Hello my poetry peeps!
Super excited that Dictionary For A Better World: Poems, Quotes and Anecdotes from A - Z is out in the world! What a journey. Super happy for my poetic forever friend, Irene Latham, our illustrator, Mehrdokht Amini, the fine humans at Lerner Publishing Group for the hard work and positive vibes!
So thankful to Publisher's Weekly for the starred review for the book Dictionary For A Better World: Poems, Quotes and Anecdotes from A - Z. Here are some quotes: "Latham and Waters rifle the storehouse of poetic forms, using structure to clarify meaning ... " and "Each term in this unconventional dictionary receives a four-part exploration alongside Amini’s eclectically illustrated spreads." You can read the rest of the review by clicking here.
Kirkus Reviews also had such thoughtful words to say about Dictionary For A Better World: Poems, Quotes and Anecdotes from A - Z calling it "a creative and inspirational resource suitable for a broad range of ages and uses." You can read the rest of their review by clicking here.
School Library Journal gave the book a "Recommeded" to their readers calling it in part, "inclusive, thought-provoking ... offers a number of entry points for exploring concepts and issues related to identity, social justice, and making a difference." You can read the rest of the review here.
Educator, Blogger, and all-around excellent human, Paul W. Hankins, reviewed Dictionary For A Better World over at Goodreads and my word, it's a lovely, detailed account of how the book can be used in classrooms and as life lessons for many years to come. So grateful to him for his kind words. You can find the review by clicking here.
Happy to hear the news that Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship or as we've been calling it, CITYH?, was released on October 3rd in the UK courtesy of One World Publications. It's especially gratifying to know they released the book during Black History Month and National Poetry Month in the UK. Many thanks to Gil Netter and all the kind people at One World for their support!
Hooray for CITYH? is now available as an audio book! Please click here for the link. This lists all formats the book is available in, including audiobook. You can also find it through all major audiobook distributors.
Also encouraging to read the kind words about CITYH? from The White Ravens, which is an selection of international children's and youth literature. You can read their kind review by clicking here.
Happy to learn that CITYH? is one of the books featured in this article and news story about a new Diverse Literature Initiative in Hoover City Schools in Alabama. You can find out all about it by clicking here.
Myself and Irene Latham will be teaching POWER-UP POETRY: MAKING CONNECTIONS WITH POETRY COLLECTIONS 2020 from August 9th - 12th 2020 at The Highlights Foundation. From an attendee to a faculty assistant to a faculty member -- it'll be a great full circle moment for me, and to pass along what I've learned to others in a safe, encouraging enviroment makes it all that much sweeter. Please click on the link, spread the word and consider attending!
Attended NCTE in Baltimore and had a few cool experiences. Collaborated with Irene for a presentation for Build Your Stack which, according to the NCTE website is "a new initiative focused exclusively on helping teachers build their book knowledge and their classroom libraries." We also received the Charlotte Huck Honor certificate for CITYH? then spoke at the Huck Honor session with the other authors who were awarded then did a book signing for Dictionary at the Lerner booth. It was a whirlwind trip and a recharging one to be around so many like minded people who are focused on books, literacy, learning and sharing.
Had an author visit at SUNY Old Westbury on Long Island and PS 234 in Manhattan. Did author presentations, Q & A, teacher workshop and book signing for students majoring in education on one institution and everything else minus the teacher workshop at the other place of learning. Many thanks to Michele Weisman of Meet The Writers for the opportunity!
The Poetry Time Foundation or as teacher/children's poet Heidi Mordhorst calls it, the PTFoundation, continues to give back by donating books to the New York Public Library.
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:
LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL by Lanie Robertson.
MAN AND BOY by Terence Rattigan.
THE THANKSGIVING PLAY by Larissa Fasthorse.
WAITRESS music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles. Book by Jessie Nelson.
Based upon the motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly.
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:
PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL by Nikki Grimes.
NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST by Margaret Wise Brown. Pictures by Greg Pizzoli.
THE IMPORTANT THING ABOUT MARGARET WISE BROWN by Mac Barnett. llustrated by Sarah Jacoby.
A HOME IN THE BARN by Margaret Wise Brown. Pictures by Jerry Pinkney.
WILMA'S WAY HOME: The Life of Wilma Mankiller by Doreen Rappaport. Illustrated by Linda Kukuk.
FRY BREAD: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble. Illustrated by Maillard Juana Martinez-Neal.
NEW KID by Jerry Craft.
AT THE MOUNTAIN'S BASE by Traci Sorell. Illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre.
SOPHIE'S SQUASH by Pat Zietlow Miller. Illustrated by Ann Wilsdorf.
LORETTA'S GIFT by Pat Zietlow Miller. Illustrated by Alea Marley.
REMARKABLY YOU by Pat Zietlow Miller. Illustrated by Patrice Barton.
SHARING THE BREAD: An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller. Illustrated by Jill McElmurry.
THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE by Pat Zietlow Miller. Illustrated by Frank Morrison.
ZOMBIE IN LOVE by Kelly DiPucchio. Pictures by Scott Campbell.
BOATS FOR PAPA by Jessixa Bagley.
BORIS AND BELLA by Carolyn Crimi. Illustrated by Gris Grimley.
THIS IS NOT A VALENTINE by Carter Higgins. Illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins.
TWO SPECKLED EGGS by Jennifer K. Mann.
STARS by Mary Lyn Ray. Illustrated by Marla Frazee.
STAR BRIGHT: A Christmas Story by Alison McGhee and Peter Reynolds.
LIBRARY LION by Michelle Knudsen. Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.
GENERATION FRIENDS: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era by Saul Austerlitz.
THE PERFECT PUMPKIN PIE by Denys Cazet.
THE CHICKEN CHASING QUEEN OF LAMAR COUNTY by Janice N. Harrington. Pictures by Shelley Jackson.
PAPER HEARTS by Meg Wiviott.
I leave you with a poem called "Pause" from DICTIONARY -- this is a limerick for the letter P.
My family may have its flaws
but once we're together we pause
to give thanks and grace
before it's a race
to stuff food into our jaws.
(c) Charles Waters -- all rights reserved.