Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yearning for Spring

Where I live, spring is washing in and out like waves on Lake Michigan’s shore. We enjoyed a few gorgeous, warm days, but right now, I hear thunder, and it’s snowing. Again. The sleet that pelted us yesterday hasn’t even melted. We’re keeping the bird feeders full for early migrants; so far, we’ve seen yellow-rumped warblers, ovenbirds, and brown creepers. Crocuses popped up on the sunny front hill and promptly wilted in the cold. Now scilla is poking through the snow, along with the first hellebore shoots. Spring in Wisconsin makes us appreciate (and long for) warm, sunny weather.

In the meantime, we’ve still got more National Poetry Month to console us, inspire us, and entertain us. Here are a few poetic things that have kept me going this month.

Moon, Have You Met My Mother? The Collected Poems of Karla Kuskin. I started reading a few poems from this collection each night at bedtime because I love her sense of humor. I found myself waking up in the morning (and sometimes even in the middle of the night) with ideas for my own silly poems. Now I’m reading it through again, paying more attention to structure and language. What fun!

Jama Rattigan’s Poetry Potluck Series includes inspiring interviews with poets, recipes, and (of course) poems.

Laura Purdie Salas and Susan Taylor Brown are hosting a weekly online book club with poetry participation called Write After Reading: Living the Life Poetic, based on the book Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry by Sage Cohen. The conversation alternates between their blogs.

While I haven’t attempted the Poem-A-Day Challenge, I have had a pretty productive month so far. Maybe by this time next year, I’ll be brave enough to follow in April’s footsteps. And here comes May with more exciting children’s book-related events:

Children’s Book Week is May 2-8, 2011. I’ll be celebrating it with a reading at the Mukwonago Community Library on Wednesday, May 4, at 10:00 a.m.

National Picture Book Writing Week ("NaPiBoWriWee") is May 1-7, 2011. Write 7 Picture Books in 7 Days!

Remember that today is the last day to enter the giveaway for Gretchen Woelfle’s new middle-grade novel, All the World's a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts. See Jeanne Marie’s post for details.

Happy spring!
JoAnn Early Macken


Jean Reidy said...

Can't wait to check out MOON HAVE YOU MET MY MOTHER? I find that reading poetry is vital to writing for children. Rhythm, voice,imagery - and developing an ear for all three - are all key components in kidlit coming to life.

Carmela Martino said...

I agree wholeheartedly, Jean. I've found reading and writing poetry very helpful, even for working on a novel.

Mary Jo said...

Spring washes in and out like the waves on Lake Michigan. It does that like the Green Bay, also. Loved that line!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Jean, if you enjoy rhythmic, rhyming poetry for children, be sure to look at the work of Mary Ann Hoberman, too, if you haven't already. In fact, I've got a list of some of my favorite poetry collections on the Poetry page of my web site,

Marti, yes, I find that reading poetry helps in whatever kind of writing I'm working on.

Hi, Mary Jo! Yes, we have lots in common, including Lake Michigan! Hope to see you one of these days!