Friday, January 20, 2017

Poetry Re-Issue: Instructions for Helping the World

Instructions for Helping the World
by
Greg Pincus

Write a poem.
Work with clay.
Draw or paint a day away.
Knit or dance.
Make a song.
Film a movie all night long.
Use your hands,
Brain and heart.
Live! Create!
Go make some art.

(originally published on January 6, 2012)

It is Poetry Friday yet again! Check out Violet Nesdoly's blog for the weekly roundup of links o' poetry related goodness. And go create some art!

Also, if you want to get all my poems emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tea! With Me (And More Authors and Illustrators!)


If you live anywhere near Thousand Oaks (that's out here near Los Angeles for those of my readers who are wondering), why not come to a Book Talk Tea on Sunday, January 29th at 2PM with me and a group of amazingly talented folk (Lisze Bechtold, Barbara Bietz, Mary Ann Fraser, Joan Bransfield Graham, Laura Lacamara, Kirsten Larson, Michelle Markel, Alexis O'Neill, Antoinette Portis, Greg Trine and Eugene Yelchin are all scheduled to be there!)? It promises to be a blast.

Tea and book talking sounds calming and invigorating at the same time, don't you think? It does to me, and I cannot wait to be at this Ventura County Reading Association event. Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Night Write - a writing poem

Night Write
by
Greg Pincus

Cannot sleep.
Turn on light.
Grab a pen -
Time to write!

Brain's awake.
Words fly fast.
Write and then
Read, at last.

Sometimes words
Come out right.
Sadly, this is not that night.

This was actually a poem started during the writing of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. Then I thought about similar topics again when I was working on The Homework Strike, but the poem never fit either book. It's possible that it's autobiographical, but I'm not saying :-)

It's Poetry Friday once again! This week, you can check out the roundup of posts over at Keri Recommends. Lots o' good stuff piling up there (read her post and click on the "click this widget" widget to see more!).

And, if you want to get all my poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Friday, January 06, 2017

In Middle School - a school poem/a middle school poem

In Middle School
by
Gregory K.

History's a mystery.
Science is a curse.
My English grade could use some aid -
My math one's even worse.
My Spanish skill is nearly nil.
PE's like a punch.
The only class I think I'll pass
In middle school is lunch!

(©2017 Greg Pincus)

The above poem kicks off The Homework Strike (my new novel out this week from Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic. Makes a great gift. Find a great local store or buy online or both!). As in the 14 Fibs, main character Gregory K. writes poems, and one starts each chapter. There might be others lurking in the 272 pages o' Strike, too, but you'll only know if you read it. I think you should, though I am biased. Also, while the poem and book aren't autobiographical, for the record, I passed lunch every year of school.

It's time for the first Poetry Friday roundup of the year, hosted over at TeacherDance. There are tons of great poetry links there to kick off your new year, so you really oughta check it out.

And, if you want to get all my poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Hooray! It's Launch Day for The Homework Strike!

Today, January 3rd, 2017 = the official debut of The Homework Strike. Let's all have cake, shall we?!


If you'll pardon me for a moment... "Yay!"

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Order a Signed Copy of The Homework Strike! (And a Launch Party)

Thanks to the fine folk at Children's Book World here in LA, you can order a signed or personalized (or, you know, blank) copy of The Homework Strike! You've potentially only got a week to do so, though, as I am signing books at my launch party there on Saturday, January 7th at 2:30 in the afternoon. You're invited to the party, too, by the way.  (The book officially debuts January 3rd, if you're keeping track (aka - Hi, Mom!))

I hope to see you at the launch or somewhere else during 2017. And to all of y'all... Happy New Year! Here's to a year of good health and happiness.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Homework Strike is a Junior Library Guild selection!

Not to be tooting the Homework Strike horn or anything, but... hey, y'all... it's a Junior Library Guild selection! Okay - fine: Toot! Toot!

(It's also available for pre-order everywhere cuz it comes out January 3rd. And Linzie Hunter's cover is pretty awesome, so I'll share it again. And yay!)

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Would You Believe: A Real Life Homework Strike in Spain

It's life imitating art imitating life or some variation on that theme: all November long, parents in Spain were asked to put their kids on a homework strike. The strike was for weekends only, and if a school sent home homework, parents were asked to send it back with a note saying "nope" and excusing their kids from doing the work.

The strike was organized by CEAPA - Spain's national organization of parent associations - because, they said, homework is detrimental to children. Based on a 2014 report by the OECD, Spain ranks 11th on a list of amount of time the average 15 year old spends on homework per week. The US is 15th.

