Friday, September 08, 2023

New anthology: WHAT IS HOPE?

Please indulge a bit of self-promotion-- I'm so happy to "toot the horn" for a new poetry anthology for middle grades that features new and established poets writing about the theme of HOPE. Janet (Wong) and I created a summer workshop called "Think Poetry" especially for educators who wanted to learn more about writing and teaching poetry. We created 10 instructional videos, provided individualized feedback on poem drafts, and collaborated with 40 poets on creating this new book, What Is Hope? You can learn a bit more about "Think Poetry" here. Our 10 instructional videos focused on:


Stanzas & structure
Similes & metaphors
List poems
Mask poems
Syllabic poetry
Free verse

In each video, Janet modeled poem writing and shared strategies she uses to compose and revise poems and we both suggested a variety of tips for teaching each poetry element. Plus, we had a lot of fun and laughter! 

Our 40 poets featured in What Is Hope? include: 

Each poet chose a photo prompt from a selection of black and white photos that we provided and then drafted a poem tied to the photo and to the theme of hope. We LOVE all the different directions that poets took that important theme! Don't we all need a little more HOPE in our daily lives? Here are just a few sample poems:

We are also so thrilled that What Is Hope? was selected as a Children's Book Council "Hot Off the Press" selection! We hope you'll check it out. As with other books in the "WHAT IS" series (What Is a Friend?, What Is a Family?, as well as our books in the "THINGS WE" series (Things We Do, Things We Eat, Things We Feel, Things We Wear) for young readers, 100% of the profits are donated to the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund that helps get books to children around the world in the most difficult circumstances (like the war in Ukraine, after the earthquake in Turkey). 

We hope to offer our "Think Poetry" online workshop (with mentoring and feedback) again in January, 2024, with a new theme, new photo prompts, and new poets. Make a resolution now to grow your own poetry writing next year and reach out to us when you're ready! 

Next up: Go check out Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's blog, The Poem Farm, where she is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering this week. See you there! 


Sarah Ziman said...

Thanks so much for letting me be a part of another great anthology - the photo prompts always bring something unexpected!

Jane @ said...

Such a worthy cause! I love the idea of letting the photograph inspire the poem - it could be such a fun classroom activity to encourage kids to write their own poems inspired by one of the photos in the anthology, then read the poem included in the book - it can be so eye-opening to discover how we all see the world in different, yet still beautiful, ways. :)

Linda B said...

Every time I read of your anthologies, I wish I was still teaching. They, like this new one, are beautiful gifts for kids and teachers, too. I love the ones you shared, and from others who've shared today, too.

Mary Lee said...

Another fantastic volume! I've enjoyed seeing all the poems shared this week and last!!

Tracey Kiff-Judson said...

Sylvia, what a gorgeous collection of beautiful poems from talented poets! Each one that I have read offers a ray of sunshine. Congratulations on your beautiful anthology!

Denise Krebs said...

Sylvia, I have enjoyed watching these anthologies come to life over the past couple of years. Now, What is Hope? is my new favorite. Congratulations on the publication, and for having it chosen as a "Hot Off the Press" book! I feel like I'm ready to join in for your next course in January.

Rose Cappelli said...

Hooray! So happy to be a part of this anthology! Thanks, Sylvia and Janet.

Robyn Hood Black said...

This is one of my Pomelo Books FAVORITES - thrilled to be a part of it! Thanks for all you do, Sylvia and Janet, to share poetry and HOPE in the world!

Michelle Kogan said...

Such a rich collection of poems and images I'm really enjoying the poems you shared and more of them that other poets are sharing too–we sure can use more Hope, thanks Sylvia and Janet!

Linda Kulp Trout said...

I agree with Robyn. This is one of my favorite poetry books. The poems are so positive and thoughtful. I'm sure they will inspire readers to feel hopeful and try something new. Thank you for including my poem and for all the ways you make a difference in lives of others!

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

So excited to be in this anthology and I can't wait to share it with students.

Carol Varsalona said...

Sylvia, my congratulations and best wishes for future endeavors are extended to you and Janet. I have read not only your wonderful blog (sorry for this comment coming late) but each PF poet's poem blogs included in What is Hope? Not only is the title of the book a much-needed one during troubling times but the variety of poems on the topic are exciting topics and poetic formats. I have been interested in participating in the dynamic duo's program all along but so many different issues have prevented me. I would like to start but I need guidance on a pathway. I am very interested in your new course so let me know more, please. If you would like me to write a blog post about your newest book, I would love to do so. Thanks for sending fabulous poem anthologies out into the world of education. Teachers need a bevy of poems to use as mentor texts for poetry lessons. Last year, I keynoted one of the local reading council's \year-long professional development program that concentrated on bringing poetry into the classroom. The teachers appreciated the information and I truly hope that this year they continue to bring the love of poetry into their classrooms.

Amy LV said...

It is fabulous to read so many angles and approaches to HOPE. Congratulations on another anthology, and thank you for your generosity with all you do. I have so enjoyed reading the many selections shared around the Kidlitosphere! xo, a.

Janet Wong said...

Jane: YES! I would love for teachers + librarians to share a photo from this book -- or another of our ekphrastic titles (in the THINGS WE series for younger kids or WHAT IS A FAMILY? and WHAT IS A FRIEND?) -- and have kids write their own poems BEFORE seeing what the poet did. Please spread the word about this method of sharing photos + poems from this book!!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thank you ALL for your kind comments and compliments! We love hearing your responses and are so happy to collaborate with so many wonderful poets and hear from so many poetry fans! It's definitely a mutual admiration society!