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  • Writer's pictureCharles Waters


Hello my poetic peeps!

Was thrilled to learn that CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship or as I've been calling it, CITYH, was included in this article highlighting the Top 100 Progressive Books for Children. Our book is at number 32. It's super humbling to be in such esteemed company. You can find the article by clicking here.

The Advisory Council for the Georgia Center for the Book has named, CITYH as one of the ten “Books All Young Georgians Should Read” for 2018.

Swimming in gratitude with Matthew Winner of The Children's Book Podcast interviewing myself and Irene Latham about CITYH. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.

Please enjoy an interview that myself and Irene did for Sherri Rivers at GROG for CITYH. You can read it here.

Also, CITYH was named one of the 15 Best Friendship books to read in 2018 by BookAuthority. It's #7 on the list which you can check it out here.

CITYH was also named one of the 18 Books for Strong Girls by the reading group Girls of Summer. You can read all about it here.

Did four reading/performances at various Queens Public Library branches. Richmond Hill, Rosedale, Auburndale and Bay Terrace. Many thanks, Mary P. Smith, Program Planner, Children and Teens Programs and Services for the invitation!

Mississippi Book Festival. Irene and I went to Jackson, Mississippi where CITYH was part of a Jackson Public School event, The Sanctuary at Galloway, which was put together by the festival organizers. We did an interactive presentation for 1,500 public school children and educators and for the big surprise at the end, 1,500 students and their teachers received a free copy of the book! There are few feelings as pure as seeing so many children walk away holding a free book, much less one I had a hand in creating. It was humbling to the nth degree.

After one of the children brought the book home the student's aunt, Jessica Simien of the Mom Society, wrote a lovely post about the CITYH. You can peruse it here.

The next day Irene and I were also on the Picture This! panel at the along with these distinguished humans:

Ellen Ruffin, curator of the de Grummond Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi, Moderator.


Bethany Hegedus, ALABAMA SPITFIRE: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

Don Tate, STRONG AS SANDOW: How Eugene Sandow Became the Strongest Man on Earth

Kenneth Wright, LOLA DUTCH

Sarah Jane Wright, LOLA DUTCH

Many thanks to Kristen Guinn, Clara Martin, Ellen Ruffin, Holly Lange for their hard work and hospitality.

Irene and I had a most excellent author visit to Riverchase Elementary in Hoover, AL. Thank you Jennifer Rich, Librarian Media Specialist, for bringing us in and facilitating the event.

Myself and Irene also conducted an author talk called "Experiences, Strengths and Hopes of the Publishing Journey" as well as participating in a book signing at the North Shelby Library as part of the Birmingham - SCBWI. Thanks to Claire Datnow and Claudia Pearson for putting together the shindig.

The Poetry Time Foundation or as teacher/children's poet Heidi Mordhorst calls it, the PTFoundation, provided free books to libraries with more on the way.

Here's the Broadway/Off-Broadway Shows I've seen:

ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILE by Greg Garcia, Mike O' Malley and Jimmy Buffett, Broadway, Marquis Theatre (with a special appearance by Jimmy Buffett at the performance I attended).

THE STONE WITCH by Shem Bitterman, Off-Broadway, Westside Theatre.

VITALY - Illusionist, Off-Broadway, Westside Theatre.

SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE by Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber, Off-Broadway, Stage 42.

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.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Simone Stevens. Based on the novel by Mark Haddon.

THREE TALL WOMEN by Edward Albee.


THE ROYAL FAMILY by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman.


THE REAL THING by Tom Stoppard.

JITNEY by August Wilson.

THE PIANO LESSON by August Wilson.

SEVEN GUITARS by August Wilson.

WIT by Margaret Edson.

THE LITTLE FOXES by Lillian Hellman.

FROST/NIXON by Peter Morgan.

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:

LOVE, AGNES by Irene Latham.

MEET MISS FANCY by Irene Latham.

WE ARE GRATEFUL: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorrell. Illustrated by Frané Lessac.

KNOCK OUT by K.A. Holt.

ALL AMERICAN BOYS by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.

A PLACE TO START A FAMILY: Poems About Creatures That Build by David L. Harrison. Illustrated by Giles Laroche.

WHEN WE WERE ALONE by David A. Robertson. Illustrated by Julie Flett.

DARE TO DREAM ... CHANGE THE WORLD Edited by Jill Corcoran. Illustrated by Beth Jepson.

REBOUND by Kwame Alexander

I leave you with a poem from the newly released poetry book from National Geographic called THE POETRY OF US. This is the third in a series edited by the chameleon of children's poetry, J. Patrick Lewis. I have two poems in this wondrous book, one called "Lincoln Memorial" and this one below from a childhood incident from the 1980's. Enjoy.


Buzzing around Doug’s birthday party with the alacrity

of an over caffeinated bee, clutching fistfuls of tickets

to play more free video games, I dart to the bathroom

to empty my soda-filled belly when two older kids,

stringy haired and dotted with acne, bump into me,

stare into my eyes, chuckle, then unleash a word

I had never felt the venom of prior to that moment.

It has six letters, two syllables, and one punch to my soul.

I freeze in shock as they walk out the door, my mocha-

colored skin burns red with anger, my face turned

downward in shame.

(c) Charles Waters 2018 all rights reserved.

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