Greetings, Poetry Friday friends.
I have been absent from blogging this summer as we prepare for a big change: we are moving to a new home in a few weeks! More details to come, but I hear that there is a resident tortoise living in the back garden.
Meanwhile, I’d like to invite you all to participate in a very special program.
Last year, my friends at 100 Thousand Poets for Change began a new initiative — Read a Poem to a Child. Once a year, everyone (poets, poetry lovers, aunts, uncles, grannies, librarians, dads, and dudes) is encouraged to read a poem to a child.
I am asking my friends in the kidlit community to record a video of themselves reading a poem for children, to be shared on social media. I’ll make a collection of these videos and will share the links here on my blog. No bells and whistles necessary. Find a comfy chair or a park bench, use your phone, read from a book or recite from memory.
Here are the details from 100 Thousand Poets for Change and their partner organization, Reading Is Fundamental:
“Dear Poets and Poetry Lovers, Will you read a poem to a child on September 23-28 as part of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Global initiative ‘Read A Poem To A Child?’ This is an especially an important year to highlight the significance of children in the world. We are increasingly aware of their fragility. It is time to take a moment in this busy, crazy life we live, and share something we cherish. Poetry is our gift. Last year we had over 2,000 individuals and organizations sign on to participate. Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of Read A Poem To A Child hopes to increase that participation.
“Click for a free downloadable pdf of poetry for children. And for classroom curriculum ideas you can contact Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of the Read A Poem To A Child initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org. This important poetry literacy program was developed in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change and Florida State University Libraries Special Collections.”
If you’d like to let Michael know that you’re participating, go to this Facebook even page and comment “I’m in” with your city name.
I can’t wait to see what you all come up with! I may have to write a new tortoise poem for the occasion. (Especially since all of my poetry books are packed.)
Today, I’m hanging out with my two old dogs. We’re enjoying this old video of Jimmy Stewart reading his poem about his dog, Beau. Listen to how the audience settles down, stops laughing, and grows silent as they absorb this poem.