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  • Writer's pictureCharles Waters

POETRY TIME BLOG #56

Updated: Jan 24, 2023



Why hello you magnificent poetic humans!


Here's the latest:


Kicked off the year with the cover reveal for my next book, MASCOT!




Co-written with the acclaimed author, Traci Sorell, edited by Karen Boss, cover art by Nicole Neidhardt, and published by Charlesbridge. Pub date: 9/5/23


Here is the premise:


What if a school’s mascot is seen as racist, but not by everyone? In this compelling middle-grade novel in verse, two best-selling BIPOC authors tackle this hot-button issue.

In Rye, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC, people work hard, kids go to school, and football is big on Friday nights. An eighth-grade English teacher creates an assignment for her class to debate whether Rye’s mascot should stay or change. Now six middle-schoolers—all with different backgrounds and beliefs—get involved in the contentious issue that already has the suburb turned upside down with everyone choosing sides and arguments getting ugly.


We Need Diverse Books had a blog post specifically for the cover reveal featuring an interview by myself and Traci, and a link for how to register for a digital ARC of the book! All that can be found by clicking here.


My pal, Irene Latham are proud to be an author sponsors for MultiCultural Children's Book Day. The organization is giving away books including our book BE A BRIDGE. For more information and how to register, please click here. #readyourworld

Here's the poster for it.





Some 2022 news:


Many thanks to NPR and School Library Journal for naming AFRICAN TOWN one of the "Books We Love" for 2022 and one of the “15 Best Historical Fiction Books of 2022” respectively.


Thank you to the Cybils (Children's and Young Adult Book Lovers' Literary Awards) for naming AFRICAN TOWN as one of the finalist in the Novels In Verse category. You can read all about it -- and read about the other nominees -- here.


Irene and I also did a presentation of AFRICAN TOWN at Mobile Public Library for nearby middle school students. Many thanks to Marian Ponder for the invite.


Myself and Irene had such an enriching experience teaching at the Highlights Foundation for our Poetry For Kids retreat. The attendees were kind, hardworking and determined. I was a student there many years ago, and to have joined the faculty -- and now paying it forward -- thrills me no end. The place now holds a special place in Irene's heart as well! Many thanks to George Brown, Alison Green Myers, Ana Eccles, Amanda Richards and the staff!


Here's the class picture:





Honored to be asked to be a part of the Get Caught Reading festivities in their year-long crusade to elevate the joys and importance of reading. There's free posters for booksellers, librarians and teachers that can be found on their website here.


Happy to have a poem in an anthology called WHAT IS A FRIEND, edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Proceeds from the book go the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund. The assignment was they would send poets a photo and we would write a poem about what we see.


Here is the poem and picture:





I was thrilled to have spoken at my first keynote address. It was for the Alabama Library Association in Birmingham. Many thanks to Wes Gordon for the invitation, Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger for the advice, and to AEI Speakers Bureau for facilitating.




The Poetry Time Foundation or as teacher/children's poet Heidi Mordhorst calls it, the PTFoundation, continues to give back by donating the proceeds of my poem "Breakfast" from the book WHAT IS A FRIEND? to the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund.



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:


RECKLESS, GLORIOUS GIRL by Ellen Hagan.


CALL ME ATHENA by Colby Cedar Smith.


THE PAPER CHASE by John Jay Osborn, Jr.


MARSHMALLOW CLOUDS: Two Poets at Play among Figures of Speech by Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek. Illustrated by Richard Jones.


SANTA CLAUSES: Short Poems from the North Pole by Bob Raczka. Illustrated by Chuck Groenink.


I LOVE YOU ALREADY by Jory John & Benji Davies.


BEAR IS A BEAR by Jonathan Stutzman. Illustrated by Dan Santat.


KNIGHT OWL by Christopher Denise.


WHAT IS LOVE? by Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Carson Ellis.


TO MAKE by Danielle Davis. Illustrated by MAGS DeROMA.


BLACK GIRL RISING by Bryanne Barnes. Illustrated by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.


KEEP CLIMBING GIRLS by Beah E. Richards. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.


ONE LOVE: Based on the Song by Bob Marley Adapted Cedella Marley. Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.


ROOM ON THE BROOM by Julia Donaldson. Illustrated by Axel Scheffler.


THE GRUFFALO by Julia Donaldson. Illustrated by Axel Scheffler.


BEAR SNORES ON by Karma Wilson. Illustrated by Jane Chapman.


INTERSTELER CINDERELLA by Deborah Underwood. Illustrated by Meg Hunt.


AARON SLATER, ILLUSTRATOR by Andrea Beaty. Illustrated by David Roberts.


THE POUT-POUT FISH by Deborah Diesen. Pictures by Dan Hanna.


CHANGE SAYS: A Children's Anthem by Amanda Gorman. Illustrated by Loren Long.


PRINCE & NIGHT by Daniel Haack. Pictures by Stevie Lewis.


GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld.

THELMA THE UNICORN written and illustrated by Aaron Blabey.


WE WANT A DOG written and illustrated by Lo Cole.


ROOM FOR EVERYONE by Naaz Khan. Illustrated by Mercè López.


THE RUNAWAY PEA by Kjartan Poskitt. Illustrated by Alex Willmore.


I leave you with a poem about two siblings.


BABY SISTER

My baby sister adores me.

Only time she ever ignores me

is when she begins to cry.

When I sniff on her diaper

I figure out why.


© Charles Waters, 2023all rights reserved.


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