Poetry Friday: National Poetry Month in Canada

Friday, April 20th, 2012

April is National Poetry Month and is a busy time for poets.  I’m off myself to Edmonton for the Edmonton Poetry Festival and am looking forward to reading my poetry there and hearing other poets read.   One organization in Canada that is for poets (and of which I’ve recently become a member) is the League of Canadian Poets.  In 2001 for National Poetry Month, the League launched a website called YoungPoets.ca whose objective is to increase the profile of Canadian poetry amongst young people.  This year Young Poets Week runs from the 15-21st and during this time, young poets can get a chance to have their poetry critiqued by an older mentor on-line as well as have the opportunity to post poetry videos on an on-line forum available on the site.  Do cruise the Young Poets website and have a look around.  In the Teacher’s Lounge, many of the offerings are available also in French (in keeping with the bilingual nature of our country!)

Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Diane at Random Noodling.

Young Poets Week (Canada) ~ April 10 – 16

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Young Poets Week takes place April 10 – 16 across Canada. Youngpoets.ca is an excellent source of inspiration for this year’s celebrations with valuable educational resources, lesson plans, reading lists, a digital history of Canadian poetry and an on-line discussion group. Young writers are encouraged to browse articles or join a chat-room discussion with peers and published poets. The 2011 Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Youth contest winners will be announced during Young Poets Week.

This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Madigan at Madigan Reads– head on over.

April is Poetry Month! Celebrate by visiting Sylvia Vardell’s blog Poetry for Children!

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

National Poetry Month is held every April in Canada and the USA to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American and Canadian culture. Schools, literary organizations, communities, businesses and more celebrate National Poetry Month with a plethora of events including poetry readings, festivals, book displays, and workshops. The kidlitosphere is sure to be active with bloggers celebrating the month – and one blog that you definitely don’t want to miss out reading is Sylvia Vardell’s Poetry for Children!

Sylvia is a professor of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University, author of Poetry Aloud Here! Sharing Poetry with Children in the Library (ALA Editions, 2006), Poetry People: A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), and Children’s Literature in Action: A Librarian’s Guide (Libraries Unlimited, 2008). She is co-editor of Bookbird, the journal of international children’s literature, co-editor of the annual review guide Librarians Choices and is also the poetry columnist for the American Library Association’s Book Links magazine.

Our April 2008 PaperTigers’ Poetry issue featured a reprint of Sylvia’s article Pairing Poems Across Cultures (which offered insights on the similarities and differences in poetry from parallel cultures) as well as a reprint of an interview that Cynthia Leitich Smith did with Sylvia in 2007. In 2010 we were thrilled to meet up with Sylvia at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and had a great chat with her.

Last April, to celebrate National Poetry Month, Sylvia played a game of Poetry Tag on her blog. Poets shared original poems, tagged another poet who shared a poem connected with the previous poem, and on and on. It was such a success that it led her and author Janet S. Wong to compile an anthology of 30 e-poems by 30 e-poets called PoetryTagTime.  This first ever electronic-only poetry anthology for children has new poems by many top poets writing for young people, and can be purchased for 99 cents here.

For this year’s National Poetry Month celebrations Sylvia says :

I’m sticking with my “tag” theme this year, too, as we pause to promote poetry far and wide. However, this time, I’m featuring reviews of poetry books out this year (2011), connected in that same “tag” fashion, from one to another. Plus, I’ve involved my students enrolled in my graduate course in poetry for children as guest reviewers. Some of them even tried creating digital trailers for their selected books. So, here we go: one review a day for the next 30 days, your mini intro to the latest poetry for young people.

So head on over to Poetry for Children and join in the celebrations!

