Thursday, March 31, 2022

welcome april! welcome national poetry month! welcome all!

Greetings and salutations! It is my distinct honor to be hosting Poetry Friday on this auspicious first Friday of National Poetry Month 2022, and I'm delighted to have you all here!

BIRTHDAY #1       
There's quite a bit to accomplish today, first of which is to wish my little April Fool the happiest of birthdays! My first-born is 23 today and finally celebrating a day of majority cautiously but not under total lockdown, which is how she passed 21 and 22. For her pains she is receiving the first Harry Styles single since early 2020 from his new album HARRY'S HOUSE.  Let's all share in her joy...
 

 
POEM #1
Second on the agenda is the April challenge for the critique group known as INKLINGS, consisting of  Margaret Simon, Linda Mitchell, me, Molly Hogan, Mary Lee Hahn and Catherine Flynn.  This month, thanks to Mary Lee we are writing with help from Ellen Bass and a heart-wrenching poem.

Use “The Thing Is” by Ellen Bass as a mentor text. Keep the title, but choose a theme/message either from your own life or from current events.

I also incorporated Metaphor Dice into my effort, with plans for entering Taylor Mali's Golden Dice contest.

 

This is why we keep at it, right, folks?  Because we cannot help ourselves, and because as bell hooks said, "The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is--it's to imagine what is possible."

 
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So now let's look at the poetry-art that's moving from possible into REAL over the next month. We have everything from new books to author chats, from poem-a-day projects to line-a-day collaborations!

Birthday #2
Today is also the book birthday of IMPERFECT II, an anthology of poems for middle-schoolers focused on PERSPECTIVE.  This is a follow-up to IMPERFECT I, published in 2018 and also edited by Tabatha Yeatts, and it's already trending on major book sale sites!  I'm thrilled to have two poems in this collection (alongside many Poetry Friday regulars), which offers poetry to answer this question:  

When we've lost sight of the big picture, how can we help ourselves put things back in perspective? 

Get it now at Indiebound, Barnes & Noble or Amazon, and follow the blog at https://imperfectii.blogspot.com/ 


NPM PROJECT #1
Mine!  Here you can find more information about my month of response to ALL WE CAN SAVE, the collection of essays and poems edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson.  I'm reading it and listening to it and learning soooo much.  I can't say I'll write a poem every day, but I'll try to write something every day, and I'm challenging myself to write outside my comfort zone. 


NPM PROJECT #2
Joining me in responding to ALL WE CAN SAVE is Mary Lee Hahn, who WILL be writing a poem each day and depositing them here at her Poetrepository (one of my all time favorite coinages).  She has some intriguing themes lined up. I'm enjoying the feeling that there could be some dialogue between our projects...


 
 
NPM Poetry Friday Tradition #1
Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup will once again provide us with the NPM Kidlitosphere Events Roundup. Her catalog of all the exciting bites on the National Poetry Month menu will make your mouth water, maybe even make you shout!

NPM Poetry Friday Tradition #2
It's the annual Progressive Poem, originated by Irene Latham (who kicks us off this year) and now hosted by Margaret Simon.  Over 30 days, 30 poets will attempt to (and succeed; we always do) cobble together a collaborative poem, line by precarious, unpredictable line. Check out the team in the sidebar to the right!



NPM PROJECT #3
Linda Mitchell's APRIL poetry project at A Word Edgewise is to read one letter per day written by her grandmother from decades before she was born, as an inspiration for a new poem.  Can you IMAGINE how wonderful this will be?

NPM PROJECT #4
Michelle Barnes has resurfaced from a long pause (oh, we missed her!) for NPM and will be repeating last year's NPM project at Today's Little Ditty—Filling the Well. Playing with the stuff that inspires poetry, she'll be creating daily "inspirational musings" that pair quotations with art, photography, poems, music, dance... anything that strikes her fancy and gives the words new life.



NPM POETRY CHAT: SCOOP!
Laura Shovan's annual poetry chat at the Nerdy Book Club Facebook page is Sunday, April 10 at 6 pm. This year's topic is "Staying Out Past Dark: Saying Hard Things Through Poetry." It's a roundtable discussion with MG author/poets Chris Baron, Rebecca Balcarcel, and Rajani LaRocca about reading and writing poetry as a resource for kids during tough times.
 
 
 
Isn't it all heady and exciting!?  And now, finally, YOU get your say!  
Leave your link below and LET'S PARTY!

