long with Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe. She’ll be featuring Poetry-Music Match-Ups! Pairings will include original poems with music that goes with it, poetic song lyrics, poems written AS song lyrics, poems inspired by songs, songs written about poems, and favorite nursery rhymes. These will be Heidi’s own match-ups as well as those submitted by other kidlit poets and bloggers.


💐 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes has a very special month planned at Today’s Little Ditty. She will be hosting the one and only, multi-award winning poet Marilyn Singer and her new book of reverso poetry based on Greek myths, Echo Echo. Festivities will begin on April 1 with a Spotlight Interview and writing challenge. Don’t miss it!


🍄 Look out! The Putrid Poetic Ponderings of Louis J. Pasternak, AKA Dr. Skullstench is coming your way! Laura Purdie Salas will be sharing her chapter book as a serial, one day at a time, at Writing the World for Kids. This story is part prose and part poetry:

It all begins when Louis’ teacher, Miss Sweetmallow, tells the class they are going to write poems. To say Louis is unenthusiastic is an understatement. But then Miss Sweetmallow says the magic words: “You can write them about anything you want.” Louis decides this might not be so bad as he shares his interest in blisters, head cheese, inappropriate hairdos, and more in 25 poems, each one an example of a particular poetic technique or form.

Along the way, Louis (that’s Dr. Skullstench to you) decides writing poetry isn’t so bad, and he tries different platforms to share his work, from the morning TV announcements to the class talent show. But Miss Sweetmallow prefers a more lyrical approach to poetry and tries to sway Louis toward writing beautiful poems. Will she succeed? Will Louis share his gross vision of the world? Will the talent show go off without a poetic hitch? Find out in The Putrid Poetic Pondering of Louis J. Pastenak, AKA Dr. Skullstench.

Laura also has a cleanly formatted PDF of this funny read aloud available for download here, perfect for classroom sharing.


🌺 Don’t miss this year’s Rhyming Picture Book Month (RhyPiBoMo) festivities hosted by Angie Karcher. Now in its third year, this month-long writing challenge is especially geared for children’s writers aspiring to write rhyming picture books and to add poetic techniques to their prose. In addition to an awesome roster of guest posts by authors, agents, and editors, Angie has added a Classroom Challenge, where teachers and students try to read as many rhyming picture books as they can during the month of April. This year’s guests include Margarita Engle, Linda Sue Park, Tricia Lawrence, Penny Parker Klostermann, Anika Denise, and Sylvia Vardell. Click here for all the details. Don’t forget, you must register by April 8 to be eligible for daily prizes.


🌸 Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit is hosting a National Poetry Month Blog Tour:

“This year, I’m hoping that I can get some wonderful blogs to participate in the 2016 blog tour for poetry. I would love to get some great new interviews, reviews, poetry readings, innovative poetry activities, and some visual artists interested in sharing some poetic renderings.”

Click through to sign up for the link-up any time during the month of April.


🌺 Get ready to Wallow in Wonder with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm!

“For my 2016 National Poetry Month project, I will celebrate learning and writing from learning, writing poems from each daily Wonder at Wonderopolis. As I did with the Dictionary Hike in 2012, I am looking to surprise myself with a new inspiration daily. This year, such inspiration will show up in my inbox each morning. I will print it and carry each Wonder around all day…and in the afternoon or evening, I will write and post the poem for the next day.”

Amy invites students, teachers, anyone — to play along. Simply leave links to your poems in the comments of her blog anytime during April and she will try to link to and/or share some of them at The Poem Farm!


🌻 Carol Varsalona of Beyond Literacy Link loves April so much, she has several wonderful events planned:

  • Unveiling of my winter gallery, Winter Wanderings (hopefully on April 1st at Poetry Friday to kick off National Poetry Month)
  • Hosting a global conversation, “April is Poetrylicious” at 3NYEDChat (Twitter Educational Chat) on April 11, 2016 at 8 p.m. EST. I am inviting all my poet friends to be part of the moderating crew. I will host the event with Paul W. Hankins as co-moderator and any other poets, writers, bloggers who are willing to participate for one hour. Colleagues and connected educators should be there for a lively conversation.
  • Announcement of my new gallery of artistic expressions, Spring’s Seeds, that will start during National Poetry Month and run through the end of May.


Mary Ann Scheuer at Great Kid Books will be celebrating Poetry Month by featuring some of her favorite poetry books + resources to help parents, teachers, and librarians share poetry with children and inspire them. Check out her top five rules for sharing poetry here.



🌷 🌷 🌷 Here at Alphabet Soup, in addition to our usual Poetry Friday fare, our menu will include some uncommonly talented and good looking hotTEAs of Children’s Poetry. We can’t think of a better way to keep the fires of inspiration lit all month long. This special deliciousness will be served up twice a week, so be ready to raise your mugs in celebration.:)


Finally, don’t forget to check in with April’s Poetry Friday hosts to see what other bloggers are sharing in the kidlitosphere:

poetry friday








1 Amy at The Poem Farm
8 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
15 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
22 Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup
29 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog


I’ll continue to update this Roundup throughout April, so do check back! For your convenience, a link to this Roundup can be found in the sidebar of this blog.

Wishing you a thoroughly nourishing, inspiring, productive, interesting, and enlightening Poetry Month!



Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

5 Comments on 2016 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup, last added: 3/30/2016
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