A poetry kind of post

Hi everyone,

I have known for some time about the good news regarding The Dirt Book, and have told you about it here, but the conference made it official. The book has won recognition for KATE COSGROVE’S outstanding art and was recently named to the Texas Bluebonnet Master Reading List for 2023-34. Our astute editor was GRACE MACCARONE at Holiday House. I’m proud to see the title listed as one of the 2022 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels Selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee.

I’m in the company of many wonderful, gifted friends. In poetry books, JOYCE SIDMAN won for Dear Treefrog, JANET WONG won for Good Luck Gold & More, NIKKI GRIMES won for Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance, GEORGIA HEARD won for My Thoughts Are Clouds: Poems for Mindfulness, KALLI DAKOS won for They Only See the Outside, and in verse novels CLAUDIA MILLS won for The Lost Language. And there are more. Copy the list and you have a handy reference list of “must read” books when you’re in the mood for poetry.

The selection committee for 2022 needs to be recognized for the hard work they put into the process. I’d hate to guess how many books they each had to read! Thank you, committee!

2022 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children Committee Members:
Ted Kesler, Chair, Queens College, CUNY, Flushing, NY
Ryan Colwell, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
Deanna Day, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
Rebecca Kai Dotlich, author, New York, NY
Gabrielle Atwood Halko, West Chester University, West Chester, PA
Heidi Mordhorst, Rockview Elementary School, North Kensington, MD
Mary-Kate Sableski, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH

The big news is that Georgia Heard was named recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Hooray for Georgia! She is a worthy recipient and will represent children’s poets and their poetry during the coming year. Thanks to Janet Wong, the past years recipient for all the great work she has done. It’ a great tradition.

More Joy

Hi everyone,

Yesterday my new issue of NCTE’s Council Chronicle arrived. And there was our pal JANET WONG, recipient of the 2021 NCTE Excellence in Poetry for Children Award, with a delightful article — More Joy — about getting poetry into the classroom. And how does she propose we start? With a suitcase!

What is a Poetry Suitcase? She explains. It contains a “bunch of stuff I never use in everyday life.” And how do you use this bunch of stuff? “When a student chooses something out of the suitcase of props, you share a poem that goes with it.”

It’s an article as stuffed with good ideas as a, uh, a poetry suitcase. I hope you get a chance to read it. It’s free and available to the public at: https://library.ncte.org/journals/CC/issues/v31-3/31728. Thanks, Janet. Great job!

Good news from Pomelo Books

Hi everyone,

It’s always a pleasure to contribute a poem to any anthology published by SYLVIA VARDELL and JANET WONG, co-publishers of Pomelo Books. A recent offering, HOP TO IT, features 100 poems to urge kids to get up and get moving. I have a poem in it so I can claim 1/100th credit for this good news.

HOP TO IT just won the 2021 KIDS’ BOOK CHOICE AWARD for Best Book of Facts. You should know that only kids get to vote on their favorite books, so the win is that much sweeter. When you look at those pictures of some of us, you can see that they spell out “poets having a good time.” That may not be a fact, but I don’t think I’m far off. My congratulations to Sylvia, Janet, and the host of talented poets who made this book another winner for kids and for Pomelo.

You can’t catch me!

NOTE: For those of you who are interested in attending the virtual Poetry Reading on the 13t, it might help to know that I’ll take the opening ten minutes of the program, which start at 7:00 CST. I’ll read some of my children’s poems followed by the other three poets reading their work for adult readers. The final twenty minutes, starting at roughly 7:40, will be open for Q and A. Hope this helps.

Hi everyone,

A few days ago I saw a video of my poem, “You Can’t Catch Me!”

that appeared in HOP TO IT, a recent title from Pomelo Books by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. I was charmed by it and went to the source for information.

Turns out that Sylvia is having each student in one of her classes at Texas Women’s University take a poem from the book and as a class project create a video of it. There will be new videos posted throughout April, National Poetry Month. Is this cool? Sylvia says all the videos are good but she suggested a few coming attractions to watching for, including Margaret Simon’s “Zen Tree” (on April 28), “Me and the Beach Creatures” by Susan Blackaby (on April 26), and “Wiggle Your Ears!” by Jay Brazeau (on April 21).

And don’t forget, you can always pick up a copy of the book and enjoy every poem in your own way in your own place in your own time. Hop to it!

Sold a copy of Goose Lake, the book

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I received notice from Kindle that some kind soul somewhere has purchased a copy of my one and only self-published book, an e-book called GOOSE LAKE, A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A LAKE. https://www.amazon.com/Goose-Lake-Year-Life-ebook/dp/B006MGDDHS/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=goose+lake+by+david+l+harrison&qid=1613917596&sr=8-1 It came out on December 14, 2011. Before going the self-publishing route I tried a number of editors, each of whom said they liked the poems but couldn’t consider publishing about a small, local lake. I thought it was important to point out to young readers that any small body of water anywhere is a microcosm of life, each species in some way dependent on the other. It’s a lesson about life in general, life everywhere, including human life. Kids (and adults) need to be aware that no kind of life on Earth lives in isolation, without impacting on or being impacted by other species.

So with the help of talented artist Sladjana Vasic, I published the book on the Internet to see what might happen. The answer has been — mostly nothing. Now and then a copy sells for the handsome price of $1.99 and my share of the transaction, $0.70, is transferred directly into a special account I established at my bank strictly to keep track of this one book. The current balance after 9 1/2 years is a bit over $300. You can see why I take grateful notice when someone orders a copy!

Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong were kind enough to write a foreword for my little book. I reread it now and then and smile. Thank you again, Sylvia and Janet.
Foreword

When we invited David L. Harrison to contribute to our PoetryTagTime e-book, we expected lighthearted verse; with his dozens of playful poetry books, David has developed a reputation as one of our nation’s funniest children’s poets. He surprised us with a simple but philosophical poem about a drone who lives and dies for love. For our second and third e-books, P*TAG (for teens) and Gift Tag (holiday poems), David gave us reflective offerings about a teen who wants just “to be a kid at the beach” and about a boy’s baseball dreams.

Sometimes we need a reminder that an author’s talents might extend beyond the popular titles that we know. Maybe our view is limited by his editors’ needs or what his publishers can afford to print. In this new age of e-books, it is becoming easier for authors to show us who they are, to make a greater range of their work available. We think the wonderful poems in this e-book give us a more complete view of the poet David L. Harrison. Enjoy!

Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell
http://www.PoetryTagTime.com

I may have posted this poem before as an example from the book, but I like it so here it is (again).

Sometimes skunks cross our yard
when it’s too dark to see black fur.
Their white bands jiggling up and down
seem to glow like skeleton bones
out to trick or treat.

This summer we saw
a mother of seven
doing her best to keep her kids
from wrestling in the street.

I wonder how many
passed their babyhood lessons,
advanced to mischievous youngsters
who may, as I sit here sniffing the air,
be taking target practice at a horrified
neighborhood cat.

(c) 2011 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

P.S. For those of you who have read AFTER DARK, you may recognized parts of this poem echoing in the skunk poem in that title. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.