I hope you are listening when KSMU Radio broadcasts POETRY PALS each Wednesday morning at 9:45 Central Standard Time in the United States. The segments are five minutes long so you have to be ready or risk missing them. Here again is information about how you can listen in.
If you live in the area, here are your dial locations.
91.1 FM in Springfield
90.5 FM in Point Lookout/Branson;
90.3 FM in West Plains;
88.7 FM in Mountain Grove;
98.9 FM in Joplin;
103.7 FM in Neosho
If you live anywhere else in the United States or in another country, you can hear POETRY PALS at KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio live-streaming on its website: http://www.ksmu.org. If you try and have problems, let me know and I’ll pass it along to the station for clarification for next time.
POETRY PALS is a collaboration of KSMU, Springfield-Greene County Library District, and me. Please consider providing support by sending your positive comments about what they are doing to News Director Jennifer Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Today, June 24, it’s my turn to read again and I’ve selected poems from CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS, which is illustrated by Julie Bayless and published by Wordsong, an imprint of Boyds Mills & Kane. This is all great fun and I hope to see the listening audience continue to grow each week. Tell everyone you know!
I’ve been blessed with the chance to work with a number of wonderful artists over the years such as Dan Burr, Betsy Lewin, Rob Shepperson, Kate Cosgrove, Julie Bayless, and numerous others. Rob Shepperson was my partner on two books: BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS and VACATION, WE’RE GOING TO THE OCEAN.
One reason it’s fun to work with Rob is that his sense of humor comes through in one drawing after another, each time taking my words and adding something more, something for the reader to smile or giggle over.
BUGS even made it onto the stage of a youth concert orchestra performance in Philadelphia when the evening was dedicated to bugs and poems were read from the book during the performance. In addition to his work on books, Rob’s witty art has appeared in major publications for years. I hope very much to work on another project with Rob one of these days.
But there’s still more to Shepperson’s work than his humorous drawings. He’s an artist with great range and from time to time he makes some of his paintings available on his website. He’s currently offering some discounts on selected pieces of his work, which you can find here: https://www.robshepperson.studio/paintings I can’t show you his work on my blog but you can click on his site and see for yourself. The holidays are coming up.
I’m in mid-chores so this isn’t working out well for posting today. I will share this review of CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS in the Seattle Book Review. It was written by Rosi Hollinbeck and I couldn’t be happier. Rosi, thank you very much! https://seattlebookreview.com/product/crawly-school-for-bugs-poems-to-drive-you-buggy/
It’s not only a wonderful review, it’s one of the few to come in so far from readers. The critics like it a lot but only a pair of readers have left comments. It’s ratings on Amazon have been going up and down, another unusual pattern.
My latest title, CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS, is off and running/leaping/flying/creeping. Reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly have all been strong. Although I’m still waiting to see a reader review on Amazon, ratings have listed it at least twice among the top 100 humorous poetry books on the market.
So far kids who have heard me read poems from the book especially like “Our School Nurse,” “Stink Bug Class,” and “Horse Fly Grade Card.” My thanks again to artist Julie Bayless for bringing so much humorous detail to her wonderful pictures. Her bugs wearing backpacks are delightful. Way to go, Julie!
Last week I finished the novel and completed the first draft of a nonfiction-based story. Giles Laroche is at work illustrating my next book of poetry with Charlesbridge and Julie Bayless is working on my next collection with Boyds Mills. No one has been chosen yet for the one after that. For now at least, those three are out of my hands.
Today I’m supposed to hear from an editor about an educational book proposal but until that comes I’m on my own with a week of few meetings and nothing under contract that requires attention. I don’t have a clue at the moment about how I’ll spend this week, but I can’t wait to get started.