Welcome to my blog party!

DAY TWO: It never fails. One day is never enough. If you’ve been here, come back. If you didn’t make it yesterday, here’s your chance. It’s going to be another great day!

Hi everyone,
It’s party time! The original virtual party in June 2015 came at the encouragement of poets Joy Acey and Matt Forrest. I held it in our back yard here at Goose Lake. We partied on for three days!
Later in the year another friend, Sara Johnson, Director of Educational Marketing at Shell Education, suggested that I throw a holiday party. That happened last year on December 17 and we had another great turnout. Ditto the third party in June of this year. And now, at the nudging of teacher Susan Hutchens, here we are with our fourth celebration.
Welcome to all. If you have jackets, toss them on the bed down the hall. Make yourselves at home. We have plenty of chairs and places to perch. You can also sit on the floor or the hearth. The carpet’s newish and the candles won’t burn you so move them aside.
The kitchen is through the dining room. The counter is marble so heat won’t hurt it. You don’t need to bring anything but I suppose some holiday tidbits or perhaps a drop or two of something festive would be appreciated by all.
Thank you for taking time to be here and share in the pleasure of one another’s company. Most of us talk back and forth all year but we’re rarely all together at one time. I don’t know who will show up today but if you have a specific question for anyone in particular, I’ll do my best to get it to him or her. Some of you may be meeting for the first time. If you have something you’d like to mention, such as an exciting activity, an award, your 2017 aspirations, or a new book coming out, let us know. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with bragging on your kids/grandkids or sharing a poem if you’re brave enough to stand up and present it. This IS a party after all!

So come early, drink deep from the cup of friendship, and stay as long as you like. Spread the word far and wide. Tell your friends and tell them to tell their friends. Let’s do it!


Poetry jam at Asilomar

Hi everyone,

David from 417 Magazine
I’ve decided to do a poetry jam at Asilomar for my evening event. We’ll have plenty of poetry books to pass out and we’ll have an open mike. I’ll start with a poem and someone in the audience will respond with a poem that connects in some way to mine. I’ll respond again unless someone else beats me to it. I’ve never tried it like that before but I think it should be fun. Does anyone have experience doing it this way?

From now through the end of the year I have something out of the house nearly every day. Gone are my hermit days of autumn. Live in the moment they say. I’ll be doing my best.

Children’s Literature Festival

Hi everyone,
I look forward to today. Around 2,000 boys and girls will be coming to the Children’s Literature Festival of the Ozarks held on the Missouri State University campus in Springfield. Authors and artists who are here to visit with them include Janet Carey, JB Cheaney, Tara Dairman, Cheryl Harness, David Harrison, David Patneaude, April Henry, Antony John, Ann Ingalls, Susan Keene, Obert Sky, Marie Smith, and Brad Sneed.

We’ll meet and visit with four groups each during the day and return to campus this evening for a program and book signing. On the program for a second time will be BYRON BIGGERS BAND, a musical trio that includes Chris Craig, Gale Clithero, and me. We’ll perform half a dozen of my poems that Chris has set to music. We always have a good time. All in all, it should be a great day.

Poetry for the Fun of It

Hi everyone,

I just head from Dr. Sam Bommarito, Reading Specialist/Staff Developer (retired), and new Co-Editor- Missouri Reader, that my recent article in Missouri Reader is now available live https://joom.ag/SMZQ . I’ve happy to hear it and hope you’ll check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

Today is Day 2 at the current poetry workshop at The Barn near Honesdale. Good thoughts are going out to its leaders (Rebecca Dotlich and Georgia Heard) as well as to the poets who are this minute enjoying the opportunity to work and play together as they hone their poetic skills.

Last night Sandy and I attended a most thought provoking discussion/debate at Drury University by Carl Bernstein and PJ O’Rourke who addressed the issues of the current presidential candidates with plenty of historical overview about what has led to the prevailing political environment and widespread hostilities toward it. We were glad to be invited.

Looking forward to Honesdale

Hi everyone,
Barnfall 032
That’s Kent Brown, mastermind behind these workshop opportunities. Three more poets have signed up for my workshop next month. This brings us to ten, a good number, and they are coming from California, New York, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Illinois. It isn’t too late if anyone is still thinking it over. I’ve started the process of getting acquainted with the folks who are coming and yesterday I made good progress making notes and handouts.IMG_7305 For each half-day segment I’ll present handouts specific to that topic while I’ve giving my talk. The handouts will include descriptions and examples plus prompts to help get the poets started on writing their own. We’ll tackle free verse, unrhymed verse forms, short rhymed verse forms, long rhymed verse forms, and even try a rhymed picture book story. Should be fun.
Today I’ll spend some time considering what we might do as a group on Monday and Tuesday evenings after dinner. Traditionally we gather on the patio, sit around in chairs, and take turns entertaining ourselves reading and/or performing poetry. One year Jeanne Poland brought some rhythm instruments and we all had a good time playing with them. IMG_7315Matt Forrest showed us how to make his favorite recipe for smores one evening around the fireplace. Joy Acey, you’ve always had good ideas for the evening activities. Too bad you’re not able to get there this year, but I’m sure you’ll be with us in spirit.