Thursday, March 30, 2023

the #climatepoemproject, and multiform poetry

'Twas the night before April and in poets' houses
the creatures were stirring, including our mouses...

Greetings to all who are vibrating with excitement for the opening of National Poetry Month!

First up:

I'm participating in a project of the Authors Take Action group! Many of us are joining in suggesting prompts for a climate-themed poem, open to writers K-5 and up. You can find all the prompts at this Authors Take Action page.  Here's mine...


Some people are taking recycling to a whole new level! Watch this video about schools built out of plastic bottles, and then imagine sitting inside a school like that.  Write a poem describing what you see, hear, and feel around you. How is it different than a regular school?



Or... imagine building a school out of something else that usually gets thrown away, like tires or old washing machines or cardboard boxes.  Maybe your poem will sound like an engineer's structural drawing or an architect's blueprint or a TV commercial advertising your new recycled school!


Thanks to Laura Shovan and the other members of Authors Take Action for inviting us all to play along!


And now, I'm playing along with the Poetry Sisters, who are writing etherees this month.  I've combined the 1-10 syllable etheree with my own creation, the definito.  Enjoy the layers of form; I certainly had fun with them, and came up with something that is kind of the opposite of a school built out of plastic bottles!


barely there

     a definito



fog or mist.

a ghost. a hint

of something that fleets

         away as you reach it.

           disappearing atmosphere.

                transparent. neither solid nor stiff.

                   something here and yet not here. feels as 

                      real as air, as ether. ethereal.



Finally, next Wednesday I'll start my National Poetry Month project. Assuming that I can get to grips with Squarespace's blogging platform, I'll be adding kids' poems weekly on Wednesdays to the new WHISPERshout Magazine, publishing poetry and art by kids ages 4-12.  The link is here:

 Let the wild rumpus begin!!!*

And THANKS to Mary Lee for hosting us today at A(nother) Year of Reading, where she'll also be kicking off this year's Progressive Poem.  She's one of my favorite trailblazers! 

*Yes, I know Maurice wrote "start," but the rhythm is so much better with "begin," don't you think? 😊


  1. Heidi, I love your poetry prompt for the #ClimatePoemProject. Wow. That video is awesome, and thinking of making a school out of something that normally gets thrown away is such a beautiful idea. I learned some things about ethereal in your poem, and you wrote it like a whisp of air. All the best getting the Whisper Shout Magazine up and wild rumpusing!

  2. Your ethereal etheree is all kinds of perfection. It definitely IS the opposite of those solid, solve-a-problem plastic schools. I can't wait to see what poems come of your prompt!

  3. WHAAAAT, that mini Earthship school is so, so cool!!!!
    Also, so is your... um, detheree, Cousin.
    And so are you. ♥

  4. Your ethereal etheree definito is celestially wonderful. A favorite. I think I agree with Maurice about "start," though. I'll be pondering that, haha!

  5. WOW. This etheree is a masterpiece--which shouldn't be a surprise, I suppose. Outstanding wordplay and soundwork. Thanks, Heidi!

  6. Ohhhh I love this poem. The cadence is so lilting... the shape looks like mist settling... everything about this poem fits for me. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Your definitos need a publisher. They are so ready--and we middle school librarians need them yesterday! I love this and your passion for making our world better for all of us.

  8. Heidi, I want to congratulate you on the launch of your WHISPERshout magazine honoring young writers. It is beautifully laid out with #stuvoice rising. Your definito is a wonder. The insertion of the word ethereal is an extra bonus (one of my favorite words.) That video you shared is about an amazing project.

  9. I love the way you combined the two forms to create such a layered poem. So creative, as was the video about the plastic bottle schools. Wow! Thank you for sharing it.

  10. Oh, an etheree and a definito in one!! I'm swooning, Heidi. This is divine!!

  11. On my list: poem about a school made of discarded bed mattresses (I mean, WHAT HAPPENS TO THESE THINGS ANYWAY???)

  12. I love your ethereal etheree! The creativity of using plastic bottles to build a school is impressive. Do you know the story of the "Plastiki," a boat made of plastic bottles? Thank you for always pushing my thinking, Heidi!

  13. An unusual and captivating topic for you definito and I was blown away by the number of schools they have built with bottles. I think yours is an engaging prompt.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!