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
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)

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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
Greg Pincus


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!

Friday, April 01, 2016

No Fooling - an April Fools' Day Poem

No Fooling
Greg Pincus

I hate to be tricked. I hate to be schooled.
I hate to be pranked. I hate to be fooled.
You do the fooling? I'll say you're the worst
(If the date on the calendar's not April 1st).

Yes, it's the one day of the year when maybe, just maybe, you can get away with fooling people without getting an emotional reaction. Just don't push your luck beyond 40 or 50 bits of foolishness, I figure.... And by the way, happy start of National Poetry Month as well as April Fools' Day!

For some utterly non-foolish fun, check out this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at Amy's Poem Farm. Great stuff there (including the kickoff of Amy's own Poetry Month project).

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!