Voting for 2010 Hall of Fame Poets!

Many thanks to my Featured Guest yesterday, Mary Downing Hahn. If you havne’t read her interview yet, this is a good time to get caught up.

REMINDER: There are 24 hours left to bid on a chance to be featured on my blog. If you or anyone you know would be pleased to step on the stage for a day, please get your bid in. At this point someone is going to get a real bargain! http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130435071748

Hello everyone,Today I’m happy to present you with the monthly winners of our first year of Word of the Month Poetry Challenge. Below the ballot boxes you will find each of the winning poems so that you can refresh your memory and enjoy the poems all over again.

When you are ready, please cast your ballot for one adult and one student poet. The winners of this election will be named our Hall of Fame Poets, 2010. The polls will remain open through Friday, October 8 (until 10:00 p.m. CST), and I’ll announce our winning poets on Saturday, October 9. Good luck everyone, and have fun. Please remember, the spirit of this blog is to write for the joy of writing. Everyone who has done that has succeeded.


Please note that many of our poets have copyrighted their work and all rights to their work are reseverd by them. Copying and using their work without asking their permission is prohibited although I’m sure that most poets are very happy to see their poems made available to as many readers as possible.

WINNING POEMS OF 2010, ADULTS

October 2009
Word: Dirt
Winning poem: DIRT BLUES
by Mimi Cross, New Jersey
When you talk about dirt,
You gotta talk about dig.
When you talk about mud,
You gotta talk about a pig.
Oh baby . . .
How do I make my way?
When I start with common dirt – I naturally head straight for a cliche.
My Grandma said, “You eat a peck
Of dirt before you die.”
But I say, “What the heck?!”
I can avoid that if I try!
Oh Grandma . . .
What can you tell me now?
I gotta write this dirty poem, but I cannot – figure out how.
I guess I’ll start from scratch.
With a wordy mud pie.
That way I’ll use a bit of dirt
And mix it with these tears
I cry . . .
Out of frustration and fear.
I’ve got a grimy little blues song – that no one else will ever hear.

November 2009
Word: Thanks
Winning poem: YOU’RE WELCOME
by Liz Korba, New Jersey
Alone.
A gift.
And free
Set free.
Perceive.
Receive.
Surprise!
(That’s why.)
Need met.
(No debt.)
How powerful!
How unlike prose!
At times
Alone
“Thanks”
Is a poem.

December 2009
Word: Bone
Winning poem: WISHES
by Linda Kulp, Maryland
After dinner
Mom asked if I
wanted to break the
wishbone with her.
When I said, “No.”
She didn’t say anything
but I could tell
she was hurting.
I was hurting too
remembering how
you and I shared the wish-
bone every Thanksgiving.
You’d always laugh,
wrap your fingers tight
around your half
and pretend to snap it
before I was ready.
But then you’d
always let me win
so I could make
my own special wish.
Well, I’m older now,
you’re gone
and wishbones
have lost their magic.
So what good are they?
Wishes don’t come true,
do they,
Dad?

January 2010
Word: Time
Winning poem: THE TIME SHIP
by Steven Withrow, Rhode Island
I boarded August Twenty-Ten
That silver ship at Chronos Key.
I’m sure of this, but then again,
It might have been another me.
I signed ship’s log as second mate,
Just nineteen summers to my name.
I perfectly recall the date—
It’s Time itself that’s not the same.
The captain read my duties clear:
To chart our course, night’s watch to keep,
To rouse her crew should bearing veer,
To hail and interrupt their sleep.
We sailed twelve cycles undisturbed,
A glancing headwind at our prow.
Our compass slumbered unperturbed,
Until we reached the Straits of Now.
I stalked the crow’s nest, falcon-eyed,
Regarded marvels in the Stream,
Saw dwarf stars dawning on the tide
And dying there, a sailor’s dream.
Our minds stretched thin, our lives pressed short,
We drifted, time-tossed, toward our berth,
A startling, unfamiliar port,
Though all signs told us this was Earth.
On shore leave, as I write this poem,
The calendar reveals “LV.”
We’ve landed on the sands of Rome.
We’re stranded: Fifty-Five B.C.
And Julius Caesar, six years hence,
Will cross the mighty Rubicon,
And we’ll bear witness, present tense,
Before our Time Ship journeys on!

