Friday, April 03, 2020

Charles Waters - Watery Blue Ceiling

My grandfather with his almond colored
 belly protruding out from his burnt orange
swimming trunks stands on the diving board.

Our family is gathered around like baby calves
as we cheer him on chanting, “Go Pop Go!”
He cannonballs into the pool.

I’ve never seen do anything remotely athletic before.

As he emerges from the watery blue ceiling we cheer
his smile – wider than the Amazon.

- Charles Waters, all rights reserved

It's a thrill for me to have Charles Waters back here at 30 Poets/30 Days. He's not only a powerful writer (and lovely guy), but he's also a top notch performer, and I cannot urge you strongly enough to go to his YouTube channel where he has 140 (!!!!) of his poems available for your viewing pleasure. 
And you should check out his books (both co-authored with Irene Latham): Can I Touch Your Hair and Dictionary for a Better World! You'll be glad you did.


Thursday, April 02, 2020

April Halprin Wayland - Tender

by April Halprin Wayland

He's a slip of a boy, really.
Tender as a slim green shoot
just angling out of earth.
But there are other ways in him.

Tender as a slim green shoot,
he also bristles into cactus,
a dragnet of needles—watch out!

Just angling out of earth,
he can still be caught (wear gloves!)
He can still be taught to breathe gently.

But there are other ways in him
beyond tender, beyond thistly.
Walk into his rooms. Switch on each light.

Continuing 30 Poets/30 Days, poet/novelist/picture book author April Halprin Wayland offers us a trimeric!

What's a trimeric, you ask? Well, thanks to April, I know! Trimeric \tri-(meh)-rik\ n: a four stanza poem in which the first stanza has four lines and the last three stanzas have three lines each, with the first line of each repeating the respective line of the first stanza.  The sequence of lines, then, is abcd, b – -, c – -, d – -. 

Now you know trimerics, too, and I join in April's idea that you take a break from what you're doing and give one a try.

Also... why not check out April's More Than Enough (available here via Indiebound) - a wonderful picturebook for Passover!

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Kicking off 30 Poets/30 Days, we get Bigfoot by Douglas Florian. This is from Poet Depot: Aisles of Smiles (find it here at IndieBound or check with your local bookseller!) just one of his many fantastic books of poetry and art. You can see a lot more of his artistic work at his website... and his find his books at libraries and bookstores everywhere.

Announcing 30 Poets/30 Days - the 2020 Edition

Although it's been years since the last 30 Poets/30 Days, this particular National Poetry Month has inspired me to dust off the concept and put some poetry out into the world. I cannot say I was totally on top of things (for now I'm even re-using the first logo), but poets are remarkable folks who respond to the world (and emails), so I can already share that you'll be seeing poems (and often additional treats) from...

Brod Bagert
Carmen Bernier-Grand
Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Douglas Florian
Charles Ghigna
Nikki Grimes
David L. Harrison
Kenn Nesbitt
Ann Whitford Paul
Greg Pincus
Bob Raczka
Adam Rex
Marilyn Singer
April Halprin Wayland
Jane Yolen

 ... and more. 

You'll be seeing a mix of never before seen poems and published poems and who really knows what else. You can see the poems here every day, plus there'll be a mailing list (to supplement the existing one). And... more!

But for now, I want to get this started and put poetry out into the world....

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

It's Dusty in Here....

But... it's time to clean out the cobwebs and get back online. Let this serve both as a test post and as a heads up for anyone still reading here: 30 Poets/30 Days will be returning for 2020. More soon....

Friday, October 26, 2018

Friday the 26th Speaks

Friday the 26th Speaks
Greg Pincus (and Friday the 26th)

The thirteenth on a Friday can be lots of trouble,
But please don't ignore me: I'm like that... just double.

I would say this is of a piece with an oldie around here... The Lament of Thursday the 12th.  So many days... and all of them special, I tell ya.

