When I was approached to contribute to this exciting e-book project by the great children’s Poet Janet Wong and literary taste maker extraordinaire Sylvia Vardell I jumped at the chance. I had heard of their first project, Poetry Tag Time and thought it an amazingly innovative idea. After I read some of the poems from that first project I knew they were on to something big!
The rules for this poetic game of tag are brilliant in their simplicity:
a poet is tagged
*the poet chooses a photo from the photo library here
*the poet writes a poem inspired by the photo
*the poet must incorporate 3 words from the poem prior to his or her poem to keep the poems connected
*the poet writes a short prose “connection” piece explaining how the poem came to be
*the poet tags another poet
*the game continues
And the poets are:
Arnold Adoff, Jaime Adoff, Kathi Appelt, Jeannine Atkins, Jen Bryant, Margarita Engle, Betsy Franco, Helen Frost, Lorie Ann Grover, David L. Harrison, Stephanie Hemphill, Sara Holbrook, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Paul B. Janeczko, Michele Krueger, Julie Larios, JonArno Lawson, J. Patrick Lewis, Kimberly Marcus, Heidi Mordhorst, Naomi Shihab Nye, Michael Salinger, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, Sonya Sones, Charles Waters, April Halprin Wayland, Steven Withrow, Allan Wolf, Janet Wong, and Tracie Vaughn Zimmer. Photographs by Sylvia Vardell.
What an honor to be included among all of these wonderful poets!
In addition to this collection being just plain fun to read, this anthology could be a great jumping off point for teachers to try this concept with their students.
Well, enough of the preamble here’s my poem , enjoy!
You call me
I love to read
but where are
the good books
Where I live
there are no
They must live on the other side
I live in the real world
the real America.
You know the one
where folks are all shades
and mostly don’t have
to spend on all those fancy things
Your dystopian fantasy
is my forever reality
kissing you on your
Your fingertips have yet
This picture brought back memories of those nights of reading under the covers by flashlight. When you were so excited by a book that even darkness couldn’t separate you from the pages. That absolute exhilaration of finding that one great book that was written especially for me. Sparking the larger question of this poem, who are the me’s that “we” are writing for? And why are so many hues and truths left out of the equation?
The three connecting words are: forever, kissing, you.