Friday, July 2, 2010

A Poem about Acceptance Speeches

Hello and happy Poetry Friday!  Today's poem is below.

I'm off to accept the Sydney Taylor Gold Medal for Younger Readers given by the Association of Jewish Libraries at their annual international convention.

I'll be giving a presentation the morning of July 6th as part of the session called "Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Jewish Book". The friendly organizers told me that they open this session with a presentation by the author of the award winner for younger readers--moi!there                                

That evening there's a terrific awards banquet.  I know it's terrific because I attended last year--the AJL convention was in Chicago right before ALA

My speech will be five minutes long.  Five minutes, an hour--I seem to sweat about the same amount!

So of course I've been thinking about this speech.
Acceptance Speech

by April Halprin Wayland

In six days
I will speak to two hundred Jewish librarians
and seven of my relatives
for five minutes.

I will thank the librarians—all librarians.
I will thank my relatives—all of my relatives.
I will thank my wonderful illustrator
in Montreal with his 82-year-old father

I will not tap dance like Shirley Temple
or sing “My Grandfather’s Clock”
or put on a dinosaur mask.
I probably won’t even buy a sparkly new dress that makes me look thin and sexy.

Here is what I would like to do:
look up at the ceiling.
Take a deep breath.
unbutton my chest

then gently lift out my heart
and place it on the podium
to share with these golden people in this banquet hall
as they finish their chocolate raspberry truffles.

TeachingAuthors are on vacation until July 19th.  We'll miss you and hope you  miss us, too! 

So--what about your own writing?  Why not drop a writing pad in your purse or backpack and listen/look/smell/ be mindful for moments of inspiration.  

Write one paragraph or a poem a day 
about anything in the entire galaxy, 
just for you, 
just to keep your hand in it, 
just for the joy of writing.

Have a fabulous Fourth and a great Bastille Day--and remember to breathe.

A perfect summer afternoon: 

poem and drawing (c) April Halprin Wayland


Toby Speed said...

Ohh, your poem left such a good feeling in my chest. Perfect, thank you. And now "My Grandfather's Clock" is playing over and over in my head...
During your speech, everyone will be smiling up at you, and it will be over before you know it. And then you can think about and enjoy the banquet. Congrats on your award!

Carmela Martino said...

A huge congratulatory hug to you, April! Have fun. And don't forget to breathe. :-)

Elaine Magliaro said...

Congratulations, April! Love your acceptance speech poem.

Have a Happy Fourth!!!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Congratulations! That really is the perfect acceptance speech. And thanks for the encouragement/challenge/enticement to write more every day. I was just thinking the summer is flying by and I haven't started yet... going to get busy!

Esther Hershenhorn said...

April's off to accept her well-deserved Sydney Taylor Book Award!
Mazel tov!
Travel safely and be sure to report back.
Your Fan Esther

April Halprin Wayland said...

Toby, Elaine, Carmela, Andromeda, Esther ~ your comments mean a lot to me--thanks! And Andromeda... hmmm...never thought to include this poem IN the speech...but I probably won't as I wrote it and it runs 5 minutes 36 seconds...don't want to run much more than that...hmmm...

Amy LV said...

Many congratulations, April! Your heart through your words is a gift to us all! I hope you have a wonderful time.

Mary Lee said...

YAY! Congratulations on the award! I loved this book from the very beginning and I'm glad it's getting lots of love now, too!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

I can't wait to hear all about the celebration, April! Enjoy!

TinyReader said...

I love the illustration--Listening on her lap. Beautiful.