February 2010
Word: Road
Winning poem: A COUNTRY DRIVE
by Beth Carter, Missouri
I jumped into my blue Chevy truck
Grinning ’cause these drives bring me luck.
As I turned ’round the sharp bend,
I noticed a frayed hole that I must mend.
Soon, I spotted a large frog in the road
Swerving, I barely missing the fat toad.
A soft breeze blew through my hair
As I whistled without a care.
Popping open a diet Coke
I was happy—a lucky bloke.
Driving along with my left knee,
Windows down, nearly stung by a bee.
Sipping my soda, I scanned the dial
As my favorite singer made me smile.
Turning up the sound, I hummed along
Then loudly broke into a song.
I spotted a mooing Jersey cow
Standing beside a lazy sow.
The cow was in a cool pond.
I could drive like this ‘til dawn.
A fast-moving Jeep passed me,
oblivious to the scenery.
Driver’s on the phone–in a hurry.
Where’s the fire? Why the flurry?
A small speckled deer was in sight
As two red birds quickly took flight.
Looking up, I stroked my chin
Dark, ominous clouds rolling in.
Deciding to change my plans,
I turned around to head to Jan’s.
Gonna pick up my best girl
Go dancin’, give her a twirl.
A country drive is hard to beat
“By the way, you can call me Pete.”

March 2010 (2-way tie)
Word: Life
Winning poem: WITHOUT
by Laura Purdie Salas, Minnesota
Without plunging, a waterfall is only a river
Praise the falling, the walling, the surprise of water standing on end
Without sinking, a sunset is only slow-spreading light
Praise the creeping of night and its battle for sky control
Without night falling, the moon just hangs, a pale, cold rock
Praise the backdrop of black, the reflected white glow of sun
Without wintering, summer overstays like holiday houseguests
Praise the sharp freshness of ice, the clean slate before spring
Without dying, life is a treadmill
Praise deadlines and pressure, and the shortness to make time matter
Without ending, the story is unfinished
Praise the anticipation, the fear, the delight of The End

Winning poem: THE LIFE OF A HOUSEWIFE
by Jackie Huppenthal, Indiana
“What’d you do today Dear?”
He asks, so I say –
Well, this housewife works hard
gets no glory, no pay…

I weeded the garden
paid most of the bills
cleaned the nasty bird cage
dusted wood blinds and sills

Washed the day’s dishes
then vacuumed the rug
glued the handle back on
my #1 MOM mug

I tackled the laundry
picked up Lego toys
wrapped birthday presents
read books to our boys

Helped with school work
brushed and then walked the dog
grocery shopped (super-quick)
fixed that sink with the clog

The youngest and I
baked a three-layer cake
played several fun games
defrosted the steak

I sewed on two buttons
placed important calls
ran last minute errands
wiped down dirty walls

Finally started the dinner
then wrote this cute poem
so you’d know all I did
right when you came home

Geez… I never relaxed
But the house – Still a mess
Note I did quite a lot
Please don’t add to my stress!

April 2010
Word: Spring
Winning poem: ALL NESTLED IN
by Barbara J. Turner, New Hampshire
With soda and chips
I sit on the couch
put up my feet
slide into a slouch
turn on the tv
click a channel or ten
find a good program
I’m all nestled in
When suddenly a scream
flies off of my tongue.
What in the world – – –
Spring’s finally sprung.

