Happy Poetry Friday!
Last Saturday, I got to be part of the 2019 Poetry Blast! I had last gone to ALA, to be part of this same event, in 2013. At that time, I was sharing my first two poetry collections, Stampede and BookSpeak! And I was totally overwhelmed. (Thrilled but overwhelmed.)
This year, I had different books to share, and my mood felt so different. Still thrilled–absolutely. But I have learned to love sharing poetry and books with librarians, teachers, and anyone else who will listen. Most importantly, this year, I felt like I belonged. These amazing poets were all women I knew, like, and admired. I felt like I was going to a party!
(By the way, here’s a peek at my #alaac19 experience in Washington, DC, including the Blast!)
I can’t share all the great moments, but here were a few favorite bits:
Me: Well, my not-greatest moment was knocking the microphone off its little perch! Hehe. The podium setup was a bit awkward, and I am a bit awkward, so…still, I enjoyed the lovely, full seats and sharing a few poems from each of my three spring books!
Laura Shovan: I loved hearing her share some poems from Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, which I wrote about here. And we got to hear bits from her newest novel, which has a poetry element, too!
Liz Steinglass: Liz’s soccer poems came alive in her funny, wry reading style. I especially loved the shin guard poems.
Nikki Grimes: I took no notes because I (and the entire room) was instantly gripped by her reading from her forthcoming memoir. Talk about powerful. I came home with a signed copy and can’t wait to read it.
Joyce Sidman: My favorite part was hearing her read some of the chapter-opening poems from her Sibert-winning book! I was planning to share one here, but where have I tucked away my copy of this beautiful book?
Marilyn Singer: Oh, I can’t wait to read Marilyn’s forthcoming collection about urban animals. The poems she shared were delightful–the monkey one was a bit ominous!
From her Who Named Their Pony Macaroni? Poems About White House Pets (coming this fall from Disney-Hyperion), I’m sharing one she didn’t read at the Blast, but that caught my eye as I skimmed the F&G.
A gift from Japan:
sleeve dogs, each small enough
to fit in a saucer.
Franklin Pierce kept one.
Jefferson Davis carried
one in his pocket.
In that brief moment,
East and West were more on their
minds than North and South.
–Marilyn Singer, all rights reserved
Funny how different a tiny dog would be perceived when carried by a president rather than a celebrity! And I love the subtle history lesson/acknowledgement, too!
Thank you so much to Marilyn Singer and librarian Barbara A. Genco for continuing to organize this event and advocate for poetry!
For more delightful poetry, check out the Poetry Friday Roundup with the kind, observant, and wonderful Buffy Silverman!