Poetry Friday: Poetry Camp and Cynthia Grady

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Thank you Catherine at Reading to the Core for hosting Poetry Friday.

One week (or six sleeps as I tell my kinders) until I go to Poetry Camp!  I can hardly wait.  This is the brain child of Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell.  It’s happening at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.

There are so many people I have connected with online, through the Progressive Poem, poetry prompts, inclusion of my poem in a Poetry Friday Anthology, and poetry swaps and next Friday, I get to meet them.  This is better than Christmas.

So in honor of the upcoming camp, I am featuring a poem from Cynthia Grady’s book, I Lay My Stitches Down; Poems of American Slavery.  It’s illustrated by Michele Wood.  The poems and illustrations compliment each other well.  It’s a must see book.

Cynthia explains that the poems are “unrhymed verse, ten lines of ten syllables to mimic the square shape of the quilt block.”  Shes included three references in the poems: a biblical or spiritual reference, a musical reference, and a sewing or fiber reference.

Each poem is named for a traditional quilt block. It was difficult to select which poem to share.

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Kaleidoscope

The little time we have to call our own
be filled with gardening, feeding chickens
mending clothes, and music making: shaking
stones in the basket, clapping hands, stomping
feet. Sometimes a banjo and fiddle be
played, or hollowed-out tree drum and washboard.
But lo, the singing! Piecing shouts here to
Bible stories there, interweaving  tunes
and hollers, singing up a frenzy of
song!  Be a kaleidoscope of sound: Joy.

(use with permission by Cynthia Grady)

With author’s and illustrator’s notes at the end and a list of resources, this is a poetry books that you can lose yourself in for hours.

I am thrilled to be meeting Cynthia next week at Poetry Camp.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

It’s Monday. What are You Reading?

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You can find more good reads at Teach Mentor Texts.

I finished two books of a similar theme:

TOWERS FALLING   by Jewell Parker Rhodes and NINE, TEN A SEPTEMBER 11 STORY by Nora Raleigh Baskin.

Both are must reads and I think in particular that TOWERS FALLING would make an excellent read aloud for fifth grade at the start of school.  In fact, as soon as the copy I purchased for school is processed, it’s being checked out to one of my teachers.  I read TOWERS FALLING in one sitting.  There’s so much to unpack in that book.

NINE, TEN A SEPTEMBER 11 STORY is told through the points of view of children who live in different parts of the country and yet the one event on September 11 intersects their lives.  I think this would make a great follow up book after TOWERS FALLING as a literature circle.

For my book club:

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Last night, our book club met to discuss THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO US by Annie Barrows.  I love her as an author.  This book was one I couldn’t put down.  I was sad to miss the discussion but we had traveled none hours to get home and I was tuckered.

The characters seemed so believable. I was mad at a certain character for most of the book and I was right to be mad.  Just the name, Felix, kind of gives the impression that he was not to be trusted.

I am sad  I have to return THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead to the library.  It was on a 14 day loan and it has holds.  Ugh.  Will just need to get back on the hold line.

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN  by Ransom Riggs is awaiting me this evening.

What are you reading?

 

Poetry Friday: Showing at the Fair

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Thanks to Amy at The Poem Farm for hosting Poetry Friday.

Have you ever wondered about what can be shown at either county or state fairs.  Besides the livestock, 4-H, baked items, or quilts, there can be a Poetry category.

The Oregon Fair  has such a category.  This year I entered.  No entry fee. There were three categories:  Free Verse, Rhymed, and Short (no more than four lines).

I was surprised to see a Second Place and an Honorable Mention, this being my first time submitting.

Today I share these two poems:

Second Place:  This originally appeared on Kirby Larson’s blog for National Poetry Month. Because I always consider my poems drafts, I’ve tweaked it over time.  And it’s funny because I shared this with Penny last week because her poem reminded me of this one.

How to Write a Poem

Rise before dawn gathering words
those juicy, succulent images.
The aromatic ones which crinkle your nose
returning you to the shadow places.

Those juicy, succulent images
found in the crevices of remembering,
returning you to the shadow places.
Throwing the words into the calypso coral sky.

Found in the crevices of remembering
an unexpected arrangement for early morning.
Throwing the words into the calypso coral sky,
watching them flitter-flutter, landing on prayer flags.

