#amwriting #poetry – Resources for Learning Craft

Today I’ve gathered a list of resources in honor of National Poetry Month 2021. If you haven’t ever considered writing poetry, you will after listening to these. Inspiring!

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Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival April 2021

This year the children’s book festival was virtual. The linked title will take you to the entire list of replays for the talks, but the one that stood out to me was Word-Joy: Experience the Transformative Power of Poetry with Irene Latham
, Vikram Madan, and Laura Purdie Salas.

Each author read not only from their own works, but also from the work of someone whom they admire. Then they discussed a number of practical activities to get children and adults excited about poetry.

Laura Purdie Salas discussed haiku riddles and equation poems. Check her website for much more.

Irene Latham read from her book,  NINE:  A Book of Nonet Poems.

A nonet is a 9-line poem that adds syllables either up or down, from one to nine syllables or from nine to one syllable. As she says, using a form like this can be freeing when it comes to writing poetry.

Vikram Madan is an artist as well as poet, so he likes to use art as an inspiration for poetry and poems as an inspiration for art.

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Writing Excuses Podcast

In their 16th season, the crew at Writing Excuses did a poetry series that really helped me understand and appreciate poetry better. Each episode comes with a writing assignment. Well worth the time investment.

16.11: What is Poetry?

16.12 : Singing Versus Speaking

16.13: Day Brain vs. Night Brain

16.14: Poetic Language

16.15: Poetic Structure, Part I

16.16: Poetic Structure: Part II

16.17: The Time To Rhyme

16.18: Poetry and the Fantastic

 

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Children’s poet Marilyn Singer is a regular visitor at DIY-MFA. I couldn’t find a link to this year’s interview, but here is a recent one.

Episode 306: Recipes for Poetry and Creativity – Interview with Marilyn Singer

Do you have any favorite poetry resources from last month or any month? Feel free to leave them in the comments.

 

Holiday Ode to Kwame Alexander

I meant to post this lovely interview a few days ago, but better late than never.

If you have a minute or two, enjoy children’s book author Kwame Alexander strut his poetry stuff for the holidays.

More by Kwame Alexander:

Looking to share books for kids for National Poetry Month in April? These books should be at the top of your list.

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, ‎ Chris Colderley,‎ and Marjory Wentworth,‎ with illustrations by Ekua Holmes

Kwame Alexander is one of the three authors who channel their favorite poets to create a wonderful celebration of poetry. This one is already receiving award-winning buzz.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Candlewick (March 14, 2017)
ISBN-10: 076368094X
ISBN-13: 978-0763680947

 Animal Ark: Celebrating our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (National Geographic Kids) by Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, Deanna Nikaido, and photographs by Joel Sartore

Animal Ark is an amazing combination of image and text. Full of vibrant verbs, the poems leap off the page:

listen to the rumble
giant stomping feet
calling brothers … sisters

(See review in Previous Post)

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (February 14, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1426327676
ISBN-13: 978-1426327674

Singing the Praises of Forest Has a Song

Forest Has a Song by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Robbin Gourley has only been out for a few weeks and already people are singing its praises. forest-has-a-songIt was Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis’s February 2013 Book Pick, for example.

The accolades are well deserved. VanDerwater’s gentle poems about nature hit all the right notes. Any book that can evoke the cool summer feeling of wearing “moss socks” is sure to win the reader over. My personal favorite is “Forest News” about reading animals tracks in newly fallen snow, which makes me miss my New England roots.

Robbin Gourley’s illustrations are also marvelous. They reflect the poems, yet leave room for the child’s imagination to flow free. A few curled ferns, a leaf or two, interspersed with scenes of a girl and her dog (and her mother) hiking, playing or skiing in the woods. Poem Farm has a post about how Robin developed the illustrations.

The book trailer of Amy Ludwig VanDerwater reciting the title poem gives you the best impression of what the book is like.

 

 

Isn’t that lovely? In an interview at Nerdy Book Club, the author reveals the book took a long time to come out. It was well worth the wait.

Reading Forest Has a Song is a superb way to celebrate National Poetry Month and it sure to inspire some budding poets. It would also be a great choice to read for Earth Day and to celebrate nature. You will want to return to the Forest again and again.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has an awesome Poetry Activity Kit to accompany Forest Has A Song (plus three other books of poetry) to download or print out for free.

 

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books (March 26, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0618843493
ISBN-13: 978-0618843497

This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes.

 

 
trees
 

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.

This week’s round-up can be found at a wrung sponge.

Bursting With Poetry

April is a wonderful time for National Poetry Month. Flowers are blooming, the leaves are popping, insects are buzzing. Spring is a magical time of rebirth, which seems can only be fully and joyfully expressed in the form of poetry.

For example, the bright yellow brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) are blooming on the roadsides right now in Arizona.

brittlebush

brittlebush1

The bright yellow masses inspired this simple acrostic poem:

Brittlebush

Bright yellow flowers
Rattlesnakes slip into shade
Indigenous to Arizona
Tortoises munch
Tarantulas wander by
Lizards sunbathe quietly
Elegant bouquet

Bees slurp, then zip
Underneath is cool
Sun loving
Heat resistant

By Nathan and Roberta

brittlebush-bee

And this haiku:

bee sits on flower

buzz buzz bee sips sweet nectar

quick! next flower waits

Roberta Gibson

If you are in the mood to read some insect-inspired poetry, then Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (illustrated by Eric Beddows), is an absoulutely wonderful older book to pull out and enjoy once again. It was the winner of 1989 Newbery Medal.Joyful-Noise

On page 3, the grasshopper poem is a perfect accompaniment to a good bout of spring fever.

Enjoy!

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (December 28, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0064460932
ISBN-13: 978-0064460934
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices

 

(Affiliate link to Amazon)

nonfictionmonday

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. For more information, stop by Picture Book of the Day. This week’s post is at Shelf-Employed.