Thursday, September 22, 2016

Poetry Friday for Four Days!

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Catherine Flynn at Reading To The Core. I had the pleasure of spending lots of time with Catherine at the Highlights Foundation last week writing and learning “The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children” from Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard. It was a marvelous time that I've also written about in my two previous blog posts! 

I'm thrilled and honored to move to the Cybil's Poetry Judges' Round One this year, will love working with Joy Acey, Carol Wilcox, Sylvia Vardell, Jone MacCulloch, Courtney Garrison and Tricia Stohr-Hunt. Don't forget, nominations begin on October 1st!


It was terrific to spend time with other Poetry Friday bloggers, too, like Robyn Hood Black, Buffy Silverman, Linda Kulp Trout, and Charles Waters. 



In these days, we filled up with poetry. We met in smaller groups to share our own original poetry and receive critiques. This made me wish to have this group for every poem. The insights and ideas offer were very appreciated. "Revision" means to "re-see", and this time that "second sight" showed me new ways to look and keep looking for a better draft.  


Georgia & Rebecca took one word and wrote from it right in front of us, showing various ways to start a poem, then change after careful looks. Yes, it was first draft writing, but illuminating to see others do this.  Lee Bennett Hopkins visited with us via Skype, sharing his own important ideas about poetry. When he looks/accepts poems for his anthologies, he looks for those with "heart".



WordSong editor Rebecca Davis, joined us to answer our questions about publishing poetry and to share Georgia’s coming collection of animal poems for two (or more) voices. They even read some different drafts, then asked which one was chosen for the book, and to see if we could decide "why" that one.  And, I now have an "F&G" copy of  Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s  new book with Jane Yolen, Grumbles From the Town. It was fun to hear how these two came to be working together and to read the results of this marvelous collaboration! Catherine shared some examples on her post! 
We did write new things, too. One session included ideas for observational poetry. We began with a rock, provided, and wrote a series of ideas/observations to help start a poem. Then we shared the objects we were asked to bring. Mine was a group of used pencils. There are old stories and new ones of pencils cherished down to the stub, not always affordable, and long ago it was against the law for slaves to possess one. It's hard to imagine not having pencils everywhere. And so I wrote:
Rich

pencil bought, hard wrought
crops in, sheep fed
every one, snug abed
words waiting, calling me          
pencil sharp, poetry

Linda Baie (c) All Rights Reserved 

            The time spend in and out of doors, with friends or alone made me feel rich, too!

36 comments:

  1. what a wonderful experience! Rich, indeed!

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  2. Love hearing about your time at the workshop, and fun to see PF friends in the pic! Enjoyed your pencil poem, too, especially "snug abed" :).

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    1. Thank you, Jama. It was really fun to meet and "be" with everyone.

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  3. Still wishing I could've seen everyone...but glad you had a good time! And congrats on being a CYBILS judge - I forgot all about this year, and wanted to sign up, but I learned it was too late. (sigh) Enjoy all the reading you'll get to do!

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    1. It would have been fun to have had you there, too, Matt. It really was a great time. Will miss you in the judging, too. I've never done Round 1, so this is a new challenge for me, but will get to know lots of new poetry! Thanks!

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  4. I can see why richness was the theme --all sounds great, except beginning a poem in front of everyone sounds harrowing. Brave souls! Lovely poem, the snug pencils and words.

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    1. I imagine they were nervous, Jeannine, but didn't show it! Thank for the comment.

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  5. One of these days we will be together. We will go antique shopping, to used book stores, and write poetry.

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  6. How could you not write pencil-sharp poetry in an environment like that?! I'm amazed at what you pulled out of that group of used pencils, Linda. What an amazing experience to share with so many PF friends and new friends, as well, no doubt.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. It was a lovely time, so inspiring!

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  7. Writing a poem off the cuff with an audience... I am all shades of respect. How fabulous to get together with some of the Poetry Friday crew in such a creative environment. I think the first line of your poem puts a pencil in perspective.

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    1. Kat, the poem comes from more than one book telling about a pencil that was so cherished, sometimes purchased, but also sometimes just found. Thanks, it was a wonder to see Georgia and Rebecca write like that.

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  8. Linda, this is a beautiful poem ... more so for the experience of writing. "words, waiting. calling me"
    I wonder what other words those pencils hold?
    Bravo. Lovely work.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. It is certainly from my heart, and imagining what it must be like to have none, or only one.

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  9. Such an inspiring experience, and it seems like such a supportive, generous, warm group building each other up and helping each other grow. What a great community to be a part of. :)

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    1. It was, Jane, all that you wrote! Thanks!

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  10. Enjoyed your pencil poem and that "pencil sharp poetry." The Highlights conference looked wonderful (I have now read several reports). Maybe someday...

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    1. I hope you can get there someday, Violet. It is a special place! Thank you!

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  11. Such a treat to hang out with friends who
    love poetry in such a beautiful setting! I bet you came away inspired for your WIP. Loved your comment about Poetry Camp-wish you were coming to share in the fun! We're bound to
    connect one of these days over some conference or event.

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    1. Hope so, and look forward to hearing all about your time this week, Ramona! Thanks, and happy times wished for you this week!

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  12. Linda, I loved reading this and reliving those magical moments. Your poem is beautiful! You did a wonderful job of creating vivid images with just a few well-chosen words. I have pens everywhere because those words are always waiting! Congratulations on being a Cybil judge once again!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. And I do understand about those pens everywhere!

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  13. Enjoyed your poem, Linda! Nice rhythm. Interesting what Lee Bennett Hopkins said about looking for poetry with heart.

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    1. Thanks, Tabatha. I would guess he meant those poems with a "feeling" connection. It was delightful to see and hear him talk.

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  14. Oh, this post makes me wistful (& grateful) for being in the middle of all that inspiration last week! Thanks for sharing, and glad we got to share an airport car-ride, too. (I love your "snug abed," too!) Oh, and I am so crashing your future antiquing/used bookstore/writing adventure with Margaret... ;0)

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    1. It was wonderful to spend time with you, Robyn. There's nothing nicer than good visiting! Wouldn't it be marvelous to get together for some days together with Margaret doing our favorite things! Hoping for someday!

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  15. Really enjoyed both the details and the photos of your time at Highlights Fdn! Your pencils poem is wonderful and I for one would welcome a version that develops some of those facts you shared as well as your obvious own reverence for the humble mighty pencil. Wonderful post!

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    1. Thanks, Heidi, it was fun to share, and thanks also for the feedback to my poem, will attempt some different versions!

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  16. I am rich from reading about your experience, Linda! Fabulous group of poets and your pencil poem is 'sharp'. =)

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    1. You are the best, Bridget! Be sure you never 'erase' that clever wordplay! And thanks!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!