No Water River alert

Hi everyone,

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

Getting ready for Texas

Hi everyone,

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.

Poetry Round-Up

Hi everyone,

This picture went up yesterday of the poetry round-up panel at Texas Library Association Conference in Houston. In case you missed it, here we are.
First row, left to right: Irene Latham, Stephen Swinburne, Sylvia Vardell, and Janet Wong. Second row, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, me, Kari Anne Holt, and Kwame Alexander. We had a good and enthusiastic audience, which added greatly to our pleasure.

My thanks again to Sylvia for her tireless efforts to promote poets and poetry with events like this one.

I was interviewed on video for Junior Library Guild by Leslie Bermel and got to talk about the new book. The only scary part was when she had me pull random questions out of a bowl. One was, who should play me in a movie about my life. I thought of Brad Pitt but feared that he’s too old for the part.

During my signing, the line kept growing until we ran out of books and had to turn people away. I was very sorry about that!

All in all, it was a good day and I was happy to be part of the conference.

Headed to Texas

Hi everyone,

Today I fly to the Texas Library Association Conference in Houston. The TLA is one of the largest conferences in America. Here are the published stats from 2015.

Attendee counts are based on their TLA membership division:
6,327 Attendees
1,304 Exhibitor Reps
7,631 Total Conference Attendance

Attendees represented by TLA Division (member) or type of library (non-member).
517 College and University Libraries
968 Public Libraries
2,806 School Libraries
57 Special Libraries
1179 No Preference
800 Teens
David publicity photo
I love this conference and look forward to participating in Sylvia Vardell’s poetry round-up, which includes Kwame Alexander, David Harrison, K.A. Holt, Irene Latham, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Stephen Swinburne, and Janet Wong.

I’m also one of the poets featured in Sofa Secrets, an event sponsored by Junior Library Guild. Each participant will talk about his/her work, read some poems, divulge a secret, and respond to questions pulled from a bowl. The random questions are not meant to be easy so that’s something to shudder about in advance.

Stop by and see me at either event and/or when I’m signing NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T at the Charlesbridge booth at 1:30 in Booth 1338. All three events take place tomorrow (Wednesday).