Thursday, February 24, 2022

Poetry Friday is Here!

I'm thrilled to be hosting Poetry Friday on a day when my poetry sisters and I are sharing the results of a monthly challenge. This month we played a game called Exquisite Corpse. Here's a bit about it:

Exquisite Corpse is a game developed by surrealist writers in the 1920s. The game lets you randomly create combinations of words which your own intelligence often finds meaning in. (The name of the game is one of the first images the inventors created by playing it.)

You can read more about it at Exquisite Corpse: An Imagery Imagination Game.
We began with Liz, who sent one line of poetry to Tanita. Tanita wrote one line of poetry and sent ONLY her line to Kelly. It continued in this fashion, with each poet sending a single line to the next. We met on Zoom Sunday and read our lines aloud. Here's what we ended up with.

This month, odd one out, running short on days and sleep, (Liz)
This month, past meets pride, roots ripped from native soil still somehow grow. (Tanita)
The once-bright future dims. Shadows grow (Kelly)
But there, near canyon  rim, in  broken light (Sara)
the yearling hawk shrieked in futile fury (Andi)
and the steel-edged clouds looked away (Laura)
trees bow and bend on a blustery day (Tricia)
that rattles old oak leaves down the street. (Mary Lee)

Once we had these lines, it was up to each poet to take (or leave) the words and revise in their own way. Because I like rules, I gave myself a few. I had to use the words or portions of words that were written, and I could not add more than 5 new words. Here's what I came up with.

Post-Pandemic Life

This day …
  No one sleeps
  Hawk meets steel-edged clouds
  near canyon rim 
  In broken light
  shadows grow

This month …
  Running short on days 
  the once-bright future dims
  Odd, the past
  that rattles down the street
  in futile fury

This year …
  Old oak trees bow and bend
     Don’t look away
  Roots ripped from native soil 
  still somehow grow

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

After we met, I spent some time working on a creative journal entry for the #100dayproject I'm working on. You can see a bit of my writing process in it.
You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. (Please note I'm posting Thursday evening for you early birds, so some of these links may not be live until Friday.)
    Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing ekphrastic doditsu. You can learn about this poetic from Robert Lee Brewer at Writer's Digest. We are sharing images in our group, but you can write to anything you like. If you want to be inspired by my image, here's what I shared. 
    That's my dad when he was stationed in Hawaii during WWII. He loved dogs and took quite a shine to a stray and somehow managed to keep him on base. They named him "Puddles, the transportation dog." Since the "dodoitsu often focuses on love or work with a comical twist," I thought this image would be fun to write about. Feel free to use it if you like.

    We hope you'll join us in our next challenge. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on March 25th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 


    I'm rounding things up old school today, so leave your link in the comments and I'll add you to the post. Happy Poetry Friday all!

    Original Works (Poems, Videos, Photos, etc.)
    If you didn't see the links above, you can check out the Exquisite Corpse poems written by my poetry sisters here:

    Linda Mitchell of A Word Edgewise shares her poem related to the sense of smell.

    Linda Kulp Trout shares an original video poem entitled True Love.

    Karen Eastlund takes a stab at one of my favorite forms and shares two triolets.

    Michelle Kogan shares all kinds of kinds of Exquisite Corpse goodness with a video AND poems!

    Linda Baie of Teacher Dance shares poem written to the prompt of the Sphinx entitled Rarely Mutable.

    Denise Krebs shares a golden shovel entitled My Heart Sings.

    Janice Scully shares a lovely elegy to the recently departed Dr. Paul Farmer.

    Elisabeth Norton of Unexpected Intersections shares several original poems on Chernobyl and Ukraine.

    Bridget Magee of wee words for wee ones shares some cornea humor. Thank you for making me snarf my tea this morning.

    Marcie Flinchum Atkins returns to Poetry Friday (welcome  back!) and shares a photo haiku.

    Molly Hogan of Nix the comfort zone is sharing a number of poems inspired by bread.

    Irene Latham is sharing an ArtSpeak poem entitled Hope Has Long Legs. (I love herons!)

    Matt Forrest Esenwine of Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme shares a poem entitled Hummingbird.

    Rose Capelli of Imagine the Possibilities shares a poem entitled Annabel Angelou Catherine Blake.

