Thursday, December 1, 2016

December Diary: #haikuforhealing


"Zen" by Justice Beitzel


Last Friday, Mary Lee Hahn invited readers to "light the lanterns" and heal creative spirits with a haiku each day in December. She's calling the challenge #haikuforhealing.

Officially, Today's Little Ditty will be on break until February to recharge and tend the home fires. Unofficially, though, I'll be participating in #haikuforhealing. 

I've always wanted to see if I could be successful doing something like this. In the past I've backed away from such challenges because they make me feel pressured and vulnerable. The thought of putting less-than-polished work out there for the world to see is not a comfortable one. Will this time be different? I hope so! While haiku are deceptively difficult to write well, they are short. And I've taken two steps to help encourage my success:
  1. I'm going public for accountability.
  2. I'm not going TOO public.
My haiku diary will be housed right here, on this blog post. Instead of publishing a new post each day, I will be updating this one. That means if you're a TLD subscriber and you're interested in following along, you'll have to remember to stop back from time to time. (You won't receive notifications in your inbox.)

Would you like to join the challenge, yourself? Your company is always welcome! Feel free to share your haiku in the comments.

If you would like to read others' haiku this month, you can visit:

          Mary Lee Hahn at Poetrepository
          Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
          Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
          Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
          Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog
          Jone Rush MacCulloch at DeoWriter
          Diane Mayr, posted on Thursdays at Random Noodling
          Julie Johnson at Raising Readers and Writers
          Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
          Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink
          Carol Wilcox at Carol's Corner
          Linda Baie at TeacherDance

(Leave me a note in the comments if you'd like to be added to this list.)


December Diary
#haikuforhealing

All poems © 2016 by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.


12.1.16

behind the clouds
a blank blue slate . . .
beginning again


12.2.16

new moon—
finding my way
without directions


12.3.16

staying awake
till the last box is filled
sudoku night 


12.4.16

the morning after—
her memory
one size too small


12.5.16

cars and clouds
on parallel highways
morning commute 


12.6.16 

weaving through traffic . . .
Dylan dreams of Bellatrix
Miranda draws cats 


12.7.16

my daily stroll—
stepping out of the mind
and onto the page 


12.8.16

layers today—
orange leaves on blue sky
gainesville autumn


12.9.16

endless night
listening to the tick-tock-tick
of his heart


12.10.16

sleigh ride—
the blue-maned girl
plays the tuba


12.11.16

chasing the gardener
from spring to autumn . . .
first frost 


12.12.16

the old man
could still use a penny
Christmas is coming


12.13.16

silent night
fog blankets the lawn 
with cotton


12.14.16

the ornament
the cat couldn't reach—
full moon


12.15.16

ghost moon . . .
she's grown accustomed
to the haunting 


12.16.16

piano whispering
the pieces
I've never shared 


12.17.16

winter solstice—
will the glass be half empty
or half full? 


12.18.16

unblinking
their eyes rest on me
peacock feathers


12.19.16

insomnia
by the light of my phone
haiku 


12.20.16

jolly santa
sways but won't be swayed . . .
waits for a sign. 


12.21.16

hearts
full as bellies
homecoming 


12.22.16

sugar cookies—
a dusting of snow
on my plate 


12.23.16

starlight
in my dreams
I hear carols 


12.24.16

hoofprints
in the powdered sugar—
Christmas eve


12.25.16

lights
become comets
Christmas magic


12.26.16

the score:
one hit, one exchange
no returns 


12.27.16

old man
winter sleeps
at the wheel 


12.28.16

year's end—
the rose bush needs pruning
                                                              again

12.29.16

364 days
crossed off the to-do list
running tally


12.30.16

2017 . . .
setting the table 
for uninvited guests


12.31.16

closed door
between me and you
knocking




*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

In other news . . .

I'm honored that Irene Latham is featuring The Best of Today's Little Ditty, 2014-2015 at Live your Poem today with a short interview and a few of her favorite poems. Thank you, Irene!

Thanks also to those who are including this collection on their holiday gift giving lists. Not only is it great reading, but with thirteen different poetry challenges, it's also a useful resource for anyone who enjoys practicing different verse forms. Purchase at Amazon.com or send an email to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com if you would like a signed copy.


And speaking of poetry challenges, I've never before seen such an incredible last minute showing for a DMC challenge. After Friday's wrap-up post, more than a dozen poems were submitted in the last five days of the month! I do hope you'll take another look at these poems about places of refuge and solace. With thanks, once again, to Ann Rider for the challenge.





Random.org has determined that a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) will go to . . .

Jone Rush MacCullochcongratulations, Jone!







