Thursday, April 29, 2021


Howdy, Campers ~ Happy Poetry Friday AND Last Day of Poetry MonthMy poem and the link to today's PF host are below.

In honor of TeachingAuthors' 12th year on earth (is the internet technically earth?), we are each choosing one post from the past 12 years (just one?!?!) to share.  Esther shares a poem I wrote (!) and a photo of us surprising Carmela at TeachingAuthors' birthday celebration, Mary Ann shares JoAnn's 2011 inspiring review of Paul Janeczko's Seeing the Blue Between, Advice and Inspiration for Young Poets, and Carmela shares Esther's 2011 post about a specific kind of haiku which Esther called Thankus, while adding her own thanku and a #HaikuFromTwo.

The truth is, I love the writing of every TA, but I knew from the start that I would be rifling through Mary Ann's posts. I love her storytelling, I love her show-us-her-scars honesty. Her authenticity, forces me (maybe inspires me is better) to be more honest, too.

So today, enjoy Mary Ann's 2010 post about Charles Schulz' s PEANUTS gang...aka her muses.

from Apollo Magazine; no copyright infringement is intended 

I wrote about my own muse in 2013:

inspired by a poem with the same title by William Stafford
by April Halprin Wayland


I was lounging against the back of a napping kangaroo

when this little boy with a large crayon drew near.

Said his name was Harold.


I sat up to study the scruffy kid—

a baby, really, in p.j.s that must have been

as suffocating as meat in a sausage skin.


His wide eyes disarmed me,

as if he were that butterfly in the antidepressant commercial,

flying around a garden party and leaving everyone feeling better.


Harold stepped around the kangaroo to draw a big house

with a wide porch

and shutters on every window.


There were a boatload of windows.

He added two rocking chairs and three hanging baskets of geraniums.

When he framed the front doorway, we went in.


The floors were oak; the house felt comfortable, like a favorite old sofa.

He drew stairs; we walked up to four bedrooms

and a greenhouse room with walls of glass.


"I'll be living up here," he said, pulling down steps from the ceiling.

He climbed into the attic and peeked out.

"I'll hand you down stuff I find here," he said.


I supposed I'd be responsible for feeding him. 

I wondered if he ate real grilled cheese sandwiches

or if I had to draw them with his crayon.


The kangaroo

was still sleeping in the front yard,

which was probably for the best.

From Wikipedia; no copyright infringement is intended


Before I say g'bye, I have Poetry Month news! 

My next 3-hour, one day Writing Poetry for Children class through the UCLA Extension Writers' Program will be on July 17, 2021. Registration is now open, but hurry, enrollment is limited to 25 students.

I'm thrilled that three of my poems are on the Poetry Foundation site

I'm happy to be among nine poets who are on a fascinating education website in England called TWINKL (no E at the end). The poets are: Jaclyn Desforges, Miriam Sagan, Liz Garton Scanlon, Irina Moga, Lauren Camp, D. S. Martin, Allan Wolf, Charles Ghigna and me.

And I'm honored to have been included in the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' video of 13 poets, each reading a poem. (Note: the video lasts 17:30 minutes; my poem is at the 11 minute mark).

The poets are: Nikki Grimes, Lesléa Newman, Joseph Bruchac, Jane Yolen, Tami Charles, Lin Oliver, Hope Anita Smith, Sonya Sones, Carole Boston Weatherford, April Halprin Wayland, Margarita Engle, Ellen Hopkins, and Linda Sue Park.


Who is your  muse? Please tell us in the comments--we want to know...we really do!

Thank you, Matt, for hosting Poetry Friday

this last day of Poetry Month, 2021 

on Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme !

posted by April Halprin Wayland, with the help of Eli, Kitty, and Monkey, who were sure THEY were my muses before I broke the news...


CS Perryess said...

Fabulous poem, April. I don't think Harold gets the buzz he deserves. And when it comes to the SCBWI poet video, wow, what fine company you're in. I bow to you.
Be well.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Good old Harold, right? Thank you for your comments. They mean a lot to me, coming from you.

Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, Harold! I never liked that book as a kid but I love it as an adult...does that make any sense?! My muse has been, not kidding, Poetry Friday poets. I love seeing people break through to having "a" poem published to publishing books! Irene Latham, Laura Shovan, Laura Purdie Salas, Sarah Holmes, Margaret Simon, Heidi Mordhorst, Matt a group and individually have taught me so much. I'm excited for each Poetry Friday! Thanks for the tip about the conference.

Janice Scully said...

April, such a great post! I enjoyed the SCBWI readings! So terrific! I attended your conference a few weeks ago and was able to review what I knew about picture books, learned more, and appreciated the book recommendations and discussion. Thanks.

Carmela Martino said...

Congratulations on your poems being featured in so many wonderful places, April. And thanks for sharing the SCBWI video--I'd been meaning to check it out. So fun to watch you read your marvelous poem!

April Halprin Wayland said...

A parcel of poets... a perfect muse, Linda 👍

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you for telling me, Janice ~ it's great to know that Barney Saltzberg, Alexis O'Neill & I have you a good info to review!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, Carmela ~ you know haw it is... this kind of abundance comes once every blue moon for me!

Linda B said...

Hi April, congratulations for all your wonderful news. I love your poem, maybe time for me to write one, but I think I actually have this poetry month. My muse - always out in the natural world! As for Harold, so serendipitous. Yesterday at the bookstore, going through donations, that wonderful book was there & I shared it with a customer who had never heard of it! Spreading joy, right? Happy May!

April Halprin Wayland said...

*gave you

April Halprin Wayland said...


Mary Ann Rodman said...

Hooray for Harold! Your posts always blow me away. I was especially blown away that you picked a post I had forgotten I'd written (kind of easy to do over 12 years of them). Thank you, April.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Linda ~ definitely serendipitous! You never know when good old Harold is going to show up! I know you share a tremendous amount of joy in your store. Lucky customers...I wish I lived closer!

April Halprin Wayland said...

I love reading your words Mary Ann. Always a pleasure.

We're a freakin' mutual admiration society 🙃