May 2010
Word: Stone
Winning poem: STONE WISE
by Mary Nida Smith, Arkansas
Stone soup is
filled with
apricot stones,
and cherry stones,
that will turn
a person
stone green.
Upon one gravestone
is written:
Here lies
Miles Stonewall,
he stayed away
from stormy
hailstones
and slippery
stepping stones.
But never learned
to make soup…
with chicken bones.

June 2010
Word: Song
Winning poem: SONG OF THE WEST
by V. L. Gregory, Missouri
How do you sing a song of the West,
Refrains of days gone by?
Start with a banjo, a Stetson, a vest
Then let the melody fly.
The clickety-clack of wagonwheels;
The screech of hawks above;
Son-of-a-Gun Stew for too many meals
Are themes of the West we love.
Around a campfire, many a night,
Keeping the cattle calm–
A mouth-harp plays, assuages their fright;
A comforting, soothing balm.
Prairie grass hums a tedious song
In concert with the wind–
Repeating stanzas all day long;
Tiresome drone without end.
A ballad of storms, strife, and stampedes
Demanding a cowboy’s best.
Sing of your awe of this gallant breed
Of men who conquered the West.

July 2010
Word: Itch
Winning poem: ITCH IN MY SWEATER
by Silindile Ntuli, South Africa
There’s an itch in my sweater, dear granny.
It’s climbing up my arm, dear granny.
There it is moving up my back,
Help me granny, it is spreading all over.
How can I help you now, dear grandson,
When I have an itch up my own sweater, dear grandson,
There it is tickling my back,
Making me jump around and round.
It must be those ants you’re standing on, dear Peter.
Move over to my side, dear Judy.
My side does not cause an itch,
But for now, jump around and get those ants off your backs.

August 2010
Word: Love
Winning poem: MODERN LOVE
by K. Thomas Slesarik, Arizona
Embers, ashes where’s the flame?
Two fireflies don’t feel the same.
A love that once was without doubt,
now it’s gone, the fire’s out.
Sizzlin’ fireworks there’s the flame.
Two fireflies don’t feel the same.
She feels a love with certainty
and hooks up with the bumble bee.
Where’s the fireworks and the flame?
Two fireflies don’t feel the same.
Then in his heart he feels a tug
and moves in with the ladybug!

September 2010
Word: Book
Winning poem: THE BOOK MOMENT
by Euleta Usrey, Missouri
I can recall
-FEEL-
the exact moment
it happened.
It was better than
the proverbial light bulb
clicking on.
The teacher was reading
about Dick
about Jane
and Spot
while I held the book.
And I got it
how
the words on her lips
came from
the letters on my page.
So began
my lifelong love affair
with books.

WINNING POEMS OF 2010, YOUNG POETS

October 2009
Word: Dirt
Winning poem: MUD PIE
by Alyssa Kirch, Missouri
Yummy, yummy mud pie,
I eat it all the time.
It’s brown, watery, and smells real bad,
But I’d rather eat it with a lime.
Yummy, yummy mud pie,
It looks just like brown mush.
It’s getting weirder everyday,
Don’t step in it! Eww (Squish).
Yummy, yummy mud pie,
Now it’s on your shoe.
It’s getting green and ugly,
I wish I had some too!
Yummy, yummy mud pie,
Now it’s almost gone.
Yummy, yummy mud pie,
I guess I’ll make another one!

November 2009
Word: Thanks
Winning poem: THANKS
by Claire Scott, Maryland
Thanks for Nothing
Thanks for not being there,
when I needed you most.
Thanks for not answering me,
when I had questions.
Thanks for not helping me,
when I needed a hand.
Thanks for not understanding,
when I needed to be understood.
Thanks for not believing in me,
when I needed to beleive.
Thanks for not loving me,
when I needed warmth and care.
Thanks for everything
that you haven’t done.
Thanks for nothing.

December 2009
Word: Bone
Winning poem: A MOTHER’S WISH
by Priya Shah, Maryland
Everyday, I look at
Your face before I left
For a tiring day at work.
Sometimes I came home
A little bit early so I
Could spend a few extra
Minutes with you.

