POETRY TIME BLOG #46

September 19, 2019

 

Greetings and poetic salutations to one and all! 

 

So happy to share the cover of my second book DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD: Poems, Quotes and Anecdotes from A -Z (co-written once again by my poetic forever friend, Irene Latham and illustrated by the supremely talented Mehrdokht Amini). 

 

 

 

Here is the premise:  

Ally

Belonging

Compassion

 

Discover a dictionary unlike any other. Writing with equal parts courage and empathy, acclaimed poets Irene Latham and Charles Waters have imagined the world they want to see and written it into being. In fifty poems, they work their way through the alphabet, employing a wide range of poetic forms and highlighting words and concepts related to diversity, hope, peace, and much more. In addition to the poems, for each word the authors provide a related quotation, an anecdote about an experience they’ve had related to that word, and a prompt for an action (small or large) readers can take in their own lives. With stunning artwork by Mehrdokht Amini, this ambitious collection invites us all to do what we can to create a better world.

 

Please check out the most outstanding blog post by Linda Baie, full of all sorts of great tidbits about DICTIONARY, including a performance by myself of the opening poem of the book titled: "Words For A Better World". All of which you can find here.

 

Super honored that CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship was named on four state lists. Many thanks to the fine people of Delaware, Michigan, Utah, and my home state of Pennsylvania! 

 

Looking forward to the 2019-2020 school year and working hard towards setting up school visits all over the universe. 

 

Been putting in the work all summer on various manuscripts in the belief that whatever Book #3 may be -- and many other books to come  -- will find homes at various publishing houses. 

 

Auditions for parts in commercials, TV shows and motion pictures have slowed down for now -- however -- I've gotten a new headshot made, been taking classes at the SAG-AFTRA Voiceover Lab in the hopes of branching out more in that particular discipline, and learn more about acting by researching and absorbing works by some of the greatest artists of our time. 

 

So happy to now have a copy of THANKU: Poems Of Gratitude edited by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Marlena Myles. This anthology features 32 poems from a gallery of writers, both established and new to publishing, who write about gratitude in many of its forms. Speaking of which, every poem uses a different form in which to tell its story as well. I'm so proud of have my poem "Roy G. Biv" appear. Many thanks to Miranda and Marlena for their hard work!

P.S. Part of the proceeds of the book go to the most excellent organization We Need Diverse Books.  

 

The Poetry Time Foundation or as teacher/children's poet Heidi Mordhorst calls it, the PTFoundation, has proudly donated books to the New York Public Library

 

 

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

 

OKLAHOMA! by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers, Broadway, Circle In The Square Theatre

 

DYING CITY by Christopher Shinn, Off Broadway, Kiser Theatre

 

AMERICAN MOOR by Keith Hamilton Cobb, Off Broadway, Cherry Lane Theatre

 

SWELL developed by Melisa Tien, Off-Off Broadway, Here Arts Center

 

 

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:

 

HEDDA GABLER by Henrik Ibsen.

 

THE ODD COUPLE by Neil Simon.

 

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE Music and Lyrics by William Finn. Book by Rachel Sheinkin.

 

BUYER AND CELLAR by Jonathan Tolins.

 

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMORE by Martin McDonagh.

 

THE WAVERLY GALLERY by Kenneth Lonnergan.

 

LOBBY HERO by Kenneth Lonnergan.

 

SUGAR IN OUR WOUNDS by Donja R. Love.

 

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION by John Guare.

 

TRUE WEST by Sam Shepard.

 

[title of show] Music and Lyrics by Jeff Bowen. Book by Hunter Bell.

 

METEOR SHOWER by Steve Martin.

 

THE BAND'S VISIT Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek. Book by Itamar Moses.

 

BERNHARDT/HAMLET by Theresa Rebeck.

 

OTHER DESERT CITIES by Jon Robin Baitz.

 

NETWORK adapted by Lee Hall based on the screenplay of the same name by Paddy Chayefsky.

