In honor of Poetry Friday, today I'm celebrating the recent release of What Is a Friend?, an anthology of ekphastic poems edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong and published by Pomelo Books. I'm honored to have one of my poems, which I share below, in the collection. But first, a bit about this marvelous new book for ages 7 and up.
The fun sticker on the cover indicates the anthology is a Children's Book Council "Hot Off the Press" Selection for October 2022!
Here's the description of What Is a Friend? that appears on the Pomelo Books website:
To learn to be a good friend, kids need models of friendship. The 41 poems in this book guide us in reaching out, sharing ourselves, asking for help, giving support, and just having fun. These poems also show us that friends come in many forms; we can find them in our families, at school, on sports teams, through community service, on vacation, in pets, in nature - and even in ourselves.
The website also lists the contributors. I recognize many of their names, whether from Poetry Friday posts or other anthologies I've seen. But some of these poets are knew to me. I look forward to reading all their poems:
Many talented voices are represented in this book: Gail Aldous, Marcie Flinchum Atkins, Robyn Hood Black, Willeena Booker, Sandy Brehl, Carol Bullman, Kelly Conroy, Mary E. Cronin, Linda A. Dryfhout, Janet Clare Fagal, Karen Elise Finch, Nancy Bo Flood, Patricia J. Franz, Marilyn Garcia, Van G. Garrett, Theresa Gaughan, Sara Holbrook, Irene Latham, Rebecca Gardyn Levington, Molly Lorenz, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Carmela A. Martino, Guadalupe García McCall, Rochelle Melander, Heidi Mordhorst, Elisabeth Norton, Joan Riordan, Laura Purdie Salas, René Saldaña, Jr., Michael Salinger, Donna JT Smith, Anastasia Suen, Pamela Taylor, Linda Kulp Trout, Fernanda Valentino, Charles Waters, Vicki Wilke, Matthew Winter, Janet Wong, Helen Kemp Zax, and Sarah ZimanAs with the Pomelo Books "Things We . . ." series (Things We Do; Things We Eat; Things We Feel), 100% of the profits from sales of What Is a Friend? will be donated to the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund (IBBY.org). You may recall that my poem "Amazed" appears in Things We Feel, so I now have two poems in publications from Pomelo Books. I am officially a "Pomelo Poet," and I have the logo to prove it! 😀
My poem in What Is a Friend? is called "Sidekicks." You can see it below alongside the photo that inspired it. Special thanks to Janet Wong for creating this great graphic!
The students in the above photo are practicing tae kwon do. I have to confess that I knew nothing about this martial art before attempting the poem. My early drafts were based on online research. After sharing some drafts with my critique group, I learned fellow member and poet Eileen Meyer had actually studied tae kwon do herself. Eileen's feedback was especially helpful to my revision process! (If you don't know Eileen, she is one of three poets making up the "Rhyme Doctors" team--read more on their website.)
I hope you'll check out this week's Poetry Friday roundup hosted by Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe for links to more kidlit poetry.