Poetry Friday: First Anniversary Celebration…plus BLOOPERS!

I hope you’ve all got your sparklies on! 

Today is No Water River’s one-year anniversary! I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to invite all the Poetry Friday people over for a little matinée, and to make them the guests of honor to boot.

Of course, no anniversary is complete without a little nostalgic look back at the year that was and a look forward to the year that will be. Here’s a brief overview of past and future:

Producer’s Year-End Report

  • NWR had a yearly total of 52,333 views as of this writing. When you take away the people looking for cactus, that’s still a good 49,118 poetry views, people!
  • As far as I can tell, I only have around 83 subscribers, plus a few hundred FB/Twitter people, so either those few people have nothing to do but click on NWR links, or there are lots of lurkers out there. Unmask yourselves, I say!
  • Poetry Month 2012 was the biggest month with 7300 hits.
  • We racked up 51 poetry videos in the library: 33 guest poets, 14 of my own, and 4 classics.
  • I interviewed 33 poets, anthologists, and/or illustrators, two of which are dead.
  • You left 2,857 comments. You’re very talkative for introverted poet types!
  • The most-commented-upon post was “Cookie” with David Harrison at 124 comments. Congratulations, David, you’ve won a trip with me in a time machine to 1883 so we can make a killing on the vaudeville circuit. Bring yer hoofin’ shoes.

Coming Attractions

  • This month, I get to put on my powdered wig (and don’t think I don’t have one) to judge the seven marvelous CYBILS poetry finalists. Stay tuned!
  • The Concertmaster of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra requested and received permission to set my poem “Jake the Snake” to music for the 2013 spring season of the Bel Canto Children’s Choir. How cool is that? If it actually happens, I’ve been promised a CD to share. I also just realized that 2013 is the Year of the Snake, so that explains some things.
  • In April, I’ll be heading to Florence, Italy, to film a group poem starring the participants of Julie Hedlund’s Writer’s Renaissance Retreat. Still a couple spots left — come join the fun!
  • Also in April, I’ll be doing another month of fabulous names in children’s poetry for Poetry Month. I’m just starting the poet-wrangling stage, but I’ve already got some great people lined up for you.
  • In October, I’ll be Skyping in as a guest at David Harrison’s Highlights Foundation Poetry for the Delight of It workshop. Still a couple spots left there, too! Get ’em while they’re hot! My topic will be poetry performance for writers. Fun!
  • Throughout the year, I’ll be beefing up the resource center and possibly doing some more poetry performance tip videos.
  • And in between all that, of course I’ll be bringing more poets, more interviews, more classics, more artists, more poetry lovers, and all around more fun to the blog. I hope you’ll keep coming back!

On the big screen today

is a little confection of flubs and bloopers from the past year. And enjoy the cameo appearances by these poets who contributed their flubs, too: Iza TrapaniLaura Purdie Salas , Deborah Diesen, and Jim Hill.


Put on your tuxes and sequins

because it’s time for our VIPs to make their appearance. I’m pretty sure by the end of the day we’ll have a few dozen celebs in the roundup, so if some of you huskier poets could keep the paparazzi away, we’d all be much obliged.

PF bloggers: leave your links in the comments and I’ll get you on the after-party guest list as soon as I can.

Now grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy this red carpet parade of poetry glamour! 

Early bird Bridget Magee starts us off with her delightful original poem called “Fist Bump” over at WeeWordsForWeeOnes.

The mysterious M.M. Socks gets ghoulish with his “Eyeball Dinner,” an original poem sure to make you squirm. Consider this a preview of what’s to come — Mr. Socks will be joining me on No Water River in a couple of weeks!

Our AuthorAmok Laura Shovan is back with more from her postcard poem project, but this time she’s featuring two other poets. One is PF blogger Linda Baie from TeacherDance, whose poem incorporates actual postcard greetings. The other is Clarinda Harriss, whose poem is imagined postcard greetings.

Margaret Simon invites us to sit for a spell by the roots of the old oak tree over at Reflections on the Teche, where she’s featuring a lovely original found poem called “Mr. Al.”