April 2011 Events

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Click on event name for more information

World Book Summit~ ongoing until Apr 2, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Children’s Books Week~ ongoing until Apr 3, Flanders, Belgium

Bologna Children’s Book Fair Events in Town (Meetings): Montagnola – Pronti, parco, via!~ ongoing until Apr 3, Bologna, Italy

School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books~ ongoing until Apr 4, USA

Bangkok International Book Fair~ ongoing until Apr 6, Bangkok, Thailand

Kidlit4Japan: A Children’s and YA Literature Auction to Benefit the Victims of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan~ ongoing until Apr 15

Sun Gallery’s Twenty-second Annual Children’s Book Illustrator Exhibit~ ongoing until Apr 16, Hayward, CA, USA

15th Annual Writing for Children Competition~ submissions accepted until Apr 24, Canada

Bologna Children’s Book Fair Events in Town (Exhibitions)~ ongoing until Apr 30, Bologna, Italy

Look! The Art of Australian Picture Books Today~ ongoing until May 29, Melbourne, Australia

The Art Institute of Chicago Exhibit: Real and Imaginary: Three Latin American Artists – Raúl Colón, David Diaz and Yuyi Morales~ ongoing until May 29, Chicago, IL, USA

National Poetry Month~ Canada and USA

School Library Month~ USA

Seven Stories (the National Home of Children’s Books in Britain) Events~ Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

International Youth Library Exhibits~ Munich, Germany

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art Exhibits~ Amherst, MA, USA

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Exhibits~ Abilene, TX, USA

Dromkeen National Centre for Picture Book Art Exhibits~ Riddells Creek, Australia

Mirror, an Exhibition by Children’s Author and Artist Jeannie Baker~ Australia

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Events

CILIP School Libraries Group National Conference~ Apr 1 – 3, Peterborough West, United Kingdom

Spinning Tales National Children’s Writers and Illustrators Hui~ Apr 1 – 3, Auckland, New Zealand

International Children’s Book Day~ Apr 2

Poetry Across Borders~ Apr 2, Bangalore, India

Storylines Margaret Mahy Day~ Apr 2, Auckland, New Zealand

IBBY Ireland Presents: Building Bridges Through Story – Exploring Multicultural Themes Through Drama and Story~ Apr 2, Dublin, Ireland

The Foundation for Children’s Literature Presents What’s New in Children’s Books~ Apr 2, Boston, MA, USA

Focus on Children’s Literature: A One Day Conference~ Apr 2, Knoxville, TN, USA

12th Annual Chicago Latino Book & Family Festival~ Apr 2 – 3, Chicago, IL, USA

Palestine Writers Workshop Presents All About Writing Children’s Literature With Writer in Residence Randa Abdel Fattah~ Apr 2 – 7, Ramallah, Palestine

Oxford Literary Festival~ Apr 2 – 10, Oxford, United Kingdom

Children’s Book Festival Family Day~ Apr 3, Melbourne, Australia

The Norman Lindsay Festival of Children’s Literature~ Apr 3, Faulconbridge, Australia

Children’s Book Festival School Programs~ Apr 4 – 5, Melbourne, Australia

Languages and Children’s Literature for European Teachers~ Apr 4 – 8, Sèvres, France

The Green Earth Book Award Presentation Ceremony~ Apr 5, Salisbury, MD, USA

Salisbury University’s Children’s and Young Adult Literature Festival: Read Green~ Apr 5 – 6, Salisbury, MD, USA

Rangashankara’s Summer Express ’11~ Apr 5 – May 8, Bangalore, India

44th Annual Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival~ Apr 6 – 8, Hattiesburg, MS, USA

All Saints’ College Festival of Young Adult and Children’s Literature~ Apr 6 – 8, Bull Creek, Australia

2011 Reading Association of the Philippines National Convention~ Apr 6 – 8, Manila, Philippines

27th Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth: Voices, Visions and Verse~ Apr 7 – 8, Kent, OH, USA

Saskatchewan Reading Council’s “Building Bridges through Literacy” Conference~ Apr 7 – 8, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

BC Book Prizes On Tour~ Apr 7 – 20, Province of British Columbia, Canada

Border Book Festival~ Apr 8 – 10, Mesilla, NM, USA

Art, Children’s Literature, and the Environment: Art and Photography from Green Earth Book Award Recipients~ Apr 8 – May 15, Salisbury, MD, USA

Albany Children’s Book Festival~ Apr 9, Albany, NY, USA

National Library Week~ Apr 10 – 16, USA

Young Poets Week~ Apr 10 – 16, Canada

London Book Fair~ Apr 11 – 13, London, United Kingdom

Adarna House Summer Workshops for Kids~ Apr 11 – 15, Quezon City, Philippines

Prints Charming at Gasworks Arts Park (Presented by Books Illustrated)~ Apr 11 – May 2, Albert Park, Australia

