Friday, April 21, 2017

NPM Day 21 & Poetry Friday: The Letter S

My book spine poem for NPM 2017:

She walks in beauty
A jar of tiny stars
Awakening the heart
Opening a door
House of light 
Pass the poetry, please!

Continuing my alphabetic stroll
through National Poetry Month 
with a focus on two poets, 
a theme and an anthology . . .  

Carol Diggory Shields
I always made sure to include her humorous Brain Juice series in the bins for poetry month.  My personal favorite was English Fresh Squeezed!, but she has two additional titles in the series:   American History, Fresh Squeezed! and Science, Fresh Squeezed!  

Laura Purdie Salas
I have an autographed copy of A Rock Can Be from NCTE 2014 when I met these two rock stars of poetry:  Laura Purdie Salas and Irene Latham. 

I love Laura's instructional books for young writers.  Check out these titles for the poetry writers in your classroom and to inspire the inner poet in you.
  • Write Your Own Poetry
  • Picture Yourself Writing Poetry: Using Photos to Inspire Writing 
  • Catch Your Breath:  Writing Poignant Poetry.  
But my absolute favorite from Laura's very prolific pile of poetry books is Bookspeak! Poems about Books.  Here's the lively description of this book from Laura's site:  "In BookSpeak!, 21 wild, wacky, and winsome poems showcase the magic on a single bookshelf.  Characters plead for sequels, book jackets strut their stuff, and a raucous party starts when the lights go out at the bookstore!"

And be sure to stop by Laura's site for more poetic fun!  It's where I just discovered a new-to-me title, The Heart of a Teacher, available in Kindle and paperback and perfect for teacher appreciation gifts.  When you arrive at her site, check out two of my favorite (just discovered) sections:  Laura's Poetry Sampler and Poetic Pursuits, a collection of articles Laura wrote about poetry techniques and forms.  

Seasonal Poetry
Are you struggling with some of those hard-to-reach students who insist they hate poetry?  My three tried and true topics are animals, sports, and seasons.  Douglas Florian's four books of seasonal poetry Handsprings, Summersaults, Autumnblings, and Winter Eyes belong in every teacher's collection.   Julie Andrews' Treasury for All Seasons:  Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year is an excellent anthology organized by months of the year to celebrate seasons and special days.  And I simply must include a recently discovered title for the adult reader:  Spring:  A Spiritual Biography of the Seasons.   Edited by Gary Schmidt and Susan M. Flech and beautifully illustrated by Mary Azarian, this book provides a wonderful collection of writings, poems, and meditations to inspire spiritual reflection.  

She Walks in Beauty:  A Woman's Journey through Poems
Selected and Introduced by Caroline Kennedy
This anthology was given to me for Mother's Day 2011 by my daughter.  The collection is divided into sections that illustrate important milestones in a woman's life with an introduction to each section written by Caroline Kennedy.  It's a beautiful book and would make a perfect gift for a friend, mother, grandmother, aunt, or cousin. Everyone needs a beautiful anthology of poems sitting on the bedside table!  

Head over to Tabatha Yeatt's blog, 
The Opposite of Indifference,
for this week's round-up of poetic goodness.
Thanks, Tabatha, for hosting this week!


  1. Thanks for sharing all this poetry wisdom with us today, Ramona!

  2. what a cool project for NPM, Ramona. I'm honored to be on your S list! I love seasonal poetry (maybe a little too much).
    And Carol Diggory Shields' Lunch Money was an early mentor text (though she doesn't know it) for my first trade picture book, Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School (oop). Honored to be in your alphabet! Thank you:>)

  3. Laura brings so much joy to the world, doesn't she? As do you, Ramona, my friend! Thank you. xo

  4. I didn't realize Laura had written so many instructional books for young writers! Very cool.

  5. Lovely spine poem, Ramona. And I do love seasonal poetry. I find it's so accessible for my Kindergarten poets to write. Thank you! -- Christie @

  6. I have a couple of Laura's instructional books, and Bookspeak along with the 'can be' books, all wonders for different needs. Thanks for highlighting all that she has available, Ramona, plus the other things too.

  7. Laura is so accomplished, and her passion for sharing her love of poetry and encouraging everyone to discover their inner poetry is so inspiring.

  8. So much poetry goodness. Thank you for sharing all of it with us!