Matt Goodfellow shows us what a fickle lad he is with his wonderfully folksy poem “One Day.” Look out lasses — he’s a smooth talker!

Over at Pa Goose’s place, Charles Ghigna is playing with furry catfish and other phantasmagoria with his poem “Catfish Aren’t Furry.”

Billy Collins flaunts his morning-person-ness in his poem “Morning” over at Karen Edmisten‘s place. Feet on the floor, people!

The always sparkly Robyn Hood Black flitters in with Laura Shovan’s  butterfly postcard poem “Symmetry” and a few of her own flutterby thoughts.

Over at Inside the Dog (gotta love that blog name!), Steve Petersen celebrates the season with three winter haiku(s).

The marvelous Linda Baie at TeacherDance shares another postcard poem by Laura Shovan called “Postcard, 1908” — in fact, it was the first in Laura’s series, and one of my favorites. Oh, Maurice! 

At The Opposite of Indifference, Tabatha Yeatts features an excerpt from the powerful poem “Window” and a video of “Nel Buio,” both by Forough Farrokhzad, an Iranian poet who only lived to be 32.

What do you get when you mix Langston Hughes, an iPhone app, and a creative blogger from Gathering Books? Four Hughes poems floating in the clouds at Myra’s beautifully rendered ode to dreams and dreamers, that’s what!

This is a poem-less post, but I’m sharing it anyway because IT SPEAKS TO ME! “It” is April Halprin Wayland‘s amusing post Inertia? Shoo! about getting back into the writing mode after the holidays. And there is a dog demonstrating inertia. And scenes from Les Miserables. Hie thee thither, lazy writers!

Princess Joy Acey pokes her head out from under the covers to give us her sound poem “Good Night.” What does your house sound like?

Speak of the disheveled and there he is. David Harrison featured another poetry challenge from our Children’s Poet Laureate, Pat Lewis on his blog this week, and it took off like wildfire! Head over to read the dozens and dozens of “Careerhymes” in the comments and add one of your own.

Speaking of Careerhymes, here’s Mary Lee Hahn with her contribution to the shenanigans, “Traffic Cop.” Seriously, these things are addictive, so go check them out!

The inimitable Jama Rattigan of Alphabet Soup kicks off her 2013 blog wonderland with a suitable soup course, of course! She brings on the warm and fuzzy with Mark Irwin’s poem “Tomato Soup,” along with her own fabulous brand of bloggy hospitality. Ooh, pretty pictures, too!

Laura Purdie Salas, herself a CYBILS poetry finalist, will be featuring the other finalists over the next few weeks. She starts today with the poem “Worker Bees” from Douglas Florian’s UnBeeLievables. I would gush, but I am maintaining a proper judge-like demeanor.

Huzzah! The games are nigh! And by games I mean Ed Decaria’s 2013 March Madness Poetry Tournament, now with impressive trophy! Last year’s games proved so popular that poor Ed has been forced to take applications this year — and that’s what his post is all about today. That, and a silly interview with last year’s winner, Stephen Cahill. Take it from me, this tournament is a hoot! I’m going over to fill out my application RIGHT NOW.

Catherine at Reading to the Core has written a beautiful post on mindfulness and the poet Joyce Sidman, the 2013 recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Catherine also shares some thoughts on Sidman’s Red Sings from Treetops.

At There Is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town, you can wrap yourself up in “This Quilt,” a poignant and simply beautiful original poem by Ruth dedicated to the third anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. A must read.

A girl who turns to poetry to help her deal with life’s traumas? Yes! It’s a poetry revolution at the lovely Irene Latham‘s Live Your Poem, where she introduces us to Rae, the protagonist in Lisa Schroeder’s latest YA novel, Falling for You.

I’m just quackers about Iza Trapani, she of blooper reel fame! And here she is again with a splendidly silly poem called “Aches and Pains.” Your trivial sniffles are nothing compared to this troop’s troubles!

