Friday, March 20, 2020

TLA Virtual Poetry Round Up

As you probably know, the annual conference of the Texas Library Association was cancelled--like so many other events-- due to the coronavirus outbreak we are all facing. It's always a great conference, so it's disappointing for all of us, but I'm especially disappointed to miss my 16th annual Poetry Round Up session which is always a hit. So, I hope to share a few videoclips that the poets who were set to appear have kindly made. Enjoy! And be sure to look for their new books!

First up: Irene Latham! Irene is the author of several books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry: including Dear Wandering Wildebeest, When the Sun Shines on Antarctica, Fresh Delicious, and Can I Touch Your Hair? (with Charles Waters). She won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award and is a regular speaker at schools, libraries, and festivals. She lives on a lake in Alabama with her family and is learning to play cello (spoiler alert!). Here, she talks about her newest book, Nine (published by Charlesbridge), and treats us to a concert!

Now hold to your hats, while Irene serenades us with her cello! 

Thanks so much for taking the time to create these videos for us, Irene! WONDERFUL! I can't wait to get my hands on Nine, too. 

[I debated about creating new posts for each poet, but lots of people are linking to this posting to share with kids (HOORAY!), so I'm going to keep adding poets right here!]

Next up: Leslie Bulion!
Poet Leslie Bulion is the author of many wonderful science-themed books of poetry for young people including Superlative Birds, Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse, Leaf Litter Critters, At the Sea Floor Cafe: Odd Ocean Critter Poems, Hey, There, Stink Bug!, as well as middle grade fictional novels for young readers. Bulion studied science in college, oceanography in graduate school and worked with children and families. She loves photographing nature, scuba diving, and kayaking. Here, she shares a few poems, background stories, and activities from her new book, Amphibian Acrobats. Enjoy!

Next up: K.A. Holt!

Poet Kari Anne (K.A.) Holt is the author of several middle grade novels, especially novels in verse such as Rhyme Schemer, House Arrest, Knockout and the #ownvoices Redwood and Ponytail, as well as the picture book, I Wonder, illustrated by Kenard Pak. She lives in Austin, Texas, and is a co-founder of Typewriter Rodeo, a troop of poets who compose poems on request on-the-spot. Here she talks about two of her novels in verse. First: House Arrest.

Next, Kari talks about her forthcoming book, BenBee and the Teacher Griefer (I can't wait to read it!):

Next up: Zetta Elliott

Zetta Elliott is a poet, author, and an educator who was born in Canada and currently lives and writes in Pennsylvania. She earned a PhD from NYU and is the award-winning author of multiple works for adults and young readers including fiction, fantasy, plays, essays, a novella, picture books, YA novels, and middle grade fantasy. Her latest book is a poetry collection for young adults, Say Her Name. In the video linked here (click here), she reads a few selections from this new book, including a very helpful poem entitled, “Self Care.” Enjoy!

Elliott has also created a poetry workbook for teens, Find Your Voice, and I can send you a pdf of that (with Zetta’s permission) if you leave your name and email address in the comments. 

Finally: Vikram Madan!

As poet and artist Vikram Madan admits on his website, he grew up in India where he really wanted to be a cartoonist, but ended up an engineer. He now lives in Seattle and worked for years in the tech industry and then made the switch to art and writing, creating editorial cartoons, drawing and painting and exhibiting his art, and writing poetry for young people. His poetry is full of humor and wordplay, including The Bubble Collector, Lord of the Bubbles, and his new book, A Hatful of Dragons. He shares a poem from that new book here:

And here Vikram leads us in a 30-second flip through his new book:

And just for fun, Vikram has created a music video for a poem from his first book, The Bubble Collector:

Thank you, poets, for being part of my virtual Poetry Round Up! It's so kind of Irene Latham, Leslie Bulion, Kari Holt, Zetta Elliott, and Vikram Madan to take time to make videos for us to enjoy. I hope I can bring them all to TLA in the future for an in-person rock concert of poetry! Meanwhile, take care of yourselves, everyone-- and share poetry-- so therapeutic just now (and always!).


michelle kogan said...

Thanks for this special post Sylvia filled with Irene's treasures–her delightful book and an extra treat, hearing her play "Ode to Joy!" And thanks also for bringing part of the conference to all of us, be well.

skanny17 said...

Oh, Irene (and Sylvia for bring this to us) are a natural. I cannot wait to get NINE. I am going to go order now. Save it for someone's night birthday in 5 years, but I will love it and share it in the meantime. I have to try a nonet. And your lovely cello seranade, it is a lovely tune. Thank you both!
Janet Clare F.

Linda said...

I'm looking forward to reading Irene's new book. Thank you for the cello serenade! Beautiful!

Kay said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'm looking forward to reading Irene's book.

Buffy Silverman said...

Nine times the fun to hear Irene speak
about and read from her new book
and play Ode to Joy for us
sending hope and delight
lifting the darkness
with poetry
and music--
thank you

Liz Steinglass said...

What a disappointment. Thank you for giving all of us an opportunity to enjoy a taste of what was planned. It's always lovely to see and hear Irene and to read her wonderful poetry!

Mary Lee said...

I can't wait to have Irene's book in my hands so I can explore all the nonets and count all the nines in the illustrations! LOVED the cello performance!!

Thank you, Sylvia, for letting us ALL come to your Poetry Roundup session!

Janice Scully said...

I look forward to reading your book and enjoyed your cello playing. I love Ode to Joy. Its so simple and peaceful.

Linda B said...

I didn't know you posted, Sylvia, & what a beautiful surprise to find such joy here! I know this book will be wonderful, have a granddaughter turning nine in the summer, so perfect timing, too. Irene, thank you for the Ode to Joy! Wishing you your own joy during this hard time. Thanks for sharing and for planning more, Sylvia!

KatApel - said...

Irene's poetry is beautiful - as is her smiling face and gentle voice. This was a treat to see. I'm sorry your conference plans were disrupted - but I'm grateful we got to share the love.

Carol said...

So sorry your presentation and conference had to be cancelled. But what a treat to hear Irene read and play!!! Thank you!

Bridget Magee said...

Sorry to hear about the cancellation of TLA, but we are sure lucky to see Irene and the many other presenters virtually. Congratulations to Irene on 9 and thank you for sharing your music. :)

Irene Latham said...

So many thanks to all of you for taking a peek and being kind readers and listeners... you've made my day! And thank YOU, Sylvia, for inviting me to create the video. Some other time I'll put my boots on again and come to TLA (I hope!!). And Buffy, well done with the nonet!!! xo

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

So sorry about TLA. I know how many folks were looking forward to it. But THANK YOU, Sylvia, for inviting the participants to record videos. Such a special treat to see and hear Irene as "up close and personal" as we can get these days. Looking forward to having a closer look at 9.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thank you all for stopping by to enjoy Irene's lovely post! And thank YOU, Irene, for taking the time make these for us! It's ALMOST as good as being together in person for the annual Poetry Round Up! Almost! ;-)