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You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

35 comments:

  1. Wow, lots of happy things in this post. Happy Birthday to your daughter, and congrats on having your poems in Imperfect II (and congrats to Tabatha for another anthology)! Love your "the thing is" poem: "Each touch makes its own music." YES!! So relatable. Looking forward to your climate change response poems, too. Happy NPM and thanks for hosting this week! (my link goes live at 6 a.m. Friday morning).

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  2. Yes, it IS all heady and exciting. My eldest is 23 also and her gotcha day is coming up. It's weird that she's so mature...making me old! But, I don't feel old. So, there's that. Thanks for hosting, kicking off Poetry Month and remembering all the important bits. Love that "well-worn drum of beauty." April now feels full of possibilities.

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  3. Wow Heidi, what a line-up, thanks for sharing all with us!!! I might have to stop teaching this month… And Yes to keep on beating that "well-worn drum of beauty" if not what else is there… Beautiful, sensitive poem. I look forward to stopping in at your "All We Can Save"posts and many more that are here. Thanks for this hosting extravaganza!!!

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  4. Heidi, this is such an inspiring post! I do feel sometimes that everything I write is slight, everyone does I suppose. But April is the time to keep pushing on. BTW my oldest son was born on April 1st, like your daughter. Happy Birthday to her. What a fun day to be born! Thanks for hosting!

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  5. Thank you for welcoming me to your blog, Heidi :-) This has always been a rollercoaster month for those of us named April...our necks get whiplash from all the partial conversations we think are all about us (well, AREN'T they?!?).
    I ADORE your poem--it moved me so..."Play, even when the palms on the skin of the drum are dry and cracked or clammy and sweating, and you think no one, no one is listening." I wish I could have inhaled this line, understood it, when I was young. No matter ~ there's so many riches in your post--thank you, thank you! My post, which goes live Friday morning, pertains to your Birthday #2 ~ I proud to be among the 51 poets in this beautifully human collection. Lots of love to all this month!

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  6. Heidi, Wow! What a chock full post you have today as host! Thank you! Congratulation on your published poems and ALL you have going on! It is also exciting to have a 23 year old. My oldest is 27, but I have a 22 and 20 year old as well. My 20 year old has made several paintings and/or drawings of Harry Styles. I love your poem how it speaks of persistence and doing what you do because you cannot help it - even if no one is listening.

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  7. Wowee! Happy birthday to your oldest! I'll be back this weekend to enjoy all the goodness you've gathered up here. Thanks for hosting and sharing all the poetry love.

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  8. There is so much to celebrate, Heidi. It makes me happy to read all your post. Happy Birthday to your daughter. I imagine she, with the others, will remember her entry into adulthood (at 21) all her life. Congrats for your poems in Imperfect II. I'll look forward to seeing your 2nd batch of poems for ALL WE CAN SAVE.Your poem speaks to making our own music, no matter the urge to stop, an inspiration. Thanks for a grand beginning.

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  9. "a taut stretched blessing" - yes, yes yes. What a beautiful poem after another beautiful poem. Happy birthday wishes to your daughter and to all of you! Congratulations to you, Tabatha, and all of the poets published in IMPERFECT II...such an important message all around. You remind us of all the riches of April today...as we together try our darndest "to beat the well-worn drum of beauty." (Wow, that line is so great.) Thank you for your advocacy. I am going to find that book.

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  10. A veritable cornucopia of things to celebrate Heidi. A busy launch to the month of April. I am looking forward to Imperfect II wending its way to Australia in the not too distant future. Thank you for hosting with such rich offerings.

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  11. SO much poetry goodness just in your post - and that's before we get to the round up. What a way to celebrate the start of NPM. Thank you for hosting.

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  12. Heidi, Happy Birthday to your daughter and thank you for hosting the opening of National Poetry Month. I look forward to enjoying the month of reading and writing. My right eye must be getting stronger after cataract surgery because I could read the small print of your poem-a bonus for me.I found your poem to be similar in tone like the mentor text As always, your poems make me think deeply about your topic. I am going to try ti imagine what all the possibilities are when sitting downn to write.

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  13. Oh my. Thank-you for this reminder. I came across here completely forgetting that it's (America's) National Poetry Month - a month I'm quite happy to try and tag along with, and endeavour to write a-poem-most-days. I was just going to knuckle down and write today's poem... (in a rush!) when I realised I already had. In my post. So that's a relief! But thank-you for the reminder - that I need to keep it up! (For my sanity. I haven't written enough poetry for the joy of it, lately.) And thank-you for hosting us. :)

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  14. What an amazing roundup! There is so much poetry goodness happening this month. Thank you for hosting!

