Friday, November 26, 2010

A Poet, A Poetry Panel, A Poetry Stretch, An Original Poem

I’m a member of the NCTE Poetry Committee. Last Friday at the NCTE Annual Convention in Orlando, our committee voted for the children’s poet who will be the 2011 recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. I am thrilled to announce that J. Patrick Lewis will receive the honor! Next year at the NCTE Annual Convention, Pat will accept the coveted award—of which he is most deserving.

J. Patrick Lewis

Poets & Bloggers Unite
Last Friday morning at NCTE, I was also one of seven participants in a session titled Poets and Bloggers Unite: Using Technology to Connect Kids, Teachers, and Poetry. Lee Bennett Hopkins, Marilyn Singer, Pat Mora, and Jame Richards were the poets on the panel; Sylvia Vardell of Poetry for Children, Tricia Stohr-Hunt of The Miss Rumphius Effect, and I were the bloggers on the panel.

Sylvia Vardell & Tricia Stohr-Hunt

Marilyn Singer

Jame Richards

Lee Bennett Hopkins

Pat Mora

One of the things we talked about during the Poets and Bloggers Unite session was Tricia’s Monday Poetry Stretches at The Miss Rumphius Effect. I’ve participated in a number of the Poetry Stretches. They’ve been a way for me to actually “stretch” my creativity and experiment with writing different types of poems and poems about specific subjects. Through the stretches, I’ve learned to write clerihews, triolets, centos, and tankas. In addition to bloggers, a number of published children poets--including Jane Yolen and Julie Larios--often take part in Tricia’s poetry challenges.

Earlier this year, I wrote a poem for Tricia’s Monday Poetry Stretch—Shoes.

I really enjoy writing mask poems--and imagining what it might be like to be an animal, a character from a book, an historical figure, an inanimate object, or an element of nature. I decided to write a mask poem for the stretch from the point of view of the soles of a pair of shoes.

Sole Song

We’re the well-worn soles of shoes
reading all the sidewalk news.
As we go along our way
we broadcast headlines of the day:
dots of rain
wad of bubblegum
bright stain
of cherry popsicle
that bled
its sticky sweetness
cool and red
concrete cracked
by root of tree
telltale clue
of injured knee
ghost of ant
whose remnants lie
flattened from a passerby

Our bugaboo!
We just stepped in doggy do!

Click here to read the rest of the Poetry Stretch Results—Shoes.


At Wild Rose Reader, I have Two Poems Two Ways. I rewrote two of my "things to do" poems as mask poems. I'd like to get people's opinions about which version of each poem they prefer.

Jone has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Check It Out.


Mary Lee said...

Hooray for Pat Lewis! A great choice!!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Mary Lee,

I agree. Pat was a great choice. My elementary students enjoyed his poetry. "A Hippopotamusn't" was one of their favorite poetry books.