The week at a glance

BULLETIN: Somehow a humorous poem by Percy Bisque Silley managed to get sidetracked in my system and just surfaced even though the poem was submitted ten days before the cutoff for March. My sincere apologies to the poet! I’ve just added Percy’s poem to the ballot box: “If Life Had a Wife.” Please give this poem a read under the WOM page. I’ll add it to the “Click to Read” box this afternoon.

On a sadder note, 4th grader Taylor McGowan’s poem, “Life,” didn’t arrive until three days after cutoff so we can’t vote on it with the other young poet offerings, but that won’t keep us from reading and enjoying Taylor’s poem. Please check it out under the Young Poet’s page.

First, I want to thank Pat Lewis for his excellent and thought-provoking article yesterday. Judging from comments, I’d say that many of you agree that Pat not only writes beautifully but he has much to tell us about the craft. If you haven’t had a chance to leave a comment for Pat, I hope you’ll do it. Pat and all others who have graced my Friday blogs over the past months have given up time from their own work to contribute here and I know they appreciate hearing from you.

Next, please don’t forget that Rebecca Dotlich will join us on April 16 and she has asked for questions in advance. You can contact Rebecca directly by going to her website at or scroll to the bottom of my announcement of her scheduled appearance (March 22) and leave questions in the comment section.

As you know, I think that part of the fun in seeing so many poems and comments on this page is to determine where they come from. In fits and spurts, I send out notes of inquiry. Some of you prefer your anonymity; others feel comfortable telling me your location. I haven’t checked for the last two months, during which we’ve been joined by a good many new voices. Here’s what I knew in January. If your state or country isn’t included and you would like to add to the information, please let me know. Thanks.

States and Countries Represented
In Word of the Month Poetry Challenge
January, 2010

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island

South Africa
Sri Lanka

A reminder that voting is now going on for March’s Hall of Fame Poets (see the ballot boxes posted March 25) and that you can vote once for your choice in each of the two groups: adult poets and young poets. If you are joining us for the first time, the rule is that no one can win the title twice during the same twelve month period ending this September. Previous winners are welcome to contribute poems each month, and their fans and supporters can certainly vote for them, but they can only be recognized once until the next cycle begins.

In the adult poets division, our previous Monthly Hall of Fame Poets are Mimi Cross, Liz Korba, Linda Kulp, Steven Withrow, and Beth Carter. Monthly Hall of Fame Young Poets are Alyssa Kirch, Claire Scott, Priya Shah, John Sullivan, and Megan Barnett.



Meet our Hall of Fame Poets

Today I salute the poets who have taken top honors during our first five months. Here are their names, the word that inspired them, the month, and their poem.

Word of the Month: dirt
Hall of Fame Poet: Mimi Cross
Mimi’s poem: Dirt Blues
Hall of Fame Young Poet: Alyssa Kirch
Alyssa’s poem: Mud Pie

Word of the Month: thanks
Hall of Fame Poet: Liz Korba
Liz’s poem: You’re Welcome
Hall of Fame Young Poet: Claire Scott
Claire’s poem: Thanks for Nothing

Word of the Month: bone
Hall of Fame Poet: Linda Kulp
Linda’s poem: Wishes
Hall of Fame Young Poet: Priya Shah
Priya’s poem: A Mother’s Wishes

Word of the Month: time
Hall of Fame Poet: Stephen Withrow
Stephen’s poem: The Time Ship
Hall of Fame Young Poet: John Sullivan
John’s poem: End

Word of the Month: road
Hall of Fame Poet: Beth Carter
Beth’s poem: A Country Drive
Hall of Fame Young Poet: Megan Barnett
Megan’s poem: Far Behind

Alyssa Kirch and Classmates

October Hall of Fame Young Poet

David reading with David Wommack

I mentioned in a recent post that I visited Nancy Raider’s classroom. There I met Alyssa Kirch who was our October Hall of Fame Young Poet. I thought you might also like to meet this charming young poet and two of her classmates, David Wommack and Noah Lawson.

David reading with Noah Lawson

Many thanks to Sylvia Vardell for her guest post yesterday (11/4). A good many of you have been stopping by to read her insightful article. I’m sorry I forgot to mention her own splendid blog but in case you haven’t located it yet, here’s the address.
For anyone interested in my Teacher page, there’s a new teaching idea for December.

The variety in this month’s poems is a pleasure to see. We’ve already had a dozen “bone” poems from adults. We still need to hear from our young poets!