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POETRY TIME BLOG #41


Hello my poetic friends!

Participated in a webcast called: Exploring Race, Mistakes and Friendship through Poetry sponsored by Horn Book and Lerner Publishing Group. You can listen to it here.

From the Horn Book summary:

Join Horn Book Editor in Chief Roger Sutton for a lively conversation with the authors and illustrators of Can I Touch Your Hair, a collection of children’s poems that explores how our youth understand race in the 21st century. They’ll discuss their experiences and inspiration behind the book, and explain the importance of teaching valuable lessons through literature.

Many thanks to Roger Sutton for moderating and Rebecca Jozwiak, Senior Webinar Program Manager for putting this together!

The book was also highlighted in posts from Jama Rattigan, Caroline Starr Rose and Anastasia Suen.

In January I was in Seattle and Mercer Island, WA from January 21st - 27th as part of the Multicultural Children's Literature Celebration. I signed hundreds of books, performed in fourteen assemblies and multiple writing workshops at various schools, as well as a Seattle Town Hall interview at the Northwest African-American Museum. I was interviewed by writer and activist, Reagan Jackson of Young Women Empowered. I also appeared on a segment of King 5 News, which is Seattle's local NBC affiliate.

Thank you, Dr. Jeana Hrepich and Dr. Christie Kaaland of Antioch University Seattle for inviting me to participate!

February brought myself and Irene to Grand Rapids, MI to participate in our first joint assemblies. We spent the better part of the week at East Grand Rapids Middle School where, in addition to the assemblies, we also did separate workshops with the students. Thank you, Kim Doele, Teacher at East Grand Rapids for setting up the grant that brought us there. Many thanks to Anthony Morey, Principal, for his hard work, belief in poetry for young people and leadership, as well as Michelle Kastanek, Secretary, for helping facilitate the trip.

While in Michigan we also spent the day at Wealthy Elementary School where we participated in multiple assemblies with students and faculty. They even treated us to a lovely catered lunch, provided us the fuel to help both Irene and I to spread our poetic passions to all who came into our all-inclusive orbit. Many thanks to Carlye Allen, Principal, and her faculty for such a fine day of poetry passing.

The Latham/Waters Poetic Express will next make its way to Alabama on March 7th - 11th where we'll be conducting workshops at the University of Alabama, as well as doing joint author presentations at Shades Mountain Elementary and participating in a book signing at the SCBWI Southern Breeze Conference.

The following week March 14th - 16th I have solo author visits and workshops at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven, NJ and Forrestdale Elementary in Rumson, NJ.

From April 15th - 21st the Latham half of the Latham/Waters Express will be arriving in NYC where Irene and I have school visits in Manhattan and Brooklyn, filming a StoryMakers segment for KidLit TV, appearing at the PEN World Voices Festival and having a book signing at Poets House!

The week after, I'll be in Asheville, NC, doing poetic workshops at various schools thanks to a grant by the Asheville City Schools Foundation. This will be a homecoming of sorts because, in the previous decade, I first got into poetry by touring nationally with the Poetry Alive! company based out of Asheville. So, to be coming back again to where it all began, going to schools with my own book, feels kind of a like a full circle moment.

The month of May brings me to the University School of Milwaukee as well as Vollmer Elementary and Sherman Elementary in West Henrietta and Henrietta, NY and Willink Middle School in Webster, NY. These visits are sponsored by Arts in Education/SLS Monroe #1 BOCES.

Super excited to have poems in National Geographic's upcoming THE POETRY OF US. This will be the third time my poems have appeared in a N.G. book after BOOK OF ANIMAL POETRY and BOOK OF NATURE POETRY. Release date: September 25, 2018. So honored and grateful to J. Patrick Lewis for the opportunities! You can pre-order the book here.

Since 1970, the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT) has preserved live theatrical productions and documented the creative contributions of distinguished artists and legendary figures of the theatre.

To improve as an actor, I have seen the following productions at TOFT.

RUINED by Lynn Nottage.

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF by Tennesee Williams.

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY by Stephen Adly Guirgis

NOISES OFF! by Michael Frayn.

A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE by Michael McDonagh.

COMPANY music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by George Furth.

Read-a-Poem or R.A.P. My rallying cry to bring children’s poetry to every human being in the world continues rolling along. Not every book I mention has to be about children’s poetry, but that’s the main thrust. I have read:

SCHOOL PEOPLE selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Illustrated by Ellen Shi.

TRAVELING THE BLUE ROAD: Poems of the Sea collected by by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Illustrated by Bob Hansman & Jovan Hansman.

READ, READ, READ! by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater. Illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke.

BIRMINGHAM, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford.

THE POET SLAVE OF CUBA: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano by Margarita Engle.

AMBER WAS BRAVE, ESSIE WAS SMART: The Story of Amber and Essie told here in poems and pictures by Vera B. Williams.

THE RED PENCIL by Andrea Davis Pinkney.

CROWN: An Ode To The Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes. Illustrated by Gordon C. James.

MAMA AFRICA! : How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope With Her Song by Kathryn Erskine. Illustrated by Charly Palmer.

THESE HANDS by Margaret H. Mason. I

CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS: Poems That Drive You Buggy by David L. Harrison. Illustrated by Julie Bayless.

ALL ABOARD! by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Illustrated by Mike Lowery.

RACE CAR COUNT by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Illustrated by Michael Slack.

THE POMEGRANATE WITCH by Denise Doyen. Illustrated by Eliza Wheeler.

ONCE UPON A TWICE by Denise Doyen. Illustrated by Barry Moser.

ORBITING JUPITER by Gary D. Schmidt.

BORROWED NAMES: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie, and their Daughters by Jeannine Atkins.

ORCHARDS by Holly Thompson. Illustrations by Grady McFerrin.

I leave you with a poem about reading as friendship.

READING SPOT

Snuggled in my cozy nook

diving in another book

wishing this day would never end –

hanging out with my best friend.

(c) Charles Waters 2018 all rights reserved.


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