Our thoughtful friend Matt Forrest buzzes in with a trio of poems about poetry inspired by poets, and they are so poetically pleasing that I forbid you not to get in your poet-mobile and get over there.

GAH! Tara at A Teaching Life tugs the heart strings today with a true-story vignette about a student, a crumpled project, and a red pen…and then tops it off with the optimistic and inspirational poem about grading, “I’d Mark with the Sunshine” by Kalli Dakos. Sniff.

Ooh, what lovelies there are at Growing Wild today, where Liz Steinglass offers an exquisite tribute to Emily Dickinson with her evocative original poem “Emily’s White Dress.” I had these same feelings when I visited the Bronte house in England. Shivers!

Little Willow at Bildungsroman shares the delightful poem “The Clouds” by James Stephen. It practically dances you across the page. A girl who turns to poetry to help her deal with life’s traumas? Yes! It’s a poetry revolution at the lovely Irene Latham‘s Live Your Poem, where she introduces us to Rae, the protagonist in Lisa Schroeder’s latest YA novel, Falling for You.

The immensely sweet and talented Amy Ludwig VanDerwater shares her own careerhyme (I told you they took off like wildfire!). “Some Things Never Change” pays tribute to an indispensable figure in Buffalo, NY winters: the snow plow guy. Be sure to listen to the recording of Amy reading her poem, too.

Children’s poetry mavens Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong give us another taste of The Poetry Friday Anthology K-5 edition, this time with a human body riddle poem by Carol-Ann Hoyte called “It’s a Wrap!” (Hey, how fitting for the post today!) And as if they haven’t enough to do, Sylvia and Janet are currently up to their elbows preparing the middle school version of the PFA, due out later this spring. Stay tuned for more about that!

Violet Nesdoly is a lady after my own heart with her poem “Tea-a-Tete” and the inviting tea poster she snagged as part of Tabatha Yeatts’ poetry swap. She’s also got an invitation to write coffee or tea poems at Tweetspeak Poetry, where January’s  challenge is to write a poem about coffee or tea. I’ll bring the scones!

Busy blogger Diane Mayr has lots of goodies for us, including an ekphrastic tanka (say that three times fast) at Random Noodling, the poem “The Presence” by Maxine Kumin at Kurious Kitty, and a quote by Kumin at KK’s Kwotes.

Over at Supratentorial, Alice shares the poem her boys are currently memorizing, namely one of my childhood favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “All that Is Gold Does Not Glitter,” as well as some excellent memorization tips. 

Anastasia Suen just popped in from Booktalkinging to share a snippet from 2012 Cybils poetry nominee A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down by -Dana Jensen. The reader must decide if these clever poems start at the top or the bottom.

Things are moving and shaking at Wild Rose Reader, where Elaine is readying a new house and reflecting on the meaning of “home.” She shares a lovely original memoir poem titled “A Home for the Seasons” and a recommendation for a wonderful picture book in verse written for very young children.

Jone at Check It Out has an intriguing poem by William Stafford titled “Notice What this Poem Is Not Doing,” as well as a link to her interview with the poet.

Over at The Small Nouns, Ben tells us all about the FREE Poetry Foundation poetry app for smartphones. I don’t have a smartphone, but it may be worth it just for this fun app! Plus he shares “Poem for Haruko” by June Jordan, a treasure unearthed with this very app.

Lorie Ann at On Point has an “AW!” moment with her sweet original haiku titled “Circled Joy” — aw!

Art and poetry collide in the best way at Teaching Young Writers, where Betsy shows us her beautiful poetry collage created by Robyn Hood Black of Artsyletters fame. And she shares a snippet of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Write It on Your Heart,” the inspiration for the art. Sigh.

Corinne at Paper Tigers is having some winter fun by celebrating the bilingual children’s poetry book Iguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems / Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno by Francisco X. Alarcón, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

This space for rent.


Thank you all for making this such a great party! What a bunch of stars!


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See more poems in my poetry video library.

All content copyright © 2012 Renée M. LaTulippe. All rights reserved.  

