Greetings my good people.
There’s been a lot of poetry goodness happening here, as well as other bits of news to share.
Had a lovely time conducting workshops at The Churchill School in Manhattan. I worked with upper and lower elementary school students, and their passion for learning invigorated me to do the best I could to spread the love of poetry and performance to them and their teachers. Thank you Paula Zamora Gonzalez, Elementary Librarian and Diversity Initiative Co-Coordinator, for making me feel so at home. http://www.churchillschool.com
I worked with The Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation with my friend/colleague Candy Heiland. Candy and I worked with the Rush Teens at the Arts Gallery at 526 West 26th Street in Manhattan. We guided them in writing a poem, and designing and painting their own plaques according to the word Home. I’m proud of what the teens accomplished and look forward to seeing their pieces as part of the Rush Exhibit later in the spring.
I went to the grand opening of an exhibition called Still Life at Clover's Fine Art Gallery in Brooklyn. To quote the e-mail invitation I received: "Still Life is an exhibition of still life works that features all the aspects and diversions of everyday life, including food, floral, fruit and inanimate objects." My Rush Foundation boss, Meridith McNeal has 3 paintings in the gallery. Being surrounded by art gives me even more motivation to contribute my own unique views of the world through children's poetry. I'm thankful to have attended and supported artists who express themselves through painting.
My poems “The Diversity of Dirt,” “Crops,” and “as seeds grow in rows” appear in DEAR TOMATO: AN INTERNATIONAL CROP OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE POEMS, edited by Carol-Ann Hoyte, and it’s now out in the world!
I’ve been invited back to perform at The Poets House in NYC on Saturday May 9th! I can’t thank Mike Romanos, Children’s Room Director and Education Coordinator, for the return engagement.
I wrote 31 poems based on different sounds for Laura Shovan’s blog, Author Amok. It was a month long writing exercise, and I scribbled about foxes, frogs, and lava, among others. What a fun journey! Participating in online writing exercises is a great way to meet fellow poets on the information superhighway, and get your name out there in the children’s poetry world, plus it keeps your writing sharp.
I once again participated in SPARK, created by Amy Souza. SPARK brings together writers and illustrators from all over the world; they are paired with a fellow artist and each submit their pieces to each other, those pieces are commented on either by a freshly written or illustrated piece. This time around I was paired up with Diane Mayr, http://randomnoodling.blogspot.com/ and here’s the pieces we came up with.
For a look through all the Spark collaborations I've been a part of, you can click here:
I’m going to be participating all month in children’s poet Heidi Mordhorst’s writing exercise over at her blog My Juicy Universe. Everyday she’ll post a word that ends in the letters ch. Other poets and I will write our poems incorporating the words she selects that end in those letters.
I attended THE ASCAP FOUNDATION 215 MUSICAL THEATER SONGWRITING SHOWCASE at the Maravel Arts Center in Manhattan. ASCAP stands for American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. High School Juniors, who attended an intensive songwriting workshop, had a chance to have one of their pieces performed by Broadway stars such as: Arielle Jacobs (In the Heights), Zak Resnick (Momma Mia), and Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture). My dear friend Lori Centeno’s son Antonio Delvalle had his piece called “Flickered On” about Thomas Edison’s creation of the lightbulb, performed by Mr. Resnick. The talents of all the young people who wrote these songs give me hope that Art is in great hands.
I will participate as a Golden Quill Guest Blogger on Angie Karcher's blog RhyPiBoMo, pronounced (Rhie-Pie-Bow-Mow). From March 30th to April 31st there will be a blog post done by different writers, illustrators and agents. Mine will be called "Putting in the Work" and it will appear on Monday April 20th. Thanks, Angie for allowing me to particpate!
I will also take part in March Madness 2015 over at Ed Decaria's blog Think Kid Think! This is where poets, or "authletes" as Ed calls them, are given a word, and then have 36 hours in which to submit a new poem that has the word you were assigned in it. I believe this is my 3rd year doing participating, and I'm amazed at what children's poets can come up in such a short period of time. http://www.thinkkidthink.com/4-aloof-vs-13-harbinger/
My most excellent friend, and best-selling illustrator, Mandy France, http://mandy-france.com/ has created a design for Read-a-Poem or R.A.P. For those who don’t know, Mandy also did the Poetry Time logo as a birthday present to me in December of 2011.
Read-a-Poem is my rallying cry for children’s poetry to be absorbed by the masses. I consider this to be a major facet of my life’s work; I feel this in my bone marrow. The fact that Mandy took out time in her busy schedule to work on another logo for me is humbling. I'm thankful for her friendship, and her husband Josh's as well. I'll use both logos from now on in all facets of promoting children's poetry, you can find her new one at the bottom of this blog post. I’ll also continue to post what I’m reading here at Poetry Time, these past few weeks I've read:
THE CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander.
VOICES FROM THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON by J. Patrick Lewis and Georgia Heard.
HOW I DISCOVERED POETRY by Marilyn Nelson.
I leave you with one of the poems from the sound poem writing exercise and one of the poems from the ch exercise.
Waves of charcoaled apricot magma
Trudges along with tortoise-like determination,
Its crispy cackle warning you … beware.
© Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.
Straw colored swaths stretch
From tufted bed drinking in
© Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.