NPM 2017 poster by Maira Kalman. Request a free poster at this site.

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Are you ready to celebrate National Poetry Month 2017?

Like many Poetry Friday bloggers, I do an annual project for NPM. This year, my theme is novels-in-verse. I’ve got a great line-up of authors, ready to talk about the art and craft of the verse novel.

But, before the line-up, a big National Poetry Month announcement!

I’m very excited to be partnering with Nerdy Book Club on poetry outreach.

Tune into the Nerdy Book Club’s Facebook page this Sunday night, 9 pm EST. I will be live-streaming a poetry-lesson walk-through.

I continue to hear from educators who shy away from teaching poetry. Often it’s because they were taught (usually in high school) that analyzing a poem is more important than enjoying it.  Join me on Sunday as we discuss how teaching a poem can be fun, and help students learn analytical reading skills *at the same time*! This is a lesson/workshop that you can replicate in your classroom or home school.

You’ll find details and information about this event here. Wish me luck!

On Monday, April 3, my series of interviews with verse novelists kicks off with Jeannine Atkins.

Here is the full list of posts:

4/3 Jeannine Atkins, STONE MIRRORS: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis (Find the post here.)

4/6 Caroline Starr Rose, BLUE BIRDS (Find the post here.)

4/10 Leza Lowitz, UP FROM THE SEA (Find the post here.)

4/13 Shari Green, MACY McMILLAN AND THE RAINBOW GODDESS (Find the post here.)

4/17 Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu, SOMEWHERE AMONG (Find the post here.)

4/20 Ellie Terry, FORGET ME NOT (Find the post here.)

4/24 Margarita Engle, MORNING STAR HORSE and FOREST WORLD (Find the post here.)

4/25 Tamera Will Wissinger, GONE CAMPING (Find the post here.)

4/27 Debut novelist Amanda Rawson-Hill (Find the post here.)

4/30 Holly Thompson, FALLING INTO THE DRAGON’S MOUTH (Find the post here.)

You can find a full list of National Poetry Month blog projects at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting Poetry Friday this week. See you over at the Poem Farm!

27 responses to “NPM 2017 Feature: Verse Novelist Interviews”

  1. What a great idea! I need to spend more time with verse novels soon. I’m spending April trying to complete a first draft of my novel, though. I will be with all of you in spirit and as a happy reader.

  2. This looks great, Laura!! Is there a way to sign up for your blog if one’s not on twitter? I didn’t see a feed here. Thanks!

  3. Linda says:

    Oh, Laura, I’m looking forward to the interviews. I’ve only read three of the novels on your list, but I’ve read many, many NIP including your wonderful LAST FIFTH GRADE… I can’t wait to learn from these fabulous authors!

  4. You, my friend, have lined up a wonderful gathering of verse novelists! What a gift! Thank you for always being a voice for good in this sometimes-dark-feeling world. I am off to share your event. I hope to attend, but am not sure if I will be able to do so. Break a leg! (Not that you need it!) Lucky viewers! xx

  5. Laura, my friend, you are a Doer with a capital D! Looking forward to your parade of verse novelist interviews and hoping to tune in on Sunday night as well. I’m not sure you need my wishes of luck—you clearly make your own!

  6. What a line-up! Where do you get all your energy?! I hope I can keep up with all your terrific pursuits starting tomorrow. You are definitely one of my poetry heroes!

  7. Yay, I’m looking forward to your NPM project, Laura! My to-be-read stack will be full of verse. =)

  8. My mother (in her mid-seventies) still says she doesn’t like poetry because she couldn’t see her teachers’ interpretations. As a result, to her, a poem is a puzzle she can’t solve. Well-meaning teachers can ruin poetry for some students when “meaning” takes priority over enjoyment.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Exactly so, Scott. I try to coach educators to model open-ended responses to poetry. Some readers like to analyze. Other just want to enjoy the experience of hearing the words and letting them settle in the mind or body.

  9. Linda Baie says:

    I’ve read most of the novels so I know I’ll love the interviews, Laura. What a nice idea to focus on verse novels (your own new love, right?).

  10. What a good idea to interview verse novelists! Thanks for posting the schedule–I’ll try to read ahead. Hoping to join in on Sunday, too. What a great Poetry Month we have to look forward to!

  11. Catherine says:

    This all sounds wonderful, Laura! Looking forward to learning more from these amazing poets!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks, Catherine. Me too. I’m fascinated by craft-talk and can’t wait to read their responses.

  12. Awesome! I hope your Nerdy Book Club shindig rocks. They are a pretty great group to do anything with. I look forward to revisiting old favorites and meeting new poets and novels in verse with your upcoming interviews.

  13. Looks like a rich line up of poets, thanks for all, I’ll definitely stop back! I’m reading”The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary” now, along with Brown Girl Dreaming, and I can’t seem to get enough of novels in verse!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      That’s a wonderful book. The novel-in-verse is such a rich form. You can take it in many different directions.

  14. What a fun month!

    I’m hoping my NPM project will turn into a verse novel/biography/picture book!

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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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