There were news stories throughout Europe, unsurprisingly, but I was fond of the article and comment thread on The Guardian.  I have yet to read an article on the impact of the strike and would really love to find one from the student perspective. If you've run into one, please let me know!

I hope another country goes on strike when my book comes out in January. :-)



Tuesday, November 01, 2016

One Minute Till Bedtime Is Now!


It's launch day for One Minute till Bedtime, an anthology anthologized by Kenn Nesbitt and including a whole slew of poets... including me! The book is fantastic, and I think that's unbiased (while I'm biased). I base that not only on reading it myself, but also on the three starred reviews to date. The art by Christoph Niemann is fantastic, too.

And if you're in Los Angeles, you can come see a small slew of us included poets at the fantastic Children's Book World this Saturday, November 5th, at 2:00 PM. (That's also where I'll be having my Homework Strike launch party in January, by the way!). I hope to see you there... and even moreso, I hope you can check out the book.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Found Poetry - family

(click to see the found poem in all its found glory)
family
(a found poem)
by
Greg Pincus

Perhaps you like a puzzle even if it is a puzzle
that does not have an answer.

The mystery
is this, "How did
the answer
have such history?"

Perhaps you will come up with an answer.


One of the unexpected highlights of the Poetry Camp (for Adults) was the craft/found poem event run by poet/artist/inspire-er Robyn Hood Black the night before the conference at Bellingham's Village Books. If you know me, you know that while I'm a huge fan of arts and crafts and such as a concept... actually doing them isn't always tops on my list. But there I was, sitting at a table along with Bob Raczka, Peg Cheng, and Brenda Olson chatting, glue-ing, picking words, laughing, and having a blast.

I felt lucky: my source material included that rather amazing sentence that beings my poem. It also had a mystery/history rhyme I liked AND included the word "conchologists" which I was not able to fit into the poem (and had never heard before). You can see a bunch of the poems and read more about the conference at Peg Cheng's wonderful post about the whole event. Did I mention the whole thing was a blast? Good.

Today is Poetry Friday here in the blogosphere, and you can see the roundup of this week's posts over at fellow-Poetry-Camper Irene Latham's blog. Check it out!

Plus, if you want to get all my poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Monday, October 03, 2016

OMP! (Oh My Poetry!) - Thoughts After WWU's Inaugural Poetry Camp

I am just back from Western Washington University's first ever Poetry Camp for Adults. It was awesome. I can't talk all the highlights, so I've picked the three that are tied in my head as "tops."

1) 38 poets!!!! On Friday, the day before the conference, 38 poets (camp counselors?) who have been part of the Pomelo Books Poetry Friday Anthologies gathered together to talk all sorts of things poetry-y. I've been to a lot of conferences and met a lot of poets, but his was a whole 'nother beast. And it was better than good. I'd met a few folks there before, and it was great to see them again. But there were mannnny who I only knew from email and social media and getting to meet in person was fantastic. It seemed impossible to top, really.

Poetry Camp Signage Tells What It Takes to Write Poetry

2) Except that on Saturday, it was the Poetry Camp itself, and there were 150 of us there... poetry lovers of all ilk. It was teachers and librarians - those who champion poetry and get poetry in front of kids. It was writers and parents and students. And it was so unbelievably satisfying that instead of being drained after a day of breakouts and keynotes, I was energized and excited and grateful. It would be hard to imagine anything matching the feeling... except the day before. And then...


3) Jack Prelutsky! I had never had the opportunity to see Jack Prelutsky perform, and I thought that would remain the case since he has retired from visits and the like. But the Poetry Camp got him to come. He was fantastic. He owned the room - all us kids from the age of 2 to 102 were eating out of his hand. It was like he had never taken a day off, let alone years off - singing, reciting, voicing, laughing, storytelling, playing guitar. It was the perfect end to the Camp.

I give my huge thanks to everyone who created and organized and volunteered and attended. More specifically, thanks to Syvlia Tag and Nancy Johnson at WWU who made this first time conference feel like it had been established forever. Plus they shuttled us poets around, as needed, going beyond the call.

And finally... huge hat tips and huzzahs to Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong for inviting me (and all of us), creating the Poetry Friday Anthologies, helping build our community, and celebrating poetry wherever they go. Thanks to all of y'all for including me in this weekend. I hope there are many others like it in the future!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Will I See You in Washington at Poetry Camp?