Reading Crusade 2011~ Apr 11 – May 23, Christchurch, New Zealand

CBCA Children’s Book of the Year Awards 2011 Notables and Short List Announced~ Apr 12, Australia

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups 2011 Conference~ Apr 15 – 17, West Sussex, United Kingdom

SCBWI Tokyo Presents: Writers Night—Focus on Writing for Young Adults…Writing YA Short Stories with Suzanne Kamata; Writing YA Verse Novels with Holly Thompson~ Apr 16, Tokyo, Japan

Adarna House Summer Workshop for Teachers: Developing a Culturally-Relevant Curriculum~ Apr 16, Quezon City, Philippines

Golden Kite, Golden Dreams: The SCBWI Awards Exhibit~ Apr 16 – Jun 24, Hattiesburg, MS, USA

Buenos Aires Book Fair~ Apr 20 – May 9, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair “Books: World Without Borders~ Apr 22 – May 1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

World Book and Copyright Day~ Apr 23

Adarna House Summer Workshops for Kids~ Apr 25 – 29, Quezon City, Philippines

PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature~ Apr 25 – May 1, New York, NY, USA

Feria del Libro~ Apr 25 – May 5, Santiago, Chile

MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Conference~ Apr 27 – 29, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival and Children’s Festival~ Apr 27 – May 1, Montreal, QC, Canada

Booktopia, the West Vancouver Children’s Literature Festival~ Apr 28 – May 15, West Vancouver, BC, Canada

29th Annual Spring Festival of Children’s Literature~ Apr 29 – 30, Frostburg, MD, USA

International Conference: Building Cultural Bridges – Integrating Languages, Linguistics, Literature, Translation and Journalism into Education~ Apr 29 – 30, Almaty, Kazakhstan

El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros~ Apr 30, USA

Book Bash! Children’s Literature Festival~ Apr 30, Toronto, ON, Canada

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books~ Apr 30 – May 1, Los Angeles, CA, USA

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week~ Apr 30 – May 7, Canada

Poetry Friday: See Saw Saskatchewan

Friday, May 14th, 2010

See Saw Saskatchewan is a children’s collection of poems about Canada by Robert Heidbreder, illustrated by Scot Ritchie (Kids Can Press, 2003.)  I found out about this delightful book from librarian Sue Fisher’s blog, Mousetraps and the Moon.  For National Poetry Month which was April, Sue featured various  children’s poetry books on her blog.

See Saw Saskatchewan is a playful collection of poems  that can be skipped to, ball-bounced to, or clapped to.  The poems are about life in Canada in various locations featuring activities, or animals, or sights particular to the locale.  There’s definitely a touch of Dennis Lee in these poems that’s detectable in such poems that play on Canadian place names like in  ‘Niagara Falls’:

Kapuskasing sings
Cornwall calls
Thunder Bay storms,
And Niagara

In fact there are a lot of playful references to famous children’s rhymes which you can tell by the titles of some of the poems like ‘Pick a peck of P.E.I.’ or ‘Take Toronto by the Toe’.  I had to laugh at the poem referring to my home city of Winnipeg: ‘Winnipeg Mosquitoes’. Yes, we do often have them and in enough abundance, to make them poetry-worthy! There’s a cute illustration of two besotted mosquitoes sucking blood out of a finger, which vaguely reminded me of a line from John Donne’s ‘The Flea’ — “wherein two bloods mingled be” — except in this case it’s the reverse with the blood of one Canadian ‘mingled’ into two lovelorn mosquitoes! Now if that isn’t an image of Canadian love, I don’t know what is.

Do you know of any good poetry books that celebrate your locale? Or play with the funny names of your towns and cities? In Canada, we have some great place names like Moose Jaw and Nipissing, Tumbler Ridge and Nanaimo. See Saw Saskatchewan does a nice job of making Canada a fun place to read about with its delightful poems set all over the land.

This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by jama at jama rattigan’s alphabet soup.

April is National Poetry Month

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

We’re on the cusp of April and so now is an apt moment to announce National Poetry Month.  Check out this American site for information and this site for events in Canada.  The kidlitosphere will be active with blog posts celebrating the month.  Check out A Wrung Sponge‘s blog post for a tour of bloggers and their poetic activities for the month.  Have any events or activities to announce?  Leave a link in our comments section!

