Thursday, October 13, 2022

Guest Post: IMPERFECT II by Tabatha Yeatts-Lonske

Welcome, Tabatha, and congratulations on the publication of your second edited volume of poems in IMPERFECT II. Here, Tabatha shares a glimpse into IMPERFECT II and how changing perspectives can inform our poetry writing. 

Tabatha writes: Have you ever been sure that something was true and later found out that it wasn't? You think someone is mad at you, but really they were just having a bad day. You think someone’s life is perfect, but actually they are struggling. We can like someone and be certain that we'll never get over them, and then later look back and be surprised we liked them at all. Making thought-mistakes happens to everybody.

What can we do about thinking things that aren't true? Keep our thoughts in perspective.

Hmmm. One of the things that helps is…

What does poetry have to offer? Tasty bite-sized views of other people’s perspectives. 


We made a second IMPERFECT book so we could dive into thought-mistakes and find ways to help ourselves out: 

On the IMPERFECT II blog, IMPERFECT II poets shared some of their favorite ways to regain perspective, and those include:

Noticing some of your favorite ways can help you think of them when you need them. 


Here’s a poem from IMPERFECT II where our narrator shifts their perspective on drawing: 

Thanks for thinking about thinking with me! 

Thank you, Tabatha, for sharing with us today! Now head on over to Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme where Matt is hosting Poetry Friday. 

Friday, October 07, 2022

What Is a Friend?

Well, dear blog friends, 

Here I am again, rather embarrassed and apologetic for abandoning my blog for SO long! Since my last post months ago, I retired from my university teaching (yippee) and am making the transition to more travel and family time, but still working on tons of poetry projects! I may not be blogging as much, but I am reluctant to "retire" the blog entirely-- especially my "sneak peek" list. So, please be patient with me and I'll try to keep rolling!

I continue to collaborate with the amazing Janet Wong in our venture in creating poetry projects. This year, we've focused on building the poetry community and nurturing new and emerging poets into the world of publishing poetry anthologies and collections. Our first three ventures were alphabet poetry collections organized along a theme: Things We Do, Things We Eat, and Things We Feel. (We're working on Things We Wear right now!) Those are full-color collections for our youngest poetry fans, ages 1-8. 

That led us to expand our focus to create poetry collections for older kids, ages 8-12 (and up). Our first venture for that tween reader is out today: What Is a Friend? This is an anthology of ekphrastic poems written to a black-and-white photo prompt-- all related to the theme of friendship. Backwater includes Ways to Share Poems with a Friend, Poetry Books About Friendship, Ekphrastic Poetry Books, Poets Write about Writing, Kinds of Poems, and Web Resources. 

We are so pleased to have a wonderful variety of very talented new and established poets featured in this book:

All profits from the sale of this book benefit the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund. The IBBY Children in Crisis Fund provides support for children whose lives have been disrupted through war, civil disorder, or natural disaster. The program gives immediate support and help — and also aims for long-term community impact, aligning with IBBY's goal of giving every child the right to become a reader. For more info: To donate:

We're also excited that What Is a Friend? has been selected as a "Hot Off the Press" book for October by Children's Book Press. Check it out here!

Janet and I use Zoom to meet with our poets, share information, answer questions, and celebrate together. Here's one pic of our group celebrating each of their poems in What Is a Friend? Enjoy! 

It's Poetry Friday too, so head on over to Sarah Grace's place where she is gathering us all together! 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

NPM: Día + Plan for May 14: Young People's Poetry Day with Pat Mora

Photo courtesy of Shannon Steinacker
As we bring National Poetry Month to a close, I hope this immersion in poems (and videos) has been a bit of respite during this busy time. But this is not the end of enjoying poetry, of course!

The Poetry Foundation is holding a special in-person event for Young People's Poetry Day on May 14 in Chicago. Here's the scoop:

"Young poetry lovers are front and center at Young People’s Poetry Day with Pat Mora, winner of the Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement and author of numerous books for young readers. This annual free event for youth and their caregivers features a reading with Mora, a cartonera-making workshop with Suzi Garcia and Mayela Rodriguez, poetry writing activities, crafts, a poetry scavenger hunt, and more!"


Pat Mora is also the founder of Día de los Ninos; Día de los Libros which is often recognized on April 30, although celebrated all year long! Here's the link and the scoop for a downloadable booklet and tons of helpful resources. 

Children’s Day, Book Day
El día de los niños, El día de los libros (Día)
Planning Your April Celebration and Ideas for a Bookjoy Year

Pat writes: "In 2022, Children’s Day, Book Day, El día de los niños, el día de los libros (often known as Día), celebrates its 26th anniversary, twenty-three years in which literacy advocates have motivated families in their communities to honor all children and to share bookjoy throughout the year. Annually, during April, book fiestas are held at schools, libraries, childcare centers, parks, universities/colleges, community centers, parks, etc. This planning booklet is a compilation of what my partners and I have learned about ways to celebrate all our children and excite them about bookjoy. You’ll find helpful tips to share with your planning committee or colleagues."

So... let's keep the poetry celebration going with special events, new plans, and poem sharing all year long!