Indie Artist Spotlight: Robyn Hood Black of artsyletters (+ a giveaway!)

Today I’m especially delighted to welcome back author, poet, artist and dear online friend Robyn Hood Black. You may remember her last visit as a Poetry Potluck guest several years ago, when she shared a spooky poem and one of her gorgeous relief prints.

That was an especially noteworthy visit, because she also brought along a batch of her favorite Jam Bars, which she aptly renamed “Oatmeal Jama Bars.” 🙂 Naturally Mr. Cornelius and I decided on the spot that they should become the “Official Alphabet Soup Cookie.”

In the years since, we’ve not only continued to marvel at Robyn’s literary achievements (her work has been published in several more anthologies, prominent haiku journals, and most recently in Lee Bennett Hopkins’s Lullaby and Kisses Sweet), but also her artistic ones.

Scrabble Tile Magnets

Vintage Illuminated Letter T Under Glass Cabochon Pendant Necklace

If you like letters, words, books, and reading (all of us, yes?), then you’ll love Robyn’s Etsy shop artsyletters. There, she sells wonderful prints, cards, typewriter key jewelry, mixed media collages and other gift items with a cool vintage vibe.

A girl after my own heart, she has a keen eye for found objects (scrabble tiles, skeleton keys, metal letters, watch parts, text from antique books), and beautifully accentuates them with her pen-and-ink drawings, calligraphy, and relief prints.

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friday feast: peanut butter poems wanted!


Happy November!

It’s Peanut Butter Lover’s Month!



Not that I need an excuse to spread it on extra thick or anything. Why, just this morning I had a nice slice of lightly toasted multi-grain bread slathered with 365 All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter and Hawaiian Sun Guava Jelly. Don’t  you love the way peanut butter melts on warm toast, making you lick the corners of your mouth after biting into it? Mmmmmmm!

If I’m feeling extra naughty, I’ll forego the jelly and spread on some Nutella. Then there’s my peanut butter and apple mid-morning snack, the late afternoon Reese’s PB Cup or PB on celery pick-me-up. Sigh. I blame my addiction on my dad, who always seemed to be snacking on cocktail peanuts while I was growing up. Sound familiar?

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robyn hood black, leader of the pack

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

Robyn with her office cat, May, who’s helping her celebrate the arrival of her contributor copies of THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK (Roaring Brook, 2012).


Children’s poet and author Robyn Hood Black is here! She’s one of several newish online friends I’ve met through Poetry Friday, and I have so enjoyed visiting her blog Read, Write, Howl every week to see just what this multi-talented, animal-loving gal is up to.

Will she post an original haiku or a piece of her beautiful artwork? Will she share pictures of the wolves she cavorts with as a volunteer for a nearby wildlife preserve, or maybe poetry and drawings created by some of the many children she’s met through school visits and community presentations?  No matter what she does,  Robyn’s passion always shines through.

Like the best of potluck guests, Robyn’s brought along both grog and grub — a previously unpublished, bewitchingly amusing, finely tuned recipe poem, and a batch of her newly renamed Oatmeal Bars (I am understandably highly partial to these).  She also created a gorgeous relief print to go with her poem. Lots to savor here, so don your black bibs and enjoy every delectable word and crumb!

Robin: My brother Mike and I used to transform our circa-1970 ranch house into a haunted house each Halloween — we charged admission and everything. We had a spooky secret passage in a tunnel under his built-in bed, bowls of peeled grape eyeballs on the bathroom counter, headless people sitting at the dining room table — the whole nine yards. I was usually a black cat or something, but Mike, who grew up to be an engineer, was a haunted house himself one year. Very impressive.

The idea for this poem came to me one day earlier this year when I was out walking the dog — a crow was cawing above us, and I just started thinking of tangible and intangible things — in black and white — that might go into a “spooky brew.”

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