I'm so excited to be heading to Western Washington University (in Bellingham, WA) at the end of this month for Poetry Camp - a day about sharing, teaching, and understanding poetry. Yeah, it's a one day camp/conference about children's poetry - be still my heart (and thanks to Janet Wong, Sylvia Vardell, and the folks at WWU for putting it together). I'm part of a presentation (on blogging and poetry along with the fabulous Jone and JoAnn) but I'm also an avid attendee who is kinda giddy with anticipation.

You really gotta check out all the people going and talking... culminating with a performance by Jack Prelutsky!

If you're gonna be there, please say 'hi.' If you think you could go... please check it out!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Rules of Writing (Part One) - a poem about writing

Rules of Writing (Part One)
by
Greg Pincus

There are many rules of writing,
But here's one that's a myth:
You can never end a sentence
A preposition with.


It's true. I mean, it's true that it's a myth. That's something I'm sure of. I'm also sure it's Poetry Friday here in the blogosphere, and you can check out this week's roundup of posts over at Amy's amazingly awesome Poem Farm.

Plus, if you want to get all my poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

All Signs Point To...

... a return to the blog by the wandering host! It's been a couple months since I was last here, though it's good to see things remain just as I left them.

It was a summer of travel and work and play for me during which I encountered many others signs, some of which I felt offered good advice and showed a theme:


Others of which I couldn't abide by for long or which just plain old took all the fun out of things:


Writing was done. Work was performed on getting The Homework Strike ready for its January launch. Poetry was created. Presentations have been thought through and brought to life. And I may have had a few desserts along the way. All in all, it was a refreshing time, though I've missed it here and am happy to be back. The pace should pick up around here yet as I learned again this summer, sometimes you need to go slow and let things play out as they must....



I hope you've all been well, and I look forward to reconnecting here at GottaBook!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cover! New Book! YAY! (The Homework Strike, Coming Soon)


Not that I'm excited or anything, but MY NEW BOOK IS COMING OUT SOOOOOOOON! The Homework Strike will be coming your way January 3, 2017, once again from Arthur A. Levine Books (and once again with a stellar cover by Linzie Hunter).

So many of you have been here from the time this was just a glimmer (yeah, I'm talking 2006, folks), and I'm thrilled to be able to share the cover here with you all. I'll be talking more about the content and story behind the book later. Today, though, I just want to scream happily a little if you don't mind. (Yay!!!!!! Thanks. Hope that wasn't too loud....)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's Disney Channel Movie Time!

Need something to do this weekend? Good news - the Disney Channel is having a marathon of their Original Movies all weekend long. So you can watch Alley Cats Strike (every word of which is mine, for better or worse), Quints (on which I share credit), and The Other Me (on which I did the final draft from fine work before mine)... plus a whole lot more, of course.

You should set those DVRs and enjoy some classics!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Blog Flashback #7 - 30 Poets/30 Days

Back in 2009, I had this kinda nutty, out of the blue idea for Gottabook - what if I could share a never-before-published poem by a different children's poet every day during National Poetry Month? I had no real plan on how to get the poems, exactly, nor any inkling of whether people would be interested in me throwing this big event.

It turns out that everyone I asked said yes, with many poets writing brand new poems for the occasion. Thousands upon thousands of people visited the blog during April or subscribed to the poetry email list, and notes came from teachers around the world who shared these new poems every day with their students. There was coverage in School Library Journal and elsewhere. It was such a success that I turned it from a one-off idea into a series, continuing with new poems until 2013 and new poets every year but one.

From Jack Prelutsky, whose poem opened the whole thing, to Naomi Shihab Nye, whose poem closed out 2013's event, to everyone in between, the work that was sent in was incredible and a huge privilege to be able to share with you all. If you visit the blog, you can find all the poets for each year's 30 Poets/30 Days listed along the left hand side... with a click of a poet's name leading to their contribution.

You can also click on the logos below and arrive at a recap post for each year with links to all the poems. I truly can't say enough good things about the work you'll read, or about how amazing the people who write poetry for kids are.  I do hope you'll check all the links out.

Logo by Carter Higgins



Logo by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Logo by Mary Peterson
30 Poets/30 Days - April, 2010
Logo by Bonnie Adamson
30 Poets/30 Days - April/2009

Once again I say thanks to the poets, the logo creators, and the folks who read daily. Without y'all 30 Poets/30 Days wouldn't have been a success and wouldn't have made it into my flashing back on 10 years worth of memories!

And if all the above isn't enough, I have good news: it's Poetry Friday, and you can find the roundup of this weeks' links at Buffy's Blog. I hope your Poetry Month finishes strong. Around these parts, every month is Poetry Month... so I look forward to seeing you back here in May, too.

