How to read THE POETRY OF US

Hi everyone,

As I mentioned on Facebook my copy of THE POETRY OF US arrived and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s on my desk and from time to time I treat myself to reading another few poems. I’m up to “Science in North Dakota,” by Bill Holm. It’s tempting to sit down and devour these delicious efforts all at once but I don’t think that does justice to the poets who worked so hard to perfect their offerings. Better, I think, to read slowly, sometimes aloud, to savor the flavor of all these diverse voices.

One nice thing about reading 200+ poems is that I’m discovering many gifted poets I don’t know. Many of their poems leave me shaking my head in appreciation of the skill, sensitivity, and insight of the poet. It’s a wonderful reminder that there are many fine poets whose voices are not heard often enough and are well worth the search to read more of their writing. When I finish reading this book, I’m going to make a list of poets I want to know better and set out to find them.

The skill of the anthologist is evident in the selection of work represented to give a true taste of how we think and speak and sound across this great land. Bravo to J. Patrick Lewis for bringing together this important collection. As I said on my Facebook post, if there is anyone left who does not believe that children’s poetry deserves respect for its power to reach hearts and souls, then by all means buy them this book.

Up and back

Hi everyone,

On the way to Kansas City this morning, back this afternoon. Haven’t been up that way in quite a while.

Thank you again for all the good wishes and crossed fingers about the path the storm would take in Florida. We’re so grateful that we were spared other than the sand eroded beneath the stairs that lead down to the beach. I can hardly look at the pictures of total devastation only a few miles up the beach from us.

One of my favorite things

Hi everyone,

First, thanks to everyone for the good wishes about our condo as Michael moved onto land yesterday. Preliminary reports are encouraging so our area was spared the worst. Our hearts go out to the communities a few miles to the east of us who suffered so much destruction.

As for today, I get to participate once again in the Children’s Literature Festival of the Ozarks, which is held annually on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield. More than a dozen authors and artists will meet with groups of students in grades 4-8 to talk about what we do, offer tips, and answer questions. I’ve participated in this event each year since it began thirty-eight years ago and always look forward to it. I’m grateful to the hard working committee of wonderful women who make this happen every year.