For the 3,519th time…

Hi everyone,

Today is my 3,519th post on this blog spot that Kathy Temean created for me in 2009. Bill Johnson at Highlight and others had urged me to get a website so I looked around for designers. The first note I sent to friends for recommendations was Ralph Fletcher. He, Ruth Culham, Rebecca Dotlich, Eileen Spinelli, and others gave me names and tips, and I eventually wound up going with Kathy. When Kathy completed my website, she said I needed a blog. I fought against it, lost, and here I sit, 3,519 posts later, saying for the 3,519th time, “Hi everyone.”

Today I look forward to a Zoom meeting with Kathleen O’Dell (Public Relations Director) and Stephanie Smallwood (acting Director of Children’s Services) at Springfield-Greene County Public Libraries to discuss what I’d like to do for a summer reading project with the district. I hope to do one or more videos providing tips about reading and writing poetry for the summer reading program. Perhaps I can use the videos for other programs elsewhere. I’m eager for the visit.

Yesterday, thanks to the expert direction of Marjorie Bicknell, Philadelphia Regional Rep for Dramatists Guild of America, Sandy Asher and I presenting our reading of JESSE AND GRACE. It was the first time a children’s work has been presented in the Footlights series. We drew a record number of registrations, for which we were grateful. For those of you who watched the performance, thank you! The event was recorded so before long we’ll be able to share it with teachers, librarians, and others who might be interested. More about that soon.

April is coming

Hi everyone,

The national poetry month of April is on its way. If you want to help promote it, now is the time to start planning. I’m joining with poet/professor Marcus Cafagna (Southwest Missouri State University) again to create one of more programs. We’ve approached our Springfield area public radio/TV folks about doing something on air. In the past we’ve each read from our work and included two of Marcus’s students reading from theirs. We’ve done the same thing at our public library, but this year we missed the deadline for planning activities in April. My fault. Should have started sooner. There is a possibility that I’ll do something with poetry for the library’s summer reading program. I would enjoy that. I’m also making a pitch to our public school system to participate in their summer school semester. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve also reminded our newspaper about poetry month and suggested there can be a story in it. I intend to get in touch with friends who work in television and ask them to consider doing something on air in April.

So what can you do to promote poetry in your area this April? Who do you know in the media? Contact them about doing something to feature poetry and volunteer to help. You can write an article or volunteer to be interviewed. Work with a local book store to celebrate the month with readings for adults and story hours for the littles. Make plans to send cards to friends of all ages with poems inside. My friend and fellow poet Eileen Spinelli sends cards on special occasions with quotes about the subject tucked inside that provide delightful surprises and food for thought. Plan to visit someone special who is living in an assisted living facility to read a few poems. Offer to present a program for them. What else can you think of? It’s not too early to start making your plans now.

When was the last time you built a snowman?

Hi everyone,

It was a good party. So many came, left, and came back over the two days we wound up with 550 visits. I enjoyed seeing so many of you and already look forward to doing it again sometime in the spring or summer of 2021.

Meanwhile, it snowed enough in Eileen and Jerry Spinelli’s yard that Eileen carried out on her promise to make a snowman. While the rest of us were inside chatting and chewing, Eileen bundled up and let her child spirit go outside and play in the snow. I love it.

When I asked if Jerry had helped, she said he put in the carrot and buttons. Hey, I believe in fair distribution of labor. Way to go, Jerry. If you haven’t visited Eileen’s site lately, you should. Here’s the link.

Her beautiful new book, ONE EARTH, is doing very well.

Thank you, Eileen, for still knowing where to find your inner kid.

The word of the month for September is . . .

Hi everyone,

Happy September 1st! Four months to go, which means, among numerous other things, four more word of the month challenges in 2017. I hope you’ll join me every month to make the most of these opportunities to stretch our own imaginations as we watch other poets stretch theirs.

Now that I think about it, I suggest STRETCH as our word for September. How’s that suit you?

On another subject, I heard yesterday from Joy Acey. She, Jeanne Poland, and Cory Corrado are enjoying Eileen Spinelli’s poetry retreat at the Barn in Honesdale. I first met all three at my first workshop there in 2011. I’m glad we’ve all remained in touch and those three worthy poets continue to journey to Pennsylvania now and then to refresh, reflect, and write.

Julie Hedlund interview and Renee LaTulippe’s Poet-a-Palooza

BULLETIN: For fans of POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL, you’re in for some fun at Renee LaTulippe’s No Water River today. With her usual mastery of the form, Renee has put together a thoroughly entertaining presentation that includes an interview with Mary Skelly, a wonderful teacher who is passionate about teaching poetry to her fourth graders PLUS new videos by some of the poets in the book: George Ella Lyon, Joy Acey, Heidi Bee Roemer, Heidi Mordhorst, and me (playing my trombone — sort of). Click here to visit Poet-a-Palooza (Part I).

REMINDER: In case anyone missed it yesterday, the word for April is FRAGRANCE. Let the sweet smelling poetry begin!

Hi everyone,

Today it’s my privilege to be interviewed by Julie Hedlund who, hardly two hours after posting her effort, left the country for Italy. She called the other day on Skype and we had a pleasant talk. Later she divided our discussion into segments according to theme. If you care to check the interview on her site, I hope you’ll find something to enjoy.  Here’s how.

Creator, Template for Storybook Apps
Founder, 12 x 12 in 2012 PB Writing Challenge
Leader, Writer’s Renaissance Retreat in Florence, Italy

Many of you know Julie and follow her site. She also attended the poetry workshop last year that was co-led by Eileen Spinelli, Rebecca Dotlich, and me. Julie, many thanks. I had a good time visiting with you and hope you enjoy Florence.