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”? And 2017 marks the 21st 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 27, 2017), 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.
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 leave a comment here or email me: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so I can add the information to this Roundup. Thanks!
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🌺 Hooray, it’s Progressive Poem time again! Irene Latham at Live Your Poem has recruited 30 poets for her sixth annual Kidlitosphere 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. Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe is kicking things off on April 1. This year’s goal is to create a poem for children. Here’s the full schedule of participating bloggers:
1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Diane at Random Noodling
6 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
9 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Penny at a penny and her jots
11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
14 Jan at Bookseedstudio
15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
19 Pat at Writer on a Horse
20 BJ at Blue Window
21 Donna at Mainely Write
22 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids
🌼 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem will also be featuring 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 she will focus on PORTRAITS, also accessing the Google Arts and Culture site for some of her subjects.
🌸 Look for a new episode of A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt each Friday at Penny Klostermann’s blog, A Penny and Her Jots. She and her great-nephew Landon will feature poetry and art on the second Friday of April, and there will be guest collaborators the rest of the month. These are always such a joy, so don’t miss them!
🌷 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 — nine years running so far — I always enjoy receiving my postcard each April.
🍊 Something new in our Roundup this year: Bookology’s Poetry Mosaic Podcasts! Steve and Vicki Palmquist are hosting this series featuring poets reading their poetry. A new podcast will be posted each day at the Bookology/Children’s Literature webpage and announced on these three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. They have a fabulous group of poets lined up!
APRIL 2017 Poetry Mosaic Podcast Schedule
- Jorge Tetl Argueta
- Nancy Bo Flood
- Marion Dane Bauer
- Jeannine Atkins
- Nikki Grimes
- Jen Bryant
- Virginia Euwer Wolff
- Pat Mora
- Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell
- Joyce Sidman
- April Halprin Wayland
- Charles Ghigna
- Melanie Heuiser Hill
- Padma Venkatraman
- Cynthia Grady
- Margarita Engle
- Susan Blackaby
- Helen Frost
- Lee Bennett Hopkins
- Laura Purdie Salas
- Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
- Lucy Frank
- Charles Waters
- Julie Fogliano
- Irene Latham
- J. Patrick Lewis
- Roxane Orgill
- Laura Shovan
🍎 First Book is hosting a Twitter Chat at 7 p.m. (ET) on April 6. The featured topic is “How Can We Use Poetry to Foster a Sense of Community.” Special guests include (but are not limited to) Janet Wong, Sylvia Vardell, Charles Waters, Irene Latham, Nancy Bo Flood and Joseph Bruchac. The hashtag is #FirstBookChat. Don’t miss it!
🌼 The lovely Linda Baie will be busy writing poems all month long on the theme of “tiny things.” Check in with her each day at TeacherDance and cheer her on!
🍩 Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit will be hosting another National Poetry Month Blog Tour. Bloggers are invited to sign up for specific dates and are free to post whatever suits their fancy: original poems, reviews of poetry books, poetic musings, poems by others, poetry activities, interviews with or guest posts by poets, etc. All are welcome to join the link-up!
🌳 Laura Purdie Salas’s Poetry Month project this year is all about SMALL WONDERS and she’s inviting everyone to join her:
For National Poetry Month, I’m going to try to write a very short poem each day focusing on celebrating some small wonder, something I notice during the day. I’ll take a picture of that thing and add my poem to it and then share it the next morning. I’m going to share it using the hashtag #wonderbreak, so if anyone wants to do this, too, just use that hashtag. (Yours can be poems with or without images!) My idea is finding small, everyday things and appreciating the beauty and ingenuity in them. Spring is not pretty here in Minnesota. It is brown and yellow and dead and muddy. So I’ll have to mostly get away from my crutch of appreciating nature and look for new little wonders. Not a bad challenge to myself. Please join me if you’d like to!
🌺 There’s always something wonderful going on for Poetry Month at The Poem Farm. This year, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater will be Writing the Rainbow!
Each day of April 2017, I will close my eyes, and I will reach into my box of 64 Crayola crayons. Each day I will choose a crayon (without looking), pulling this crayon out of the box. This daily selected crayon will in some way inspire the poem for the next day. So, on March 31st, I will select the crayon for April 1st, on April 1st I will select the crayon for April 2nd’s poem, and on through the month, thinking and writing about one color each day for a total of 30 poems inspired by colors.
Amy also welcomes any classrooms of poets who wish to share class poems related to each day’s color. Learn how to do this in her April 1st post (class poems only, please).
