Fit as a Fidget – Hoppy Feet!

I have been determined to blog for Poetry Friday this week, but it wasn’t until I sat down to write the post that it registered … This is launch week for the new poetry anthology HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING, compiled by Syliva Vardell and Janet Wong and published by Pomelo Books. This is particularly exciting, because, I have a poem in the collection, alongside so many friends!

HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING is an anthology of 100 new poems by 90 poets—with STEM and social studies connections, thematic mini-lessons, read aloud tips, and useful activities to help maximize student learning and social-emotional development. Poems involve the whole body and incorporate a wide variety of movements – even deskercise – and current topics, such as life during a pandemic, wearing masks, virtual learning…

My poem was inspired by an active little lad I taught – and his Grandma’s reference to his fidget feet. (We call them jigglers, in our family.) I’ll be sharing my poem as a part of the Pomelo Books Zoom Poetry Party, happening this Saturday at 10am Qld-time. (Which is Friday, 7pm Central Time for American/Canadian peeps.) If you’d like to join us for the party, drop me an email, or a comment, and I’ll send you the link. 🙂

Meanwhile, time to get as fit as a fidget!

Janice Scully is hosting Poetry Friday today at Salt City Verse. I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only one sharing snippets from HOP TO IT this week.

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award Winners

For Poetry Friday, I give you the Awards Presentation Ceremony for the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, streamed from Gunnedah this morning. What a rich resource this is, for poetry lovers, educators and proud Aussies. I highly recommend it! As much as I would have loved to be in Gunnedah today for a live presentation ceremony, I cannot regret this fantastic video.

It was an honour and a privilege to be the Primary Judge for 2019/2020. And to see these young poets presenting their work so creatively and professionally.

Congratulations to all involved!

Carol Varsalona is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at https://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com. Thanks, Carol. 🙃

Have a fabulous weekend!

New Verse Novels – In Progress and In the Hand

Hi all. I just had to pop in quickly and BE amongst the PoetryFriday tribe. Which means, I have to share something poetic!

Something that’s making me smile is a new verse novel I started working on last Friday. Mid-June, at my first post-lockdown catch-up with a friend, (also a writing buddy) we somehow ended up talking about one of the best units of work I’d taught (with a wonderful teaching partner) and my friend looked at me and said, ‘There’s your next book!’ … I’d never even considered it… but the more I did, the more I thought she could be right. After six months of picture books, I have been itching to get into a verse novel. 

When I started working on it last Friday, I didn’t know I’d be gifted with this week alone to write. 3,650 words say thank-you very much to husband and son for important work elsewhere. What has been especially lovely is that the main character in this verse novel is a minor character from a previous verse novel, so I feel like I’ve been meeting old friends again!

It’s still a long way from finished – but I’m excited.

Speaking of verse novels, I have just started reading our friend Sally Murphy’s latest, ‘Worse Things’. I say, ‘just started’ because I started this afternoon, and thought to just peep inside… but it seems I read for a little longer than I had planned, because my marker says I’m not quite half-way through.

Poetry helps us rest in small moments – like this definition poem Sally wrote. I love it for itself(!) – but it also resonates beautifully with the main character in my new WIP.

 

Lonely

[lone*ly] (adj.)

To stand apart
sit apart
be apart
but not a part.

© Sally Murphy 2020

 

I am also loving Sarah Davis’ artwork throughout, that adds so much to the text. And the variety of styles employed! Needless to say, my bookmark (errr… old docket) will not hold this place for long!

Hoping that you too have been dipping into wonderful word-works, and spreading your own creative wings. Thanks Heidi for hosting us. Back to School; Poetry Friday is Here! (And so is the Poetry Friday round-up!) I’m thinking of all my American friends as you head back to school – however your district is balancing that act!

Poetry Swap Gifts to Give

Yay for Tabatha Yeatts and Poetry Swaps. With the email option this year, I took part in all five poetry swaps and it has been joy, joy, joy! I do just love the excuse to be creative for a fun purpose – especially when life is busy, as it has been, and any creativity is a chance to breathe and uncoil stress! So thank-you again Tabatha. I appreciate your swaps every time I am involved!

Today I am sharing my collection of gifting.

Between the first and second swap, I took part in an evening online birdie watercolour course with lovely Jess Racklyeft, an Australian illustrator, not because I have any talent; purely as a pep up for me during this trying year. It has pepped me up more than I could have imagined – and it became a fun theme to incorporate watercolour into my poetry swaps.

 

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(The bee-eater was surprisingly difficult to capture! The bird in flight was my second attempt, but seemed to fall a bit flat, so then there was a third…  Lucky Jone scored 2&3 – twice!😹)

Of course, the double-bonus of the Poetry Swap is that you don’t just give, you receive, too. (That is always a delightful surprise, since I’m usually so caught up in the creating/giving!) Thank-you to the wonderful poetry friends who have brightened my days with their words throughout the past months. You can see them in my previous posts.

And because Christie missed out on a watercolour… and as a thank-you to Tabatha and all my gifters, here is a little piece of our farm in one more watercolour poem. The (unnamed) calf that posed for the pic is currently skipping around our house paddock, slurping mother’s milk, but the poem is inspired by memories of my bottle-fed babies, Cocoa and Amber and Dozer. Especially Amber, my beefy-red baby, with the prettiest eyes.

I’m about to head across to catch up with Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone , who has all the links to my lovely PoetryFriday peeps’ posts. See you on the Round-up!

Poetry Swap – Michelle Kogan

Life got very busy during July, with judging the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, editing books (one is off to the printer – Yay! and the other is very close!) and dealing with countless other deadlines – but I am now in the middle of two weeks of home-holiday; permission to recharge and refresh. Which isn’t always relaxing, as Wednesday proved. Click on the arrow (right) to see more of my ‘backyard’ – and one of our Aussie charmers. Continue reading

Poetry Swap – Tricia Stohr-Hunt

Hi all. I’m popping back in to share another poetry treasure that arrived in my inbox, this from Tricia Stohr-Hunt, who wasn’t familiar with the work of Australian poets, and in reading around discovered my favourite, ‘My Country’, by Dorothea Mackellar. Tricia had planned to write a golden shovel – but instead crafted this wonderful poem, using lines from the first stanza of Dorothea’s poem. Continue reading

A Week of Poetry Pep Up

This past week I have been running a Poetry Pep Up across social media platforms, with thanks to the support of CQRASN and the lovely Trudie Leigo. You can play catch-up with the prompts by clicking on the relevant day below, to go direct. It’s not too late to put some sparkle in your day, fire up your creativity, and build writing muscle. Continue reading

I Don’t Want a Pet SNAKE!

A ssssshort and sssssharp post today to ssssshare a reading of my poem, ‘I Don’t Want a Pet SNAKE’, published by The School Magazine, Blast Off 4, 2020, illustrated by Christopher Nielsen and read by Geoffrey McSkimming.

Use it to teach persuasive texts… and caution in what you wish for. And read it just for fun!

NSW Education Department planned this resource, using it in a study of alliteration.

To see what Jama’s cooking up for Poetry Friday  (Oooh… There be chocolate!) – and to get all the good links – click across to Jama’s Alphabet Soup. Thanks for hosting this week!