Featuring cherita!

April 29, 2012

April 27, 2012

Poetry Friday--Mass Poetry Festival

Last weekend I had a poetry immersion at the Mass Poetry Festival, which took place in Salem, MA. What follows is a brief summary of the some of what I was able to partake in--there was so much more that was going on, the decision-making process of what to attend was tough.

As I look back, I find I was drawn several of the events that incorporated music (also dance) and verse. I'm a haiku fan, as you may have noticed, so I attended "The Haiku(s) of Jack Kerouac." Kerouac's haiku were read aloud by Raffael de Gruttola with cellist, Peter Zay, improvising a jazz accompaniment. It was funny how the musician produced sounds (strings were bowed, plucked, the body was slapped or tapped) that were different from the ones I imagined to go along with the poems. I have a book of Kerouac's haiku somewhere, I'll have to dig it out, read it again, and try to imagine music to go with it.

"Hoop Suite" was a performance by young people, combining poetry, music, and dance. I've only recently become accustomed to seeing poets read from their laptops, but at this performance, the readers were reading from their iPhones! It was a little disconcerting watching them stare at their palms! It's a new world!

The troupe consisted of modern dancers and krump dancers. (If you're like me and behind the times, Krump, according to Wikipedia, is "characterized by free, expressive, exaggerated, and highly energetic movement involving the arms, head, legs, chest, and feet.")

Related to music and dance was a session on villanelles, "Dancing with the Villanelle." A villanelle has its origins in community dance according to the editors of a new "Everyman's Library Pocket Poets" volume called Villanelles. The editors, Annie Finch and Marie-Elizabeth Mali, were joined by two poets whose work was included in the book, Rhina P. Espaillat and Tara Betts. They each read their own work, and several poems by others. What a fabulous introduction to the form!

left to right: Finch, Betts, Espaillat, Mali

I purchased a copy of Villanelles and all four women signed the book. I later found myself near to Martha Collins, and I asked her to sign her villanelle, which was included in the collection.

Over the course of the weekend, I heard many, many poets read their work, including Frank Bidart, Martha Collins, Stephen Dunn, Nikky Finney, Joy Harjo, Wesley McNair, and Gail Mazur.

Stephen Dunn

I particularly enjoyed the winners of the "Bad Poetry Contest" hosted by Steve Almond, himself a bad poet with a book to prove it! The poems were hysterically bad, with more than a little salty language employed! The session was held in the atrium of the Peabody-Essex Museum, not exactly the best location for such "sensitive" work!

A session titled, "Amy Lowell and Robert Frost Started It," was about the New England Poetry Club, which began nearly 100 years ago. Several long-time members of the Club, including X. J. Kennedy, spoke about the Club's history. I enjoyed learning that Robert Frost didn't attend the Club for the first four years and that he only ended up becoming an active participant AFTER he was elected president of the group! Kennedy commented on the Club's approaching 100 years and compared it to two other 100 year anniversaries, "The Red Sox and the Titanic are both at the bottom, but the New England Poetry Club sails on."

With any luck, the Mass Poetry Festival will continue for a hundred years. I sure hope so! To learn more about last weekend's events, click here.

Please visit Tabatha Yeatts for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up and enjoy your weekend!

April 24, 2012

April 22, 2012

Poetry Friday--Round-Up Extension

Dori's comment came through after 5 pm on Friday, the time I left for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. So, here it is:

At DoriReads you'll find The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf. Dori provides a few videos and lots of links to Allan and his work.

I'm back from the Mass Poetry Festival. It was AWESOME despite poet, Stephen Dunn's comment that "awesome" is the most over-used word in the English language. There's a reason why some words are used a lot! I invite you to come back on Friday when I'll be summarizing my experience. Plus, I have photos!

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

April 20, 2012

Poetry Friday--Taking Place Here!

Happy Friday and welcome to the Poetry Friday Round-Up coming to you from the great states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I hope to get everything posted before I head off to Salem, MA for the Mass Poetry Festival, which is taking place this weekend. Check out the varied offerings here.

To start things off, I'm going to share a short segment of a poem by Galway Kinnell, "Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock."

From a rock
A waterfall,
A single trickle like a strand of wire,
Breaks into beads halfway down.

