Planning for April and cleaning my workspace

Hi everyone,

Yesterday morning (virtually of course) I read RUM PUM PUM to all the 1st grade classes at Rountree Elementary School in Springfield. They were good kids and asked intelligent questions.

I managed to edit my 2,400 word article down to slightly under 2,000 words. I hope to send it off to the editor by week’s end.

Plans for celebrating National Poetry Week continue to take shape. On April 6 I’ll do a virtual school visit to one or more schools in Columbia, Missouri as part of the Unbound Book Festival.

A virtual poetry reading hosted by Pagination Bookshop is now set for April 13 at 6:00 p.m. CST. The four readers will be Marcus Cafagna and Sara Burge (poets and professors from Missouri State University) Karen Craigo (journalist, editor and general manager of The Marshfield Mail, and current Missouri State Poet Laureate), and me.

Marcus and I will be presenting on KSMU in Springfield, time and date to be arranged. Springfield News-Leader is exploring story possibilities.

A program for Springfield-Greene County’s summer reading program is finished. It will be a 2-part event that won’t take place until June 2 and 3 at 10:00 a.m. I’m happy about progress so far.

As for today, I have a virtual doctor’s appointment, a phone chat with a colleague at Drury University to explore an idea that might involve me. Otherwise I hope to do some seriously needed decluttering around my work space.

It’s Wednesday, time for POETRY PALS

Hi everyone,

I hope you are listening when KSMU 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 the project.

POETRY PALS is a series of on-air 5-minute segments on KSMU-Public Radio featuring readers reading children’s poetry. The readings are aired each Wednesday morning and is a collaboration of KSMU, Springfield-Greene County Library District, and me.

If you like what you hear — or don’t listen but like the idea — please consider providing support by sending News Director Jennifer Moore ( ) your positive comments about what they are doing.

Today, June 10, will be the 4th reading in the series. I did the first segment and am tentatively scheduled for a second episode. If I’m told in advance which date it will be, I’ll gladly let you know. This is all great fun and I hope to see the listening audience continue to grow each week. Tell everyone you know!

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: 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 kicks off this week

Hi everyone,

Let me tell you about POETRY PALS, a wonderful new show that will start airing this Wednesday morning at 9:45 on KSMU public radio in Springfield, Missouri and continue every Wednesday at 9:45 at least through July 1. It’s the result of a collaboration between KSMU and Springfield-Greene County Public Libraries with input from me.

Each segment of POETRY PALS will last five minutes as a different reader reads poems for children. I kick things off this first week by reading from AFTER DARK. Readers for the weeks following will be librarians from Springfield-Greene County Libraries. This is part of the announcement from Jennifer Moore, News Director & Content Coordinator, KSMU – Ozarks Public Radio.

“I’m thrilled to announce that we’re officially launching POETRY PALS on KSMU, an on-air program of poems aimed at elementary school kids in our region . . . I’m particularly proud that this appears to be a one-of-its-kind project — and also that it will reach many children who do not have internet access in our extensive listening area. This is especially important at a time when there’s so much emphasis on “virtual” learning. ”

I’m very happy to see an all-poetry program for children going on-air. Does anyone know of a similar program anywhere in the country? Springfield metro area covers five counties over a 3,000 square mile area with a combined population of 468,000 people. I don’t know the exact viewing area of KSMU, but there’s no question that a large number of children will have an opportunity to tune into the show if their families know about it. Please help me spread the word if you live in the area or have friends and relatives who do. Many thanks.

An important P.S. Jennifer Moore has reminded me that kids around the world can listen to live streaming at!

More of my books being read on KOLR10-TV program

Hi everyone,

As of yesterday nine of my books have been recorded and posted on KOLR10-TV’s “Tell Me a Story” program, which is being produced in partnership with Springfield-Greene County Library District and sponsored by attorney Brad Bradshaw. Titles so far are AFTER DARK, POEMS ABOUT NOCTURNAL ANIMALS; A PLACE TO START A FAMILY; NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T; THE BOY WITH A DRUM; HUFFIN PUFF EXPRESS; THE BOY WHO COUNTED STARS, A PERFECT PLACE FOR A FAMILY; BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS; and WHEN COWS COME HOME. More readings will be added soon.

The KOLR10-TV goal is to provide an online library for children at home during the pandemic and it’s being well received. Yesterday the station’s Dave Bowen told me “response has been pretty amazing. People are staying on repeatedly for stories.”

If you know any families who might be interested in this resource, here’s how to access it. Go to KOLR10-TV at, click on “Living Ozarks,” along the top of the page, and scroll down to “Tell Me A Story.” That takes you straight to the whole menu. Readers so far include Joy Robertson, Tom Trtan, and other talented personalities. I’m happier than I can say to be participating in this way to reach kids at home during a trying time for many.

Hear my books on KOLR10-TV

Hi everyone,

As the nation scrambles to reach kids isolated at home during the crisis, a number of creative ideas are bubbling up. One going on in Springfield, Missouri is on CBS affiliate station KOLR10-TV in partnership with Springfield Greene-County Library District. On-air Talent from KOLR are reading a series of my books for families at home throughout the region to hear. So far they’ve recorded four titles: WHEN COWS COME HOME, THE BOY WHO COUNTED STARS, and BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS (all from Boyds Mills Press) and A PERFECT PLACE FOR A FAMILY (from Holiday House). Here’s the link.

Part of the plan calls for me to go to the station for an interview and to read one of the books myself. Time will tell if that will happen soon or need to be delayed for a while. Whatever happens, I’m thrilled to have this chance to reach a lot of children who may be getting tired of staying in.