Word of the Month poems deadline at noon today


Hi everyone,

Don’t forget that a couple of months ago I moved the usual W.O.M. deadlines from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 noon CST. This gives me a chance to work with posts during the day instead of needing to stay up late to get them done. Thanks for understanding.

So today, May 25, I’ll cut off new entries at 12:00 noon. I hope you have enjoyed working on poems in May inspired by our word, PROMISE. There are a number of good ones posted and with a few hours yet remaining, we could see others come in.

Sadly, we have not heard from our students this month but that is understandable. After all, one has to cut teachers some slack when they are rushing around completing all the end of the year activities and requirements. It would be nice if we see some student poems this summer but all we can do is wait and see.

I’m typing with one eye again. This morning I had the second cataract surgery so I should be getting used to these patches!


New Children’s Poet Laureate

Hi everyone,

If you haven’t heard the news, J. Patrick Lewis has been named by Poetry Foundation as its new Children’s Poet Laureate. The post lasts two years. Pat is the third poet to be so honored and follows Jack Prelutsky and Mary Ann Hoberman. Here’s the link to read a most insightful interview of Pat by Sylvia Vardell. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/children/article/242020

I hope you will read the interview and remember to send Pat well earned congratulations.  Don’t forget that Pat also serves as one of the judges for Word of the Month Poetry Challenge.

Speaking of which, we haven’t seen anything yet this month from students! With end of school year activities looming, teachers don’t have much time this month. But I remain optimistic that at least a few steadfast young poets will come through.

Yesterday I had cataract surgery. This morning the patch comes off so I’ll see what I shall see.


Young Authors Conference

BULLETIN: Today I have an original poem posted on Greg Pincus’s site at Thirty Poets Thirty Days. If you would like to see the poem and Greg’s post, here’s the link. http://gottabook.blogspot.com/ Thanks Greg! I appreciate your kind words! I’m also enjoying the comments left by readers. Thank you!

BULLETIN: I’m having fun today. Brad Sneed and Phil Haussler are doing something terrific to raise awareness and help for girls in Napal whose parents sell them into servitude. It’s called Project openbook, A community built children’s book for Room to Read. You need to check their website to get the full message and I hope you will. Brad, a gifted and popular illustrator of children’s books, and his partner in this venture, Phil — who is also a poet among many other talents — posted a poem I contributed to the cause. I love Brad’s interpretation of the poem. Go there at http://www.marblespark.com/blog/pies-for-sale 


I had a fine time Saturday in Warrensburg, Missouri giving the keynote talk at the 27th annual Young Authors Conference. More than 500 children in grades two through six, plus their parents, family, and teachers turned out for the occasion.

These were serious young authors. Their parents and family are saints for encouraging their children to do their best and then showing up with them on a busy Saturday in spring to help celebrate their accomplishments and consider more ways to support their efforts.

Many fine writers were there to review manuscripts and provide valuable advice, including Vicki Grove, J. B. Cheaney, and Dorinda Nicholson. Whether or not they realize it now, those budding writers were in outstanding hands!

I was impressed, as I often am, at the dedication of men and women who put such conferences together, sometimes year after year for decades, because they believe in helping students develop their potential as writers. We do live in a great country. I want to thank the co-chairs for this year’s conference, Kelly Tyler and Barb Reiter, and the committee of volunteers who created such a positive event in the lives of hundreds of young people. I thank them for including me in the day.