An unexpected arrangement for early morning.
Waking before sunrise, scattering words,
watching them flitter-flutter, landing on prayer flags
as the night watchers slip away.

Waking before sunrise, scattering words,
the aromatic ones which crinkle your nose.
As the night watchers slip away,
rise before dawn, gathering words.

©Jone Rush MacCulloch

Honorable Mention: This is from my 2015 National Poetry Month collection.

Beware

walking in the desert
cholla spines jump like fleas
it’s an unwanted surprise
like an argument

©Jone Rush MacCulloch

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S.O.S. CYBIL’s JUDGES NEEDED

Applications are needed.  As chairperson, I would love to find fourteen individuals (seven for each round).  If you are blogging on Poetry Fridays, you are eligible to apply UNLESS (and it’s a good thing) you have a poem or book that might be on the nomination’s list.  .

You can apply on the CYBILS website, HERE.

Not sure?  Have questions?  These FAQs should provide answers.

Judging Round One information HERE.

Judging Round Two information HERE.

September 14 is the deadline to turn in an application.  I really hope to see your name on the application list.

Happy Poetry.  Happy Friday.

Poetry Friday: To the Light of September

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Poetry Friday is hosted by Penny at A Penny and Her Jots. Thanks, Penny.

School’s back in session.  I saw the turning of leaves this week.  And the morning air is a bit more cool.

Here’s a poem to celebrate September.

To the Light of September
When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not
and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
endless summer
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground
                                      Read the rest at the Poetry Foundation

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I am honored again this year to be the chair person for the Poetry category.  We need people who love poetry and want to discuss poetry.

You can apply on the CYBILS website, HERE.

Not sure?  Have questions?  These FAQs should provide answers.

Judging Round One information HERE.

Judging Round Two information HERE.

September 14 is the deadline to turn in an application.  I really hope to see your name on the application list.

Poetry Friday: The Late Edition with a CYBILS Announcement

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Thanks to Heidi who’s hosting Poetry Friday at My Juicy Little Universe.

All good intentions to get this post up yesterday.  The distraction of ‘Will my district settle a contract before school?” occupied my mind yesterday. I started the day walking for an hour, holding a sign, with about a thousand others at the four local high schools.  It was great for getting my steps done for the day.  I was toast when I got home.

time for the CYBILS
consider being a judge
ask for poetry

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I am honored again this year to be the chair person for the Poetry category.  We need people who love poetry and want to discuss poetry.

You can apply on the CYBILS website, HERE.

Not sure?  Have questions?  These FAQs should provide answers.

Judging Round One information HERE.

Judging Round Two information HERE.

September 14 is the deadline to turn in an application.  I really hope to see your name on the application list.

Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: Found: One Postcard

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Welcome to Poetry Friday, hosted today at Dori Reads.  Thanks, Dori.

Today’s poem is from Tabatha Yeatts.  I received a postcard poem.  The postcard front:

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Original art by Tabatha’s daughter, Elena (age 14).  I want to send her a photo of my dachshund to paint.  There’s such fluffiness to this painting.

On the back, a poem:

Found: One Postcard
by Tabatha Yeatts
for Jone

The postcard, hand-painted,
showed a curly-haired,
syrup-colored pup,
smiling, one ear
flipped underside-up.

The back was covered
with blue ink, smudged
from the damp leaves
where it was unearthed.
Only the beginning and
the ending were legible:
My condolences,
Your secret admirer.

Oh the mystery! Doesn’t it beg for more? Thank you both Tabatha and her daughter.  I will be displaying it at school.

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CYBILS Announcement Time:  Get ready. Start thinking about serving on the Poetry panels for the CYBILS this year.  Will let you know when the window opens for application.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: Found Word Poem

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Thanks to Julianne for hosting Poetry Friday today.

Last week, I shared a Found Word poem from Joy.  She sent me an envelope of words.

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Today I created a word poem which is also a statement about my re-visioning my verse novel.  Verse Novel and I have been on a sabbatical.  I have been processing so much in my head about it.

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As you can tell, Joy provided many words so I can create more word poems.

Please Put This on Your Radar

It’s almost time to apply to be a CYBILS judge.  This usually happens toward the end of August.  Always in great need for poetry people who are passionate about poetry.

The chair people are already discussing and planning for this year’s awards.  Stay tuned.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.