I loved TLA again this year. It’s an exceptional conference. I heard a guess that 15,000 attended but don’t have any true numbers yet. Yesterday I enjoyed very much being one of five featured poets in the 14th annual Poetry Round Up. The others were Jorge Argueta, Janet Wong, Margarita Engle (current U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate), and Juan Felipe Herrera (former United States Poet Laureate). We each read for a while and I loved hearing from the other four. My thanks again to Sylvia Vardell for including me.
Are you enjoying Renee La Tulippe’s wonderful month-long celebration of Poetry Month at No Water River? Don’t miss it! Already she has featured Margarita Engle, Nikki Grimes, Lita Judge, LaNay Brown-Wood, Janet Wong, and Leslea Newman. Today it’s Pat Mora and tomorrow it’s my turn. I hope you’ll check it out at http://www.nowaterriver.com
Today I’m pulling the last of my thoughts together for next week’s TLA conference in Dallas. TLA is always a great conference. Boyds Mills is sponsoring me to mark the publication of CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS and I’ll also sign the new title, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY for Charlesbridge.
On Tuesday I’ll be part of a gang of poets in Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong’s pre-con workshop taking turns talking about selected subjects. I chose “Science through Poetry.”
On Wednesday I’ll join Sylvia, Janet, and others to speak about poetry related subjects. My topic is “Word of the Month Poetry Challenge.”
I’ll wind up on Thursday being a featured poet in another Sylvia classic: Poetry Roundup. I have 8-9 minutes to read some of my poems and I look forward to it. I enjoy hearing other poets read their work too.
My thanks to Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong for publishing a page from POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR SCIENCE TAKE 5! in SCIENCE & CHILDREN (a National Science Teachers Association publication). The page includes a poem of mine, “My Robot,” with practical suggestions on activities based on the message. It’s a handsome magazine and I’m delighted to be in it. Thank you, Sylvia and Janet!
A couple of days ago Jane Yolen posted a poem here that she wrote in the airport as she waited to board a transatlantic flight. I don’t know if she pecked it out on her phone or was sitting on an airport bench with an iPad on her lap. However she did it, writing a poem was one of the last things she did before boarding her plane. I say one of her last things because who knows what else she wrote in those closing minutes before she had to put her toys away for a while.
We talk again and again about how writers somehow manage to write in spite of distractions that everyone faces. This made me wonder about unusual places where other writers have put their time to good use.
When my mother entered her last years, she was prone to wind up in ER when she had a sinking spell. I would go with her and sit in her room during the several hours that it invariably took to get her tested and out of there. One night I spent eight hours sitting in a chair while Mom was tested and eventually admitted overnight. I had a small note pad and a pencil in my pocket so I wrote a 670-word article for my Poet Profile in Sylvia Vardell’s book, POETRY ALOUD HERE.
So what about the rest of you? Tell us about the most unusual places you’ve managed to get off some writing. I’d love to know.