Bridget Magee has something special waiting for you at wee words for wee ones. Join her for this week's Poetry Friday roundup.







Wednesday, November 30, 2016

DMC: "refuge & solace" by Heidi Mordhorst




#haikuforhealing 11.26.16

refuge & solace:
today I don't turn on
the news

#haikuforhealing 11.27.16

not by hiding
from the world but by living
widely in it

 
© 2016 Heidi Mordhorst. All rights reserved.


Learn more about #haikuforhealing at Mary Lee Hahn's Poetrepository.



Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

You have until the end of the day to join in! Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet and I will add it to the wrap-up celebration HERE. One lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.







Tuesday, November 29, 2016

DMC: "Winter Wonder" by Janie Lazo





WINTER WONDER

Swirling, falling bits of heaven
Floating down—whirling round
Gently land on snowy ground
Lying there I feel I'm flying
Through the snow—up I go
Through the whirling, swirling show
Winter's hush is all around me
Silence loud—Winter's shroud
Whispers peace she has endowed
In this perfect world of wonder
Heaven's show—earth aglow
making angels in the snow


© 2016 Janie Lazo. All rights reserved.


Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

You have until tomorrow, November 30th, to join in! Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet and I will add it to the wrap-up celebration HERE. One lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.







Monday, November 28, 2016

DMC: "After School" by Buffy Silverman





AFTER SCHOOL

I perch in the front-yard maple,
back wedged against
solid trunk, legs
dangle.

A curtain of green colors my view.
Sure-footed ants parade
on invisible skyways.
Squirrels bound
from branch
to branch,
leaping from tree’s
skinny fingers,
without fear to hold them back.

I sit in my tree for
minutes or hours
imagining a day of leaping
and landing,
scolding and chattering,
owning the treetop.


© 2016 Buffy Silverman. All rights reserved.


Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

You have until this Wednesday, November 30th, to join in! Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet and I will add it to the wrap-up celebration HERE. One lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.






Thursday, November 24, 2016

November DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway


"Into the Light" by Tim Haynes

Each positive thought is your refuge and your sanctuary, where in that thoughtful moment, you are safe.         
                           – Bryant McGill


At the beginning of this month, Ann Rider challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace. I didn't realize at the time how useful the challenge would be to me personally. Hostility and negativity were seriously getting me down, and I wondered if this would be the first time I had nothing to contribute.


"Transient Insignificance (2)" by Tim Haynes

But reading all of your poems was therapeutic, like a daily dose of fresh air.  Thank you for pulling me through.

Rather than grouping these poems into categories, I tried to present them in a sequence that flowed comfortably from beginning to end. I hope it transports you to a tranquil state of mind.


"The Zig-Zag" by Tim Haynes


Scroll through the poems below, or for best viewing, CLICK HERE.


Made with Padlet


Would you like to write a poem about a place of refuge and solace?

Post it on our November 2016 padlet by Wednesday, November 30th, and I will add it to the wrap-up presentation.






Participants in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a copy of Before Morning by Joyce Sidman with illustrations by Beth Krommes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). One entry per participant, not per poem.

Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below. Comments must also be received no later than Wednesday, November 30th. If you contribute a poem and comment below, you will receive two entries in total.

The winner will be determined by Random.org and announced next Friday, December 2nd.



*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


Many thanks to everyone who came by last week to help me celebrate the launch of THE BEST OF TODAY'S LITTLE DITTY, 2014-2015! I was tickled and humbled by so many expressions of support and congratulations.

I must have captured this screen at just the right moment to have it say #1 New Release in Poetry Anthologies. Don't believe me? Click the image to enlarge!


While I do think that designation may be slightly misleading, this amazing community will always be at the top of my best things list. 😍


Carol is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Carol's Corner.



DMC: "At Maybury" by Rebekah Hoeft





AT MAYBURY

We walk, we four, on earthen paths
made silent with damp leaves
that blanket all the space below
and glow above—our lamp. 

Unearthly light is our delight
and earthy scents, a balm.
The woods, they rest, and we—for now—
at peace, know Heaven's calm.


© 2016 Rebekah Hoeft. All rights reserved.



Wishing you calm, love, peace, and kindness, today and every day. Happy Thanksgiving!
                                                                        – Michelle



Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration TOMORROW Friday, November 25th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.






Wednesday, November 23, 2016

DMC: "Montauk" by B.J. Lee





MONTAUK
(a pastiche of Yeat’s “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”)

I will arise and go now and drive down to Montauk,
and spread a favorite blanket there, and lie in the summer sun,
and later rise and watch the gulls or take a seaside walk
that ends with a sunset run.

