Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NPM Day 19: Letter Q - The Queen of Poetry

Continuing my alphabetic stroll
through National Poetry Month 
by crowning a favorite poet, 
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater,
the queen of poetry!
I am delighted to introduce you and your students to the delightful playground of poetry created at The Poem Farm by the queen of poetry, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater!

Here's Amy pic & introduction (both borrowed)
from her blog, The Poem Farm:
"I'm Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, and I've been sharing poems and lessons here since March 2010. The Poem Farm is a safe place for children to explore poems, and it's a place for teachers to find poetry teaching ideas. I post on some Mondays and each Friday during the school year, and I welcome you to make yourself cozy here among the words."

Why do I love Amy's site, The Poem Farm?  Amy's blog is a wonderful place for both children and teachers.  She includes an audio clip of herself reading the poem, she speaks directly to student writers in her posts, and her site is remarkably well-organized.  In Poems by Topic, you can find hundreds of her poems on all sorts of topics.  Poems by Technique classifies hundreds of her poems using all sorts of techniques.   When you visit Poetry Peeks, you'll step into classrooms and studios around the United States which can provide inspiration for your own classroom.  

And while I loved Amy's National Poetry Month project in 2014 when she wrote about items from the thrift shop, her project for 2017, Writing the Rainbow, may be my new favorite.  Each day she pulls out a color from her box of 64 Crayola crayons.  That color becomes the inspiration for the next day's poem.  I love that her poems took a surprise turn on day two - each poem is written from the point of view of a child living in an apartment building.  Some days I try to think of what the color Amy has drawn might inspire. Today Amy's thoughts led her to a fire hydrant.  

Here's a favorite Amy poem, Fire(discovered when I was culling through my collection of Booklinks magazines) which adorns the cover of my notebook of favorite poems!  The Booklinks version has a few changes from the one posted on Amy's site.

You can see more of Amy's contributions to the world of poetry in many anthologies, professional books and magazines.   You can read about Amy's published books and what's forthcoming.  I'm so excited for her new book of poetry Read! Read! Read! coming out this fall.  Just today, Deb Frazier's post on Two Writing Teachers featured Amy and The Poem Farm.  Deb uses Stacey Shubbitz's advice in Craft Moves to show how utilizing one poem can "illustrate multiple points in both reading and writing workshop."  Finally, if you ever have the chance to hear Amy speak in person, you'll be richly rewarded.  Also be sure to get Amy's autograph in your book.  Her inscriptions are poetic as well as artistic!
 Her inscription in my copy of Forest Has a Song
when I met her at the All Write conference!


  1. It's a wondering gathering and tribute to all the amazing poetry work that Amy does. I wish all teachers were aware of Amy's site, and those who say they don't like "doing" poetry could begin to love it as they read her poems. Fun about that poem, "Fire", Ramona. I have a copy too because one of the teachers I worked with was studying fire with her class. It was perfect for them. Thanks for sharing so much!

  2. Ramona. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and feature here. I am honored and touched. They made that fire poem look so darn good in the magazine! I love artists. Hugs to you this National Poetry Month as you spread generosity and knowledge. xx