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  1. Oh, Renée! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to NWR! What a tremendous first year, and I can’t wait for all you’ve got waiting around each bend of this one. The blooper video is such a hoot! Tee hee! (I can probably send you some fodder from mine if you do a Round 2… I remember some interrupting crows.)

    I’m in this week with one of LAURA SHOVAN’S wonderful Poetry Postcards, and some flitting butterfly thoughts, at http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm?post=892764

    Thanks for hosting – I’ll sport some sparkly bling in your honor today.

  2. You are a brave soul not only to do the wonderful videos but then to show some of the bloopers along the way. I think it’s terrific, & this video is no exception.What is it about us humans that makes us want to laugh at mistakes? Thank you Renee for already an exciting day! My post if about Laura’s postcard poem to me.
    And I’m excited to work with you on the Cybils committee plus I’m going to the workshop with David in the fall. We’ll get to meet via Skype I guess!

    1. Ed,
      Is it me and electronics again? I couldn’t get this link to work and I did want to apply for the tournament–I’ve been practicing.
      ans I’m sorry to miss the interview with Stephen Cahill. Can you check the link, please?

  3. Hey, Renee–love, your bloopers
    Our topic at TeachingAuthors.com this week is about how to get back into the writing groove after the holidays, but my post doesn’t have a poem this time. I’m just an admiring audience today. Thanks for hosting!

  4. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, RENéE!! I have so enjoyed NWR and all your videos. You’ve accomplished so much in a year. I can’t wait for more.
    Those bloopers are hilarious. Thanks to you and the others for putting ego aside and letting us laugh.
    Bloopers or not, laughing is one thing I can count on when I come to NWR. I love your humor!!
    Anyway, I’m going to stop gushing now.

  5. I have an original poem today called “This Quilt.” I haven’t had time to read your post yet but I am sure it is great as always, so I’ll be back later. 🙂 Thanks for hosting!

  6. Hi Renee! What a wonderful blogoversary celebration! You’ve really created something special here at No Water River, and oh my goodness, a poem set to music?! HOW WONDERFUL. Congratulations, and please do share when you have a link! And what an exciting year you have ahead. Happy for you, friend.

    Thanks so much for hosting Roundup — I’m in with a look at Lisa Schroeder’s latest YA novel FALLING FOR YOU, which includes a poetry revolution: http://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2013/01/lisa-schroeders-poetry-revolution.html

  7. lol–First, thank you for hosting! Second, thank you for that bloopers video! Gee, what an honor to be the only cameo who shares her name IN her blooper:>) I especially loved your motorcycle passing by and your “Crap!” during Jabberwocky. Ha! And third, thanks for putting me in the roundup before I even had a chance to get over here this morning! Finally, fourth, thanks for a great year, and congratulations!

    1. Tee hee! Don’t worry, Iza Trapani shares her name too.

      Yes, I was thinking the modern knight deserves a poem and that “Foe…crap” should be my new expression of woe. 🙂

      Thanks for all your kind words, Laura, and for being part of my first year! Can’t wait to read BookSpeak, by the way!

  8. I think I will call you Wonder Woman from now on — such an impressive list of accomplishments for your first year of blogging — Congratulations!! No Water River is truly one of a kind, fabulous, fantastic, awesome and amazing. Thank you for creating a solid resource that is easy to navigate and so pleasurable to use. I love visiting here!!

    And thanks again for rounding us up today. Such pizzazz!!!

    1. Oh, high praise from the queen of pizzazz herself (and you used one of my favorite words, by the way – pizzazz). Jama, your blog is a great model for all of us, so lush and cozy and colorful. I’m sure I smell vanilla every time I go there. SMOOCHES!!!!

  9. Hi Renee! What an honor to make your list of the first year’s review! On behalf of Cookie and the whole cast of COWBOYS, I thank you.

    I’m totally impressed by what you are doing with No Water River. It stands alone and will draw larger and larger crowds of admirers and followers as you go. I’m proud to be among the poets who have appeared here. Thanks again.