When you grew up
And left home to get a
Good job, I wrote a letter
To you every day saying
How much I missed you,
But I never got a reply.

In the few times I talked
To you on the phone, you
Always said, “I have no time
To visit soon, but I’ll try.”

You never came,
I waited and waited
To see not only you, but
Your child running around,
and I waited and waited
To have a chance to go
And chase after him, but
You never came.

After my body began to
Weaken, I sent one, last
Letter that said, “I spent
My whole life wishing to
Have just one glance at
you, only one, to know
That my little boy has
Grown up.

I needed just one glance
To spend the rest of my
Life in peace. I needed
Just one glance tp know
That my son was okay,
And happy. I never lost
Hope that some day you
Would come and meet me.
I wish I could have come to
Meet you, but my health was
So terrible that I didn’t have
The strength to come.

Son, by the time you read
This letter, I will no longer
Be part of your busy world.
I waited and waited for you
Until, finally, death knocked
At the door. I hope you have
A great life. You and your
Darling family have my
Blessings. Try not to miss
Me too much.”

These old bones perished
After seventy-four long
Years of loneliness.
Looking down from above,
I spot my beloved son
Regretting his action.
At least now I can,
Finally, see him.

January 2010
Word: Time
Winning poem: END
by John Sullivan, Ohio
the end. the Time
has come. My life flashes before my Eyes,
the innocence of childhood seeming Only

yesterday. But those days are gone. Now before my eyes,
Only
the looming grave, bringing terror and relief as I wonder about what will happen when my Time

is up. will I go to the realm so dark and forbidding that my Eyes
will be useless until the end of Time?
or will I go to a place of peace, paradise and comfort Only?

Now as my time comes to an end, I don’t think about that, I only lay back and shut my eyes forever.

February 2010
Word: Road
Winning poem: FAR BEHIND
by Megan Barnett, Ohio
Moving
Leaving the state
Leaving your friends
Leaving your school
Leaving your house
Leaving every memory
Far behind
As you travel
On the road
As everything runs through your mind
Every secret
Every friendship
Every crush
You think of everything
That has happened to you
In your life
In this one small town
A tear falls from your eye
Wanting to go back
Wanting your friends back
Wanting everything to come back
Trying to get everything to
Come back
You can’t
Because you’re
Moving
Leaving the state
Leaving your friends
Leaving your school
Leaving your house
Leaving every memory
Far behind

March 2010
Word: Life
Winning poem: THE FLOWER’S LIFE
by Colin Hurley, Missouri
In the spring flowers bloom
lots of people assume
that the flowers will be there forever.
But when winter is near
all of the world fears
that the flowers will die
but new ones will come
when spring is here.

April 2010
Word: Spring
Winning poem: SPRING
by Rachel Heinrichs, Pennsylvania
Spring has sprung,
But not just once,
It happens every year.
Now it is here,
The sky is clear,
Spring has sprung again.

May 2010
Word: Stone
Winning poem: SUNDANCE
by Taylor McGowan, Pennsylvania
Staring into the canyon below,
Amazement and awe are the feelings I show.

The fiery sun makes it glow so bright,
The heated orange rocks are a wonderful sight.

I start to climb up the wall made of stone,
without any equipment, and I’m all alone.

But am I, really? Is the canyon my friend?
Or is it my enemy? Is its beauty just pretend?

Friend or foe, I must go on,
But if its the wrong choice, my life may be gone.

Finding a handhold, I climb a bit higher,
Looking down, I find my situation is dire.

My foot slips off, and rocks tumble down,
If the fall doesn’t kill me, in the river I’ll drown.

But I cling to the stone, my heart beating fast,
Next time, will I fall into the canyon so vast?

I move my foot so I’ll be okay,
How long will this take me? An hour? A day?

As I pull myself higher, my arms start to ache,
I’ve started to think this is a path I cannot take.