And I shall climb the bluffs there, the bluffs of reddish clay,
spotting yellow sundrops that adorn the hither hills,
then back down to the ocean, where the soft-shells make their way
in foaming wavelet’s ebbing rills.

I will arise and go now, for I love to hear the sound
of the boisterous breakers crashing like thunder on the beach
while I stand on the sand and listen as they crest, then break, then pound,
then rush to my feet just out of reach.


© 2016 B.J. Lee. All rights reserved.


Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, November 25th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.






Tuesday, November 22, 2016

DMC: "Umbrella" by Elizabeth Steinglass





UMBRELLA

Rain comes.
(It always does.)
You worry your plans
are ruined
like a soggy
piece of paper.

Raise me
over your head.
I will be your shelter
as you go on.
I will turn the rain
into song.


© 2016 Elizabeth Steinglass. All rights reserved.


Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, November 25th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.






Monday, November 21, 2016

"Deep In the Forest" by Rosi Hollinbeck





DEEP IN THE FOREST

Deep in the forest,
        Musty and dark,
Gray and green lichen
        Grow on the bark.
Moss coats the tree trunks
        On the north side.
Brown mushrooms rise up,
        Puffy and wide.
Slender pine needles
        Carpet the ground.
Deep in the forest
        There’s not a sound. 


© 2016 Rosi Hollinbeck. All rights reserved.


Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, November 25th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.






Thursday, November 17, 2016

Five for Friday: Best Things + BIG NEWS!


"Joy of First Rain"                  Photo: Yogendra Joshi

When my kids were younger, we had a dinnertime ritual called "best things." We went around the table and each named positive things that happened to us over the course of the day. Sometimes it was a struggle to name just one; other times there were several. "This lovely dinner" was uttered a few times, though that may have been for brownie points. I'm not sure. Often the children ended with "and basically the whole day!" Can you remember the last time you had a day that was "best" from start to finish? Me neither.

Unfortunately, our dinnertime tradition has all but disappeared, but given recent unrest, perhaps it's time to bring it back. I'm probably not the only one craving positivity, so what do you say we give it a go right here?

Would you help me?
All you need to do is describe, in five words, the best thing that happened to you this week. Don't think too hard about it. It can be anything—from the smile of a stranger to something as momentous as this best thing... (drumroll please)



It's a book!  An honest to goodness book.

There are so many people to thank for helping me with this enormous undertaking. First, I had an incredible ditty committee who pored over more than 400 poems! We ended up with 75 poems in response to 13 challenges. Because I felt strongly that no one, including myself, should have their work appear in more than three challenges, a few excellent poems were necessarily left out, but I think you'll be pleased with the results nonetheless. Here are the 55 poets whose work appears in this collection.


I am profoundly grateful to Carrie Clickard whose first suggested the idea of a "best of" series, and who came to my technological rescue more than once at crunch time; to Renée LaTulippe who was with me every step of the way with her encouragement and editorial expertise; and to Michelle Kogan for a cover that surpassed all expectations! I'd also like to give a shout out to J. Patrick Lewis, Margaret Simon, and Sylvia Vardell for their wonderful blurbs on the back cover. But most of all, I owe a debt of gratitude to the 2014-2015 Spotlight authors/editors who inspired us with such terrific challenges, and to ALL OF YOU for filling my life, my blog, and this book with poetry. Thank you. I'm so proud of what we've accomplished together!

The Best of Today's Little Ditty, 2014-2015 is available 
in paperback for $9.95 or as a Kindle ebook for $5.95. 

(As of the writing of this blog post, the two avenues for purchasing are not yet linked to the same page on Amazon, but don't let that stop you from grabbing the version of your choice!)


Photo: Garry Knight

For those who would like to contribute to my Five for Friday party, please come up with a five-word ditty (plus title, if you wish) about the best thing that happened to you this week. Leave it in the comments or email it to me at TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll move it to the main body of the post.  Here's mine to start us off:


COUNTING MY BLESSINGS

Sitting pretty with 75 ditties!

– Michelle Heidenrich Barnes


NO SURPRISE

smiles shared with the granddaughters

– Linda Baie


A VERY SPECIAL WEEK

(Family Friends laughter ditties love)

– Jessica Bigi


FORMERLY FERAL FELINE:

Almost allowed
a belly rub

– Tabatha Yeatts


BLISS

in the wee hours,
inspiration

– Matt Forrest Esenwine


CHECKUP

Got weighed—and no change!

And to make it yin yang

WHAT?

Got weighed—and no change?

– Diane Mayr


BEAMING WITH GRATITUDE

Book bliss with the best!