And hey, even though I've been silent for months, that doesn't mean the blogosphere has been, as you can see by checking out this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at A Journey Through the Pages. So much yummy goodness!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Ants! (Based on a True Story) - an insect poem/an ugh poem

Ants! (Based on a True Story)
Greg Pincus

They're coming in through gaps and cracks,
Through windows and through doors:
The ants aren't coming one by one
They're marching in by scores!
I fight them on the stove top
And when we've finished brawling,
I take a breath and then...oh no!
The kitchen counter's crawling.
I wipe and crush and swipe and spray.
I kill and shed no tears.
I cannot show them weakness.
They cannot know my fears.
I celebrate each surface cleared,
But there's no time to linger.
I cannot take a moment off and...
Ack!! One's on my finger!!!
I want to send a message,
Hear this come from their lips:
"Don't go inside, my ant-mates
For it's pure antpocalypse."
I try to love the whole wide world,
But sometimes... I just can't.
So here, today, I say out loud
I'm firmly anti-ant.

I'm not saying this is a necessarily a poem for kids. I am saying that this day will live in ant-infamy: July 24, 2018. And yes, I emerged victorious from the quagmire....

And hey, it's Poetry Friday, so why not check out this week's roundup of poetry goodies over at Reading to the Core. (And maybe celebrate by checking out Great Morning!, too.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

It's a Great Morning!

I'm excited to have a poem in the new anthology Great Morning! And I also just love the idea behind the book: it's full of poems that can be read by school leaders as morning announcements.

Lots of ways you can order the book, including straight from the distributor.  You should also check out all the Poetry Friday Anthologies and other goodies from Pomelo Books while you're at it (and I say that as someone with poems in a few books but appreciation for all of what they've done).

And I really gotta say it is a personally great morning when I realize that my work is included alongside poems by this remarkable collection of poets....

Friday, April 27, 2018

Hold On Now... - a phone poem

Hold On Now...
Greg Pincus

I'm waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting.
The hold music stops, and I'm anticipating...
Oh no! The recording of updates and news
Starts playing again, and I'm starting to snooze.
Then back to the music that's spooky and droning -
I swear the composer was aiming for moaning.
I just have five questions! It's like they don't care.
I'm thinking I might have to rise from my chair
And find them in person. It makes me a wreck.
Life sure is harder since Mom went high tech.

Oh, sure... this might be as much for a parent as child... or might've been written entirely while on hold with an unnamed company. I'm not saying anything, I tell ya! But whatever... it's here and now it's yours to decide about.

And hey, it's Poetry Friday! The fantabulous Irene Latham is hosting this week's roundup, so you should head on over and see all the poetry goodies in the blogosphere here on the last Friday of National Poetry Month.

Oh, and if you want to get all my new 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 13, 2018

It's National Poetry Month. It's Poetry Friday. And it's Lee Bennett Hopkins' birthday, too! This makes for a poetry triumvirate worthy of celebration... and so I join with my friends in the kidlitosphere to celebrate a man who is, indeed, worthy of huge cheers. Happy Birthday, Lee!

Below is Lee's poem Spring, first shared here in 2009 as part of the inaugural 30 Poets/30 Days.

Lee Bennett Hopkins


cloud-bursting showers

April fools
fledglings on wing

no thing

From SHARING THE SEASONS (McElderry Books).
©2009 Lee Bennett Hopkins. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.

Friday, March 23, 2018

I Want My Voice to be Heard - a poem about speaking up

I Want My Voice to be Heard
Greg Pincus

Be proud.
Let it out.
Speak aloud each word:
Yes, I want my voice to be heard!

That Fib is from The Homework Strike (as Gregory K., the protagonist, nears the end of his strike) and seems an appropriate poem for today as we're seeing students everywhere standing up, digging into issues, marching, and from all I've read and seen, having conversations that work towards solutions not focus on blame. We all want to have our voices heard, regardless of age, after all....

And today is Poetry Friday! You can see the roundup of posts over at Laura Salas's blog so you can check out all the poetic joys of the day. Always a good time.

Oh, and if you want to get all my new 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!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Will I see you in Dallas?

I'm excited to be part of the Poetry Rodeo: Winning with Poetry Across the Curriculum, happening in Dallas on Tuesday, April 3rd right before TLA kicks off. There are 20 of us poets there, talking a whole range of topics. And right now... there's even a two-for-one registration deal for the Rodeo, for those who want to attend. Check out the amazing group of poets who I can't believe I'll get to hang out with and learn from (oh. right. and teach alongside), and get more details on the flyer below....

I hope to see you there (and if you're going to be at TLA but can't make the Rodeo, let's see if we can say "hi" anyway)!

Friday, January 05, 2018

Poem for a New Year (or Month or Week or Day)

Poem for a New Year (or Month or Week or Day)
Greg Pincus

No giving up.
No giving in.