Sweat dampens my hair, the sun burns my face,
This is a battle, its the clock that I race.

I see the top, but it’s so far away,
I am so tired… I’m starting to sway.

But I have to go higher, it’s my only choice,
I’m sure my reward will make me rejoice.

My hands are raw from the rough orange rock,
But I can’t stop now: I’m racing the clock.

There’s the top! I’m finally there!
I hoist myself up: sights like this are rare.

I manage to stand on the high flattened stone,
I look at the sights that I found on my own.

The bright, hot sun floods the canyon with light,
Its outrageously beautiful… a picture perfect sight.

I sat there for hours, admiring the sun,
And before I knew it, my visit was done.

The sun was sinking, so it was getting dark,
Here in Grand Canyon National Park.

September 2010
Word: Book
Winning poem: IMAGINE
by Courtney Clawson, Ohio
I wonder what would happen
if you jumped into a book
You could meet your favorite characters
and maybe take a look

At the enchanting pixies flying
and the lands above the trees
Look at the dragons roaring
and the fish beneath the seas

Or maybe it goes deeper
right into your heart
And that is what makes a book
such a work of art –

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Announcing a new challenge

rubberman

Here’s a new one for you. Have you ever tried your hand at composing Found Poems? This is another great exercise because it sharpens our sense for things poetic and offers the thrill of the hunt.

The definition of a Found Poem is as follows:
A poet takes an existing text and refashions and reorders the words and presents them as poems. A Found Poem consists exclusively of outside texts; the words of the poem remain as they were found. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.

Here are a few rules for a Found Poem:
 The original author (or source) must not have intended the text to be poetry
 Finders may cut words and add line breaks but may not add words
 Finders may add their own title
 The original source of the text must be cited and can be included as part of the poem
Here is a list of possible places where you might “find” a poem:
 Newspapers and Magazines
 Signs or Bulletin Boards in School Hallways
 A Note Found on the Floor
 A Sign in a Classroom or Cafeteria
 An English Test
 Billboards
 Street Signs
 Greeting Cards
 Food Containers (cereal boxes, etc.)
 Menus
 A Social Studies Textbook or Other Books
 Emails and Texts
 Slips of Discarded Paper
 Overheard Speech or Conversation

If you have a Found Poem, please post it in the comments section below this post. I hope to see many of you share your creative discoveries. There is no limit so fire away.

To make this challenge more inviting, you should know that Georgia Heard, who is scheduled to be one of my featured guests, is currently gathering Found Poems for a new book for ages 8-11 that she’s compiling for Roaring Brook Press. Georgia is looking forward to seeing the poems posted on my blog. This is an opportunity for you to compete for a spot in her book.

To help guide you, here’s an example of one of my own Found Poems.

New York, New York

New York City,
magnet for people
from around the world,
constantly pushing forward,
stretching boundaries –
New York, uniquely
New York.

Found poem source:
American Airlines magazine,
American Way, June 1, 2010
Article by Gerald J. Arpey
Chairman & CEO
American Airlines
Borrowed words are in red.

Whenever I visit New York City, I marvel at how much can change there in a short period of time. The city is a magnet for people, capital, talent and energy from around the world, in part because it is constantly pushing forward, stretching the boundaries of what a city can be. And yet, New York is always uniquely New York.

Looking for Word of the Month poems

rubberman

Just because it’s June doesn’t mean that poets can all lay down their pens at the same time. Notice that SOME of you are still writing and posting your work while others, and you know who you are, are out there plucking weeds or gazing at the Grand Canyon or engaged in other nonproductive activities. I understand but that doesn’t mean you’re forgiven. Write something!

That’s especially true of you young poets who have the whole summer stretching in front of you. Surely you can squeeze out one little bitty teeny tiny poem!

David

Steven Withrow today PLUS April Hall of Fame winners PLUS the new word for May!