– Michelle Kogan 


finding community with fellow poets

– Liz Steinglass


Son's soccer team- still undefeated!

– Corey Rosen Schwartz


SERENITY

In the company
Of poets

– Kathleen Mazurowski


At NCTE! ( that counts as five words, right? )

– Irene Latham


HE'S STILL HERE

My dad turned 102 yesterday.

– Jama Rattigan


Giving and receiving unexpected gifts. 

– Rebecca Colby


SUPER-WHOO

Moonlit fall
night owl's call

– Donna JT Smith


Found solidarity
with kidlit community

– B.J. Lee


STILL SURREAL

My poem found a family 

– Maria Marshall


MIGRATION TIME

Watching geese fly in formation.

– Jone Rush MacCulloch 


fall weather is finally here

– Kristi Dee Veitenheimer


FAN GIRL TIME

Naomi Shahib Nye—
in person!

– Buffy Silverman


Teaching my students every day.

– Ruth
(There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town)


FINGERS CROSSED

Pushed send on grant application.

– David McMullin


NOVEMBER NIGHT

biggest, brightest, beaming — heavenly supermoon

– Penny Parker Klostermann


Our tree gave us lemons!

– J.G. Annino


Sweet letter from sweet granddaughter.

– Karen Eastlund


FOUND JOY

Surprising sparks of student poetry 

– Robyn Hood Black


UNEXPECTED

Hugs from a first grader.

– Catherine Flynn


alarmless saturday
slow warm waking

– Rebekah Hoeft


Hubby's colonoscopy results are good.
LOL! TMI? How about: 

Honored to be included here!

– Teresa Robeson


FRIDAY NIGHT

Both my girls home together.

– Bridget Magee


ANGEL SMILES

Smitten by this sleeping child

– Doraine Bennett


Meeting Poetry Friday friends — joy!

– Laura Shovan


VACATION

Cleaning,
rewarded by
Consuming
Novels-in-verse.

– Carol Wilcox




We're heading into the final stretch of Ann Rider's challenge to write a poem about a place of refuge and solace. I featured my own poem this week, as well as ones by Suzy Levinson, Linda Mitchell, and Linda Baie. Post yours on our November 2016 padlet, then come back next Friday for our end-of-month wrap-up!






Brenda Davis Harsham has a beautiful tribute to Leonard Cohen for this week's Poetry Friday roundup. It's her first time hosting—why not stop by Friendly Fairy Tales and be friendly?

DMC: "Night" by Michelle H. Barnes





NIGHT

I wear the sky like a silken gown
flecked with silver stitches.
Cool as a breeze and light on my feet,
I drift through the street, unfettered and free,
then slip
              away
                        with the dawn.


© 2016 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.


Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, November 25th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.






Wednesday, November 16, 2016

DMC: "Chrysalis" by Linda Baie





CHRYSALIS

When I turned thirteen,
I wrapped myself in the cocoon
Of my room.
Not even my scientist mother
Could observe the events
Developing inside
That layered armor.
 
Sometimes—
Friends received a small gift
Of a peek inside,
(I’m not sure they understood.)
Yet mostly it was me
Enjoying the secrecy
Of seclusion.
I lay on my bed, 
Wrapped in pink flowers,
Smoothed on lotions and perfume,
Listened to Elvis and Johnny and Ricky.
I spent hours thinking,
Thinking,
Thinking.
 
My wrap was warm,
Reliable,
Safe,
Impenetrable as planned.
I had taken charge!
 
Later, much later,
I threw off the leafy wrap
And flew away 
as the me
I alone wanted to be.
 
© 2016 Linda Baie. All rights reserved.
 
 
Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, November 25th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.
 
 
 



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

DMC: "Shelter" by Linda Mitchell





SHELTER

L ike a house of worship

I enter, breathing in calm.

B ooks offer solace when

R eal-life crowds too close.

A seat at lunch cannot give

R efuge from middle school, or

Y ield safety I’ve found in my library.


© 2016 Linda Mitchell. All rights reserved.


Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, November 25th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.






Monday, November 14, 2016

DMC: "November" by Suzy Levinson





NOVEMBER

When the world's closing in,
way too loud
way too cold
I curl up in my chair,
which is soft
which is old
pull my knees to my chin,
with a book
with a cat
watch the rain as it falls...
pitter-pat
pitter-pat.

© 2016 Suzy Levinson. All rights reserved.


Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, November 25th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.






Thursday, November 10, 2016

Buffy Silverman: Overheard at Highlights



The Highlights Foundation


Attending a workshop at the Highlights Foundation is something I've wanted to do for some time. 

