Why Read, Write & Teach Poetry?

Promenade (La Promenade)

“A good poem is a delight to read because it sparks the imagination and elicits a response from the reader–a chuckle, a groan, a sigh, an epiphany. The conciseness of poetry, especially when combined with an engaging rhyme and meter, can make just about any topic memorable.”

Listen to Heidi Roemer–author of many poetry picture books and more than 400 poems published in various children’s magazines–talk about poetry, the importance of reading it, writing it, and teaching it to young children.

Get inspired, and start creating your own “Child’s Garden of Verses.” 

And don’t forget to mix a bit of mystery in. Steer clear of the–often encouraged–“quantifiable process of demystification.”  It’s okay to leave poems unsolved.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Promenade (La Promenade), c. 1906. Oil on canvas, Overall: 64 3/4 x 50 15/16 in. (164.5 x 129.4 cm). BF571. Public Domain.

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One, Two, Whiteness Is Coming for You

She Gave Her Darter-in-law a Piece of Her Mind

  • Attention, parents of young children!

Is Anastasia Higginbotham visiting your child’s school?

Be advised that she doesn’t travel alone. She brings along a cardboard cutout of Colin Kaepernick — her hero, and a role model–in her opinion–for children.

She kneels beside the cutout while reading her “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness”, and messing with your child’s brain.

While she’s at it, she might also want to teach your child about divorce, death, and sex — she’s got books on those subjects as well.

Apparently, Anastasia Higginbotham has chosen the lucrative path of a “white woman writing about the toxic inheritance of white supremacy.”

So brave. So original.

  • Want to hear something else brave and original?

“White male entitlement.” Not sure what it means? Just ask Stephen King, a white insanely successful male, and an open mind:

‘If “white male entitlement” was in the dictionary, it could be illustrated by Brett Kavanaugh’s photograph.’

There you go.

Image: William James Glackens. She Gave Her Darter-in-law a Piece of Her Mind, 1909. Brush and ink, charcoal, graphite, black crayon, and white gouache on paperboard, Overall: 10 x 7 3/4 in. (25.4 x 19.7 cm). BF606. Public Domain.

What’s Your Author Persona Mask Like?

Study of Girls' Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles)

Should you wear a mask when in public?

Should you ever discuss the Great Pumpkin?

What’s the biggest benefit of having a public persona?

Even if you don’t (yet) give interviews, or do book signings, or deliver keynote speeches, etc., it’s not too early to think about your public author persona.

If you’re a writer, if you have a blog, if you’re active on social media — your public persona will protect you, and help you find the audience for your writing.

Here’s more on developing your author persona, and brand.

Go for it.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Study of Girls’ Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles), c. 1893. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 1/4 x 12 11/16 in. (41.3 x 32.2 cm). BF474. Public Domain.