Poetry Friday: Poetry for Young Adults

Friday, April 17th, 2009

April is National Poetry Month in Canada and the U.S. so poetry will be my focus for this post this month.  As one of my creative writing students gleaned from an exercise she found in Maxine Hong Kingston’s To Be A Poet,  poetry is about feeling and seeing, and of course, putting all that into words!  Adolescence is a time of life where one is particularly aware of, and sensitive to, sights and feelings, and it is a conducive time for many for the writing of poetry.  How wonderful then for the fine model of a book put out by well known Canadian poet Dennis Lee (of Alligator Pie fame) called SoCool (illus. Maryann Kovalski.)   The book covers the range of adolescent experiences in that distinctively playful way with words Lee has always exhibited in his poetry. There are humorous poems about acne like “Popping Pimples in the Park” and “Pimples and Zits” and wistful poems about impending adulthood like “Back When I Never Knew.”  There are poems about sexuality like “French Kissing with Gum in Your Mouth” and “The Ultimate Sensual Experience.”  But the poems I liked best were the ones that spoke  about living in the present like “Enough.” In “Enough,” after writing a short list of wonder-ful things like a ‘lungful of air,’ a ‘handful of friends’ and a ‘tongueful of music,’ Lee ends the poem with this stanza:

If I ever lose
The knack of wonder
Just shovel a grave
And dig me under.

Having the knack of wonder is what being a poet is all about and Lee has captured this essential truth in this poem.  What is so wonderful about SoCool is this kind of zany Lee wisdom, befitting the audience to whom the book is addressed.

This week’s Poetry Friday host is at Becky’s Book Reviews.

September 2008 Events

Monday, September 1st, 2008

(Click on event name for more information)

Library Card Sign-up Month~ USA

National Poetry Week~ ongoing until Sep 7, Australia

Singapore International Storytelling Festival~ ongoing until Sep 9, Singapore

Children Should Be Seen: The Image of the Child in American Picture-Book Art~ ongoing until Sep 14, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Beijing International Book Fair~ Sep 1 – 4, Tinjian, China

National Literacy and Numeracy Week~ Sep 1 – 7, Australia

New Zealand Book Month~ Sep 1 – 30, New Zealand

Christchurch Writers Festival: Getting Between the Covers~ Sep 4 – 7, Christchurch, New Zealand

Shanghai Conference On Children’s Publishing~ Sep 5 – 6, Shanghai, China

Cape Clear Island Storytellling Festival~ Sep 5 – 7, Cape Clear, Ireland

31st IBBY World Congress~ Sep 7 – 10, Copenhagen, Denmark

Hans Christian Anderson Awards Presentation~ Sep 7, Copenhagen, Denmark

International Literacy Day~ Sep 8

UNESCO Literary Prize Awards Presentation~ Sep 8, Paris, France

29th Manila International Book Fair: Words Without Borders~ Sep 12 – 16, Manila, Philippines

Bath Festival of Children’s Literature~ Sep 19 – 28, Bath, United Kingdom

Brisbane Writers Festival~ Sep 17 – 21, Brisbane, Australia

CYA later, Alligator – Children’s and Young Adult Writers And Illustrators Conference~ Sep 20, Brisbane, Australia

6th Annual Houston Latino Book and Family Festival~ Sep 20 – 21, Houston, TX, USA

International Day of Peace~ Sep 21

9th Annual Hog Wild About Reading: A Motorcycle Ride For Literacy~ Sep 21, Port Moody, BC, Canada

Raise-a-Reader Day~ Sep 24, Canada

International Children’s and Youth Literature Festival~ Sep 24 – Oct 4, Berlin, Germany

National Book Festival~ Sep 27, Washington, D.C., USA

Kidlit Bloggers Conference~ Sep 27, Portland, OR, USA

SCBWI Illustrator Day~ Sep 27, San Francisco, CA, USA

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read~ Sep 27 – Oct 4, USA

Word on the Street Book and Magazine Festival ~ Sep 28, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Entry Deadline for the Noma Concours for Picture Book Illustrations~ Sep 30