🍎 Mary Lee Hahn will be writing biographical poems about folksinger/activist Malvina Reynolds, as well as poems inspired by her. This sounds really interesting — I’m looking forward to learning more about Reynolds’ life and work! Follow along at A Year of Reading or at Mary Lee’s personal poetry blog, Poetrepository.
🍑 Over at Random Noodling, Diane Mayr will be doing Ekphrastic Mondays again — original poems inspired by the work of Nicolas Tarkoff on April 3, 10, 17, and 24.
🌼 Laura Shovan will be featuring a series of Interviews with Verse Novelists. If you’ve been interested in writing your own novel-in-verse, or simply like reading them, you’ll enjoy learning more about the art and craft of this popular genre. Laura will be asking each of her guests five questions. Here’s the full schedule of interviews to be featured at Laura’s blog during April:
4/3 Jeannine Atkins, STONE MIRRORS: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis
4/6 Caroline Starr Rose, BLUE BIRDS
4/10 Leza Lowitz, UP FROM THE SEA
4/13 Shari Green, MACY McMILLAN AND THE RAINBOW GODDESS
4/17 Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu, SOMEWHERE AMONG
4/20 Ellie Terry, FORGET ME NOT
4/24 Margarita Engle, MORNING STAR HORSE
4/25 Tamera Will Wissinger, GONE CAMPING
4/27 Amanda Rawson-Hill
🌹 At Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle Barnes will be hosting a Poetry Month Ditty Potluck! BYOD, choosing from the past 28 challenges. More details will be provided in her April 7 post. Sounds like we’re in for a tasty smorgasbord!!
🍅 Donna Smith at Mainely Write will be continuing her challenge to write a poem for each letter of the alphabet based on a Maine vanity license plate she’s found and taken a photo of since last April. These are a lot of fun as it’s interesting to see those vanity plates and what she ends up writing about. 🙂
🌸 Violet Nesdoly plans to crack open her wine cellar during April just for us with poems she’s written in the past that have never before been shared publicly:
This year I’m planning to do something a little different. I’ll still be posting a poem a day but from my pantry or cold room, so to speak. I have written many poems over the years that I’ve never published or posted anywhere. This April I’m going give some of them their first outing. I may publish a poetry book review or two and some how-to pieces as well.
If I know the poem’s inspiration or prompt, I’ll post that. If you decide to use that prompt to write a poem of your own, you’re most welcome to type your poem into comments so we can all enjoy your take on the subject.
Can’t wait to sample some of Violet’s vintage offerings. 🙂
🍰 Over at Write Time, Linda Kulp Trout will be writing a short gratitude poem each day during April:
When I started thinking about a project for National Poetry Month, I knew I wanted to do something connected with my gratitude journal. So, I’m going to try to write a short “gratitude” poem each day and post it along with a quote or photograph. I don’t post many of my own poems, so writing and posting a daily poem is way out of my comfort zone, but my one little word for 2017 is CHANGE, so here I go!
🐶 Kip Wilson at YARN (Young Adult Review Network) invites poets from all over the world to enter the FINDING HOME Poetry Contest. Submit your original poem on the theme of “what home means to you” no later than April 8, 2017 (more details here). Contest will be judged by Meg Kearney, author of the recently released verse novel When You Never Said Goodbye (Persea, 2017).
Check in at YARN during April for these upcoming features:
Later in the month, we’ll be featuring outtakes by Pam Laskin, whose verse novel, “Ronit & Jamil,” is a lovely and lyrical retelling of Romeo and Juliet, and by Meg Kearney herself, whose verse novel, “When You Never Said Goodbye” about an adoptee’s search for her birth mother releases this week. We’re thrilled to be sharing these glimpses into both of these works with our readers.
Finally, we’re also launching our very full and rich poetry season by featuring work by four newcomers to YARN, including work by two teens whose images blew us away. As always, we’re looking forward to reading your poetry.
☂️ Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect will be honoring her sister-in-law Pam’s memory on the fifth anniversary of her passing with poems that celebrate what it means to be human:
Pam was light, and love, and kindness, and peace. In the world we live in today, these traits are much needed. So, this month I’ve decided to honor Pam and her legacy of caring through poetry — poetry that celebrates what it means to be human. My daily posts will focus on empathy, kindness, caring, friendship, gentleness and love. I know the color purple will make an appearance in some small way. There might even be a kitten or a puppy among these posts to honor Pam’s love for all creatures great and small.
