Thursday, May 16, 2019

Poetry Friday: A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks

Welcome, once again, to Poetry Friday! This week's round up host is Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche blog. Be sure to click over to read all of this week's poetry goodness.

Michelle at 
Today's Little Ditty blog spent National Poetry Month interviewing a plethora of talented poets. At the end of the month, Michelle randomly chose winners to receive copies of books written by her featured guests. One of those featured was Alice Faye Duncan. Because I'm an Illinois native and grew up enjoying Gwendolyn Brook's poetry at school, I was especially excited to learn that I had won a digital copy of Faye Duncan's A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks.

Although I had read plenty of Brook's work, I really didn't know too much about her early life. A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks takes readers back to her early days growing up on Chicago's south side, a beloved daughter to parents who nurtured and encouraged her love for writing poetry. Brooks was often allowed to skip chores to work on her craft, and when one of her teachers doubted that she had written something sumitted for an assignment, Brook's mother marched to the school and proclaimed her daughter's innocence and talent. The poem I'm sharing this week is one that Gwendolyn wrote in response to this experience:

If others neglect you,
Forget; do not sigh,
For, after all, they'll select you
In times by and by.
If their taunts cut and hurt you,
They are sure to regret.
And if in time, they desert you,
Forgive and forget.

As the book moves forward chronologically, we see Gwendolyn grow in confidence. We see her study and learn from other great poets of the time. We see her talent explode and flourish and watch her collect the first ever Pulitzer Prize given to a black American.

This lyrical biography is a lovely mix of Faye Duncan's bluesy rhythm with Brook's own poetic voice dotted throughout. This book is an insightful introduction to one of the world's greatest poets, and it should be on the shelf in every elementary school library.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Poetry Friday: Instructions To Wind

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's round up is hosted by Elizabeth Steinglass. Be sure to click over to enjoy all of this week's poetry goodness.

I spent the first seven days of May participating in NaPiBoWriWee- National Picture Book Writing Week, and I promised an update on how I did. I was able to get 5 first drafts completed. I didn't make it to seven, but I accomplished way more in a week than I usually do. Now it's time to start revising :)

Now, for another challenge. Michelle at Today's Little Ditty blog is back with monthly challenges to get our creative juices flowing. This month, Michelle invited Elizabeth Steinglass to lead the way. Elizabeth challenged us to write a poem that gives instructions to an inanimate object on how to do its job. Here is my addition:

Instructions To Wind
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Blow so lightly, a gentle breeze.
Rustle leaves hanging from trees.
Whip and gust. Dry up mud.
Evaporate puddles from the flood.
Play a tune on front porch chimes-
A lullabye for summer times.
Carry kites across the sky.
Help the birds to soar and fly.
Fan the flames for our weiner roast.
Build surf waves along the coast.
Whirl and swirl! Move that air!
Just please try not to muss my hair!

Copyright 2019 Kimberly M. Hutmacher

If you would like to join in on this challenge, you have the rest of May to add your instruction poem to Michelle's padlet.

Last but not least, look for a new vlog post on seeds coming this week from S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Poetry Friday: Planting Flowers

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's round up is hosted by Jama's Alphabet Soup blog. Be sure to click over to enjoy all of this week's poetry goodness.

Now that National Poetry Month is over, I find myslf knee-deep in NaPiBoWriWee- otherwise known as National Picture Book Writing Week. I'm attempting to write first drafts of seven picture books in seven days. So far, I'm on track, but yes, there is definitely a reason it is referred to as a challenge :) 

Since I'm working on picture books, I'm going to cheat a bit here, and share a poem from the archives. I planted some flowers this week, and this oldy but goody came to mind.

Ode to Sunflowers
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Sunflowers, O' Sunflowers,
Reaching for the skies
Glaring at the clouds above
with your chocolate eyes.

Golden faces nodding
as gray gives way to blue
Happy stems a dancing
as the sun shines anew!

Copyright 2016 Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Just to wrap up National Poetry Month, you can see our completed 2019 Progressive Poem here. Thank you, Irene Latham, for once again, leading the way.

My thanks also to Michelle at Today's Little Ditty. Michelle spent the month of April sharing beautiful books of poetry and interviews with their creators. Each day, featured a giveaway. I learned today that I won a digital copy of Alice Faye Duncan's A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks. I'm so excited to read this book and share more about it here.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out my new venture with Heidi Bee Roemer- S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry. We hope you'll help us spread the word. We plan to add two new videos along with theme related book suggestions and activities twice a month. We hope to build this site into a valuable resource for educators.

Last but not least, if you're a subscriber to Children's Book Insider, I have an article in this month's issue about finding your perfect writing mentor(s). Be sure to check it out.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Poetry Friday: Introducing the S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry Vlog

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's round up is hosted by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater at The Poem Farm. Be sure to click over to enjoy all of this week's poetry goodness.

