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Tomorrow starts a month long celebration of poetry for National Poetry Month. There are going to be all sorts of wonderful poetic activities going on around the Kidlitosphere all month long. I'll keep a master list here and if you find others or decide to start one yourself, leave a note in the comments and I'll add you to the list.

Last year I was inspired by my new native plant garden and I wrote a haiku a day for 30 days all about California Native plants. This year I was struggling with how and where to focus my April poetry project. I thought about focusing on just one poetic form again but decided I wanted the chance to play around with different forms if the mood suited me. I know myself well enough to know that with poetry, constraints help me focus and stretch. That left me scrambling for a suitable topic. I poked around inside myself until I came up against something that hurt, a topic that was deep and emotional and would force me to peel back the layers of myself, which is where some of the best poetry comes from. A few months ago year I posted about finding my father's obituary before ever getting the chance to meet him. I've made contact with one cousin since then and the process of knowing, for sure, that he is dead and now talking a little bit with a new member of my family, well it's stirred up all sorts of things.

So for National Poetry Month I've decided to explore my thoughts about my father.

I'm not promising perfect poems but I am promising emotional honesty.

Here's a look at what else is happening around the Kidlitosphere.

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 6 comments — Leave comment )
April 1st, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
Have you heard of a Pi-ku? Pi is 3.14, so it is 3 syllables in the first line, one in the second, and four in the third. I read about it on LJ.
Walk the woods
one dog, three cats.
My pi-ku about me and my companions when I walk every day.
I thought of this because you said you did haiku.
April 1st, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)
Re: Pi-ku
Oh Pi-ku sounds like fun. I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for sharing!
April 1st, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
Your poetry month project sounds like it's going to be quite something both for you AND us readers. Looking forward to it!
April 4th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Greg. It will be a challenge.
April 4th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
Family and history
I just went and read about when you found your father's obituary. I just passed the two-year mark of losing my father, and my history with him was the opposite of yours with your father, so I can't relate at all to your experience.

I live fairly close to you in WG/SJ, and I wanted to offer you something. Free, no strings. If you decide you want to trace your father's family, I may be able to help. I've been researching my own family history for about twenty years now. It's all British, but I have a subscription to the American stuff on ancestry.com now, so I may be able to find what you might decide you wish to seek some day.

Nearly seven years ago, when I was in Britain during my pregnancy with my son, I made a special trip to Glasgow for two reasons: I wanted to visit my husband's mother, who was getting very old -- in case she might never get to see our child -- and I wanted to find my grandparents' grave. I never knew my mother's parents, as they both died before she ever came to America and met my father. Her father died when my mother was just 3. Her mother died when Mom was 17. They were long gone before I came along, and I never really knew much about them until I began to do my genealogy.

When I finally located that spot in the cemetery, no longer graced by the small headstone my mother remembers seeing there, I wept. I have no idea why.
April 4th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Family and history
This is an amazingly generous offer and I thank you so very much.

I am no surprised that you wept. Not at all.
( 6 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
--Bonnie Friedman

"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice


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