    Margaret Simon of Reflections on the Teche shares a poem entitled Beautiful things start with just one.

    Buffy Silverman shares a poem entitled February's Fake News.

    Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has a new book coming out. Hurray! Check out the book trailer and her poem entitled Outfit.

    Jone MacCulloch shares two exquisite corpse poems and a video of some New Year postcards.

    Patricia Franz shares a poem entitled Old Catfish.

    Renee LaTulippe's debut poem picture book comes out soon. Hurray! Check out her book trailer and art from the book.

    Catherine Flynn of Reading to the Core shares a beautifully illustrated found poem.

    Karin Fisher-Golton shares that celebrates 2-22-22. It's entitled Twosday.

    Carol Varsalona of Beyond Literacy Link shares an exquisite corpse poem entitled Love.

    Carol LaBuzzetta of The Apples in My Orchard shares a poem entitled Cardinal Story: A Poetic Version.

    Ruth Bowen Hersey of There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town shares a poem entitled Esta Falda.

    Poems of Others
    Robyn Hood Black of Life on the Deckle Edge shares some Scottish Nursery Rhymes.

    Jama Rattigan of Jama's Alphabet Soup muses on toast and toasters and shares the poem Ode to My Toaster by by Allan Chochinov.

    Heidi Mordhorst of my juicy little universe shares the poem Midnight Air in Louisville by Afaa Michael Weaver.

    Tabatha Yeatts of The Opposite of Indifference shares an excerpt from ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

    Karen Edmisten shares the poem Wild Gratitude by Edward Hirsch.

    Monday, February 14, 2022

    Announcing the #KidsLoveNonfiction Campaign

    This morning, Mary Ann Cappiello, Professor of Language and Literacy at Lesley University, and Xenia Hadjioannou, Associate Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the Harrisburg campus of Penn State University, sent the letter below to The New York Times requesting that the paper add three children's nonfiction bestseller lists to parallel the existing picture book, middle grade, and young adult lists, which focus on fiction.

    This change will align the children's lists with the adult bestseller lists, which separate nonfiction and fiction. It will also acknowledge the incredible vibrancy of children's nonfiction available today and support the substantial body of research showing that many children prefer nonfiction and still others enjoy fiction and nonfiction equally.

    If you support this request, please follow the signature collection form link to add your name and affiliation to the more than 200 educators and librarians who have already endorsed the effort. Your information will be added to the letter but your email address will remain private.

    Nonfiction books for young people are in a golden age of creativity, information-sharing, and reader-appeal. But the genre suffers from an image problem and an awareness problem. The New York Times can play a role in changing that by adding a set of Nonfiction Best Seller lists for young people: one for picture books, one for middle grade literature, and one for young adult literature.  
    Today’s nonfiction authors and illustrators are depicting marginalized and minority communities throughout history and in our current moment. They are sharing scientific phenomena and cutting-edge discoveries. They are bearing witness to how art forms shift and transform, and illuminating historical documents and artifacts long ignored. Some of these book creators are themselves scientists or historians, journalists or jurists, athletes or artists, models of active learning and agency for young people passionate about specific topics and subject areas. Today’s nonfiction continues to push boundaries in form and function. These innovative titles engage, inform, and inspire readers from birth to high school. 
    Babies delight in board books that offer them photographs of other babies’ faces. Toddlers and preschoolers fascinated by the world around them pore over books about insects, animals, and the seasons. Children, tweens, and teens are hungry for titles about real people that look like them and share their religion, cultural background, or geographical location, and they devour books about people living different lives at different times and in different places. Info-loving kids are captivated by fact books and field guides that fuel their passions. Young tinkerers, inventors, and creators seek out how-to books that guide them in making meals, building models, knitting garments, and more. Numerous studies have described such readers and their passionate interest in nonfiction (Jobe & Dayton-Sakari, 2002; Moss and Hendershot, 2002; Mohr, 2006). Young people are naturally curious about their world. When they are allowed to follow their passions and explore what interests them, it bolsters their overall wellbeing. And the more young people read, the more they grow as readers, writers, and critical thinkers (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2021; Van Bergen et al., 2021).