I'm using today's post to introduce a new joint venture spearheaded by poet, Heidi Bee Roemer: S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry Vlog. Here is an overview from Heidi:

Across the curriculum, “S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry Videos for Pk-8” promotes poetry in the classroom using multiple methods and strategies. In addition to kid-friendly poetry videos, this vlog features crafts, classroom activities, and reference lists for related children’s books that offer additional information on each poem’s subject. 
I believe that poetry can be easily integrated into the classroom and used to enhance learning at all grade levels. The goal of my vlog is to provide teachers with educational resources, motivate students to become excited about reading and writing poetry, and to promote children’s authors and the books they create.
Our goal is to post two new videos along with theme related books and activities every month. We hope you'll visit and share this resource in your classrooms and with your teachers and poetry-loving friends. 

This week's video is titled, "Star Gazers." Enjoy!

The Progressive Poem continues today at Heidi's My Juicy Little Universe. A complete linked schedule is in the side bar.
And for a huge list of other National Poetry Month blog activity, go see Jama at jama's Alphabet Soup.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Poetry Friday: Masterpiece

Welcome to Poetry Friday. This week's host is Irene Latham's Live Your Poem blog. There you'll find an abundance of poetry goodness all in one beautiful place!

Today, I watched my almost 2 year old granddaughter draw a picture. She scribbled, studied, shaded, dotted, and studied some more. I have no idea what it is she made, but I know she worked intently on it for quite a while, and she was very excited to showcase it on the refrigerator. Today's poem is inspired by her endeavors.

by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Dots, lines, circles, curves
What will it turn out to be?

Sketch, shade, shape, trace
I'm just beginning to see!

Clouds? Sky? Sun? Lake?
A robin perched in a tree?

Form, frame, final touch
A masterpiece made by me!

Copyright 2019

Don't forget to check out how this year's progressive poem is coming along. Margaret Simon is providing today's line at Reflections on the Teche blog. The full schedule is linked in my side bar.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Poetry Friday: In The Middle Of The Night

Welcome to Poetry Friday. This week's round up is hosted by Karen Edmisten. Karen shares a beautiful poem by John Ashbury. Be sure to click over and savor every drop of poetry goodness.

A few weeks ago I entered to win a book on Jone's blog, and lucky me- I was chosen the winner of IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT: POEMS FROM A WIDE-AWAKE HOUSE written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Angela Matteson (Wordsong, 2019).

Have you ever wondered what all of the stuff in your house does when you're fast asleep? This fun collection takes readers on a middle-of-the-night adventure around an ordinary house, spying on ordinary objects engaged in not so ordinary adventures. A fruit rollup turns into a racetrack for toy cars. Leftover spaghetti becomes a pair of shoelaces. After a day of being bounced and dribbled, an aching basketball soaks in a sink full of ice. Here is one of my favorites:

Empty Pocket
by Laura Purdie Salas

I'm an empty spot-
     a vacant lot.
I'm alone
     with nothing to do.

Come button, toothpick, pebble, gum-
I'm nothing without 

I'm a treasure chest
     or a robin's nest.
You are jewels
     or eggs, bright blue!

Come nickel, sticker, piece of string,
I'm nothing without

This is a great bedtime read for home, and a wonderful read aloud for school. Children will have fun imagining what the objects in their own homes do while they sleep. They'll enjoy coming up with their own imaginative poems about their object's adventures. Readers will joyfully get lost in Matteson's stunning illustrations.

Laura's collection made me think about where I spend my middle-of-the-nights, and that is in my comfy cozy bed. This poem isn't really an adventure poem, but rather an ode. It's a thank you for what it does for me.

My Bed
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

A pillowed nest
To relax and rest
When I'm feeling stressed
And not at my best

It soothes and grants sleep
Collects tears that I weep
Dreams and secrets it keeps

A place to lay my weary head
My comfy cozy peaceful bed.

Copyright 2019

Jama Rattigan has a list of all blog activity surrounding National Poetry Month. It's a treasure. Thank you, Jama! Part of that list is this year's Progressive Poem. I contributed earlier this week. It's evolving nicely. Be sure to follow along! A link to the full schedule is in the sidebar.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

2019 Progressive Poem Day 3

Welcome to day 3 of National Poetry Month and the continuation of our Progressive Poem. Matt's line set the scene. Kat's line set the mood. I thought my line could begin a transition into some action. My found line comes courtesy of 'Summertime, Summertime' by The Jamies. The original line is No time to work- just time to play. Since we are writing for children this year, I changed work to school.

Endless summer; I can see for miles...
Fun, fun, fun - and the whole world smiles
No time for school- just time to play

Found Lines
L1 The Who, 'I Can See for Miles' / The Beach Boys, 'Endles Summer'
L2 The Beach Boys, 'Fun, Fun, Fun' / Dean Martin, 'When You're Smiling'
L3 The Jamies, 'Summertime, Summertime'

And now I pass the baton to Jone!

2019 Progressive Poem Schedule