I know
The birds fly off
But the hug of the earth wraps
With moss their graves and the giant boulders.

Read the rest here.

Without further ado, here are the offerings from this week's Poetry Friday participants:

At Kids of the Homefront Army, we're a few steps away from the end of the war--only four more poems left to post after today. Today's poem is "My Musical War."

Kurious Kitty is taking the day off from the library, but she does have a quote by Kay Ryan at KK's Kwotes.

The Write Sisters' contribution for this week is "Time and the Garden" by Ivor Winters.

Post your link in the comments below.

Early Birds (or late night birds, depending on your point of view):

Robyn Hood Black stopped by last night to say that Carole Boston Weatherford is visiting her blog with a behind-the-scenes look at Becoming Billie Holiday. Robyn includes an interview with Carole and the poem "Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do."

April Halprin Wayland also dropped in to tell us about an original poem she is sharing at Teaching Authors. The poem commemorates Teaching Authors' Third Blogiversary! Congratulations on that milestone. They're also holding a contest with three prizes of $30 gift certificates for books! Join me in extending a big happy birthday wish to April!

Jama Rattigan is serving up some delicious rugelach with New Jersey poet Sondra Gash at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

Violet Nesdoly's original poem, "Hard Candy," isn't about candy at all! Click here to discover the secret.

Fanny Harville takes a look at anthologies and shares one of my favorite poems, Eleanor Farjeon's "Cats Sleep Anywhere."

A new poet to me, Alice M. Sun-Cua, is featured at Gathering Books. Iphigene shares a moving, visceral, poem titled "Midwife."

At The Drift Record, Julie Larios has a Robert Herrick poem, "An Argument of His Book." Ah, spring!

Renee LaTulippe writes to tell us about three guest poets she featured at No Water River this week: Irene Latham, Charles Waters, and Greg Pincus.

I'm going to interrupt here to say "Happy 100th birthday, Fenway Park!"

I hope you've been following Tabatha Yeatts' series of "Fictional Favorites." The latest entry is here. Jama Rattigan's choice of a fictional character is typically Jama, and Laura Shovan's is a bit unexpected. Make sure you stop by!

Joy has a special birthday today--a poetry birthday. Visit her blog to learn more about her year-long project and to possibly win Cowboys by David Harrison. You'll love Joy's little cow horse poem, too!

Heidi Mordhurst adds her line to the 2012 Kidlit Progressive Poem. I must say, she put a whole lot of thought into that line, too!

Betsy, at Teaching Young Writers, invites everyone to join her in chalking poetry! Who can turn down an invitation like that?

Ruth's original poem is not to be missed! To find out how readers, writers, and Windex are connected, click here.

At Author Amok, Laura's series, "30 Habits of Highly Effective Poets," continues with Tabatha Yeatts-Lonske's "Seeing Patterns."

Laura Salas has been busy with her haiku of the day at her blog, and is understandably proud that she has a poem, "Unwrapped," at YourDailyPoem.com. Also, check out this week's poems in her "15 Words of Less" challenge.

Katya Czaja explains her passion for Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine and shows us her attempts at making wine from those little yellow flowers. We'll have to wait several more months 'til she can tell us if her efforts were successful!

Irene Latham lets us in on a secret and then sends us off to an opportunity to win a copy of her book, The Color of Lost Rooms.

At Hope Is the Word, Amy features a biography by Marilyn Nelson, Carver: A Life in Poems. (I've read it, it's marvelous!)

The Poem Farm, the letter "S" is up for Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's pick-a-word challenge. She wrote "Silver" in response. "S" is also for Sylvia Vardell, and Amy has Sylvia in to talk about her new book, The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. There's a give-away, too! Amy's other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, poet features the notebooks and process of Rebecca Kai Dotlich.

Excuse this break for a BLOGGER RANT! I just found out that two of my other blog posts DIDN'T automatically post at 12:01 am. What's up with Blogger of late? I've never had problems with automatic posting and now this week it's happened several times. A few weeks ago, people had trouble commenting (I prayed that it all get straightened out before today, and it seems that it did). Aaaahhh! (Imagine a primal scream.) So, please go back and visit Kids of the Homefront Army and KK's Kwotes again. The posts should be visible!