But until that day comes, I'm grateful for whatever I can glean from others. Today Buffy Silverman is here with a glimpse of a spectacular workshop led by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard. If you like what you read, the same workshop is scheduled in 2017 from October 15-19.


OVERHEARD AT HIGHLIGHTS

In September I had the good fortune of attending The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children, a Highlights Foundation workshop led by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard.


The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children, September 11-15, 2016

Lucky me, you’re thinking. Well lucky you too, because I’m willing to share a bit of what I learned. Much of the workshop focused on craft. Rebecca offered this advice: 
You’ve got to start somewhere. Put your poem in a place that speaks to you and then let it meander from place to place. 

With that in mind, our fearless leaders wrote two poems in front of us, starting with a word we tossed out: starfish. It was interesting to watch them meander along, crossing out lines, asking questions of their subject and then landing independently on the same final line! Watching them gave us permission to meander, falter and start again in our own attempts. We each chose a word from the group’s random word list: spoon, tenacity, lantern, pluck, sieve, and tarnish. I had recently finished a manuscript on angel sharks (who spend many motionless days waiting for food to wander near) and wrote a poem entitled “The Tenacity of Angels.” 

We also focused on observation, carefully listing the properties of a rock that a scientist might notice, and then bringing in emotion as we observed as poets. My little rock transformed from a list that included rough, warm, cracked with glints of silver to the start of this poem:
Old stone wears wisps of white,
grizzled as Grandpa’s beard.
A twinkle and glint
speckles its sandpaper skin.

For me the most important part of the workshop focused on the heart of poetry. Rebecca told us, Poetry books are your community, and we studied the words of other poets to learn how they connect with a reader. We considered how poets opened the door to invite a reader into a poem, and encourage them to stay until the poem ends. For example, the following poem by Nan Fry starts with a concrete image and circles back to that image as it ends:
Apple
   by Nan Fry

At the center, a dark star
wrapped in white.
When you bite, listen
for the crunch of boots on snow,
snow that has ripened. Over it
Stretches the red, starry sky.

When I read that poem, I hear the crunch on snow. As Georgia said, 
the sounds in your poem are like when you weave on a loom. [Sound] is the invisible stitch.

We were treated to a Skype visit with Lee Bennett Hopkins, who shared his process of putting together an anthology. Lee starts with a concept before selecting poets for a book. He carefully considers the opening and closing of an anthology and the order of each poem, aiming for a book that reads as if it is a novel, not just a collection of individual poems. Lee also talked about how to put heart in a poem:  
I’m interested in giving children beauty. I want kids to feel something, to have emotion…. As a poet you want to expand their view, to get them to look up.

Rebecca Davis, Senior Editor for Boyds Mills Press and Wordsong also spoke to our group. She gave us some insight into how she selects a manuscript, and the revision process that she and an author share. I think these words from Rebecca summed up the workshop:  
The most important thing is that you’re writing from your heart, that you’re writing what you’re passionate about, and the writing is very strong.  

A tall order—but one that I’m inspired to achieve after attending the workshop!

Poetry Friday attendees (from L-R): Buffy Silverman, Linda Kulp Trout,
Charles Waters, Robyn Hood Black, Catherine Flynn, and Linda Baie.


Thank you, Buffy, for sharing the heart of this wonderful workshop!

Be sure to check out Buffy's other contributor posts on Today's Little Ditty:

Buffy Silverman is the author of 80 nonfiction books for children, winning awards from Science Books and Films, the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College, and the Society of School Librarians International.  She's also written poems and stories for popular children's magazines, poetry anthologies, and educational resources. Visit Buffy at her website, www.BuffySilverman.com.


Our DMC challenge for November is from Ann Rider, Executive Editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: write a poem, in any style, about a place of refuge and solace that is important to you. Click HERE to read Ann's Spotlight interview, then post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. This week's featured poems were by Lisa Albert, Mary York, Angelique Pacheco, and Jessica Bigi.




Follow your creative wanderings to the Poetry Friday roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup.






DMC: "Artist at Rest" by Jessica Bigi





ARTIST AT REST

Finding my peace
Through camera's lens
Yellow leafy willow
Wild purple flowers
Hums of bumblebees
Butterfly flutter wings
Clamors of geese
Rippled silver waves
Whips of green marsh
Papery birch branches
Water lilies blooming
Snowberry moth hovers
Gathering garden pollens
Finding my peace
Through camera's lens


© 2016 Jessica Bigi. All rights reserved.


Snowberry Moth, photo by Jessica Bigi


Ann Rider has challenged us to write poems about places of refuge and solace this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our November 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, November 25th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.