Check this out at the library

Hi everyone,

Congratulations to Bonnie Bailey who knocked me out in the first round of this year’s March Madness. I lost the general vote, 171-172 when Bonnie made up a 22 point deficit in the last eighteen minutes, won the vote by other poets who are involved this year, 41-8, and lost the classroom vote, 6-11. Bonnie’s goats on cleats beat my “whatever.” It was an exciting event and I thank all of you who supported me throughout the day. Bravo to Ed DeCaria for leading this annual game that gives poets a chance to play among ourselves. It’s a unique opportunity and I encourage everyone to continue watching the results as other pairs of poets compete to see who goes on to the next round.

Here are two events you are going to like if you live in the Springfield area. Thanks to Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director for Springfield-Greene County Library District. Here’s what Kathleen writes:

Pam Flowers: ALONE ACROSS THE ARCTIC. Author and adventurer Pam Flowers tells the unforgettable story of her 2,500-mile, solo Arctic expedition with eight sled dogs from Barrow, Alaska, to the hostile wilderness of eastern Canada.

Flowers has worked with dogs for 32 years, and shows her love and respect for them in her books including “Ordinary Dogs, Extraordinary Friendships,” a collection of 11 positive stories about dogs’ loyalty, courage, perseverance and trust; and “Hiking The Appalachian Trail,” about her trek with her dog Ellie along the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail. Her Big Read talk is based on her book “Alone Across the Arctic: One Woman’s Epic Journey by Dog Team.”

Pam Flowers is a registered respiratory therapist and public speaker. She is the 14th recipient of the Gold Medal from the Society of Woman Geographers, following in the footsteps of Amelia Earhart, Margaret Mead and Jane Goodall.
She was named Outsider of the Year by Outside Magazine, and has participated in nine arctic expeditions.

Pam will sign and sell copies of her books after the talk.
Wednesday, April 2, 7 p.m. For all ages
Library Center auditorium 4653 S. Campbell Ave.

Also, Bruce Cameron is coming at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, to the Library Center for “Come. Sit. Stay. An Evening with Bruce Cameron.” From “A Dog’s Purpose” to “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” Bruce brings best-selling humor to the world of dogs, dads and teenage daughters. “A Dog’s Purpose” and the sequel, “A Dog’s Journey,” were New York Times best-sellers. He has won numerous writing awards including Best Humor Columnist. His visit is funded by The Library Foundation, and is part of the Library’s Big Read, which this year features the Jack London classic, “The Call of the Wild.”

My thanks to Kathleen for the information and to The Library Foundation for bringing such a good program to Springfield!

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My March Madness poem is posted

Hi everyone,

Win, lose or draw, my whatever poem is done and gone. I’ve forgotten when the voting starts but Ed DeCaria has been good about providing details so I’ll go back to his e-mails and read more carefully.

To all my fellow poets who are involved this year, break a leg. To Ed, thanks in advance for all the work.

To Naomi Williamson and all the wonderful folks who put on yet another stellar Childrens Literature Festival this year in Warrensburg, Missouri, my gratitude. It is always one of the hightest of my year’s highlights.

It’s official

Hi everyone,

The poets who will compete in March Madness 2014 received a letter from Ed DeCaria, whip master in center ring, explaining some of the requirements and providing a full roster of participants. I’ll get my first word on March 17 while I’m at the Warrensburg Children’s Literature Festival so my first round poem will likely be composed mostly in the car on the afternoon of the 18th while driving back home. I hope I get a word about 18-wheelers and shaking one’s fist at traffic.

My worthy opponent for the first round is Bonnie Bailey. I look forward to becoming acquainted.

The only other contest I ever entered changed my life. In 1963 I sent a short-short story to a Reader’s Digest contest. I didn’t get top prize but placed high enough that I was interviewed in the Kansas City Star. A follow-up conversation with someone who read the story led me to try my hand at writing for children. Were it not for that incident, I might still be writing stories for adults. So, Ed Decaria, the pressure is on. I have big expectations!

David