Voting for April poets has been wild and attracted three times more appreciative readers than we usually get. Thanks to everyone who participated. Last night at 10:00 CST the polls closed so I can now announce our April Hall of Fame Poet to be Barb Turner with second place going to V. L. Gregory. Tied for third place are Tricia Stohr-Hunt and Cassandra. Our April Hall of Fame Young Poet is Rachel Heinrichs who came in with a whopping 702 votes! Second place, with an enormous turnout of 377 votes, goes to Taylor McGowan. Third place goes to Hope Murphy. Liz Korba, a previouis Monthly Hall of Fame winner, received the most votes again this month among the adults and Steven Withrow, today’s guest and another past winner, tied with Tricia and Cassandra.Congratulations to all of our winning poets and my gratitude to everyone who gave us so much good reading by sharing their poems this month. As I’ve said many times, this month-end voting process is both to recognize the poets and to encourage more readers. Thanks to everyone for being good sports and entering into the fun of the monthly challenge. To all of our poets — adult and young, first timers and “old pros” –I look forward to seeing what you will contribute when I announce the word for May, which is: STONEAnd now it my pleasure to present today’s guest, Steven Withrow!

THE BRAVE LITTLE POET

By Steven Withrow

There’s bravado, audacity of spirit, in calling yourself a poet. In naming yourself publicly a writer of verse.Most people, on hearing your declaration (for a declaration it is), will not know how to respond straightaway. You might have said, “I’m a polar bear psychologist” or “I’m a night gardener,” for all the sense it makes to the average listener.Novelists, journalists, and scriptwriters have the advantage here; they can talk about the story they’re writing or the agents, publishers, and studios they’re courting. In other words, writing equals fortune and fame, or at least a slave’s wage.Poets are, by and large, professional amateurs, hobbyists, oddities. We are also normal people who hold down regular jobs, raise families, and write in different forms. It’s usually better to converse about those other aspects of our lives instead of our poems.

Or is it?

A quieter sort of daring exists in sitting and writing your poems down, or walking along and thinking them up, but it’s a bold act nonetheless. Such boldness ought to be honored if not celebrated. By hiding away our poet selves, we help cloister poetry from the general public and we never share the gift that a good poem is.

And sharing, I have learned, is at the center of a poet’s life.

A harsh reality: your chances of earning money by publishing poems are slim to nonexistent. Many “successful” poets earn their livings as teachers, librarians, fiction writers, or something else entirely. Children’s anthologies and verse novels fare better, but the market is crowded and the opportunities are few.

For a determined poet seeking an audience as well as a community of readers and writers, the key is sharing your poems—trading them, gifting them, reading them aloud everywhere and every moment you’re able.

Start with websites like this one. Take part in local poetry readings, poetry slams, and school visits. Publish your work in chapbooks, small magazines, and online—shout it out proudly to everyone you know. Life’s too short (or too long) to be bashful about what’s most important to you.

What you receive in exchange for sharing your gifts is feedback (which makes you a better writer), fellowship or even friendship (which makes you a happier person), and fuel for the fire (which keeps you writing and inspires you to stretch beyond your limits). You can also return the favor for another poet or group of poets from across the country or around the world. It’s a virtuous circle that pays surprising rewards.

For more than a decade I kept my poems mostly to myself. I published several in small magazines, but hardly anyone read them. I sent out manuscripts to publishers and received polite rejections. Out of frustration, I even stopped writing poems for a couple of years. I was anything but a poet. I stopped learning; I stopped growing; I stopped being my favorite self.

I realized I was waiting for someone else to come along and select me from the crowd, to christen me a “real” poet. I might have waited forever.

In 2009, at 35 years old, I decided to start sharing my poems, and I’ve never felt more fulfilled or inspired. I now blog my poems (http://www.cracklesofspeech.blogspot.com/ ); I participate in the weekly poetry stretch at The Miss Rumphius Effect (http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com/ ); and I serialize a blank-verse science-fiction novel (http://featherofmemory.blogspot.com/ ), which was inspired by a poem I wrote for David’s January word-of-the-month contest here at this site.

