Poetry Friday Round-up and Katch-up!

Have you every got so far behind in your blogging that you just don’t know how to get back on board?

That’s me. These past months. Months that have been so busy… with so much good stuff to blog about, and yet, so little time! I kept delaying… thinking I’d play catch-up – but the gathering momentum just made it harder and harder… until I was buried under overwhelm!

Fast forward to last weekend. When my calendar reminder popped up; HOST Poetry Friday. For a moment there I had dreadful panic, thinking that it was the Friday just passed! But fortunately it was not… It’s today! And you are here! 🙂 WELCOME!

This post isn’t a big catch-up post – though I do hope it starts the ball rolling. And if it doesn’t, I’m fine with that. But here are a couple of inter-related highlights that I thought you might enjoy…

Early August: Presenting in person at StoryArts Festival Ipswich with illustrator of ‘The Bird in the Herd’, Renee Treml. (Also chatting about possible future collaborations…🤫 ) This was so much fun – and having time to hang out with Renee for 5 days was awesome! Click the pic for more snaps. We only presented together on the Monday. All other sessions were individual – and a whole lot of awesome, too!

StoryArts Festival is a rather large festival that runs over 7 days, with about 30 kidlit creators in attendance – many staying onsite in a lovely old mansion. Think, school camp, for creatives! It was soooo much fun – and there are numerous posts on my Insta, to give you more of an idea… Presenting in a cellar was a highlight! (And yes, those bold sections are links to more pics and info on my Instagram page.🙃)

Viewing Tales and Trails, which was opened, coincidentally, while I was in Ipswich. Click the pic to read/see more of this on Instagram. I am totally in love with this project! Kudos to Ipswich Children’s Library. Yes, that is illustrator Janet Turner and I with our book, ‘Up and Down on a Rainy Day’ (Photo credit Lyle Radford) which is now a walk-through garden installation at The Rail Workshop Museum – a gorgeous, rustic (and lush!) location! And yes, the text is in braille, too!  So amazing.

Both of my 2022 releases continue to be well received, and I have loved sharing them at author events. (Though these pictures don’t capture either of them!) You can read snippets of some fantabulous reviews under the relevant Books tabs; ‘What Snail Knows‘, and ‘Miss Understood‘. They make my heart sing!

More recently, I’ve been working on some picture books projects – and productivity has been high! This past week I’ve finished two rhyming picture books that are now polished and on submission. (They have been in progress for some months – hence the quick turnaround. It is not always like this!) The chance to chat with other creators – and with young readers (!) at recent author events was just the boost I needed to push both projects through to completion, and I am very excited about them both!

In amongst all this, I had my final two poetry swaps, generously organised by Tabatha Yeatts. Poetry swaps are the perfect excuse to play with words and creativity – for fun! I love them!

It’s been a delight watching Mary Lee Hahn embrace retirement, and her zest for many (and varied) pursuits. With ‘a stitch in time’ in mind, I settled on a nonet for Mary Lee, celebrating her rapidly developing embroidery skills.

Mandala artwork by Mary Lee Hahn. Poetry © Kathryn Apel.

In pure poetry, I received this stitched haiku from Mary Lee, in return.💙 I’m so very happy to fly the Aussie flag!

My poem for Donna came right down to the wire. But with Donna’s appreciation for floral photography, I decided to pick a little splash of colour – and then focused on the little things. I snuck in two…

What have you all been up to? Please, do share via the comments – and also via the Inlinkz party. I’m preparing to fall down a rabbit hole as I play catch-up, not just on this Poetry Friday round, but also skipping back through previous weeks, too! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter



  1. Such an inspiring post, Kat. I loved the photos of the babies gazing at those big picture books. I wonder if writers are having more fun down under! The pictures sure suggest it. Mary Lee’s embroidery is breath taking and your nonet, so much fabulous word play from beginning to end. Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. You have been so busy! I really enjoyed seeing your pictures and reading about all of the wonderful things you’ve been up to. I haven’t blogged in a while either, but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things! Thank you for sharing and for hosting! Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, looks like you had too much fun this summer. Enjoyed all the fun pictures and learning about your adventures. Love the nonet and Mary Lee’s embroidered mandalas (beautiful!). “Ant love grand” cracked me up! Thanks so much for hosting this week!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. SOOO much goodness, Kat – your enthusiasm is infectious! I love all the ways your work is manifesting itself in the world – books, bookish-gardens, lots of interactions with young readers and other creatives… and long-distance creative synergies with Mary Lee! Thanks for sharing all, and best wishes for all the new adventures popping up.