 

ALL MY SONS by Arthur Miller.

 

THE CLEAN HOUSE by Sarah Ruhl.

 

AVENUE Q music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. Book by Jeff Whitty.

 

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:

 

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS by Nikki Grimes

 

THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

H IS FOR HAIKU: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z by Sydell Rosenberg. Illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi.

 

THE ROOTS OF RAP: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop by Carole Boston Weatherford. Art by Frank Morrison.

 

THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT: Voices From The Titanic by Allan Wolf.

 

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT: Poems from a Wide Awake House by Laura Purdie Salas. Illustrated by Angela Matteson. 

 

BEST IN SNOW by April Pulley Sayre.

 

WARBLER WAVE by April Pulley Sayre (with Jeff Sayre).

 

SQUIRRELS LEAP, SQUIRRELS SLEEP by April Pulley Sayre. Illustrated by Steve Jenkins.

 

HELLO LIGHTHOUSE written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

 

A BIG MOONCAKE FOR LITTLE STAR written and illustrated by Grace Lin.

 

THE ROUGH PATCH written and illustrated by Brian Lies.

 

THANK YOU, OMU! written and illustrated by Oge Mora.

 

LET THE CHILDREN MARCH by Monica Clark-Robinson. Illustrated by Frank Morrison. 

 

WHEN ANGELS SING: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Samtana by Michael Mahin. Ilustrated by Jose Ramirez.

 

JULIAN IS A MERMAID written and illustrated by Jessica Love. 

 

TRIANGLE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

 

SQUARE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

 

CIRCLE by by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

 

AFTER THE FALL: HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN by Dan Santat. 

 

TAKING COVER : One Girl's Story Of Growing Up During The Iranian Revolution by Nioucha Homayoonfar. 

 

BARRACOON: The Story Of The Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston.

 

DREAMS OF AFRICA IN ALABAMA: The Slave Ship Clotilda And The Story Of The Last Africans Brought To America by Sylviane A. Diouf. 

 

I leave you with two poems. One is "Roy G. Biv" from THANKU: Poems Of Gratitude and the other is "Words For A Better World" from DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD: Poems, Quotes and Anecdotes from A -Z. 

Enjoy!

 

ROY G. BIV

Roy G. Biv has lots to give

during a waterfall,

kaleidoscopes of color,

a rainbow for us all. 

 

(c) Charles Waters -- all rights reserved. 

 

WORDS FOR A BETTER WORLD

Awash in attempts to help cool our fevered world, we

Begin simply: with words. We savor syllables,

Consider history and meaning. We forge ahead with

Determination trying to do what’s right, though

Each step is filled with uncertainty.

For what is more powerful – more dangerous -- than words? What

Gathers us, divides us like these letters and how we arrange them?

How can we use words to improve ourselves and inspire Mindfulness

In the hearts of others without perpetuating fears, misunderstandings?

“Just try,” a small voice whispers. So we listen and share. We ponder

Karma and Courage, Tenacity, and Hope. We unspool our

Lives, remembering triumphs and failures. We write --

Making poems that celebrate Acceptance, Freedom, Respect, building each

Necessary step to show more Compassion and Gratitude.

Our stories put a spotlight on making friends – and losing them. About

Past mistakes and what we're learning. In this neverending

Quest to change the world, we challenge ourselves with new forms:

Roundel, cherita, limerick, shadorma. We abandon our complacency,

Search within ourselves for how to be changemakers, not

Thinking we have all the answers. Now we listen to opposing views with an Open spirit.

Understanding takes time. We must be patient as our new

Vocabulary takes root, trusting that change will one day bloom.

We’re unsure, yet willing to bring our authentic selves to you, not some

Xeroxed copy of who we wish to be. This is our moment. Please join us --

You can start with any word you choose. Read with Empathy and Zest.

Zoom into each new moment ready to bring your best self to the world.

 

(c) Irene Latham & Charles Waters -- all rights reserved. 

 

 

 

 

 

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