Happy Poetry Friday, everyone!
Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong are hosting this week’s round-up at Poetry for Children. (Sylvia and Janet know how to throw a good party, so be sure to stop by and enjoy all that’s on the poetry menu.)
Two quick bits of business before we get to the good stuff:
- Are you participating in the Read a Poem to a Child incentive? (Go to this post to find out more.) If you’ve got a video recording to share, feel free to drop the link in the comments. I’ll include it in my Read a Poem to a Child post later this month.
- Which Poetry Friday friends are coming to NCTE 2019? The conference is in Baltimore this year, hon! Liz Steinglass and I are hosting a “Poets of Kidlit” get together on Wednesday evening, November 20. PF regular Kat Apel will be here from Australia. We can’t wait to meet her and share some Charm City crab cakes. Stay tuned for details.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to multi-faceted artist Aleta Greene. Speaking of reading poems to children, Aleta has been working on a website where she reads and posts “rest-inducing poetry and stories to assist people, including the little ones, to sleep.” For more info on that project, check out Aleta’s Go Fund Me page.
With the permission of Aleta and our mutual friend, poet/photographer Linda Joy Burke, I share this sample today. Aleta is the reader of Phillis Wheatley’s poem “On Imagination.” Linda Joy produced the video. What a beautiful way to engage with this poem!
If you would like to read the full text of the poem, it is posted at the Poetry Foundation. I recommend reading the accompanying biographical entry on Wheatley, which begins, “Although she was an African slave, Phillis Wheatley was one of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America.”
And here is Aleta’s art collage, “Because Phillis Wrote.”
Aleta describes the image this way, “‘Because Phillis Wrote’ … was done fingertip to android device screen, as are all of her [Aleta’s] drawings with no added apps or software. Mixed media with photos – 2018 by Aleta Greene.
“Inspired by the poem ‘On Imagination’ by Phillis Wheatley (1753?-1784), the first African-American author to be published in book form. All Miss Wheatley needed was to be taught to read and she could take it from there. This contemporary scribe has her head full of poetry and a look that says, ‘Puh-leeze! Of course, I can.'”
Need more art in your day? Follow Linda Joy’s photography on Instagram.