Friday, April 1, 2011

April is Poetry Month! Book Spine Poems for Poetry Friday!

Hello, Campers --it's POETRY MONTH 2011!

At the end of this post, is a Writing Workout about Book Spine Poems.  Try your hand at one and let us know what you came up with! And below that is the Kidlistosphere's list of places to find poetry for Poetry Month.

Thanks to poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm for hosting Poetry Friday today!

Yes, April is Poetry Month, which always pleases me to no end.  Not only is my name April, my birthday is in April and I was named for the Ogden Nash poem, "Always Marry an April Girl". I can hear you saying "Ahhhhh..."

For Poetry Month last year I took the Poem-A-Day-Challenge, writing a new poem each a day for the month of April (read them all here); it was such a profoundly naked and focusing exercise that I've continued to write a poem each day ever since.  So today marks my 366th poem in a row.  Journey with me as I write and post poems for Poetry Month 2011 here.

I only post the poems I write in the month of April; the rest I send, day by day, to my best friend, author and poet Bruce Balan, and his wife, who are sailing around the world in their red trimaran.  After dinner each night, while one washes the dishes, the other reads my poem aloud.  Then they send me their comments. I'm one lucky pup.

Poetry Month is rocking with events:

Over at GottaBook, Greg Pincus is reprising his amazing Thirty Poets in Thirty Days
And take a look at the new ebook poet Janet Wong and Professor Sylvia Vardell have cooked up  in time for Poetry Month for just 99 cents!
First Paperless Poetry e-Book Costs Just 99 Cents
Just in time for National Poetry Month, look for the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children (ages 0-8), PoetryTagTime, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong and available for only 99 cents at Amazon on April 1. This collection of 30 new, unpublished poems range from the humorous to serious, about tongues, turtles and toenails, in acrostics, quatrains, and free verse written by 30 of our best children's poets: Children’s Poet Laureates Jack Prelutsky and Mary Ann Hoberman; Newbery Honor winner Joyce Sidman; NCTE Poetry Award winners X.J. Kennedy, J. Patrick Lewis, Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Nikki Grimes; popular poets Douglas Florian, Betsy Franco, Jane Yolen, Alice Schertle, Helen Frost, Carole Boston Weatherford, Calef Brown, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, April Halprin Wayland, Leslie Bulion, Avis Harley, Joan Bransfield Graham, David L. Harrison, Julie Larios, Ann Whitford Paul, Bobbi Katz, Paul B. Janeczko, Laura Purdie Salas, Robert Weinstock, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, and Pat Mora. And the “connections” between poems as the poets voice how their poems are interconnected adds another layer of fun and meaning. You'll be able to share brand-new poems and poetry tips with children all month long for pennies a day!xxx
Even if you don’t own a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle app for a number of devices, including your Windows or Apple computer, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android-powered phone. Also, be sure to check out our web site and companion blog for strategies for sharing each of the 30 poems in the book, rolling out one per day throughout the month of April.  
For more information: Then check out the PoetryTagTime blog, with fabulous classroom ideas!

Remember...the Kidlistosphere's list of events and places to find poetry during Poetry Month are listed below.

Book Spine Poems!

Here's a fun writing exercise which elementary school librarian Travis Jonker explains how to do here at the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) blog!

I tried creating a Book Spine Poem from my bookshelf:
The poem:
Ring out, wild bells!
Splish splash!
Calling the doves!
We are all born free!
That's how it is when we draw. [and write!]

(The books pictured: Writers on Writing selected and compiled by Jon Winokur,  Ring Out Wild Bells--Poems About Holidays and Seasons Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Splish Splash (shape poems about water) by Joan Bransfield Graham, Calling the Doves - El Canto de las Palomas by Juan Felipe Herrera, We Are All Born Free--The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures, and That's How it is When We Draw by Ruth Lercher Bornstein)

Let us know what you came up with--send us your own book spine poems or those your students create ~

Irene Latham compiled this list for the Kidslitosphere:

Susan Taylor Brown will post Lessons Learned (Mostly About Me) in a Poem-a-Day

Liz Garton Scanlon will give us her third year of a Haiku-a-Day 

Jone MacCulloch will post 30 Days-30 Students: A poem a day from students 

Poetry Postcard Project: Have a student written and decorated poem sent to your 
home. Email her 

Gregory K. will present 30 Poets/30 Days -a whole month of never-before-seen poems by a slew of fabulous poets writing for kids. 