If I hadn’t started sharing my poems with other poets and readers, I never would have— never could have—composed “Rockhoppers.” It’s the boldest statement I’ve made yet about who I am and what matters most to me. I’m grateful for all the encouragement and constructive criticism I’ve received as a result of letting the poem live in the world.

ROCKHOPPERS
By Steven Withrow

Under the right whale bones
breaching the blue ceiling
of the New England Aquarium,
a waddle of rockhopper penguins,
tufted punks from the South Pole,
skrawks in a raucous chorus
as a feeder wades in wetsuited,
floating a bucket of tiny fish
for their lunch. And Marin,
who is four, watches them
through the low glass partition
with an aquarist’s rigor,
her mirrored mouth mimicking each grab
and gulp of open orange beak. She
presses against me, daughter
of my grateful heart, and asks,
“Why don’t they say thank you?”
I tell her, “I don’t know.
Penguins can’t speak like we do.”
But inside I think of how
they drop from rock to rock,
clumsy on their bird-feet,
until one, and then another, slips
without a splash into the cool pool
that passes here for home,
their cold and southern sea.
I name them Water-glider,
Tidal-feather, Torpedo,
and Swims-as-peregrine-falcons-fly.
We trace their loops and interlaces
and laugh as a pudgy male
pops his bottle-body up
onto the lip of a slick stone slab,
upending an unsuspecting hen,
before barging in line
for a chance at seconds.
After, Marin tugs my hand,
her patience for penguins at its end,
and we wander toward tanks
that hold cuttlefish, anemones,
lampreys, leafy sea dragons
practicing camouflage
among the fluorescent fronds.
Behind us, the hoppers chatter on,
clap their wings against their sides.
I want to turn and applaud,
but Marin has spied some mollusk shells,
and we give thanks to them.

Steven Withrow is a poet, storyteller, teacher, and author of six books for visual artists: Toon Art, Webcomics, Character Design for Graphic Novels, Vector Graphics and Illustration, Secrets of Digital Animation, and Illustrating Children’s Picture Books ( HYPERLINK  http://www.cracklesofspeech.blogspot.com  http://www.cracklesofspeech.blogspot.com/ ). He is the producer, with Edward J. Delaney, of Library of the Early Mind, a documentary about children’s books ( HYPERLINK http://childrenslitproject.wordpress.com  http://childrenslitproject.wordpress.com/ ). He is now blogging The Feather of Memory, a time-travel adventure novel for young adults written in blank verse ( HYPERLINK http://featherofmemory.blogspot.com/  http://featherofmemory.blogspot.com/ ). He studied writing, literature, and publishing at Roger Williams University and Emerson College and has taught at Rhode Island School of Design and Suffolk University. He lives with his wife and daughter in Rhode Island.

For an interview with Steven, please visit: HYPERLINK http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=1842http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=1842 .

If you come to NCTE in November . . .

I know I told you recently that I’ll be speaking at NCTE in Orlando on Saturday, November 20. I’ll present for seventy-five minutes on two main subjects: Word of the Month Poetry Challenge and the value of two-voice poems in developing readig fluency. I intend to involve the audience in both subject areas, first by brainstorming ideas for poems from a single word; second, by reading aloud several poems for two or more voices and discussing the variety of ways they can be employed in the classroom.

I’ve heard from some of you who plan to attend the conference and come to my presentation. I look forward to seeing you again or meeting you if it’s for the first time. I also hope that you will encourage others you know to come to my session. I’m excited about the opportunity to give Word of the Month a good introduction to as many as possible and I love doing poems for two voices. I intend to post some ideas on that subject soon.

REMINDER: Voted yet for April Hall of Fame Poets? Deadline is Thursday night at 10:00 CST. Current leaders for adults are Liz Korba and V. L. Gregory. Young poets are led by Taylor McGowan and Rachel Heinrichs.

David