Getting ready for February

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I finished my talk for South Carolina IRA in February, but then I decided to put it into PowerPoint. Now I have thirty-five slides to make so there goes today and maybe Monday. It will be nice to have this done because my next chance to focus this many hours on it will be toward the end of the first week in January, and that’s cutting it too close.

Christmas shopping? I’m failing that course. Must. Do. Better!!

Planning the future

Hi everyone,

Busy day yesterday. Received feedback on an education book proposal. Overall: good, but with strings attached. Lotza suggestions before going forward. It’s reflection time. We want to go forward but need to weigh the price in time and effort without a guarantee it will produce a contract. That’s what today is for.

I know now I’m on the panel next year in Baltimore that will introduce the 2019 NCTE Notable Books (including CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS). I’ll read a couple of poems and introduce my new (by then) book, AND THE BULLFROGS SING.

Yesterday I spent most of my work time writing and submitting a proposal for a presentation at the conference. I’ve written other proposals over the years; won some lost some. You never know if you’ll be accepted. There will be more than 1,000 submissions for the judges to read. I enjoy the challenge and love it when I’m accepted. Winners are announced late in March.

In the meantime I hope to connect with other writers for another panel or two. Baltimore in November may too brisk to walk around much outside. Might as well stay inside and work!

Family Night in Centerview

Hi everyone,

Today I’ll finish pulling my thoughts together for a school family night presentation on Monday evening. I’ll be leaving from Branson that afternoon for the drive to Centerview, Missouri, a small community in western central Missouri between Kansas City and Sedalia.

I haven’t been to Centerview before so I look forward to meeting parents, teachers, and kids there at Crest Ridge School and spending an evening talking about reading and writing. I’ll drive back that night so it will be a good day. I’ll be quite safe because Sandy is going with me.

The arrangements for my visit came through a grant and include an all day visit at the school next year plus a family night and day visit in another community during the 2019-2020 school year.

An evening with poets

Hi everyone,

I hope many of you can join us Friday evening at The Library Center on South Campbell in Springfield for “An Evening with Poets.” It will start at 7:00 in Room B.

Taken at spring 2018 photo day. February 6-7, 2018. Kevin White/Missouri State University

My co-presenter is Marcus Cafagna, Poet and Professor in the English Department at MSU. Here’s a bit about Marcus.
Selected awards and honors
• Nominee and Finalist, Missouri Poet Laureate, 2010, 2012
• Nominee, Pushcart Prize in Poetry, 9 times
• Named, Notable Missouri Poet, 2008
• Recipient, College of Arts and Letters Research Award, 2001
• Nominee, Ruth Lily Poetry Fellowship, 1997
• Selection of First Book, National Poetry Series, 1995
• Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program
• Teaches poetry
• Creative Writing Program
• Modern American Authors: Contemporary American Poetry
Marcus has invited two of his outstanding poetry students, Ali Geren and Brandon Henry, to join us. We’ve elected to read two poems each in rotation. I’ll go first followed by Marcus, Ali, Brandon, and then back to me. We’ll shoot for an hour but be prepared to extend somewhat if our audience wants us to. We’ll also allow for time to ask questions. Thanks in advance to everyone who can come.

What makes this evening unique is the mixture of poetry written for adults with that written for young readers. It probably isn’t a program that would entertain young children but if you are curious about how and were these two broad genres of poetry sometimes overlap and connect, this is a good opportunity to sit in and find out!

Upcoming events

Hi everyone,

As we start winding down August, I’m looking at what’s coming up in September. Three dates I like. On September 1, although I won’t be there at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C., my book will. CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS will be there representing Missouri. I’m delighted that Joan Arth will be attending the Missouri booth to hand out bookmarks from my book. Thanks, Joanie!

On September 7, I’m joining with Southwest Missouri State University professor and poet, Marcus Cafagna plus two of his outstanding poetry students — Brandon Henry and Ali Geren — to present an evening of poetry at The Library Center on South Campbell in Springfield. It starts at 7:00.

On September 11, I’ll be back at The Library Center on a three-person panel as part of a grant-funded Great American Read series. The panel will talk about why people love to read, what they get out of it, and why certain books leave indelible impressions. I’m looking forward to that one too.

There will be some travel in September, and writing. It looks like a month that’s going to go by in a hurry.