    Research provides clear evidence that many children prefer nonfiction for their independent reading, and many more select it to pursue information about their particular interests (Doiron, 2003; Repaskey et al., 2017; Robertson & Reese, 2017; Kotaman & Tekin, 2017). Creative and engaging nonfiction titles can also enhance and support science, social studies, and language arts curricula. And yet, all too often, children, parents, and teachers do not know about recently published nonfiction books. Bookstores generally have only a few shelves devoted to the genre. And classroom and school library book collections remain dominated by fiction. If families, caregivers, and educators were aware of the high-quality nonfiction that is published for children every year, the reading lives of children and their educational experiences could be significantly enriched.

    How can The New York Times help resolve the gap between readers’ yearning for engaging nonfiction, on the one hand, and their lack of knowledge of its existence, on the other? By maintaining separate fiction and nonfiction best seller lists for young readers just as the Book Review does for adults.
    The New York Times Best Sellers lists constitute a vital cultural touchstone, capturing the interests of readers and trends in the publishing world. Since their debut in October of 1931, these lists have evolved to reflect changing trends in publishing and to better inform the public about readers’ habits. We value the addition of the multi-format Children’s Best Seller list in July 2000 and subsequent lists organized by format in October 2004. Though the primary purpose of these lists is to inform, they undeniably play an important role in shaping what publishers publish and what children read.

    Adding children’s nonfiction best-seller lists would:
    • Help family members, caregivers, and educators identify worthy nonfiction titles.
    • Provide a resource for bibliophiles—including book-loving children—of materials that satisfy their curiosity.
    • Influence publishers’ decision-making.
    • Inform the public about innovative ways to convey information and ideas through words and images.
    • Inspire schools and public libraries to showcase nonfiction, broadening its appeal and deepening respect for truth.

    We, the undersigned, strongly believe that by adding a set of nonfiction best-seller lists for young people, The New York Times can help ensure that more children, tweens, and teens have access to books they love. Thank you for considering our request.

    Dr. Mary Ann Cappiello 
    Professor, Language and Literacy
    Graduate School of Education, Lesley University
    Cambridge, Massachusetts 
    Former Chair, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Committee 

    Dr. Xenia Hadjioannou
    Associate Professor, Language and Literacy Education
    Penn State University, Harrisburg Campus
    Harrisburg, PA
    Vice President of the Children’s Literature Assembly (CLA) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). 
    • Allington, R. L., & McGill-Franzen, A. M. (2021). Reading volume and reading achievement: A review of recent research. Reading Research Quarterly, 56(S1), S231–S238.
    • Correia, M. (2011). Fiction vs. informational texts: Which will your kindergarteners choose? Young Children, 66(6), 100-104.
    • Doiron, R. (2003). Boy Books, Girl Books: Should We Re-organize our School Library Collections? Teacher Librarian, 14-16.
    • Kotaman H. & Tekin A.K. (2017). Informational and fictional books: young children's book preferences and teachers' perspectives. Early Child Development and Care, 187(3-4), 600-614, DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1236092
    • Jobe, R., & Dayton-Sakari, M. (2002). Infokids: How to use nonfiction to turn reluctant readers into enthusiastic learners. Markham, Ontario, Canada: Pembroke.
    • Mohr, K. A. J. (2006). Children’s choices for recreational reading: A three-part investigation of selection preferences, rationales, and processes. Journal of Literacy Research, 38(1), 81–104.
    • Moss, B. &  Hendershot, J. (2002). Exploring sixth graders' selection of nonfiction trade books: when students are given the opportunity to select nonfiction books, motivation for reading improves. The Reading Teacher, vol. 56 (1), 6+.
    • Repaskey, L., Schumm, J. & Johnson, J. (2017). First and fourth grade boys’ and girls’ preferences for and perceptions about narrative and expository text. Reading Psychology, 38, 808-847.
    • Robertson, Sarah-Jane L. & Reese, Elaine. (Mar 2017). The very hungry caterpillar turned into a butterfly: Children's and parents' enjoyment of different book genres. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 17(1), 3-25.
    • Van Bergen, E., Vasalampi, K., & Torppa, M. (2021). How are practice and performance related? Development of reading from age 5 to 15. Reading Research Quarterly, 56(3), 415–434.
    If you support the request to add three children's nonfiction bestseller lists to parallel the existing lists, which focus on fiction, please add your name and affiliation to the signature collection form