Keep looking forward
Not back where you've been.

Find joy around you.
Find strength within.

Write your best future.
No waiting.

Happy New Year! Here's to a 2018 filled with happiness and good health for you and yours. And look! It's the first Poetry Friday Roundup of the year (hosted at Reading to the Core). Check it out for all sorts of poetry joy.

And if you want to get all my new 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, December 21, 2017

Proof of Life!

I know I've been quiet. I've not posted much.
I've ended up busy with work, life, and such.

But I miss you and wanted to say "I am here.
And I wish you a happy and healthy new year!"

I'll see y'all right here on the old blog in 2018....

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The SCBWI Summer Conference - See You There?

It's almost time for the SCBWI Summer Conference here in Los Angeles. Will I see you there? I mean, I'm going to be there - I'm doing social media consultations so am part of the event - so it's really more a question of how many of you will be.

It is my favorite conference, I admit, because it feels like hanging out with 1000 of my friends. And have you seen the lineup of people speaking and offering sessions this year???!!!! Egad. Anyway, if you're going to be there, I hope you'll find me and say "hi!"

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Come see me on May 20th!

If you happen to be in the greater Los Angeles area... or even more specifically Burbank, CA... this Saturday, May 20th, why not come to the Barnes & Noble at 2PM to say "hi" and hear me talking about The Homework Strike (and more, perhaps!)? I'd love to see you there.

All the info is here at the Facebook event they kindly put together... or just come by 731 N. San Fernando Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502. You'll be glad you if you come, I think, but I know for sure I'll be glad if you do!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Literally a Childhood Dream Come True

Yup. That's a book I wrote in a Scholastic flyer that goes to schools. The same type of flyer I ordered books from as a kid and thought of as, like, the ultimate sign of book awesomeness.

I have to admit I was taken by surprise by how goosebump-y seeing that made me. And then I got a copy of the paperback and... yeah... it's like... like... all the feels, you know?

Thanks to the Book Club folk for choosing Strike, and even bigger thanks to Arthur A. Levine for publishing me (the Big Dream) and allowing this moment to happen. And more thanks to everyone at Arthur A. Levine Books and Scholastic who helped make The Homework Strike into what it is

And who knows... with this happening, maybe I shouldn't give up on my dream of playing professional baseball!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Homework and the Parent Angle

Here's an article that really resonated with me after all my Homework Strike research (and real life experiences): Never Mind the Students; Homework Divides Parents.

Parents have a lot of reasons that they want their kids to get homework far beyond the "we had it, so they should have it" variety. But who is school for? What best serves kids? These are tricky, tricky issues for schools, parents, and students, too. The comments on that article are pretty fascinating as a snapshot.

If any of you have strong opinions on this particular angle, I'd love to hear 'em....

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Come Say "Hi!" at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!

If any of y'all are coming to the LATFoB this Sunday, April 23rd, come say hello! I'll be signing the Homework Strike at the wonderful Once Upon a Time booth (#732 on your map) from 3:00-3:45ish and probably hanging around/looking around long before then, too.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Allergic to Homework - a poetry re-issue

Greg Pincus

I said “I’m allergic to homework.
It makes me cough and wheeze.
You send me home with mounds to do,
And I just snuff and sneeze.”

My teachers would never believe me.
“Allergic? We think not.
Maybe see a doc,” they’d laugh,
“And you can get a shot.”

Today my teachers aren’t laughing,
And I don’t mean to gloat,
But they can’t give me homework now:
I’ve got a doctor’s note!

Originally posted here back in 2008, this poem makes an appearance in The Homework Strike, too. Oh... and if only it had been true!

It's Poetry Friday, so why not check out this week's roundup o' poetry goodness over at Robyn Hood Black's Life on the Deckle Edge?

And if you want to get all my new 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!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Congrats to the Cybils Winners!

Congratulations to all the 2016 Cybils winners!

These awards hold a special place in my heart, not just because I was a judge in the early years, but even moreso because they truly highlight books that really deserve attention and celebration.

So yay for another year of the awards. And I really hope you go check 'em out!

Monday, February 13, 2017

An Interview with MOI!

Fellow author  Laurisa White Reyes has an interview with me up over at her blog today. I'm talking The Homework Strike, embarrassment, and what book I'd like to live inside. Check it out, I say to you! (And thanks, Laurisa!)