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  8. I love reading about your festival and spending so much time with your illustrator partner, Kat. The pictures make it look like tons of fun! And your gifts are so thoughtful, a poem to accompany Mary Lee’s embroidered beauties and words to make Donna’s photos even more lovely. Thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Linda. I should clarify that they are my pics – one with an Aussie flower (Sturt’s desert rose) and the other with a native Australian stingless bee. (And I should also say, in response to earlier comments, that it’s been a fun and busy winter here – while you’ve all been summering away up north. 🙃)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you Kat for sharing your successes and poem swaps. Congratulations also on your new books and the ones that are waiting to be processed. Kat, you have been so busy with poetic goodness rewarding your efforts. Your haikus are wonderful gems of image poems. It is wonderful to have you as our host this week.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh, my goodness! What a delightful little catch up. I’m just loving how busy you are with author visits and writing new books. I’m thinking of applying as your calendar secretary. That, in itself, is a job! The pics are such wonderful images of joy. Hooray! I love the pic of you jumping up in the air.
    Life has been busy here for me. I traveled long ways to family I haven’t seen in years this summer. It was like medicine to be face to face with loved ones and celebrating big and small milestones. Writing took a back seat to people. But, oh what material I’ve gathered. Now, if I can find some time in this bus back to school schedule I’ll get back to more scribbling. What wonderful problems to have. Hugs and hifh-fives to you, Kat!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This overflowing delight! Kat, I love seeing your pictures and hearing about all of the beauty you find and spread. Congratulations on the goodness, and don’t worry about catching everything up. You are here, and we are so glad. I am working on figuring out what is next, one day at a time. Thank you tons for hosting and for this great way to start my day here in Western New York. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  12. What an abundant post of Katchy Kat-ness! You amaze me with your energy. Thanks for hosting. That amazing stingless bee is fascinating, along with your wordplay, and I totally love Mary Lee’s stitching wizardry.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for hosting, Kat, and for sharing your fantastic swaps! I LOVE what you created inspired by my mandalas, and your photo poems are all kinds of perfect! (Your wit!!!) It’s so fun to be able to watch your career take off and soar. Now if we could just get your books in our U.S. libraries!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am very much in favour of that wish, Mary Lee. Not only do I want my books to be more easily accessible for all my lovely friends there, I so would love to come back!!! (It’s almost to the point where I’m starting to think it might become a possibility, post-COVID.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love your poetic response, Patricia. Thank-you! I have tried to leave a comment on your blog, but for some reason it keeps blocking me – as a suspected bot. (I’ve tried numerous email combinations, but I can’t convince it otherwise.🤔)


  14. Thank you so much for sharing all of this, and for hosting! I love seeing all you’ve been up to, and your desert rose poem made me smile. 🙂 On my end, regarding poetry, I’ve been letting a picture book poetry manuscript rest between edits and working on my verse novel / some poetry projects for grownups. It’s been exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a bounty of Aussie fun! Your events (a mansion? a cellar?) sound like so much more fun than stateside writing conferences and events. Congrats on the love your latest two books are receiving! And I especially love the nonet (and Mary Lee’s mandalas are a marvel). Glad to catch up a bit!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “Bee a honey.” Very fun. You have a bounty of riches here! Yes, I’ve gotten far behind on blogging many times, but participating in Poetry Friday after a long absence has helped keep me on my toes.


  17. BIG applause for hosting!

    More applause for your foto updates with so many smiles along the miles.

    More hands put together for your celebrating your poem exchange pals with such spot-on short poems & frame-worthy nature art. PLUS plus plus the stitching good celebrating of of embroidery guru Mary Lee! Super wonderful poem & gallery of her creativity. Appreciations, appreciations, appreciations.


  18. Thank you for hosting, Kat, and for sharing all the fun you’ve been having! The StoryArts festival sounds amazing, and Up and Down on a Rainy Day looks like a perfect choice for a story walk (what these are called in my neck of the woods). Congratulations on your new books, and fingers crossed for the work you just submitted!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Just getting around to commenting from last week. The story arts festival sounds wonderful. Your floral poems are beautiful. “Bee a honey/spread sweetness…” may be just the words our world needs.

    Liked by 1 person

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