Tell me about yourself

Hi Everyone,

Please do me a favor. Read down the list below and check each circle that applies to why you visit this blog. If you’re a parent who comes here seeking information as a parent, check parent. If you’re a librarian and a parent but you visit the blog primarily as a librarian, check librarian. If you write nonfiction but also come here in your role as a teacher, check those two circles.

I try to bring you the kind of information that serves a useful purpose so it helps me to stay in tune with you. I’ll leave this open for a week to give you plenty of time. Most readers don’t respond to surveys but I hope a good many of you will help me. Many thanks!

The poll results are in

REMINDER: SUNDAY NIGHT AT 10:00 CST IS THE CUTOFF FOR THIS MONTH’S POEMS. DON’T MISS IT!

rubberman

Yesterday Marjorie Maddox’s guest appearance was a big hit and drew warmly appreciative comments from fans new and old. Thank you again, Marjorie, for agreeing to be my guest.

My thanks for the feedback you have provided this past week by indicating what you like most and, by process of elimination, least about various features of my blog. This has been helpful.

For each 1st place vote I assgned a value of 3; a 2nd place vote was worth 2; and a 3rd place vote was given a 1. Only a few people voted but I assume that they are representative of those who remained silent on the issues. Here are the results.

24 — Monthly Word of the Month Challenge
14 — Occasional Poetry Tips
11 — Friday Guests
6 — Sunday Poem of the Week
3 — Monthly Voting for Hall of Fame Poets
2 — Monthly Teaching Tool
1 — Monthly Kids Activity

It seems clear that the fun of writing and posting monthly poems far outweighs the process of voting for a monthly winner. Therefore I’ll change that beginning next month. For this month, which cuts off Sunday night, we’ll vote as usual. After that I’ll rethink what we do. I could skip the selection process altogether or seek some way to select monthly winning poems without a general vote from readers. What I do not wish to do is become involved in personally critiquing all those poems each month. Sorry, but this has to be fun for me too. Maybe I’ll hit on a few friends to help me by reading the poems, casting ballots among ourselves, and then I could announce the winner. Let me know if you have comments on this.

I’m not sure how to respond to the low votes for the Teaching Tool and Kids Activity pages on my website. We didn’t have much of a turnout for this voting and I don’t know if any teachers were among those who cast ballots. Teachers tell me they find those pages helpful so for now I’m inclinded to keep them. I often wonder how many blog visitors click onto the website itself but I figure there aren’t many. The more I get into this blogging, the more I can identify with the new human specie affectionately known (to me at least) as a blog hopper. That’s where a lot of fun and action seem to be.

Thanks again for your help. Don’t forget to post a poem based on STONE before Sunday night at 10:00!

David

Marjorie Maddox tomorrow

REMINDER: SUNDAY NIGHT AT 10:00 CST IS THE CUTOFF FOR THIS MONTH’S POEMS. DON’T MISS IT!

rubberman
Thanks to you who have let me know your preferences among the features I’ve introduced since starting my blog last August. Many readers have dropped by to review the boxes. Voting ends Saturday.
https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/which-features-do-you-like-best-about-my-blog

I’m happy to introduce Marjorie Maddox today by posting her bio. I became familiar with Marjorie and her work last month on Tricia Stohr-Hunt’s month-long celebration of poetry. I like Marjorie’s work very much and was glad that she accepted my invitation to appear as my guest. I am sure that many of you are already familiar with Marjorie, but for those who do not, you are in for a new treat.
Marjorie Maddox Hafer
(pen name: Marjorie Maddox)

Biography
Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English at
Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published Weeknights At The Cathedral, (an Editions Selection, WordTech, 2006), Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (2004 Yellowglen Prize, WordTech Editions), Perpendicular As I (1994 Sandstone Book Award), When The Wood Clacks Out Your Name: Baseball Poems (2001 Redgreene Press Chapbook Winner), Body Parts (Anamnesis Press, 1999), Ecclesia (Franciscan University Press, 1997), How to Fit God into a Poem (1993 Painted Bride Chapbook Winner), and Nightrider to Edinburgh (1986 Amelia Chapbook Winner), as well as over 350 poems, stories, and essays in such journals and anthologies as Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, and Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion.
Her fiction has appeared in many journals, newspapers, and magazines, including The Sonora Review, The Great Stream Review, Cream City Review, Art Times, US Catholic, Midway Journal, and the anthology Dirt, published by The New Yinzer in Pittsburgh. Her short story collection, What She Was Saying, was one of three finalists for the 2005 Katherine Anne Porter Book Award and a semifinalist for Eastern Washington University’s Spokane Fiction Book Award and Louisiana University Press’s Yellow Shoe Book Award.In addition, she is the co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State Press, 2005) and has two children’s books, A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry (WordSong, 2008) and Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems (WordSong, 2009). Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation was a runner-up (Brittingham), finalist, or semifinalist at 20 national competitions, including the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, OSU The Journal Award, the Vassar Miller Prize, New Issues Press, the Coffee House Press Poetry Prize, and the Winthrop Poetry Series Prize from Pleiades Press. Local News From Someplace Else has been a finalist for the Samuel French Morse Poetry Award, sponsored by Northeastern University, for the Kentucky Women’s Prize, sponsored by Sarabande, for the Magellan Prize, sponsored by Button Wood Press, for the Mammoth Books Poetry
Award, the Ashland Poetry Press, Prize, and a semifinalist for the Crab Orchard Poetry Award, and elsewhere.