  10. Congratulations on your first year blogging! This is my first time visiting your site but I’m sure to be back!

    Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday.

    I’m sharing the current poem my boys are memorizing All That Glitters is Not Gold plus a link to some poetry memorization tips.

  11. Happy Anniversary NWR! Hurrah!

    Divine blooper reel – I almost spluttered my coffee onto the screen several times. Thanks to all for sharing.

    So many tempting poems to read from the PF links – I really must be off to enjoy them!

  12. That was hysterical, Renee! Thanks so much for sharing it with us and the poetry roundup. Your stats are amazing, let’s hope they all convert to subscribers this year. You have the best blog ever!

  13. Renee, what a tremendous year for you! Congratulations! I’m not sure if I count as a “lurker” – I subscribe via RSS feed in a Google reader and I’ve always wondered whether those subscriptions get counted in the blogging platform stats or not.

    The video was hilarious!

    I’m off to sample some poetry delights…

  14. Happy happy birthday to sweet Renee! Your blog is such a breath of joy and wisdom. Thank you for all you bring to the blogosphere…I toast you today! Your bloopers made me giggle…especially the way that people just keep talking through the bloop!

    Today at The Poem Farm, I have a seasonal ‘careerhyme’ for our Buffalo, NY winter…

    xo, a.

  15. Happy Blog Birthday, Renee! I’m with Amy– the zest you bring to the poetry blog world is so fun and refreshing! We’re featuring a human body riddle poem over at the Poetry Friday Anthology blog this week– and Janet and I are working away preparing a PF anthology for MIDDLE SCHOOL due out later this spring (as you know!).

  16. Congratulations, Renee! You are making a WONDERFUL contribution to the world of children’s poetry! Can’t wait to see where 2013 takes you. In honor of the NWR anniversary celebration, I’m tossing tossing some virtual *CONFETTI* now!!!!

  17. Hi, Renee! Happy blogiversary and what a fun post. Congrats on all your accomplishments from 2012, and it looks like you have a lot lined up for 2013 already! I don’t have a PF post this week but thought I would stop by and see what’s been going on 🙂

  18. Happy, happy blogoversary! What a fitting and wonderful celebration. I loved the bloopers! Very funny!

    I can’t say enough positive things about NWR. You have really done this thing right.Your personality and humor shine through and make me look forward to whatever fun treats you have in store for your readers each post.

    On a personal note…you are encouragement to all poets~those who are famous and those who are just arriving on the scene. Thanks Renée!

  19. Happy Anniversity! That is how we always say it in my family as an homage to my grandmother’s pronunciation.

    I am sharing a bit from Emerson and a photo of a purchase from Robyn Hood Black’s Etsy shop!
    I can’t wait to come back and read all the sharings of the week.

  20. You always seem to out-do yourself, Renee!!! I “liked” you since I met you on March Madness Poetry. You bring a warmth and wit to all your comments and blog posts. Truly such fun and for me, a newbie, to the blogosphere; it has been a joy to watch all of your efforts. I would never have guessed it was your first year. Hope to visit with you in Italy one day. Wish I could come to Florence! Love how you jazz up the poetry world! And as mentioned by so many above,the bloopers are hilarious. Apologies in advance to L. Carroll!

    And the critics raved:
    “Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre on over to No Water River where they all had a mimsy good time of it, especially the poets and poetry lovers. Oh frabjous day, callooh, callay, hoorah, hoorah for dear Renee. “

  21. I finally made it back to read your post and the links. Thanks for hosting — you did a wonderful job. And thank you so much for your kind words about my poem, both here and on my blog.

  22. Congratulations, Renee, on your blog anniversary! This is very cute how you’ve set it all up! And another congrats for all your upcoming opportunities, especially to help teach at Highlights!

  23. Wonderful post and Congratulations on your first year. You have done so much in such a short time. I always love lurking back here to see the wonderful videos and listen to the poetry. Loved the bloopers…. magical truck in your magical forest…lol. A story for sure!..lol.

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