top of page
  • Writer's pictureCharles Waters


Hello my poetic peeps. Happy 2019! Hope we all have our best year so far!

Here's the latest:

CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship was given a Charlotte Huck Honor at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Irene Latham, and I will receive the honor at next year's NCTE event on November 23, 2019 in Baltimore, MD. There are many fine humans who worked and continue to work hard on before of our book and I'd like to acknowledge two of those fine people, our editor, Carol Hinz, and our Art Director, Danielle Carnito. For a list of all the winning and honor books, please click here. in Houston, TX. Many thanks to the committee for this generous act of acknowledgement!

Found out that CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? or as we now call it with each other, CITYH? has gone into its 4th printing! We're all so humbled by this good news.

Also, we learned that CITYH? was nominated for a Cybils Award! Cybils stands for (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards). Super thrilled to be nominated with such esteemed books. Here's a link to the nominees which can be found here. Winners will be announced on February 14th on the Cybils website.

My co-writer, Irene and I got another book deal with Lerner Publishing Group! It's called DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD. It's poems from A - Z with different poetry forms, memoir pieces, quotes and action steps for the reader. The book will be illustrated by the esteemed Mehrdokht Amini, who has worked on many titles including: YO SOY MUSLIM: A Father's Letter to His Daughter, GOLDEN DOMES AND SILVER LANTERNS: A Muslim Book of Colors, and CHICKEN IN THE KITCHEN, among others. It's a bear of a book that's taken up most of my spring, summer and into the fall season. We've seen two preliminary sketches from Mehrdokht so far and we're in great hands!

I have also been working away on other manuscripts that I hope find a home at one of the fine publishing houses in our country.

CITYH? was named as one of the books to read in #ArmMeWithBooks. What does that hashtag mean?

From the Publisher's Weekly article: Literary Safari—the New York City-based studio that produces print and digital children’s media with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion—has launched the #ArmMeWithBooks campaign, which seeks to address issues of gun violence in the U.S.

You can read the rest of the article here. There were over 50 books that also made the list which you can find by clicking here. CITYH? is mentioned on page 6. Many thanks to author, Supriya Kelkar, for nominating our book.

A parent e-mailed me with a negative response to the poem, "The N-Bomb" from CITYH? The parents felt it was inappropriate for their elementary school age child. An Amazon reviewer expressed the same concerns. So, here is the response to those concerns in the form of a blog post by myself, my co-writer Irene Latham and our editor Carol Hinz. You can read it by clicking here.

Had a glorious time doing an Author Presentation and workshops at Carolina Day School in Henderson, NC. Many thanks to Kim Broshar, Lower School Principal and Peter W. Sullivan, Jr., Lower School Assistant School and Learning Specialist, for the invitation. Besides the poems they wrote, the students wrote the kindest thank you letters. Made my heart happy.

I enjoyed conducting a Teacher Workshop for Teacher Licensure Candidates at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Spreading whatever poetic knowledge I have to those who will soon be the educating profession is, and always will be, an honor. Many thanks to Nancy Ruppert, Department Chair, and Brook Thompson, Teacher Recruitment and Retention Liaison, for bringing me to this fine place of higher learning.

Thoroughly enjoyed performing two Author Presentations at PS 118 The Maurice Sendak Community School located in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Thanks for Kelley Wind, a parent at the school who I met at an NYC vegan festival and Delia Awusi, a fellow parent, for inviting me.

Did another fun filled, informative Skype visit; this one with the sixth grade students and faculty at Princeville CUSD #326 in Princeville, Illinois. A tip of the hat to Kim Friedman, English Teacher, for reaching out.

Participated in Conversations with .... So You Want to Publish a Book The Career Center of the Actors Fund. sponsored by sponsored by Myself and four other panelists discussed our journey toward being authors. It felt nice to give back to those who haven't begun or are on the path to one day have their words turn into published books. Many thanks to Patricia "Patch" Schwadron, Career Counselor Supervisor, for the invitation.

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.

Saw The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center's Geffen Hall perform the world premiere of Agamemnon as well as hearing the symphonies of wind instruments and violin concertos in the music of Stravinsky. The music of Debussy's La Mer was also performed. Not a bad way to spend part of one's afternoon.

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

THE NEW ONE by Mike Birbiglia, Broadway, Cort Theatre.

HEAD OVER HEELS by Jeff Whittey, Music and Lyrics by the Go-Go's, Broadway, Hudson Theatre.

FIREFLIES by Donya R. Love, Off-Broadway, Atlantic Theater Company.

DANIEL'S HUSBAND by Michael McKeever, Off-Broadway, Westside Theatre.

KENNEDY: Bobby's Last Crusade by David Arrow. Off-Broadway, Theatre St. Clement's.

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.

GEM OF THE OCEAN by August Wilson.


MASTER CLASS by Terrence McNally.


'NIGHT MOTHER by Marsha Norman.

FORTUNE'S FOOL by Ivan Turgenev.

THE BOYS IN THE BAND by Mart Crowley.

A LIFE by Adam Bock.

FOOL FOR LOVE by Sam Shepard.

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:

FINDING LANGSTON by Willie Perdomo. Illustrated by Bryan Collier.

LULLABY (For a Black Mother) by Langston Hughes. Illustrated by Sean Qualls.

GOLDEN DOMES AND SILVER LANTERNS : A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan. Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini.

CRESCENT MOONS AND POINTED MINARETS: A Book of Muslim Shapes by Hena Khan. Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini.

NIMESH THE ADVENTURER by Ranjit Singh. Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini.

YO SOY MUSLIM: A Father's Letter to His Daughter by Mark Gonzales. Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini.

CHICKEN IN THE KITCHEN by Nnedi Okorafor. Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini.

A MOON FOR MOE AND MO by Jane Breskin. Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT I'LL DO? by Charlotte Zolotow. Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe.

WE by Alice Shertle. Illustrated by Kenneth Addison.

GIRAFFES CAN'T DANCE by Giles Andreae. Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees.

DON'T BUMP THE GLUMP and Other Fantasies by Shel Silverstein.

WHEN PAUL MET ARTIE: When Simon Met Garfunkel by G. Neri. Illustrated by David Litchfield.

GOD LOVES HAIR by Vivek Shraya. Illustrated by Juliana Neufeld.

THE LANGUAGE INSIDE by Holly Thompson.

CAMINAR by Skila Brown.

AUDACITY by Melanie Crowder.



DROPPED NAMES by Frank Langella.

I leave you with a poem from National Geographic's THE POETRY OF US. This is the third in a series edited by the chameleon of children's poetry, J. Patrick Lewis. This one is about the Lincoln Memorial. Enjoy!


“Be sure you put your feet in the right place,

then stand firm.”

- Abraham Lincoln

This temple of humanity, shining in alabaster

and limestoned glory, glazed in burnt sienna

from daybreak to dusk, welcomes a marbled,

reserved abolitionist named Abraham.

He sits, gazing out as a beautiful blackbird

named Marian belts out “My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee.”

And a dapper, pensive reverend named Martin

preaches about his dream to the tear-streaked,

smiling admirers—a kaleidoscope of races and faces.

This Greek-like sanctuary honors

the prices paid in search of freedom

showing that silence will never win.

(c) Charles Waters 2018 all rights reserved.

bottom of page