friday feast: heidi roemer in good form

#21 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2012.


Lace up your skates and make way: Heidi Bee Roemer is here!

There’s nothing like having a party guest gleefully glide into your kitchen with a big smile, a cool poem, and a pot of soup! And this girl knows how to party!

Heidi’s critically acclaimed debut picture book, Come to My Party (Henry Holt, 2004), is a jubilant montage of rollicky-fun shape poems, with words curving and careening and wiggling and drifting and see-sawing across the pages —  a perfect reflection of Heidi herself, who’s a nature-lovin’, rock climbin’, kick boxin’ children’s author always on the move. Zip, Pump, Fly!  I’m giddy with excitement that Heidi decided to come to our party today!

She’s brought an ice skating poem that proves she’s just as agile and graceful on the page as she is in the rink. She was also the perfect person to co-edit an upcoming sports-themed poetry anthology. But I’ll let her tell you more about that project after serving up her poem.

Heidi: Inspiration for this poem came from my childhood as I spent many happy winters ice-skating on a small pond near my home. I still skate, only now it’s indoors—-and with heat and upbeat music! I go to the rink almost every Wednesday night (six years and counting!) and boy, can it burn off calories. I love the thrill, the feeling of almost flying!


“The Skater”
 by Heidi Bee Roemer

 I’d like to skim across the crystal lake,
 to glide on it like eagles ride the breeze.
 My glinting blades would crisply slice the ice;
 I’d pirouette with flawless, fluid ease.

 My skates, a blur of silver, how they’d flash!
 I’d trace some graceful arcs and figure eights
 and kick up flecks of ice into the air—
 I wish, oh how I wish…
                  I had some skates.

(Published in Teaching K-8 Magazine, Feb. 2004.)



I wrote this iambic pentameter almost 10 years ago, never dreaming that one day I’d be co-editor for a collection of sports poems. Geared for kids ages 8 -12, And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems, features 50 poems in a variety of forms, penned by poets from around the world! The London 2012 Summer Olympics inspired Carol-Ann Hoyte, my co-editor and the book’s creator, to launch this project.

The e-book version of,  And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems, will be available July, 2012, through online booksellers including Amazon. The paperback will be available through Friesens Press, Ingram, and local bookstores in August. If you’d like to be added to our promotional email list and/or would like more information about the anthology, write us at :  Also check out our website,, for more info and updates.



Vegetarian Lentil Soup

As a free-lance writer working from a home office, I’m always interested in healthy, low-calorie, quick-fix lunches. Lentil soup, a long-time family favorite, is not only a comforting, belly-filling meal, it’s a great source of lean protein. When one of my sons “went vegan,” I stopped adding sausage—and never missed it!


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped tomatoes or salsa
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped


1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil.

2. Add and cook, onions, carrots, peppers, and celery; stirring occasionally until tender.

3. Stir in 8 cups water, lentils, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour or until thickened, as desired.

5. Stir in vinegar (optional) for extra tangy flavor, and top with a pinch of parsley.



With nearly 400 poems, articles, and stories in various children’s magazines and anthologies to her credit, Heidi is also a song lyricist and children’s book reviewer. Her debut book, Come to My Party and Other Shape Poems, (Henry Holt, 2004) received starred reviews and was nominated for the Monarch Award, Mockingbird Award, and Great Lakes’ Great Books Award. Her riddles-in-rhyme nature books, What Kinds of Seeds are These? and Whose Nest is This? present nonfiction in an entertaining, kid-friendly way. Recently, Heidi and Carol-Ann Hoyte (Canada) co-edited And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems, due August, 2012.

Since 1995, Heidi has actively volunteered in various capacities for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators; most recently as Assistant Regional Advisor in Illinois. She is a former instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature, and currently serves as a writer-in-residence for several Chicago Public schools. “Heidi Bee” has visited hundreds of schools and libraries; her instructional yet playful poetry presentations inspire students to become better readers, writers, and poets. Heidi can be found online at her official website and the Wild About Nature blog.

♥ Read a recent 5Q Poet Interview with Heidi and Carol-Ann at Sylvia Vardell’s Poetry for Children, which features lots more about the new anthology, And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems, including a sample poem.

♥ Robyn Hood Black just posted another interview with Heidi and Carol-Ann at Read, Write, Howl today. Skate over and get the scoop!


Previously: Menu/Giveaway/Door PrizesApril Pulley SayreMary QuattlebaumHelen FrostLinda AshmanGail Gerwin, Martha Calderaro, Kathi Appelt, Robyn Hood Black, Charles Waters, Adele Kenny, Linda Baie, Lesa Medley, Leslie Muir, Margarita Engle, Sondra Gash, Doraine Bennett, Janet Wong, Jill Corcoran, Lill Pluta.


The always warm and welcoming Tabatha Yeatts is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference. Be sure to check out all the delectable poetic offerings being served up in the blogosphere this week, and enjoy your weekend!


Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

25 thoughts on “friday feast: heidi roemer in good form

  1. Skating and lentils — a great combination. I love the touch of vinegar and will be sure to toss some in the next time.


    1. I used to love roller skating (old fashioned skates, not inline skates), and did try ice skating once, which was fun. I always wanted one of those sassy skating costumes with the flouncy skirts :).


  2. So you know I love lentil soup—we’ve talked canned and deli-bought before—but oh, yum! Got to try this.

    Skating and poetry seem like such natural partners. Both kick up “flecks of ice” it seems. And apparently, one of them gives you killer legs. You rock, Heidi.


  3. Yay, Heidi! LOVE this skating poem (such flawless rhythm!) and this energetic post. Thanks, Jama, for another special treat – and for the link. Heidi’s and Carol-Ann’s new collection promises to be great.

    Mmmmm… at the lentil soup. We have a family of long-time vegetarians with one vegan (my hubby), and this recipe looks easy and hearty. I can almost smell that comfort-food aroma from the picture.

    [I would like to file one complaint about this post – it is absolutely not fair that Heidi looks so good. I mean, really?!?!]


  4. It all looks so good, the skating with ease, the lentil soup for cool days, the terrific anthology coming out. I have found through the years that my middle school students love the sports poems. They show their experiences so well, like your skating poem, Heidi. Thanks for this, & Jama for bringing Heidi to Poetry Friday.


    1. The anthology sounds fabulous — love that it’s an international collection :). Looks like we’ll be having lentil soup very soon. . .


  5. Would that I could skate with flawless, fluid ease. I marvel at those who can. Thanks for this great poem today and the yummy soup recipe!


  6. Ooh, this took me back to my years of roller skating, before school, after school, nights and weekends. I loved it. Heidi’s poetry is always a feast for the ears. Thank you for sharing this peek into her busy life.


      1. Ah, for me it is a “used to be” skater. I’m terrified right now of how much I’d hurt myself. But I have fond memories. Except for the competitions. I used to get horribly scared about it all.


  7. “crisply slice the ice” Oooh that’s nice!

    I can just hear that slicing swooshing sound as you cross one blade over the other, rounding the corner of the rink!


  8. The poem made me wish I could skate…it sounds so elegant and sublime! And, I like the idea of adding salsa to lentil soup – next time, this is the way I will go. Thanks, Jama!


  9. I love me a geek chick in great form! Inspires me to keep on running on a daily basis!! (been doing pilates and sivananda yoga consistently as well, whew!) – but i’m hopeless with skates. Heidi has inspired me to go vegetarian!


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