Happy April and Happy National Poetry Month!
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”?
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 30, 2015), 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 (especially cool this year)!
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!
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2015 KIDLITOSPHERE POETRY EVENTS
Irene Latham at Live Your Poem has recruited 30 poets for her fourth 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. Here’s the full schedule of participating bloggers:
1 Jone at Check it Out
2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog
6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson
8 Irene at Live Your Poem
9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository
10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
11 Kim at Flukeprints
12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine at DoriReads
14 Renee at No Water River
15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
19 Linda at Teacher Dance
20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots
21 Tara at A Teaching Life
22 Pat at Writer on a Horse
23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy
24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference
26 Brian at Walk the Walk
27 Jan at Bookseedstudio
28 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Donna at Mainely Write
30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
Irene’s personal poetry project at Live Your Poem is ARTSPEAK! She’ll be writing daily poems inspired by the online collections of the National Gallery of Art, focusing on dialog, conversations, asking, what does the piece say?
At Author Amok, Laura Shovan is hosting “What Are You Wearing?” — a full month featuring poetry about clothes. On Mondays and Wednesdays, look for guest bloggers, who’ll share a favorite clothing-related poem with a paragraph or two of introduction. On Fridays Laura will post a roundup of original clothes poems (send her yours via email: laurashovan (at) gmail (dot) com). Don’t miss this literary fashion show!
Strap yourselves in your seats and get ready for an emotional roller coaster at A Year of Reading! Mary Lee Hahn’s project is called PO-EMotions. She will be writing a poem each day that evokes an emotion or uses an emotion word in the title or body of the poem. She’s inviting everyone to play along by either posting poems in the comments or at their own blogs. Check out this list of the 30 Emotions she’ll be writing about (she’ll also be cross-posting at her personal poetry blog, Poetrepository).
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 — seven years running so far — I always enjoy receiving my postcard each April.
At Deo Writer, Jone is hosting her first month-long writing challenge. She’ll be playing with poems that have something to do with nature and double “ll’s,” (like in her last name). She invites everyone to join her — here’s the list of words she’ll be using as prompts.
Diane Mayr at Random Noodling presents Ekphrastic Mondays! Beginning April 6, she will post an original poem inspired by a work of art. So that’s four Mondays, four pairings. It’s like getting a two-course meal each week: literary + visual. :)
At Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle Heindenrich Barnes is spotlighting 2015 Newbery Medal Winner Kwame Alexander as her Ditty of the Month Club special guest! She’s kicking things off with an awesome interview, giveaway, and an invitation to write a poem (or poems) this month in response to Kwame’s ditty challenge. She’ll post poems on the blog as they come in all month long, and then feature them all in a wrap-up post at the end of the month. Send your poems to: TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com.
Over at Poetry for Children, Sylvia Vardell is celebrating the just released Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (Pomelo Books, 2015) by featuring short videos of children reading some of the poems from the book. This is the fourth title in the wonderful series Sylvia created and compiled with fellow poetry goddess Janet Wong, and not only does it include poems for 156 celebrations in both English and Spanish (World Laughter Day, National Camping Day, Hand Washing Day), there is a Teacher/Librarian Edition as well as a Student/Children’s Edition. The T/L Edition also contains great Tips, Guidelines and Lists to help adults select and share poems with kids.
Over at The Poem Farm, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is playing a game called Sing That Poem! Each day she’ll post a new original poem with the meter of a well-known song. Folks can print a PDF and try to match each day’s poem with the song it was inspired by. She’ll also post a recording each next day with the answer. Her goal in this project is to stretch her writing muscles into new meters.
Linda Baie at TeacherDance will be doing a lot of writing this month. In addition to participating in the Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, Mary Lee Hahn’s Po-EMotions Challenge, and Laura Shovan’s What Are You Wearing Challenge, she’s going to challenge herself to write a haiku or other related form every day. Check in with her at her blog to cheer her on!
April Halprin Wayland and her trusty canine muse Eli will be feeding us a PPP (previously published poem) every day all month long. This tasty smorgasbord will be culled from various books, magazines and anthologies and promises to be a real treat! Check in at the blog for your daily April fix.
Over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia Stohr-Hunt will be focusing on poetic forms: “I want to shine a spotlight on forms other than strictly rhyming (though rhyme is perfectly fine) for the elementary and middle school classroom. I love rhyme just as much as the next person, but I worry that much of the poetry parents select for kids and teachers select for classrooms is chosen simply because it rhymes. And I don’t want the merit or “goodness” of poetry judged simply on this trait. Kids need to be exposed to poets old (classic) and new, poems funny and serious, in the glorious range that exists. Poetry for kids can be smart and challenging and I want to highlight this aspect. In addition to focusing on forms, I’ll also be sharing the thoughts of selected poets.”
Liz Steinglass will also be writing a poem every day this month. Her theme this year is items hiding in or on a desk. Hmmm, wonder if there are any bears on her desk? Or food? Should be interesting. :) Check in with her daily to find out!
Laura Purdie Salas will be sharing tips on presenting poetry to students at Writing the World for Kids. She’ll also include a poem that is relevant to each daily tip.
Travis Jonker will be posting his annual gallery of book spine poems at 100 Scope Notes. There’s still time to submit a book spine cento — he’ll be collecting them throughout the month. Tips and details here.
Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit is hosting a National Poetry Month Celebration and Blog Tour. This year’s theme is “The Search for New Perspective.” She says, I’d love to have guests talk about how poetry changed their perspective about something, even if it is just one poem, or how you think poetry can change perspective to not only reach more readers but leave a lasting impression.” Add your blog post URLs to her link-up any time during April and check out what other bloggers are contributing!
Rhyming picture book lovers, don’t miss Angie Karcher’s 2015 Rhyming Picture Book Month (RhyPiBoMo)! This is a month-long writing challenge for children’s writers aspiring to write rhyming picture books, poetry, and to add poetic techniques to their prose. The roster of fabuloso guest bloggers includes Nikki Grimes, Marilyn Singer, Iza Trapani, Kwame Alexander, J. Patrick Lewis, Ann Whitford Paul and Janet Wong. Angie is awarding daily prizes, and there’s also a Poetry Contest! You must register to be eligible for prizes and to enter the Poetry Contest (deadline: April 8, 2015). Check out the Guest Blogger Schedule here.
Here at Alphabet Soup, where we celebrate poetry year round with our weekly Friday Feasts, we’ll be featuring some very cool newly published poetry picture books. And just for you (because we like to call ‘em as we see ‘em), we’re serving up a little extra treat: HotTEAs of Children’s Poetry. That’s right! These dudes are not only fair of face, but know just how to spark the poetic fire of enthusiasm and inspiration. They sip their cuppas with the best of them and their laptops are always smokin’! Fair Warning: best to keep your oven mitts handy. :)
Finally, don’t forget to check in each week with the April Poetry Friday hosts to see what other bloggers are sharing.
- April 3: Amy LV at The Poem Farm
- April 10: Laura at Writing the World for Kids
- April 17: Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
- April 24: Renée at No Water River
♥ I’ll continue to update this Roundup throughout April, so do check back!
Wishing you a thoroughly nourishing, inspiring, productive, interesting, and enlightening Poetry Month!
Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.