Linda at TeacherDance shares the fifth in a series of poems about childhood--words from a wise and proud grandmother!

David Elzey claims to have hit a wall in his personal twitku challenge. Let me go on record as saying I don't think so!

Alice at Supratentorial compares William Carlos Williams' "This Is Just to Say," with a poem of the same name from Gail Carson Levine's Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems.

At Picture Books & Pirouettes, Kerry Aradhya is highlighting a rhyming picture book about the Texas Two-Step, Dance, Y'all, Dance, no doubt the choice of subject is related to Kerry's trip to Texas!

Elaine Magliaro has an original for us this week at Wild Rose Reader, "Things to Do If You Are a Nightlight." And, every week during April, she's giving away a children’s poetry book!

Elizabeth Bird at A Fuse #8 Production must know I'm a librarian--she chose "a dewey decimal mind" to share this week. I have to ask, Elizabeth, what do you think of the BISAC classification scheme for public libraries? I don't think much of it since I have never been able to find a book at a bookstore! It doesn't seem to be much of an improvement in a MA library that has switched over--just sayin'...

Sally Ito from Paper Tigers, tells us about the Poetry Month activities going on in Canada. It's a great big poetry world!

Liz Steinglass has an original "tweet-able" poem at Growing Wild called "Hear Me?" She's been inspired by Michel Martin on NPR's Tell Me More.

Gregory K. at GottaBook features Hope Smith's moving poem, "Education/Application," as part of his "30 Poets 30 Days" series. Make sure you go through all 20 days--a real treat!

That'll teach me to leave for a few hours! I come back and there's a whole 'nother crop of links to post! Here goes:

Debbie Diller's introducing a form that I wasn't familiar with--a doublet. She's sharing her own "How Can You Change Sleep into Dream?" as an example.

Sara at Read Write Believe tells us how she got "sucked" into "Postcards from Poets" and goes on to share a piece of advice found in the archive. Plus, she includes "A Bird in Hand" by Amber Flora Thomas for us to ponder.

At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee's original "What to Do If You Are a Domino" is included with the briefest of explanations of it's development--it seems that Mary Lee is out somewhere there is limited access. (I can sympathize--I don't think the place I'm staying at tonight has WiFi, so I'm hurrying to post all the links before leaving. I beg your forgiveness if I don't get to yours.)

Camille has found a new collection by Mary Ann Hoberman, Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart and she's sharing it today at A Curious Thing. Camille says, the book "has a strong emphasis on memorization with tips and techniques at the end," which for someone like me--forgetful--should be of use.

Elaine Magliaro stopped by again to tell us that at Blue Rose Girls, she has "A Book and a Chair: Two original Poems about Reading to Young Children." Nanny Granny Elaine proudly dedicates the second to 8-month-old Julia, who, from the photos included, is starting to devour books!

At Write On the World, Mandy Webster shares an example of how art inspires art--her son, Corbin, wrote several poems based on the book Far North by Will Hobbs. Good job, Corbin!

After a brief break, Hey, Jim Hill is back to Poetry Fridays. Jim's got a poem, "Sing a Song of Unicorns," which he says is "an intentionally schmaltzy piece with rainbows and unicorns." (I'd say he's right about the schmaltz part!)

Jennie Rothschild atBiblio File is reviewing the novel-in-verse, Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle.

Up in Maine, Donna is writing a poem a day for April in the "A to Z Challenge." She's up to "R," for rooster and rhinoceros, don't miss them at Mainely Write.

Lorie Ann Grover has two blogs to report on today: at readertotz she recommends the rhyming picture book, Demolition by Sally Sutton, and at On Point she has a poem called "Water Falling" accompanied by a photo of what looks to be an old New England mill town.

Jone and her kindergarten poets will have to be my last link for today.

Okay, one more: Books4Learning treats us to the delightful Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace by Anna Grossnickle Hines.

I'm running REALLY late, but all this great poetry makes it worthwhile! Have a fabulous weekend! I'll check in after I return.

April 19, 2012

The Round-Up Is On Its Way!

Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.

       Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Wait a minute, wait a minute. That's not right.
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.

