National Poetry Month is only a day away! How will you be celebrating?

Mary Lee Hahn is hosting Poetry Friday this week. Stop by A(nother) Year of Reading for poetry links and National Poetry Month projects from around the kidlitosphere.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am organizing the #ClimatePoemProject for Authors Take Action during Poetry Month. You can read a description here.

Please invite the educators and children in your life to participate. We hope to have a climate-themed poetry writing prompt for each day in April.

Today, I’d like to share my contribution to the project.

I’ve been reading about the seaside town of Rodanthe, North Carolina. Because of where Rodanthe sits on the Outer Banks, it is unprotected from storms and erosion. There is a long history of on-the-beach houses falling into the ocean. However, “things are getting worse. With rising sea levels and increasingly destructive storm surges, what was bad before has become more and more precarious,” James Pasley writes in a March 23, 2023 article in Business Insider.

Here is my question for young writers:

Can you imagine, in a poem, a different kind of house or dwelling? One that could withstand sea rise, stormy winds, wildfires,  and intense rains? Is your home on a mountain? In the woods? On another planet? Is it for one family or many? What is your imaginary dwelling made out of?

Use the space of a poem to describe your vision of a Future House.

One of my favorite “imagine a home” poems is “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats. It begins like this:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
You can read the rest of the poem here. I hope it inspires you as you build a Future House in your poem. I'd love to read your Future House poem. Come back and share it in the comments!

Be sure to stop by the Authors Take Action project page for the #ClimatePoetryProject link-up. That's where you will find prompts and poem starters from your favorite children's authors, poets, and Poetry Friday bloggers.

16 responses to “#ClimatePoemProject: Houses of the Future”

  1. Denise Krebs says:

    Laura, what an appropriate prompt for this #climatepoemproject. It is good to empathize with and think about the people living in vulnerable areas, especially the nearly flat islands, which will be some of the first places underwater. Your prompt has people considering these people, and offering solutions. I hope I can read some of the poems that are written about these Future Houses.

  2. Lou Piccolo says:

    Laura, how scary it must be to live in Rodanthe. I’ve always wondered how people going the courage to live in places that may simply disappear in a day: drop into the sea, crumble in an earthquake, be swallowed by an avalanche or landslide.
    I’m sure children will come up with some great ideas.

  3. Mary Lee says:

    What a great place to start your project — with homes that can live in harmony with the planet. We need to rethink how we’ve built through destruction and rebuild through collaboration. I look forward to the poems that arise from this topic!

  4. Linda Baie says:

    I’ve been to beaches in several places in my life, often wondered if those on stilts would survive in terrible storms and now with ocean rising. This is a thoughtful prompt, Laura, will share it with the granddaughters.

  5. What a great (and educational) prompt, Laura–of course yours inspired mine, and do I hear hints of a novel-in-progress here? 😊 I”m only just realizing that you yourself are organizing this project of Authors Take Action, so thanks for that leadership also. I hope these prompts get plenty of traction in schools!

  6. Such good ideas–both the project and the prompt! With ever more unpredictable weather, wild waves, and erosion, homes along Lake Michigan have been collapsing into the water, too. I would also love to escape to “the bee-loud glade.”

  7. Rose Cappelli says:

    Good luck with your project, Laura. The changing climate is indeed scary in any ways. Putting a focus on it with words and ideas is a way to begin to take action. Thank you.

  8. I love that poem, Laura. Takes you straight to another world…I hope your Poetry Month is fabulous!

  9. Laura, I love your prompt! Thank you for sharing. It’s definitely sparking some ideas for me… Here’s hoping the Climate Poem Project is a huge success– I’m excited to participate!

  10. I love Yeats, love this particular poem, and love your prompt. (A lotta love here, lol.) This prompt is a wonderful kick-off for your month of climate focus, Laura.

  11. Susan T. says:

    What a good prompt. Noah’s Ark comes to mind immediately & I’ll have to see where it takes me… Happy Poetry Month.

  12. Linda Mitchell says:

    What a swoony poem. I love it more now than when I heard it years ago. What an amazing project! So fitting for poets and activists this month. Go, Laura!

  13. Your prompt is worth the pondering, Laura! Thanks for heading up the #ClimatePoetryProject. I embedded my #CPP prompt into my newsletter in my blog post. Hopefully it will inspire students this month too.

  14. What I love most about this, Laura, is that the emphasis is on possibility, and we need so much of that, really, in order to carry on….

  15. Laura, you’ve given me a wonderful daily prompt resource at AuthorsTakeAction. Thank you for this April gift.

  16. Thanks for this prescient poem prompt Laura, I hope we find ways to reverse some of these overflowing waters–I like the positive call to action in your prompt, and it get’s your creative juices flowing. Thanks also for Yeats’ “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” such a rich wing-filled poem!

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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