Community Collection 25: PERFORMANCE POEMS with Jane Yolen

Welcome to Poetry Month 2018 at No Water River!
Please take a moment to peruse the how-to below, and then dive in! Happy writing — and thank you for helping to build our collection(s)!
Remember: The Community Collections are open indefinitely, so you can visit each post at your leisure to add your poem!

Today’s Guest…

is the author of 366 books that run the gamut from picture books to poetry to novels, from nonfiction to science fiction to fantasy and beyond. Please welcome the writer and poet who has been hailed as the Hans Christian Andersen of America 


photo by Jason Stemple


(Click to enlarge.)



The four subjects poets love to write about most are love, death, nature, and writing a poem. But we disguise it as something else. In this poem I use a play in three acts as a way to explain how nature affects me.
Your challenge is to write a performance poem in three acts about something that is your favorite subject.



1. Click the pink + circle on the bottom right.
2. Type in your title and copy in your poem
3. Don’t forget to include your name/copyright (e.g., (c) 2018 Gladys Poet)!
4. To make it stick, click on the background pic OUTSIDE the white area of your post.
5. Use the tools on the bottom of your post to easily upload images.
6. Scroll to read and comment on others’ work!

If you have any trouble posting your poem, you may email it to me at and I will post it for you!

Made with Padlet


Jane Yolen has been an editor, college teacher, storyteller on stage, and has published (as of March 6, 2018) 366 books, which means you could read a book of hers a day for a year — even if it’s a leap year. She has won many awards and medals for her writing. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates for her body of work. One of her awards (she warns) set her good Scottish wool coat on fire.

(additional info from Jewish Women’s Archive): Yolen’s books include children’s books, fantasy, science fiction, realistic fiction, mysteries, animal tales, historical fiction, humorous stories, songs, poetry and even informational books on such subjects as kites, Shakers, the Quakers, and the environment, but she is particularly well known for her command of fantasy, folklore and myth. A noted storyteller in the oral tradition, she was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, has been a frequent reviewer of children’s literature, was for a time an editor with her own imprint and is a discerning and prolific anthologist.

Yolen, who has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century, received a B.A. from Smith College in 1960 and in 1976 an M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts, where she also completed course work for a doctorate in children’s literature. She has received the Daedelus Award and the Catholic Library Association’s Regina Medal, and her books have won two Caldecott Medals, two Nebula Awards from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, two Christopher Medals, and the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She has honorary doctorates from Smith College, Keene State College, and the College of Our Lady of the Elms. The former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Yolen has served on the board of directors for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for more than 25 years. She divides her time between homes in Hatfield, Massachusetts, and Scotland.

Discover more about the author and her books at


Influenced by Dr. Mengele’s sadistic experimentations, this story follows twins as they travel from the Lodz ghetto, to the partisans in the forest, to a horrific concentration camp where they lose everything but each other.

It’s 1942 in Poland, and the world is coming to pieces. At least that’s how it seems to Chaim and Gittel, twins whose lives feel like a fairy tale torn apart, with evil witches, forbidden forests, and dangerous ovens looming on the horizon. But in all darkness there is light, and the twins find it through Chaim’s poetry and the love they have for each other. Like the bright flame of a Yahrzeit candle, his words become a beacon of memory so that the children and grandchildren of survivors will never forget the atrocities that happened during the Holocaust.

Filled with brutality and despair, this is also a story of poetry and strength, in which a brother and sister lose everything but each other. Nearly thirty years after the publication of her award-winning and bestselling The Devil’s Arithmetic and Briar Rose, Yolen once again returns to World War II and captivates her readers with the authenticity and power of her words. (from


The third installment of the acclaimed On Bird Hill and Beyond series of children’s books written for the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

In On Bird Hill, Yolen and Marstall took readers on a surreal journey with a boy and his dog as they see the natural world, ultimately witnessing the miracle of a chick emerging from an egg. On Duck Pond continued their journey, this time at a serene pond filled with birds, frogs, and turtles who are suddenly disrupted by their intrusion, but soon settle back into a quiet equilibrium.

On Gull Beach brings us to an idyllic shoreline in Cape Cod, where gulls hover, dive, and chase with pitched acrobatics in pursuit of a seastar. This enchanting sequel in a brand new habitat will delight readers young and old. (from

What to do if a rather insistent bear squats on your porch today? Followed in short order by a shaggy squirrel, a spraying skunk, a playful possum, and a bevy of forest critters large and small? This hilarious cumulative tale of reluctant hospitality and generous inclusivity will leave readers chanting, “OKAY. OKAY! YOU CAN STAY.” But watch out! That porch is starting to sway. . . .

Jane Yolen’s uproarious chant-aloud story is brought to life by Rilla Alexander’s dazzling retro-hip illustrations in an exuberant collaboration. (from

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“Performance” and prompt copyright © by Jane Yolen.
Copyright on community collection poems held by authors indicated. All rights reserved.
Other post content © 2018 Renée M. LaTulippe or as indicated. All rights reserved.
Stage and Lights and Misty Dawn by Pixabay via Pexels (no attribution required).