Friday, April 22, 2016

J. Patrick Lewis - Questions To Ask The World

It's Earth Day. It's Poetry Friday. And I'm the lucky guy who gets a guest poem from J. Patrick Lewis!

                        Questions To Ask The World
                                                    (Earth Day, April 22)
                        
                  
                        Earth, if you get bumped by Moon,
                        Will it burst our blue balloon?

                        Sun, if you and Moon collide,
                        Who will turn the evening tide?

                        Moon, when you eclipse the Sun,
                        How can Noon have any fun?

                        Sky, if Rainbow paints the air . . .,
                        Multi-colored Thunderwear?

                        Rain, when showers thin to mist,
                        How will Thunder shake his fist?

                        Ocean, if you turn to salt,
                        Will you say the Sun’s at fault?

                        Ocean, will you ever roar,
                        What was all this beauty for?

                        Sky, when you unbucket Snow,
                        Is it time for mistletoe?
        
                        Snow, when you are falling hard,
                        May I angel-wing the yard?

                        Dark, when you turn off the Day,
                        I am sleepy anyway.

                        Night, if you cry, Go ahead,
                        Will Moon tuck me into bed?

                        Cloud, if you begin to weep,
                        Will Night rock me back to sleep?

© J. Patrick Lewis. All rights reserved.

I may be off by one or two, but I think this is the eighth poem I've had the opportunity to share here from former Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis. It brings me joy, I gotta say. I've also written poems inspired by new forms he's played with (careerhymes and zenos come to mind) so he's truly all over this blog, and it's a wonderful thing. He's truly a remarkable wordsmith, and while I could never pick only one of his books to recommend... today I'll just give you the cover of World Rat Day, a collection of poems of his about holidays you didn't even know about. Hey, it ties into Earth Day a little, yes? Yes!


Today is also Poetry Friday, and Jama has the roundup available over at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Check it out for all sorts of Poetry Month joy. And desserts! It's a win-win, I tell you. And as always, thanks for hanging out here, too....

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blog Flashback #6 - A Rhyming Interview!

I've never tried to figure out my single favorite post in my 10 years here at Gottabook, but if I was making a short list, I'm sure my rhyming interview with Leslie Muir would be on it.

Leslie, who I've known since well before either of us was published, was celebrating the launch of her picture book, The Little Bitty Bakery (illustrated by Betsy Lewin). She was on a blog tour, and I basically said "Hey, stop by Gottabook, and I'll interview you. And oh yeah, my questions and your answers will be in rhyme! C'mon. It'll be fun!" Gamer that she is, she said yes... then hit it out of the park.

Here's a sample:

As authors we don’t get to choose
Our artists, so we wait for news.

Can you recall what you were doin'
When you heard "It's Betsy Lewin"?


The phone had rung, the light was blinkin’,
Can’t recall what I was thinkin’.

The ID name sure caught my eye,
said: D-I-S-N-E and Y!

But why would Walt give me a call?
Especially since he’s dead and all?


You can see the whole interview by clicking here.

There have been other fun posts over the years, and many books and many friends celebrated here. Sometimes it feels hard to do something fresh or worthy of the books/people involved. But this? This was a blast for me from start to finish (and proved again that if you surround yourself with talented, smart, funny people... you'll look good in the process!).

Friday, April 15, 2016

On Going to Bed Without Dessert - a food poem


On Going to Bed Without Dessert
by
Greg Pincus

My brain's full of sundaes and thick, creamy shakes.
My thoughts drift to cookies and pastries and cakes.
I'm thinking of donuts. My head swims with pies.
I see piles of candy when I close my eyes.
And pudding! There's pudding in bowls ten feet deep.
I guess Mom was right - sugar's why I can't sleep.


Happy Poetry Friday once again. This week's roundup is over at Today's Little Ditty thanks to Michelle. There's always great stuff every week... and it's National Poetry Month so you really have no excuses not to visit. (Cake image, by the way, courtesy of the generator at RedKid.Net)

If you want to get all my poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Friday, April 08, 2016

A Summary and a Review of My Recent School Vacation - a school poem/a vacation poem

A Summary and a Review of My Recent School Vacation
by
Greg Pincus

Flu.
Boo.


It's Poetry Friday yet again here in the blogosphere, so head on over to Laura Purdie Salas's Writing the World for Kids and check out this week's roundup of poetry goodies.

(P.S. Honestly, Mom, that's not really what happened to me, I'm grateful to say. It's just a poem!)

If you want to get all my poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!