Poetry Month 2014 Shenanigans!


Happy Poetry Month!

It’s that time of year again, and while I am still on blog hiatus until April 15 — and therefore won’t be doing any big Poetry Month festivities here on NWR — I am dipping my toes into other people’s poetry pools and keeping busy throughout the month. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on.

April 1

2014kidlitprogpoemNow in its third year, the annual Progressive Poem with Irene Latham kicks off today! This is a group poem that travels to a different blog each day, with each writer adding one line. Here’s the schedule for the month — be sure to follow along as it’s always an adventure to see where the poem takes us.

Progressive Poem Schedule

1 Charles at Poetry Time
2 Joy at Joy Acey
3 Donna at Mainely Write
4 Anastasia at Poet! Poet!
5 Carrie at Story Patch
6 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
7 Pat at Writer on a Horse
8 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
9 Diane at Random Noodling
10 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
11 Linda at Write Time
12 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
13 Janet at Live Your Poem
14 Deborah at Show–Not Tell
15 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy
16 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
17 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
18 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Julie at The Drift Record
20 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
21 Renee at No Water River
22 Laura at Author Amok
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Linda at TeacherDance
25 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
26 Lisa at Lisa Schroeder Books
27 Kate at Live Your Poem
28 Caroline at Caroline Starr Rose
29 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
30 Tara at A Teaching Life

Logo-birds-with-taglineAlso kicking off today is my online course The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry! We have eleven gung-ho children’s writers in this first class, and I am so looking forward to reading and writing poetry and prose with them all month.


April 1-9

MMPoetry2014_logo_full-150x112Ed DeCaria’s March Madness Poetry Tournament is in full swing. I could not compete this year, but I’ve been enjoying reading the poems and voting. The Final Four go up on April 4, and the Final Showdown goes up on April 9. If you haven’t stopped by, please do so and support these children’s poets!

April 11-13

Man_OnTheVergeThis is not strictly poetic stuff, but the show I directed goes up on April 11 — at last! On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning by Eric Overmyer is a tour de force of language, which is why I am so drawn to it. Translated by my equally poetic husband, the script is a cornucopia of wordplay and wit. My actresses have really struggled to memorize it, but it’s turning out to be a truly lovely show. In case you’re wondering, it’s about three Victorian lady travelers who, in the midst of the jungle, discover that they are not only traveling through Terra Incognita but also through time. They end up in 1955…but will they stay?


April 17


On April 17 I’ll be the guest blogger at Angie Karcher’s Rhyming Picture Book Month event, which has brought together a host of accomplished guests and children’s writers all focused on improving their poetry and rhyming skills. I’ll also be giving away a scholarship to my online writing course and judging the RhiPiBoMo Golden Quill Poetry Contest, along with Jill Esbaum and Tiffany Strelitz Haber. See the full calendar here.


April 21

2014kidlitprogpoemThis is my day to add a line to the Progressive Poem!



April 24

NPM_Poster2014_SmallPageViewOn this day I will be the guest poster for Laura Shovan’s Source Poem Project at her blog Author Amok. Laura always comes up with the most intriguing ideas, and I was so taken with this one that I finagled my way into her full roster. Here’s what it’s all about, in Laura’s words. Please visit Author Amok for more info.

For National Poetry Month 2014, I’ve invited 17 authors and poets to guest post about their own source poems. These might be:1. The poem that made you realize you wanted to be a writer.
2. A poem that shifted your thinking about what poetry is.
3. A poem that changed how you view yourself and your place in the world.
4. A poem that you have memorized and internalized. Its cadence is a part of you.A source poem is also:1. A poem that you read again and again and again.
2. A poem that you love to discuss and share with others.
3. A poem that carries special meaning in your life as a writer or as a human being.
4. A poem that has a back-story for you.Here is the schedule for the National Poetry Month: Source Poems series:

4/1: Series introduction with Laura Shovan

4/2: Dylan Bargteil
4/4: Jane (J.C.) Elkin
4/7: Diane Mayr
4/9: Jone MacCullough
4/11: Mary Bargteil
4/14: Jacqueline Jules
4/16: Pamela Winters
4/18: Janet Clare
4/19: Linda Baie
4/21: Pat Valdata
4/22: Dennis Kirschbaum
4/23: Shirley Brewer
4/24: Renee LaTulippe
4/25: Ann Bracken
4/28: Margaret Simon
4/29: Tim Ward
4/30: Toby Speed and series wrap-up

April 25 (or thereabouts)

NCTE-featured-CiardiMy Spotlight on NCTE Poets series with Lee Bennett Hopkins finally resumes with a post on John Ciardi. Thereafter, the NCTE posts will be back with regularity until we’ve covered all seventeen poets.



April 30 (or thereabouts)

PFAS coverIt’s time for another Poet-a-Palooza, this time for The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong! I’m thrilled to have seven poems in this anthology and to welcome some amazing poets to NWR. This installment will feature Buffy Silverman, Linda Sue Park, April Halprin Wayland, Kristy Dempsey, Mary Lee Hahn, Steven Withrow, Susan Blackaby, and Bobbi Katz. That’s a lotta poets!

Sylvia Vardell tells me that one of my poems will also be the subject of a poem movie, created by one of her students, to be revealed on April 15.


Hmmm…I thought I was taking it easy this month, but this seems like a lot of stuff! Ah, well — it’s all in the name of poetry. What will you be doing this month?


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