Monday, May 31, 2010

An early summer (blog) vacation

It's gonna be quiet around here for a week or so. You have been warned!

May your early June be wonderful....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Familiar Lament :-)

Another video for your pleasure, sure to be a hit with any author who's done a bookstore signing - Parnell Hall's Signing in the Waldenbooks (which I found courtesy of the talented and generous Sarah Laurenson):

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The "Where's Greg?" Edition

Like Waldo, I've been flitting around from landscape to landscape... though I do not have a camera, a key, a dog, or wizards along with me. It's been fun and adventurous (well, sorta)... but unfortunately, one place I haven't been found much is right here. Ahhh, to be cloned!

One thing I've been doing on my journeys is starting to mull a year-end read-aloud. It's been a fabulous year, and I'd love to end it with a bang. If you know of any brilliant picture book to read to a slew of 2nd-3rd graders to finish off the library year, I hope you'll let me know.

Off to the next picture....

Friday, May 21, 2010

Worlds Collide... and Humor Happens

What happens when one of my favorite groups, Improv Everywhere, teams up with the wonderful New York Public Library? Good things!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When Do You Know?

We had an interesting conversation during #kidlitchat last night about how you know when you've written or read a "winner" of a manuscript. Is it hook? Voice? Something else?

My take on reading from agents, editors, and fellow writers is that there's really an emotional reaction of some sort that lets you know - you want to tell everyone about it; writing scenes makes you laugh or cry (as appropriate!); your characters have a life of their own and you like spending time with them; you miss your subway stop to keep reading. There's also a difference between thinking you've written something fantastic and getting validation from others that proves the point - validation that usually produces an emotional reaction!

It was interesting for me, as I don't know that I'd ever spent time thinking about the question before, and it's hard to come up with a concrete answer. It really is kinda "I'll know it when I see it" situation.

You can find all the #kidlitchat transcripts here (including last night's, May 18th). I found it really interesting to see the different perspectives of what would let you know. And feel free to add yours to the mix, here, too!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Foods That Scare - a scary food poem, a lunch poem

This poem first appeared here at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup, where it looks fabulous! The same post has a recipe of my grandmother's and some quite entertaining comments. You should go see it. I repost the poem here just cuz I can.

Foods That Scare
Gregory K.

Beware of foods with names like "hash."
You can't know what's put in it.
And still don't trust a succotash
If you see the cook begin it.
Have fear of soups if they contain
Mysterious cooked greens.
Also have most great disdain
Of salads called "Five Beans."
A casserole can hide so much.
It's quite a frightening thing.
If there's one food you should not touch,
It's Chicken ala King.
Everybody knows that gruel
Is not a food to munch.
All this is why, when you're in school,
Be sure to bring your lunch.

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is also over at Jama's Alphabet Soup. My word, her posts are so scrumptious it's almost cruel. Go check it out!

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!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cutting Libraries?

I no longer recall where I saw that image first, but you can get it here, and use it under a creative commons license if you'd like. I agree with the sentiments, I must say....

Friday, May 07, 2010

Book Report on the Thesaurus - a homework poem/a thesaurus poem

Book Report on the Thesaurus
Gregory K.

Words? There were lots, very many, a ton.
Plot? There was zero, zilch, zip, nada, none.
I found it enjoyable, likable, fun...
But was glad when it finished, completed, was done.

I'd call this poem a companion (or partner or kissing cousin or... or... or) to my poem Book Report on the Dictionary. What can I say? Reference books inspire me....

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is over at Random Noodling. Head on over and see what else is going on poetically today (including Fibonacci poems by some talented kindergarteners).

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, May 05, 2010


When I was a kid, I collected a lot of different things - baseball cards, bottle caps, buttons (the kind with slogans on them, not clothing buttons), and stamps among them.

Now, here I am as an adult, and I realize that the only thing I seem to be collecting is poetry books. Okay... maybe I'm just accumulating them, rather than truly collecting (it's not curated nor do I ever try to trade for missing titles). Still, the increase over the years is noticeable.

Here's where being a volunteer librarian is great, however - I get to share my collections. And, I'd like to think, new collections will be borne from it. But if not, hey, I'm a happy guy anyway.

And you? Been collecting these days?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Poetry (and the web) = Family Finders?

I hope you've all seen Susan Taylor Brown's post How poetry, Google, and Craigslist helped me find the family I never knew I had. It's a wonderful read about the power of poetry and the web and without a doubt my favorite National Poetry Month story.

The word "wow" comes up a lot in the comments over there. For once, I think it's deserved.

Go on over and check it out. I predict you'll be glad you did!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Thirty Poets/One Day - The 2010 Wrap Up

Sigh. Once again, 30 Poets/30 Days has come to an end. Still, it's been a great month here, so no regrets.

Now, just for fun, here's a review of all the previously unpublished poetry we saw during April:

Alice Schertle - Triolets That Trouble My Sleep
Joseph Bruchac - Bear Path
Laura Purdie Salas - Anaconda
Calef Brown - Re: Me
Carole Boston Weatherford - Move Out!
Jorge Argueta - Cancion De Mango/Mango Song
Susan Marie Swanson - Wonders
Ralph Fletcher - Weeds
Alan Katz - Ch-ch-ch-check, Please
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand - Dancing Fingers
Charles Waters - I Love Being Me
Kathi Appelt - The Ouija
Kurt Cyrus - The Big Snore
Arthur A. Levine - These rules are here for your protection
Eileen Spinelli - Praying Mantis
Bobbi Katz - Lesson
James Carter - Clouds Like Us
Elaine Magliaro - Things To Do If You Are King Kong
David L. Harrison - Lookit!
Brad Bogart - Personification
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer - Cousins of Clouds
Heidi Mordhorst - Smaller Than I Thought
Charles R. Smith, Jr. - I Speak
Georgia Heard - Ars Poetica
George Ella Lyon - Trying to Get Out of My Tree
Jacqueline Woodson - One of the Many Stories
Graham Denton - Sounds Delightful
Francisco X. Alarcón - Listen/Escucha
Liz Garton Scanlon - Reflecting
Walter Dean Myers - Walking

There are many people to thank in regards to 30 Poets/30 Days, but I'll try to be brief. First off, I must thank the generosity of this year's 30 poets - without them, you'd've seen 30 blank pages! I tip my hat again to last year's 30 poets for making the event possible at all, as well as for their suggestions, encouragement, and support this year, too. Truly, the children's literature community never ceases to amaze.

I want to give a shout-out to the amazing bloggers of the Kidlitosphere for their enthusiasm and talent. What an amazing bunch! To Bonnie Adamson for the logos and the extra #kidlitchat support this month? You rock! To all the folks who linked here or tweeted about the project or the poems or used Facebook or left comments... I tip my virtual hat to you once more. And finally... to all of you who read and shared the poetry this month, yay!

I think I can speak for everyone on this year and last year's list when I say that poetry is a year round thing, not just April. I look forward to more poems and poets here in the months ahead... and I hope you stick around. More will be coming soon, but now? Now, I gotta book.