Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poetry Buzz

I’ve been running across some poetry news nuggets here and there that I thought I would gather and share here. Just FYI; just for fun.

Poetry is an app
Did you see the latest from It’s about a new poetry “app” for the iPhone and iPod Touch and it sounds extremely cool. (And I don't even have a fancy phone!) Here’s the lowdown:

“ is proud to announce the launch of the Poem Flow app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, developed in creative collaboration with TextTelevision... A veritable box of light with words and thought in fluid motion, Poem Flow is an entirely new way to experience poetry on a handheld screen. In Portrait view, each poem is presented in its traditional format; turned to Landscape, the poem literally flows over the screen.

Each day, a new poem becomes available to app subscribers, while those from previous days remain on the device, building the equivalent of an ever-expanding anthology of the best-loved poems in the English language. Historical trivia and contextual information, compiled by, are provided for each daily poem.”

Poem Flow is a free download and includes 20 great poems and a full week of poem-of-the-day. Readers can subscribe to 3 months of poems (100) for $0.99, or a full year (365) for $2.99. A portion of the proceeds support the Academy of American Poets programs, including”

“Can Children’s Poetry Matter?”
Poet J. Patrick Lewis has published an intriguing article, “Can Children’s Poetry Matter?” in Hunger Mountain, the VCFA Journal of the Arts. It’s so provocative and beautifully written. Here’s just one nugget:

Poetry is the tunnel at the end of the light; prose, bent out of shape; the idiom of djinns; the sound of silence…amplified. Poetry predates books, predates the alphabet, and once we graduated from humming, it was the first vehicle to bring music to our ears. What are nursery rhymes if not the irresistible echoes of the siren songs of ancient whimsy?

And I loved Sue Corbin’s response, too: “Children are poetry. Their language is poetry. Their wonder of the world is poetry. If children’s poetry doesn’t matter, then children don’t matter. And sadly that’s the reality in some peoples’ worlds. Test scores matter. AYP matters.”

New Poetry Resource Book
Richie Partington has a new book out, I Second that Emotion: Sharing Children’s and Young Adult Poetry: a 21stCentury Resource Guide for Teachers and Librarians published by LC Source. It sounds terrific—and we know Richie’s reviews are always right on. Here’s the blurb on his new book:

"I Second That Emotion is an entertaining guide for teachers and librarians who want to really bring poetry to young people. The author provides a series of steps for becoming an expert on children's and young adult poetry, and a great variety of ideas on sharing poetry with young people all year long. Included are extensive appendices, including listings of books of poetry currently used in summer reading programs; an exploration of how poetry is incorporated into various states' standards; poetry resources for preschoolers; and information on over 500 American and British authors of poetry books for children and young adults."

I ran into some difficulties using the Web site, so found the 800 number more helpful. Call toll-free: 1-800-873-3043.

Guest Poet: Hope Anita Smith
The fantastic librarian Roxanne Feldman recently posted the following on one of my favorite listservs (and gave permission to share it here): "We had the great pleasure of having Hope Anita Smith (The Way a Door Closes, Keeping the Night Watch, and Mother Poems) conduct poetry workshops for our 7th and 8th grade students. The six workshops (with three different contents) were simply fabulous and inspiring. For anyone who wishes to have a generous, inspiring, and effective poetry workshop leader, definitely contact her." Roxane posted an open thank-you letter to her on her Fairrosa Cyber Library site too.

FYI: Hope has been part of my Poetry Round Up held annually at the Texas Library Association conference and was a terrific presenter, so I add my whole-hearted endorsement. I would also like to make a plug for inviting poets in general to do school visits—many enjoy them, indeed count on them, but so often schools gravitate only to fiction authors, with an occasional poet speaker during April (National Poetry Month). But poets write year round and make inspiring speakers any time! Most have web sites (see the links here on my blog) and would love to hear from you! (BTW, the line up of poets for my 2010 Poetry Round Up includes: Laura Purdie Salas, Leslie Bulion, Pat Mora, Jen Bryant, Robert Weinstock, and Douglas Florian. If you’re planning to come to San Antonio for TLA, please join us: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 10:15am. We always have a great time!

Children’s Poet Laureate
Another interesting post written by Neal Whitman at Short Poem (on Feb. 1), shared by Paula Morrow on CHILD_LIT (and posted here with permission) about the post of Children’s Poet Laureate. What a sweet compliment to Charles Ghigna (Father Goose)—who will also be presenting at the annual Fay Kaigler Children’s Literature Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg April 7-9. I’ll be there, too, plugging the latest and greatest poetry for kids. It’s time again for the next Children’s Poet Laureate to be chosen, so stay tuned for that news—which should be out in October.

Knit Your Own Poem
I ran across this craziness: a “Knit Your Own Poem” link courtesy of Great Britain’s Poetry Society! You can input the words of a poem which will magically appear in individually knitted letters—way cool! Those clever Brits!

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2010. All rights reserved.
Image credit:;;poetrysociety,hungermountain


Jeannine Atkins said...

I feel like I should be excited about poetry apps, but just am not. However knitted poetry! Love it. London's Victoria and Albert has the most amazing knitted items I've just seen through their website links: enough to get me through a Massachusetts winter.

Jeanette said...

I love the idea of any application that brings poetry to the youngest generation ... not sure the knitted word will get them as excitied though!!

Linda said...

Thanks for the great resources!

laurasalas said...

What a scrumptious post! I'm going to download the Poem Flow app today and can't wait to read Pat's article and the other posts you provided links to.

Um, the knitting poem thing I just don't get, though! To me, they look more like ransom notes left for picnickers:>) I thought it was going to be a Madame Defarge-like creation with words knitted into a larger piece. Ah well, to each his own.

Thanks, Sylvia, for giving me lots of great poetry stuff to explore this weekend!

Paula Morrow said...

Another great post! Giving credit where due, however, I didn't post the item about Children's Poet Laureate, I only forwarded a link. Article was written by Neal Whitman.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks for stopping by, friends-- and for that correction, Paula, which I have incorporated into the post now. Good to get that just right. Thanks again for sharing.

Interesting that some people love the idea of poem apps and some knitting poems-- different strokes for different folks!

Laura Often said...

Thanks Sylvia for posting aboutr Poem Flow. We'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the app - Or follow us on twitter - /poemflow


オテモヤン said...


Andromeda Jazmon said...

That poetry app is way cool! I want it.

Laura: "To me, they look more like ransom notes left for picnickers:>)" *snort...snicker*

Playing by the book said...

So many goodies in this post! I'm going to have to get a second coffee to enjoy all your links with :-)