Marjorie studied with A. R. Ammons, Robert Morgan, Phyllis Janowitz, and Ken McClane at Cornell, where she received the Sage Graduate Fellowship for her M.F.A. in poetry in 1989, and at the University of Louisville with Sena Jeter Naslund, where she received an M.A. in English.

Her numerous honors include Cornell University’s Chasen Award, the 2000 Paumanok Poetry Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Seattle Review’s Bentley Prize for Poetry, a Breadloaf Scholarship, and four Pushcart Prize nominations. She lives with her husband and two children in Williamsport, Pa., birthplace of Little League and home
of the Little League World Series. She is the great-niece of baseball legend Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers manager who helped break the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson.

For further information about Marjorie, check out her reviews page: http://www.lhup.edu/mmaddoxh/reviews.htm

Whew! All that in one lifetime! If you are impressed by Marjorie and her accomplishments, you are going to really like what she has to say tomorrow. Be back then!

David

The week at a glance

BULLETIN: Somehow a humorous poem by Percy Bisque Silley managed to get sidetracked in my system and just surfaced even though the poem was submitted ten days before the cutoff for March. My sincere apologies to the poet! I’ve just added Percy’s poem to the ballot box: “If Life Had a Wife.” Please give this poem a read under the WOM page. I’ll add it to the “Click to Read” box this afternoon.

On a sadder note, 4th grader Taylor McGowan’s poem, “Life,” didn’t arrive until three days after cutoff so we can’t vote on it with the other young poet offerings, but that won’t keep us from reading and enjoying Taylor’s poem. Please check it out under the Young Poet’s page.

First, I want to thank Pat Lewis for his excellent and thought-provoking article yesterday. Judging from comments, I’d say that many of you agree that Pat not only writes beautifully but he has much to tell us about the craft. If you haven’t had a chance to leave a comment for Pat, I hope you’ll do it. Pat and all others who have graced my Friday blogs over the past months have given up time from their own work to contribute here and I know they appreciate hearing from you.

Next, please don’t forget that Rebecca Dotlich will join us on April 16 and she has asked for questions in advance. You can contact Rebecca directly by going to her website at http://www.rebeccakaidotlich.com/ or scroll to the bottom of my announcement of her scheduled appearance (March 22) and leave questions in the comment section.

As you know, I think that part of the fun in seeing so many poems and comments on this page is to determine where they come from. In fits and spurts, I send out notes of inquiry. Some of you prefer your anonymity; others feel comfortable telling me your location. I haven’t checked for the last two months, during which we’ve been joined by a good many new voices. Here’s what I knew in January. If your state or country isn’t included and you would like to add to the information, please let me know. Thanks.

States and Countries Represented
In Word of the Month Poetry Challenge
January, 2010

Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Florida
Indiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
Ohio
Oregon
Rhode Island
Virginia

England
Malaysia
Philippines.
South Africa
Sri Lanka

A reminder that voting is now going on for March’s Hall of Fame Poets (see the ballot boxes posted March 25) and that you can vote once for your choice in each of the two groups: adult poets and young poets. If you are joining us for the first time, the rule is that no one can win the title twice during the same twelve month period ending this September. Previous winners are welcome to contribute poems each month, and their fans and supporters can certainly vote for them, but they can only be recognized once until the next cycle begins.

In the adult poets division, our previous Monthly Hall of Fame Poets are Mimi Cross, Liz Korba, Linda Kulp, Steven Withrow, and Beth Carter. Monthly Hall of Fame Young Poets are Alyssa Kirch, Claire Scott, Priya Shah, John Sullivan, and Megan Barnett.

David

Sorry about the snow

Hello everyone. To those of you who have been stranded or inconvenienced by the record snowfall, my sincere sympathy. Here in the mid-section we don’t often see snow over a few inches deep so it’s hard to imagine what you are going through now. I wish you sunny skies, warmer temperatures, and diminishing snow. Enough already.

I’m going to post a Christmas story on the 24th. I wrote it three or four years ago at the request of our newspaper. Last year I read it in our Hall for Performing Arts as part of a Christmas show. This year it was published in a booklet used as a fund raiser to help feed folks who need a little hand. So now I think I’ll offer it to you. I hope you will enjoy it. The name of it is Mrs. Stanley’s Christmas There’s a lot of snow in my story too.

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Thanks to a last minute flurry of student poems, we finished with 23 entries for December! While Kathy prepares the ballot boxes to post tomorrow, I’ll be thinking of a good word for January.

Thanks to everyone who participated this month with their poems. In our first three months we’ve enjoyed poems posted by 22 adult poets and 34 student poets from 12 states: Arkansas, New Hampshire, Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, California, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Rhode Island. At least 13 teachers have helped their students write poems that got posted. I think we’re set for a great year in 2010.

David