And, coming up next: My interview with Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister of President Obama, on her new picture book
National Poetry Month, (NPM) reminds me how neglectful I am. As an introspective adolescent and teen, I wrote lots of poetry. Now, I only write the occasional poem, but I want to infuse poetry into my prose -- whether short story, picture book or novel -- just the right pithy metaphor, or unobtrusive spicy morsel, to give the reader a gut sense of character or scene.
The month-long celebration of poetry also prods me to read more of it -- fulfilling one of the goals of NPM, which was started by The American Academy of Poets in 1996. The Academy suggests 30 ways to celebrate. For example, you can sign up to receive a poem a day by email throughout the month of April, like I just did. April 14 is Poem in your Pocket Day and there's a special book of poems for the occasion - as well as one just for kids.
On the topic of poetry, here's a silly poem I wrote in high school.
from her jaw,
What she said
she never saw.
Trillions of idioms
she could utter,
Whose only purpose
served to clutter.
One day she discovered
a tape recorder,
From then on
she was euphoric.
Do you write poetry? What are your thoughts on using poetic imagery in your writing?
Now for the exciting news -- I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister of President Obama, about her new picture book, Ladder to the Moon (illustrated by Yuyi Morales, Candelwick Press, April 12). In this dreamlike story woven with poetic nuance, Maya sends her daughter Suhaila on a magical journey with the grandmother she never met.
Please come back next Tuesday to learn more about Maya, and the inspiration behind her story.