       Alexander Graham Bell

Yeah, that's better.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up will be here tomorrow. It should be a good time--fun, informative, and without pressure. So, feel free to post now. I always appreciate the opportunity to leave my links the night before so that I have one less thing to think about in the morning before going off to work.

If you're going to be near Salem, Massachusetts this weekend, here's a taste of what's happening there...

April 17, 2012

Haiku Sticky #145

This haiku was inspired by the notebook of Laura Shovan! It's great the way poetry engenders more poetry--thanks, Laura!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

April 15, 2012

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo, "Titanic life boats on way to Carpathia," courtesy Library of Congress.

April 14, 2012


Today's the 14th day of the 2012 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem and I get to contribute the 14th line!
If you are reading this
you must be hungry
Kick off your silver slippers
Come sit with us a spell

A hanky, here, now dry your tears
And fill your glass with wine
Now, pour. The parchment has secrets
Smells of a Moroccan market spill out.

You have come to the right place, just breathe in.
Honey, mint, cinnamon, sorrow. Now, breathe out
last week’s dreams. Take a wish from the jar.
Inside, deep inside, is the answer…

Unfold it, and let us riddle it together,
...Strains of a waltz. How do frozen fingers play?

A little nod to the events of 100 years ago tonight. Take it away Ruth!

The complete schedule of contributors is on the left-hand side of the page. Keep following along--we're only half-way there! Thanks to Irene Latham for getting us started on this unique project!

April 13, 2012

Poetry Friday--"Sometimes in Spring"

Sometimes in Spring

Sometimes in spring the dogwood
gives notice that its leaves
are ready to pop.

Sometimes in spring the song
of one robin is distinguishable
from all the others.

Sometimes in spring the hyacinth
releases it heady scent
warm and rousing.

Sometimes in spring
there is a day like today.
Don't miss it.

I found this in my files. It was dated April 17, 2009. Today's another day exactly like it!

Head over to Booktalking for the Round-Up, then, as my late mother used to say, "Go outside and blow the stink off you."

Tomorrow come back for the 14th day's addition to Irene Latham's April project, the 2012 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem. Today, the Friday-the-13th line is being added by my artful friend, Tabatha.

Next Friday, the Poetry Friday Round-Up will be held right here at Random Noodling. It should be fun!

Photo by listentoreason.

April 10, 2012

April 8, 2012

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. The haiku originally published as Haiku Sticky #94, April 26, 2011.

April 6, 2012

Poetry Friday--Peep Poetry

Well, it's time once again to consider whether you simply want to eat your marshmallow Peeps®, or, if you want to be a Peeps® scientist (and you know that involves a microwave, so boys and girls, have adult supervision). I'd say buy two packs of Peeps® and have it both ways!

Nibbling on the Peeps a few days early...

I recommend checking out the Washington Post's "Peeps Show" for a look at even more fun things to do with Peeps®.

Since it's Poetry Friday, my challenge for today was to come up with a poem about Peeps®--a surprisingly easy task! There are literally baskets full. Many are found at Peep Art!, and an ode to the pink ones is found at A Diary Left Open. But, writing one of my own--that wasn't an easy task! What remains to be said about Peeps®? Not too much, so I took a different angle.
The Old Cat

She has a reputation for
being fussy, turning up her nose
at almost everything cats
normally relish. She eats
when she's hungry, not
according to a human's schedule.
Lord help you, though, if she's
famished and you, her slave,
are not at the ready with a can opener.
As for expensive feline treats,
she'll indulge only if the "other"
shows an interest in them first.
It's not that she likes these treats,
she simply won't let the usurper
win out. Here she is, at seventeen,
an old cat sitting by a basket,
her little pink tongue flicking a lick
of sugar from a sticky yellow Peep.
I take my Easter miracles where
I can get them. Don't you?

A special treat for me, today, is that my writing hint is being featured at Laura Shovan's blog, Author Amok, as part of her "30 Habits of Highly Effective Poets" series. Check it out and then head over to the Poetry Friday Round-Up being hosted by Robyn Hood Black.

Peeps update: Downton Abbey lovers have taken Peeps art and run with it. Click here.

Poem and photo © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

April 3, 2012

Haiku Sticky #143

A tanka today instead of a haiku:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

April 1, 2012