BULLETIN: OUR WORD OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL IS FRAGRANCE. Thanks to everyone for providing so much fun in March with the word “snake.” We had 164 poems and comments. It has been quite a while since we’ve had so much activity.
I hope you had a good weekend. Some of you may have received a note last week from Kent Brown. Kent started Boyds Mills Press when he was editor-in-chief for Highlights. These days he heads up the Highlights Foundation and directs the Founders Workshops. His note was to encourage folks to sign up for one of the poetry workshops being offered this year on the Highlights Founders schedule. Here’s what Kent had to say.
Quite a few years ago, I fancied myself a budding poet. My grandparents and my mother all spurred me on.
Sometime about the fifth grade, my mother had an assignment to go down to the Carolinas and interview Carl Sandburg. She tucked into her purse one of my best poems. I don’t remember the poem, but I doubt it was more than eight lines. My mother told me she was going to share my poem with Mr. Sandburg.
Well, she got to the interview, had a fascinating time, and came home to write up the interview. But, sadly, she admitted she had forgotten to present my work to the master.
I’ve thought about what I missed back then, and even today I have some wistful regret. I’m sure that if Sandburg had read my poem, my whole life would have changed. “Bring the boy to me,” he begged in my fantasy. “He has talent far greater than mine.”
I drifted away from poetry after that and became a juvenile delinquent. Hated school. I got back to writing some when I was in the army, far from home. My epic work, “The Court Martial of Razzy B. Jackson,” was never published. I squeaked through college, farmed a few years, and ended up as an editor.
I now know that I should have had some training in poetry. And read lots of it. And worked harder. Some little part of me wonders how it would have come out if I had schooling in poetry. And perhaps a little more humility.
YOU have a chance, however.
I’ve known a few poets in my day. Two I know well will be coming over to my corner of Pennsylvania this year. There is David Harrison, the only person I know who has a school named for him, and, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, a great poet and a great teacher. Also, Writing the Poetry Novel with Helen Frost and Kelly Bingham will enlighten those of you who take your word skills in that direction. Their workshops here are in April, May, and September.
To secure your spot, or for more information, contact Jo Lloyd at 570-253-1192, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org , or request an application online.
To view more 2013 workshops, which take place near Honesdale, Pennsylvania, please visit http://www.highlightsfoundation.org .
Please feel free to share this e-mail with others who might have an interest or to include the information in blog posts or through other social networking forums.
The Highlights Foundation is a public, not-for-profit 501®3 organization. We dedicate our efforts to connecting, nurturing, and inspiring children’s book writers and illustrators.
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I haven’t checked with Rebecca or Helen and Kelly so I don’t know how many more they can accept. I think I can handle four more people. If you’re interested or know someone who might be, this seems like a good time to make decisions.