Friday, March 30, 2012


Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but besides being a book-loving, poem-eating, word- hungry teacher, I'm also a huge sports lover. I grew up with a dad who had lettered in football, basketball, and baseball in high school and college. We had only girls in our family, and somebody had to become his sports-watching pal. Some of my happiest memories of my dad involve sitting in front of the television on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, cheering our favorite teams, with chip and dip, or popcorn, or occasionally shrimp, provided by my mom (who also watched a lot of sports!).

I have loved Ed DeCaria's Poetry March Madness. I've read all of the poems, and voted, and shared a lot with my fourth graders. It's been a blast to read all the beautiful/funny poems from the talented people I follow every Friday all year long.

I have also loved the OTHER March Madness- you know, the Basketball one? Is anyone else following that? It seems only appropriate, then, to highlight one of my favorite sports poets, Charles R. Smith, Jr.  Smith is a poet/photographer/sports lover. He has five books of basketball poetry, RIMSHOTS (my favorite), SHORT TAKES, HOOP KINGS, HOOP QUEENS, and TALL TALES. All of Smith's books, or at least all of them that I know, are illustrated with his gorgeous sports photographs.  His book, MY PEOPLE, won the Coretta Scott King award in 2010 and his biography of Muhammed Ali, 12 ROUNDS TO GLORY was a Coretta Scott King Honor winner in 2008.

"Allow Me to Introduce Myself"
Charles R. Smith, Jr.

They call me the show stopper
the dime dropper
the spin-move-to-the-left reverse jam poppa.
The high flier on the high wire.
The intense rim-rattin’noise amplifier.
The net-shaker
Back board breaker
Creator of the funky dunk hip-shaker
The man Sir Slam
The Legend
I Be.
Those are a few
Of the names
They call me.
To get the full effect, you really need to bounce over to Smith's website and listen to him read his poems here.  They are absolutely perfect for introducing performance to your sports lovers!

Heidi Mordhorst is hosting Poetry Friday at my juicy little universe.

Happy Spring! Happy March Madness! Happy almost National Poetry Month!


Jen said...

These are great books - thanks for listing them. I just think it adds a nice variety to your poetry collection. It's just fun too!

Nanc said...

Thanks for the sport poet Charles Smith. I miss my years watching my daughter play and my husband coach. I like college stuff too. If I lived in Denver...I'd want to watch your boys, because I love watching people I know. I feel like I know them from reading what you write Carol ! xo nanc

Linda B said...

Hi Carol, wish I had the title, but I have a couple of other good sports poetry books at school that you might like too. Thanks for telling about these. I like the poem's rhythm a lot, & the end, fun.

MaryHelen said...

I like this book. It is full of energy. I enjoyed how you spent time with your dad, which sparked an idea for me to write about.

Mary Lee said...

I think I should paste your public service announcement in here!