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  15. Wow to everything, but especially to your Ellen Bass-ish poem! I love it more every time I read it. It contains such truth (thank you for putting to page what I often feel about my poetry), but also such delicious sounds (those last two lines!!!) Here's to the music we'll make in April, and hears to the Earth! Thank you for hosting us!

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  16. Such a full post! I love your drum of beauty poem and how you carry that metaphor through to the end. We are so lucky to be a part of this wonderful, beautiful drumbeating community. Happy Poem-making!

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  17. So. much. beauty! Thank you, Heidi. That bell hooks quote is a keeper. Here's to the power and possibility of poetry! xo

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  18. First things first: happy birthday to your daughter! My Miranda also loves Harry Styles. (She finally got to attend his postponed tour date last fall and had the time of her life.) I loved reading your impassioned "Thing is" poem. Please don't stop that thumping and clanging anytime soon! I also look forward to reading your poems in IMPERFECT II. Finally, I appreciate you including my NPM project in your mini roundup. I missed you too! (((hugs)))

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  19. Thank you for the NPM info and for hosting, Heidi. I love "The Thing Is" and am happy Mary Lee named it as a mentor poem. Yours is great -- I especially like the description of holding the drum between your knees like...

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  20. Happy birthday(s)! Love your poem and the drum sounds of internal rhyme throughout - and congrats on the new book from Tabatha, too. I hadn't heard about it, but it sounds very cool. Happy NPM!

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  21. HEIDI. That drum poem slays me. Each and every word is beautiful. Thank you, and thank you for hosting, too.

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  22. What a luscious and inspiring roundup for the day! I love your poem because I connect with "everything you make feels slight / or trite or insufficient to the moment" and it reminds me to keep trying anyway. I'm so looking forward to diving into this month's poetry goodness!

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  23. SOOOO much goodness here, Heidi - thank you for creating and curating and hosting us all with this perfect Poetry Month kick-off! Your drum poem was exactly what I didn't know I needed today. Thank you. (And so excited for Tabatha's newest collection - honestly, I've been "behind" so much this last year that I didn't submit, because I was so in the "imperfect" thick of things myself, I wasn't sure I could come up with something to offer this time around!) Happy April-ing!

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  24. Thanks for hosting, Heidi! I love this: *and you think no one/ no one is listening.* Happy 23rd birthday to your daughter!

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  25. Oh, wow - what a beautiful poem. I'm going to snag and share that metaphorical drum with my writing group. Thanks.

    Oh, and thanks for hosting and linking all this month's projects!

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  26. Oh my goodness...there is so much here to enjoy and explore. The juxtpostion of the burden and the taut stretched blessing" is striking.

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  27. Let the games begin! Thanks for hosting and sharing all of this great info with us. Cheers!

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  28. What a rich post. Thanks for sharing so much poetry goodness.
    My NPM project this year is to write in a variety of Japanese poetic forms inspired by primary sources.
    I can't wait to read everyone's projects this month!
    Thanks for hosting.

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  29. So much goodness and goodies here, Heidi! I love your take on Mary Lee's challenge, especially the line "you can only beat out your own rhythm" and the several lines that follow. There's so much to linger with in your words. Thanks for hosting this week and for sharing such a bountiful post.

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  30. Wow, there's so much happening this month! I'm honored to have a poem in an anthology with yours, Heidi, and look forward to holding IMPERFECT II in my hands and reading all the poems.
    Your "The Thing Is" poem is so powerful--I'm intrigued by the phrase "the well-worn drum of beauty" and what you've done with it. I'd never heard of Metaphor Dice before. I'm going to have to give them a roll!

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  31. Heidi, your poem is stunning. Much of my writing has felt slight, trite, or insufficient, recently. Your anthem gives me courage. <3

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  32. Thank you for hosting today and kicking off NPM with Style(s)! Happy birthday to Daisy AND to Imperfect II! Your response to Mary Lee's challenge is brilliant. Thank you for once again reminding me to keep playing, to beat the "taut, stretched blessing" of my voice. I can't wait to hear what music emerges from this month of writing alongside All We Can Save!

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  33. So many fun events for National Poetry Month! Thank you for rounding up the poems & poets. I love the bell hooks quote.

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  34. Thank you, Heidi! There is so much information and goodness in this post. Your poem is encouraging and uplifting - "Each touch makes its own music" just like each story or poem can mean something different to every reader.

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  35. Heidi, what a lot of treasures you have brought to our attention. Thank you for hosting today and for telling me about so many things going on in April. I love your poem, especially, "and you think no one, no one is listening" and those last lines from "holding the drum between your knees" all the way to "crowning, drowning sound of Earth." So beautiful!

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Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!