Sunday, October 24, 2010

Poetry Tidbits

The Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List was just announced for 2010-2011 and it includes TWO recent works of poetry:
  • Amazing Faces compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Mirror, Mirror by Marilyn Singer
Congratulations, Lee and Marilyn, and the Bluebonnet committee. It’s always great to see poetry titles included on “mainstream” reading lists.

I’m honored to be “profiled” on poet, author, and literacy advocate Pat Mora’s blog, ShareBookJoy (on October 14). She is focusing on CREATIVITY and it was a treat to consider this topic in my own work. She has a wonderful new resource book out, ZING! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students. It’s full of her wisdom and insight, as well as practical steps for exploring one’s own creative urges.

I have two poetry presentations coming up that I’d like to invite you to (if you’re coming to the YALSA Symposium or the NCTE conference). I’ll be at the biennial YALSA Symposium in Albuquerque (Nov. 5-7) with a wonderful panel of poets that includes Jen Bryant, Ann Burg, Margarita Engle, Betsy Franco, Pat Mora, and April Halprin Wayland. We’re trying something different for this audience of teen services librarians—I’ve planned a series of “interview” questions that poets will answer (like “If you were to pair your poetry with music, what music would you choose?”) and then we’ll have time for a “Poetry Improv” exercise where the poets will share poems in response to prompts (i.e., “No one gets me” or “My current Facebook status”). It should be fun! 

My session at NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) in Orlando (Nov. 19) includes two fellow poetry bloggers (Tricia Stohr-Hunt and Elaine Magliaro) and 4 poets: Lee Bennett Hopkins, Pat Mora, Jame Richards (her FIRST time!), and Marilyn Singer. We three bloggers will be featuring the poets on our blogs for 2 weeks before the conference, inviting reader participation. Then we’ll share the results as well as other strategies for using technology to connect kids with poets and poetry. Finally, we’ll share the conference highlights on our blogs afterward, as well. It’s a new model for conference presentations that I’m excited about and extends the conference for people who can’t be there.

Finally, I’d also like to plug a new project that my students and I have created to promote the #1 award for young adult literature: the Printz award. It’s a blog devoted entirely to digital trailers featuring only the Printz award and honor books. (So far that includes several works of poetry: A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson, Keesha’s House by Helen Frost, Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth Century American Art compiled by Jan Greenberg, True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff—although only the Frost book has a movie trailer posted thus far.) Although these are amateur productions, we hope they will lead more people to read and share the Printz books. Enjoy:

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2010. All rights reserved.


Amy LV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arash said...


I found your blog by way of google search. I am a Canadian poet, quite an amateur, as I am a psych grad and have no formal training in poetry. I do keep a blog however, here:

I would appreciate it if you would visit it, and I am open to comments, criticisms, and would love to read visitor poetry, contribute, etc etc.

Speaking of children poetry, here is mine (with a twist). This I wrote on my blog a month ago originally.

"All the Luck"

Father Time and Mother Place once met
covered in magic dust that Eros had
sprinkled all around on a whimsy.
And birth they gave to a little boy,
who had all the luck in the world and
left none for others, young and old.
Grandmother, take me with you, she said.
But the match went out and she was dead.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Amy, thanks for your sweet note. I'm envious that you went to Kidlit Con-- I've wanted to go and will someday! See you at NCTE soon.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Greetings, Arash. Thanks for stopping by. Your poetry is intriguing, but you may have noticed that poetry for children is a very distinct discipline that is paradoxically entirely the poet's (in language, tone, and content), but also mindful of the world and experiences of the young reader/listener. Something to think about if you aspire to write poetry for young people. Just FYI.
Best wishes with your work,

माधव( Madhav) said...


laurasalas said...

What a bunch of great news, Sylvia. You are so tireless in your efforts to promote children's poetry and poets. I wish I could attend your panel at NCTE, especially.

I'm off to check out Pat's blog:>)

Marilyn Singer said...

Thanks, Sylvia, for the congrats, and for all you do for children's poetry. I'm looking forward to NCTE!

Toby Speed said...

I wish I could go to NCTE, too! I look forward to following your blog and conference experiences "virtually" over the next few weeks. I just got back from Kidlit Con where several of us (including Amy, above) did a Poetry Friday presentation. Thanks for all your news.

Amy LV said...

Hooray for so much exciting poetry news...thank you, Sylvia(!) I look forward to your panel at NCTE and now to ordering ZING! Having just returned from Kidlit Con, I feel renewed with a spirit of poetry and blogging. A.