🌷 Be sure to head over to Poetry for Children, where Sylvia Vardell will have daily posts highlighting her students’ (and their students’) work with HERE WE GO, the second book in the popular Poetry Friday Power Book Series. HERE WE GO (Pomelo Books, 2017) is perfect for tweens and teens, and contains 12 PowerPack sets that combine 1) diverse anchor poems; 2) new original response poems and mentor poems by Janet Wong (the book’s co-creator); 3) PowerPlay prewriting activities; and 4) Power2You writing prompts. It’s always a joy to see what Sylvia’s talented students come up with!
ETA: Sylvia will also be sharing her students’ work with JUST YOU WAIT, the first book in the Poetry Friday Power Book Series. 🙂
🐿 At Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, Matt Forrest Esenwine is hosting a month long poetry contest called “Poetry . . . Cubed.” Entrants must use the three images he’s provided as inspiration for an original poem. Any poetic form is fine, rhyming or not — the only requirement is that all three images must be referenced in the poem. Email your poems to Matt by April 27. On the 28th, he will share all entries on the blog and randomly choose a winner. Read this post to see the images and get all the details.
🌿 At Deowriter, Jone Rush MacCulloch will be sharing original poems written in response to nature photographs taken by her friend Christy Peterson. Jone encourages readers to consider these as prompts and invites everyone to leave their own poems in the comments. Jone will be posting her poems Mondays through Fridays.
🍄 Don’t miss the Twitter #WonderChat and #NYEdChat with Kwame Alexander on Monday, April 3, 2017, at 8 -9 p.m. (Eastern). Carol Varsalona will be the #NYEdChat moderator, and John MacLeod will be the #WonderChat moderator.
🌲 Carol Varsalona has just unveiled the Winter Wonder Gallery at Beyond Literacy Link. Teachers can use it as a mentor text to encourage students to engage in poetry writing, and of course this beautiful gallery of words and pictures is a wonderful source of inspiration and reflection for everyone.
🌸 Amy Ludwig VanDerwater will be hosting a Twitter chat for NCTE on Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 8 – 9 p.m. (Eastern). Be sure to check it out! Hashtag is #nctechat.
🌺 Margaret Simon will be writing a poem each day in April at Reflections on the Teche. She will garner inspiration from other poets or from her own poetic heart, and will discuss her process in each post.
Here’s a tanka she wrote for April 1, inspired by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s poem about the color carnation pink. Lovely!
🍎 Numbers and notions, notions and numbers. That’s what you’ll find at My Juicy Little Universe this month, as Heidi Mordhorst will be posting a new or reworked poem each day about mathematical ideas, concepts, experiences and expressions.
Did you think NPM stood for “National Poetry Month”? At MJLU, NPM stands for “Notional Poetry Math.” Notional means “existing only in theory or as a suggestion or idea.” Sounds mind-bending to me! Join the fun and see just how Heidi meets this numerical challenge. 🙂
🐿 Michelle Kogan will be celebrating Poetry Month with daily posts featuring nature-inspired images, poems, and art. Cruise over to her blog for a daily treat!
☕ At her blog Of Tea and Mermaids, Jena Benton will be sharing a kid-friendly poem from a picture book or children’s book each day in April. She will also post illustrations with the poems if available.
🌷Remember this thing called TRUTH? If you’ve got a particular craving for it this month, head over to Tanita S. Davis’s blog, fiction, instead of lies, for daily poems (in various forms) centered on the theme of truth. Whether facts, commonly held beliefs, emotional truths — I’m so ready for these, aren’t you? 🙂
Here’s what she posted for April 1:
🍑 At Read, Learn and Be Happy, Jane Heitman Healy will be featuring poetry-related information all month long, including guest poets, poems by lesser known poets, reviews, and a couple of giveaways. Leave a comment at this post by April 9 for a chance to win a copy of HERE WE GO or JUST YOU WAIT.
🌿 At Beyond Literacy Link, Carol Varsalona is now accepting submissions for her Springsations Gallery. Write a poem or select an inspiring quote and pair it with original art, your own photograph, or a free public domain photo found on sites such as morguefile.com. You can also submit an audio reading of your poem, a video or a springtime collage. Celebrate the wonders and splendors of spring in whichever creative form you choose. Read this post for all the details.
🌺 Carol Varsalona is also writing daily poems at Beyond Literacy Link, with the hashtag #poetryliciouspoetry. Check out her digital compositions!
🍵 Here at Alphabet Soup, we’ll continue to serve up tasty poems and reviews of new poetry books with a couple of giveaways each Friday during April. 🙂
🍪 Finally, don’t forget to check in with April’s Poetry Friday hosts to see what other bloggers are sharing in the kidlitosphere:
♥ 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 © 2017 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.