POETRY TIME BLOG #48
Hello my poetic peeps.
I hope you and yours are safe and sound.
What a weird, topsy-time we're living in. The events since the second week of March has hit home for me in a multitude of ways. I think about our world and how much it's suffering on multiple fronts.
To keep things mentally on an even keel for me is to sometimes check out -- read, watch films and documentaries, think for long stretches of time and realize all we can do is our best to be better humans to each other and the planet.
As always, there's poetry which binds us like few other art forms. Here's some positive news that's been going on in my life. Shafts of light in an uncertain world that keep me going.
Young People's Poet Laureate, Naomi Shihab Nye, made DICTIONARY her poetry pick for April. Here's what she wrote about it:
What a treat! Wondrous British Iranian artist Mehrdokht Amini has created a gloriously appealing palette of colors and images to match the magnificently user-friendly text by good friends Irene Latham and Charles Waters. This might be the perfect upbeat book to carry to your writing hideaway—you could never feel blank or discouraged for long if you had this charming text as a companion. The poems are based on “words for a better world”—from acceptance to zest—and they are studded with quotations from poets, novelists, musicians, and figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Mother Teresa. There are also compelling writing prompts that teachers will really appreciate for their classrooms. This book wants to be your new best friend.
Feeling gratitude for being interview by Librarian/Podcaster/all-around great human, Matthew Winner, for The Children's Book Podcast. We talk about books, the writing process, not giving up on your passion and other assorted topics which you can find here.
Booklist reviewer, Kathleen McBroom said in her summary on DICTIONARY that "any reader who is preparing a presentation or leading a discussion on social behavior, character education, self-actualization, or making a difference will find a trove of accessible and appealing material within these colorful, cheerful pages."
Susan Johnson Taylor of The Writer has published an article about writing collaborations. She interviewed different writing teams and Irene and I are thrilled to have been included. You can read all about here.
Laurie Hnatiuk wrote a review about DICTIONARY on Goodreads and it made me click my heels in happiness! You can read her thoughts about the book here.
Author and Blogger Edna Cabcabin Moran included me in her blog post dealing with my poem "Roy G. Biv" which was featured in the children's poetry anthology THANKU: Poems of Gratitude. You can enjoy it here.
Dr. Sylvia Vardell graciously asked me and other children's poets to write a blurb about one of the late Lee Bennett Hopkins' anthologies that resonated with me for the Booklinks magazine. You can scroll down here on page 5 to see what I chose and also see what each of the others selected did as well.
Kelly Gallucci, Executive Editor of the We Are Bookish blog at NetGalley included myself, Irene and other authors in a blog post titled "10 Poets Share The Poem That Changed Their Lives" which you can find here. You can find my thoughts on the 4th entry on the list and Irene's thoughts on the 6th entry.
Had a nine day trip through Alabama doing author visits and teacher workshops with Irene in Birmingham for Selby Country School educators, Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights, Berry Middle School. Many thanks to Dr. Lewis Brooks, Angela Walker, Ann Marie Corgill, Alicia Hunsberger, and Dr. Chris Robbins for their hospitality. Irene and I then went to Mobile for research for our next book AFRICAN TOWN. We visited various places from Mobile Public Library Local History and Genealogy to a tour of African American landmarks thanks to the Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Trail. Many thanks to all the good folks in Mobile such as African Town aficionados Eric Finley and Robert Battles for their help.
Next up was heading to the delightful town of Foley to do solo author visits sponsored by Foley Art Center. Went to Foley Elementary, Foley Intermediate and Magnolia Elementary. I use to perform in Foley during my stint with Poetry Alive! during the mid-2000's, so to come back as an author to perform my own poems and share with students my poetic and acting life story meant a great deal! Many thanks to Zana Price, Tammy Busby, Skip Busby, Denny Price, Dr. Michelle Moore, Dr. Shannon McCurdy and P.J. Sute for your kindness towards me and your believe in literacy.
Happy to announce that CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? or as our team as been referring it as, CITYH? is now an audiobook. You can click on the link here to order a copy. The link also lists all formats the book is available in, including audiobook. It's also available through all major audiobook distributors.
Blogger Maureen Tai posted about CITYH? and had such encouraging things to say. You can read all about it here.
Author, blogger, Greg Pincus -- whose birthday matches my own -- featured a poem of mine called "Watery Blue Ceiling" as part of his 30 Poets/30 Days series. You can check it out here.
Also, every day for the month of April Poets House featured me in Virtual Tiny Poets Time where I performed my poems, read books, played games, and for the older set, went into detail on the creation of two of my own books, while giving my thoughts on writing and performing poems. You can find them by visiting there sites by clicking on the YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter links—and please don't forget to subscribe.
Had two delightful vitual visits with students and faculty. One was at Whiting Lane Elementary in West Hartford, CT and the other was with The University School of Milwaukee. Many thanks to Lee Gluck, Media Specialist at Whiting Lane and Elaine Griffin, Head of Middle School, at The University School of Milwaukee for the invitations. Ms. Griffin also conducted an interview with me that you can find here.
The Poetry Time Foundation or as teacher/children's poet Heidi Mordhorst calls it, the PTFoundation, continues to give back by donating book to various arts organizations to encourage literacy.
I leave you with a poem that deals with summer being upon us:
Grassy drenched bedbug
melts into swaying foliage –
(c) Charles Waters 2020, all rights reserved.