Yesterday the weather in Denver was balmy and beautiful. Today it's drizzly and gray. A perfect day to stay inside and read poetry! And there's been lots of good stuff to read!
National Poetry Month
Linda Mitchell, with the help of the literacy council at her school, organized Poetry Pandemonium, a fabulous schoolwide poetry bracket. I'm wondering if I can use her process to organize a similar event for the students at my school.
Tabatha Yeatts has had a heckuva week, but has still managed to post her National Poetry Month project, a collection of ledger-sized posters that teachers can print out and hang in their schools. You'll recognize most of the poets from our Poetry Friday gatherings.
Michelle Heidenrech Barnes will "showcase recent poetry books- eclectic collections, lyrical picture books, and engaging verse novels, how they can be used in the classroom. With posts each weekday in April, you will find 22 author/editor interviews, exercises for teachers to use with elementary, middle, and high school students, and LOTS of giveaways." Her lineup looks fabulous and I can't wait to read these every day!
This year, Irene Latham, is continuing the ARTSPEAK theme she has used for the past five years. This year's focus will be "Happy," which came from a student request. Irene's written an inaugural poem, "Give Me a Happy Poem." I loved seeing Irene read her poem!
Sylvia Vardell's graduate students have each selected a poem, and "unpacked the poem, line by line, into a digital video. She will have a new one every day!
Elaine Magliaro and family have had to say goodbye to Rudy, a beloved four-legged family member this week. Despite this, she wants us to know that she will be giving away lots of terrific poetry books during the month of April.
Carol Varsalona has lots of poetic plans for April. First, he will unveil her"global galleries of artistic expressesions, Abundant Autumn and Winter Embrace. She, Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong will be co-hosting a Twitter chat, "Creating a Positive School Culture with Poetry" on April 18, from 8:00-8:30 EST. Sounds like big fun!
Heidi Mordhorst has decided not to choose a specific theme, but rather "to become her own Random Thing Picker with the general intention to write a poem-- any poem, any length, any form, any style, any topic, each day this month."
Jone McCullough will be joining Mary Lee, Margaret Simon, and several others at "Playing with Poetry." They will be using metaphor dice, magnetic poetry, and paint chips to write poems at Mary Lee's Year of Reading blog.
All things spring
For the past three days, we have had spring in Colorado, today we are back to drizzle and maybe even a little snow. Michelle Kogan is experiencing similar weather in Chicago and has written an original poem, "Lion or Lamb" that's absolute perfect in its specificity. She's paired that with a William Carlos Williams poem, "Spring and All: III."
Some people choose to spend spring break on a warm beach. Mary Lee spent hers fishing in forty degree water. And yet she still managed, in her own Mary Lee way, to celebrate nature and write an original poem.
Kimberly Hutmacher is celebrating the sounds of spring, in an extravaganza of onomatopoeia.
At Whispers from the Ridge, Kiesha Shepherd has an original poem about the return of the purple swallows, which she likens to the return of hope. Be sure to scroll down and read the back story (always my favorite part), then listen to Keisha read her poem
Matt Esenwine, who will be kicking off the Progressive Poem this month, is in with an early spring haiku and a gorgeous photograph of Lake Tahoe, as well as several other poetry connections, including the final stages of Madness! Poetry!
Margaret Simon's students are putting good out into the world by acting as "secret gardeners" at their school. And it's even inspiring some poetry!
Christy Wyman's original spring poem is also in the garden. Reading her poem makes me wonder how many poets have started by reading Ralph's "Daffodils" poem? Christy will also be a participant in the April Progressive Poem.
At Raincity Librarian, Jane is celebrating spring with crocuses and haiku.
Over at Pleasures from the Page, Ramona and her two year old grandson, Jack, have co-written Jack's first poem. I love that Jack is starting out so early!
Karen Edmisten shares a new-to-me, short, but just about perfect spring poem by Michael Ryan.
Besides daffodils, one of my favorite parts of spring is definitely baseball. Rose Cappelli is a fan too, and her found poem, "Opening Day" celebrates her Phillies 10-4 win, which even included a grand slam! My Rockies won too, 6-3; our opening day pitcher, Kyle Freeland, is actually a product of my school district, and his mom is still a secretary at one of the elementary schools in the district.
Other original poems
Laura Purdie Salas has not one, but THREE brand new poetry BOOKS (not just individual poems, whole books of poems!) that have been published this month. Today, she is featuring an anacrostic poem, "Dreamy," from IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. And she would love it if you would stop by one of the blogs that have featured her newest books or her poetry processes. Seems like we can definitely help her out with that, my Poetry Friday friends!
Ruth was the first poster yesterday. Her original poem, puts a whole new perspective on the word, "Discard."
Alice Nine's "Indifference," should be written on all of our hearts right now. Breathtaking and so important....
Mollie Hogan's ekphrastic poem, inspired by a photograph of Andy Warhol, is stunning. Mollie was disappointed that it was an almost in a poetry contest, but I think you will agree that it's a winner.
Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's poem is not a spring poem, but it is a poem about rocks, specifically three rocks that she keeps on her desk. In my favorite stanza, she says, "I like to be reminded--/Our world is humblelovely." I love the word "humblelovely."
Over at Teacher Dance, fellow Coloradan Linda Baie has been writing food poems for a month. Today she shares two of her favorites, "Learning- Not Just For Students," and "City Storm." She also has a new spring header, which I totally love.
Even though she is finishing a kitchen renovation and preparing for a son's engagement party, Catherine Flynn still managed to participate in the food/poetry contest as Linda. Her pancake poem will make you hungry!
If you are anything like me, you have heard the line, "A poem should not mean, but be," many times, Robyn Hood Black, teaches us that line comes from Archibald MacLeish's poem, Ars Poetica.
At Gathering Books, Myra Garces-Bascal and her colleagues are celebrating "Rebel Women" from around the world. Today, Myra is featuring Iranian poet, Forugh Farrakhzad. Myra shared this one telling fact, "After the 1979 revolution in Iran, the new Islamic government officially banned Farrokhzad's poems and her publisher was ordered to stop printing her books. He refused and subsequently he was jailed and his factory was burned to the ground." You will definitely want to go read her poetry and her story.
Little Willow also celebrates women with a lovely new-to-me poem/poet, Among Women, by Marie Ponsot. And then of course, I had to google Marie Ponsot, and discovered she is actually a well-known and widely celebrated poet, who raised seven children by herself, and still found time to write poetry.
Books, books, and more books
A big Poetry Friday welcome to Yvona Fast, who is posting for the first time. She has a published chapbook. Hoping you will share more of your poems in the future, Yvona!
If you are hungry, you should , (or maybe should not?), go read Jama Rattigan's review of PANCAKES TO PARATHAS: BREAKFAST AROUND THE WORLD. Jama always makes this totally non-domestic goddess want to rush to the kitchen and start cooking. Also, Jama is creating a pulling together a list of all of the people who are participating in National Poetry Month. She'd love to have your link.
Rebecca Herzog, who managed to get a post up despite trying to transition a toddler from a crib to a bed, has an oldie but a goodie, Shel Silverstein reading, "Hug-o-War." And she's giving away a book, THE HUG by Erin McLaughlin and Penny Dunbar. Rebecca will be writing in the 9 slot (can you tell I'm watching baseball?) on the Progressive Poem.
Kat Apel, who will be taking on Day Two of the Progressive Poem, shares a fabulous new resource for parents and caregivers, Raising Readers. I'm drooling over the "Table of Contents" and wondering if I could get a copy for my niece, who will be having a baby in May.