Jama Rattigan will present her 2nd Annual Poetry Potluck (original poem and favorite recipe by guest bloggers) 

Irene Latham will host a month-long Poetry Party: poetry quotes, trivia, craft tips, publishing resources & free books! 

Andromeda Jazmon will be doing her fourth year in a row of haiga (original haiku + my photos) at A Wrung Sponge

Janelle at Brimful Curiosities will host a National Poetry Month Kids Poetry Challenge challenge in which kids are invited to create pictures for the poems she posts each Friday.

NEW additions:
Anastasia Suen presents EduHaiku! Write a haiku about what you learned in school and share it with her on her EduHaiku blog or twitter.

Lori Degman, at Habitual Rhymer, posts a new poem each day of Poetry Month, along with "fun poem-writing ideas"

National Poetry Month Poetry Friday schedule:


Andromeda Jazmon said...

I love that spine poem! I am going to have to try that before I pack up my bookcases. I am painting my house and need to move the books... in addition to the headaches it should give me a chance to consider the spine poem potential! :) Your poem is so joyful.

Unknown said...

Yesterday at the conference with our son's teacher she recommended more poetry in his reading diet. Thank you so much for that link, which meets the prescription perfectly.

Someday I hope I'll find a spine poem.

Amy L V said...

Your book spine poem is full of joy and full of truth! (Even the books want to write poems, seems...) A.

Brimful Curiosities said...

April is a month full of potential and promise. What a lovely month to be named after.

Composing a spine poem is tricky business! I like yours very much.

Janet said...

What a great compilation of poetry news! I too love your book spine poem... I'm going to see what I can come up with from my shelves here.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Howdy,Andromeda, Blythe, Amy and Brimful--and thanks, as always, for stopping by!
At first I thought "writing" a spine poem would be easy as pie. Then I decided it was hard hardtack. But finally I decided it was fun and challenging and a good game. I'd love to "hear" your spine poems--please share them with TeachingAuthors!

Carmela Martino said...

Great post, April. Congratulations on writing a poem a day for 366 days! I am in awe that you plan to keep going, too.

Sandy Brehl said...

April, I love this spine poem! You've made a great line-up for the month. Just a shout-out of another resource for incredible original poems by well-known poets- Greg Pincus -
April is the best month and a wonderful namesake for you! Thanks for another great post.

Mary Lee said...

Great spine poem! I'm going to try to make one today! Heaven knows, I have enough piles of books sitting around...

April Halprin Wayland said...

Hi, Sandy and Mary Lee! And yes, Sandy--Greg's a wonderful friend and resource--note that he's mentioned not once but twice ( three times) in this blog!

Anastasia Suen said...

Love your spine poem, April! And thank for including me in your lineup!

Lori Degman said...

I really liked your post, April! Thanks for reminding me it's Poetry Month! Here's a book spine poem I just wrote (I can't put in the picture so I've typed it out. I posted the picture on my blog,, if you're interested in seeing it).

What am I doing here
Lost in the cosmos?
Beginning to see the light
With a little help from my friends -

April Halprin Wayland said...

WONDERFUL poem, Lori--I went to your blog and saw the photo, too! I've added your blog to our Poetry Month links and to those on my own poetry blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Lori Degman said...

Thanks for the links, April -I appreciate it!

Amanda Hoving said...

I came across book spine poetry for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and was just bowled over by the fun genius of it all!

I'm also very excited about poetry month. I've been away from writing poetry for awhile, but am doing the poem a day challenge, and am loving it.

Thanks for all of the great links, and Happy April, April!