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.
I love that this poetry contribution allowed you an opportunity to learn about tae kwon do! Learning and discovering is a big part of why I write at all. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Congratulations, Carmela! I think it's great that 100% of profits go to IBBY Children in Crisis Fund. What a wonderful reason to write for (and buy)these books. Well done.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Irene. Yes, it was fun learning about martial arts!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Julie. Your feedback helped make this poem what it is!ReplyDelete
What a collection of master poets!! I'll check it out for Granddaughter. She's learning how to read, and is already wondering about friends. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Carmela, I loved this poem when offered the chance to help select the last few that went in! My son is within inches of being TKD black belt, so seeing this one in the book is a bit special. Hope to meet you at some future Pomelo Party!ReplyDelete
Oh, I hope your granddaughter loves it, Bobbi!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Heidi! I love your poem "Myself" in the collection--so affirming! Yes, hope to see you soon.ReplyDelete
Well done to my "sidekick" critique partner, Carmela Martino! Great poem. I love Tae Kwon Do and have special memories of doing this wonderful martial art with my sons when they were in elementary school. Such admiration for those who practice and maintain high level rankings!ReplyDelete
I love that we are published together in this book! Great job!ReplyDelete
Sylvia and Janet always come up with such terrific anthology themes! Love your clever poem, Carmela!ReplyDelete
So happy to be published with you in this anthology. I had to research skate books.ReplyDelete
I never would have guessed you had to learn about all these great kicks from scratch, Carmela - and now you've taught us, in such a fun way! Kids who do and don't know about martial arts will love your poem. [I enjoyed sharing this book with kids last week in a week of school visits in Georgia. It's just wonderful.]ReplyDelete
I LOVED this poem the minute I read it. The strong repetition echoes the repetitive movements that students make in a tae kwon do class. (I took TKD very briefly as a child and the repetition brought back memories of doing drills together.) I also adore the wordplay! Well done, Carmela!!ReplyDelete
Congratulations, Carmela! I loved your poem and your title, Sidekicks! I loved learning about the different kind of kicks, and I loved the repetition of kicks in your poem! I always wanted to take Tae kwon do. I can see children wanting to do the kicks in the photo after reading your poem. By the way, I'm one of the poets you don't know. I am Gail Aldous, and I wrote Trust. I also wrote a poem in Things We Eat. :)ReplyDelete
Such a great poem...and great book! Thanks for sharing a bit of the background and process. I know my students will love this.ReplyDelete
It's a perfect poem, Carmela, all the more so that you knew little about tae kwon do. My next-door neighbor's son has studied it for a long time, he tells me, and he's only 11. I will share it with him!ReplyDelete
What a fun poem! I love how it's a list poem at its heart, and it feels kind of like a chant. So fun to say out loud, and so sweet at the end. Happy to be in this anthology with you!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Eileen. I enjoyed learning about TKD for this poem.ReplyDelete
Yes, Marcie. It's fun to "meet" fellow poets through these anthologies.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Teresa. I love the anthologies Sylvia and Janet come up with!ReplyDelete
Wow, what a week of school visits you had Robyn! Thanks for sharing the book with those lucky students.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Janet. I had no idea you had practiced TKD! Thanks so much for the opportunity to be in the anthology.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Gail. I love how you wrote from the puppy's POV in your poem TRUST in the anthology. What a beautiful portrayal of the dog-human relationship. It fits the photo perfectly!ReplyDelete
Linda Mitchell, thanks for sharing the anthology with your students.ReplyDelete
Linda B, I hope your neighbor enjoys the poem. :-)
Laura, I love your Jitters poem. It is so fun to be in an anthology together!ReplyDelete