Community Collection 27: ESCAPE with Renée M. LaTulippe

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 owner of this blog and will be speaking about herself in the third person in some places, and the first person in others. It’s kinda weird and oogly, but she doesn’t/I don’t want to break up a set (of poetry prompts), so pretend you don’t know her/me and let’s just get on with it. Please welcome … 


(I’m the one in pink. In case there was doubt.)


Today I’m sharing the poem I wrote for Amy Ludwig Vanderwater’s Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann, 2017), a marvelous resource for teachers who want to use poetry to teach all kinds of writing. My assignment was to write a poem that “ends with an inner reflection: a question, a thought, a wish.”
The photo is of my father, Ed LaTulippe, making his first solo jump in Stuttgart, Germany, circa 1962.


The assignment was challenging for me, but I kept coming back to images of the sky over the backyard of my childhood, that piece of blue as seen through a screen of maple leaves. I spoke about this and other images in the background blurb that is included in the book.
And while maybe the poem is more about freedom, I do think there’s an element of escape in there, or the need for escape — something most of us humans need sometimes, whether physical or mental.


Write about one of these things …
  • a time when you wanted to escape a situation
  • what your ideal escape looks like
  • what escape or freedom means for you
  • an adventure as means of escape/freedom



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


gelato, another great escape

Renée M. LaTulippe has poems published in many anthologies including School People (ed. Lee Bennett Hopkins), the National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (ed. J. Patrick Lewis), One Minute Till Bedtime (ed. Kenn Nesbitt), Poems Are Teachers (ed. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater), The Poetry Friday Anthology Middle School, Science, and Celebrations editions (ed. Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong), and the forthcoming National Geographic’s The Poetry of US (ed. J. Patrick Lewis) and Night Wishes (ed. Lee Bennett Hopkins).

She has co-authored nine award-winning leveled readers and a collection of poetry titled Lizard Lou: a collection of rhymes old and new for All About Learning Press, where she is also the editor.

Renée developed and teaches the online course The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry and blogs on children’s poetry here at She earned her BFA in acting/directing from Marymount Manhattan College and her MA in English Education from NYU; worked and played in the theater for almost two decades; and taught English, theater arts, and public speaking in NYC. She lives in Italy with her husband, twin boys, and little girl.

Discover more about the author and her books at


THE POETRY OF US (ed. J. Patrick Lewis; National Geographic. COMING FALL 2018)

Renée’s poem: “Child’s Chant: Oklahoma Dust Bowl, 1935”

It’s all about us! Join former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis on a lyrical journey through the United States to experience the wonders of America’s people and places through 200+ inspiring poems and stunning photographs.

Celebrate the gift of language and the vibrant culture of the United States with this collection of classic and never-before-published poetry. From the familiar to the surprising, subjects include people, places, landmarks, monuments, nature, and celebrations. Designed for sharing, but geared to younger readers, this beautifully illustrated treasury is a must-have for the whole family. (from

SCHOOL PEOPLE (ed. Lee Bennett Hopkins; Wordsong 2018)

Renée’s poem: “Theater Teacher”

Welcome to school, a building of brick “full of soul and heart,” eager for students and staff to fill its halls with sounds. This anthology of fifteen poems celebrates the grown-up people that children encounter throughout the course of their school day: the school bus driver with her morning smile, the teacher who inspires imagination, the rarely seen, yet caring custodian, and the nurse who heals hurts, big and small. There’s even a poem about the school building. Award-winning poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins has compiled this marvelous collection featuring a variety of brand-new works by well-known poets and beautifully imaginative artwork by illustrator Ellen Shi. (from


Renée’s poem: “One Day”

“Poems wake us up, keep us company, and remind us that our world is big and small. And too, poems teach us how to write. Anything,” Amy Ludwig VanDerwater explains in Poems Are Teachers.

This is a practical book designed for every classroom teacher. Each lesson exploration includes three poems, one by a contemporary adult poet and two by students in grades 2 through 8, which serve as models to illustrate how poetry teaches writers to:

  • find ideas
  • choose perspective and point of view
  • structure texts
  • play with language
  • craft beginnings and endings
  • choose titles.

Students will learn how to replicate the craft techniques found in poetry to strengthen all writing, from fiction to opinion, from personal narrative to information. “Poets arrange words and phrases just as prose writers do, simply in tighter spaces,” Amy argues. “In the tight space of poetry, readers can identify writing techniques after reading one page, not thirty pages.” (from

I recently came across this video of a man (aka Slomo) who found his own escape, his own way to fly. I found it calming and inspiring, and thought you might like it too.
“The people who love Slomo are cheering for one person who got away, who escaped, and got to real freedom…”
Don’t miss a prompt! Save this calendar to your desktop.


Check out the poetry video library!
“One Day” and prompt copyright © by Renée M. LaTulippe.
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.
Skydiving photos from Renée’s personal collection. 

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  1. Good Morning Renee, I’m probably going to comment more than once today. I have LOVED this month’s Community Project. Thank you so much. I’ve got your prompt in my pocket and will think on it today. I am sharing NPM “wows” this week for my Poetry Friday post and this project is at the top of the list.

    1. I loved the Slomo video. I applaud the courage to leave all behind -Escape- and do ‘what you want’ if you so can afford it. I wonder if Dr. Slomo adds to his free time some activities to help others. Then that would be a ‘perfect’ life (to me, at least.) 🙂

  2. You poem made me 25 again, the year I was a speck in the sky, attached to a tandem master. It was a glorious way to celebrate my birthday, like having your soul wrenched free of fear and washed by exhilaration.

  3. Oh wow, you skyjumper you! How wonderful to share this with your father, too… I love knowing that’s true. You’ve given so much in this series this month… I’ve barely skimmed the surface and look forward to coming back when my schedule slows a bit. Flight and escape…lots to think about! Beautiful poem! xo

  4. My two favorite things about your poem: the litotes and the last four lines repeating “how it is.” The photo is fabulous and echos a time of exploration many are too young to remember.

    On a separate note: I use your video “5 Tips for Poetry Recitation” in my speech classes (high school) when I teach oral interpretation. Its very helpful.

    1. Thank you, Glenda! I’m SO glad to hear that the video is helpful in your speech classes — excellent! That’s what I made it for. I taught HS speech too — one of my favorite things. 🙂

  5. I’m so glad you opened up “space” to share a bit of your own work and backstory, Renee! The adventure gene didn’t fall too far from the tree, I see… Beautiful poem. (And, funny – though I LOVE my hubby and children with all my heart, I would say that the time of my life when I had little escape fantasies would be about the time of life you’re in right now family-wise… SO rich and wonderful, and also SO exhausting – ha!)

    1. It was Amy LV who who put the bee in my bonnet to add myself to the month, which I had not planned on doing. That’s why I had to add an extra day to the month, haha.

      And thanks for the insight on the escape fantasies … it’s always good to know we’re not alone and/or crazy! 😀 😀

  6. What a freah ‘airy’ poem! I truly felt it was a poem of coming to terms with peace. We pause and escape everyday to find moments of rest, of calm, of peace of mind. This poem is so beautiful Renée, I truly loved it. What special memories of your childhood with your beloved Dad!

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