Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Blog Birthday...and Happy Almost Poetry Month!

The Poem Farm is Six!
Photo by Amy LV

Happy birthday to this funny space...The Poem Farm!  Today my blog turns six years old, and I could not be more thankful to everyone who stops by to read once in a while.  When I began this project back in 2010 (my first post included a spring poem), it was just to get writing more frequently, just for me.  I didn't know about Poetry Friday or about the Kidlitosphere, but now I do.  I didn't know that I could write hundreds of (not all good) poems over a few years, but now I do.  I didn't know that a person could make a whole world of beautiful friends through an online window.  But now I do.

I started writing here for me, but I kept going because I knew that there was one person, somewhere, who checked in here and there.  It meant - and still means - a lot to me.  Thank you.

In honor of all who have read and shared so generously here at The Poem Farm over the past six years, I will donate 15 copies of my new EVERY DAY BIRDS (10 hardcover English and 5 softcover bilingual English/Spanish) to Books for Kids.  I'll drop those off on Thursday at the East Aurora Public Library.

Birthday Gifts
Photo by Amy LV

In more happy news, the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month is upon us! Started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, this month-long celebration of all things poem makes spring even more beautiful. You can learn more about ways to celebrate National Poetry Month at poets.org.  This logo below comes from the poets.org site, a treasure trove of poetry goodness.

Before we talk about this year's Poetry Month project at The Poem Farm, let's go back in time.  Some of you may recall Poem Farm projects from other years.  Here's a bit of time travel through the past few Poetry Months at The Poem Farm.

2010 - The Poem Farm Begins!  I wrote a poem each day for a month, beginning actually, on March 29, 2010. This blog just to be a one month project, just for me, to get me writing again as I awaited the publication of FOREST HAS A SONG.  At the end of April 2010, I was having too much fun to stop, decided to go for one whole year, publishing a poem at The Poem Farm each day.  After that, I still hung around!

2011 - For each day of April 2011, I continued to write and share poems.  However, I had no theme as the blog was just entering its second year.

2012 - A-Z Dictionary Hike - Here's where the themes began.  Each day of April 2012, I opened my children's dictionary to a different letter, starting with A, ending with Z.  Eyes closed, I pointed to a word and this word became the title of that day's poem.

2013 - Drawing into Poems - For each day of April 2013, I slowed myself down and looked closely at an object, drawing it with black pen into my notebook. On some days, I wrote poems from these drawings, but on many days, I simply allowed the looking-drawing practice to practice becoming a closer observer.

2014 - Thrift Store - For each day of April 2014, I wrote a poem from a photograph of an item I found in a thrift store.  These poems are no longer at The Poem Farm as I am trying to sell them as a collection.

2015 - Sing That Poem - For each day of April 2015, I wrote a poem to the meter of a well-known tune and challenged readers to match the poem to the tune by seeing if it was singable to the same meter.

And now, for this year's project!

2016 - Wallow in Wonder - For my 2016 National Poetry Month project, I will celebrate learning and writing from learning, writing poems from each daily Wonder at Wonderopolis.  As I did with the Dictionary Hike in 2012, I am looking to surprise myself with a new inspiration daily.  This year, such inspiration will show up in my inbox each morning.  I will print it and carry each Wonder around all day...and in the afternoon or evening, I will write and post the poem for the next day.

Some of you may know that I am smitten with Wonderopolis and have written from W posts many a time. In fact, I wrote this poem for those wondering folks back in 2013.

There are few things better than learning something new.  And so this year, for National Poetry Month, I am committed to grow my own brain, writing from these ideas just as I learn, and sharing here day-by-day.  Too, I invite anyone who wishes to play along.  To do so, simply read daily at Wonderopolis and write a poem from any or each day's Wonder.  

I will not be able to share too many poems in this space, but if you wish to leave links in the comments to your own Wonder poems, I will try to link to some as I am able, and I may write to ask your permission to share a poem in this blog space.  Wonder Lead Paul Hankins, secondary teacher extraordinaire and blogger at WonderGround and at These 4 Corners will be joining this challenge too, blogging his poems at his new Wonder Ground blog.

I will begin writing my April poems from informational wonders on March 31, reading Thursday's Wonder at Wonderopolis, thinking all day long about the poem, and then posting to begin National Poetry Month here at The Poem Farm, where I will happily host Poetry Friday as well.  

What will we learn?  I wonder...

Please share a comment below if you wish.


Mitchell Linda said...

Wonderful wonders!
Congrats on your birthday! I'm looking forward to April....a poem a day or bust!

Margaret Simon said...

You probably know that my students use Wonderopolis weekly and have written their own Wonder poems. I'll share your project with them when we return to school next week.

Mary Lee said...

Happy Happy blog birthday! So glad I got to know you through this window! And WOW for your WONDER-full Poetry Month project!! I'll invite my students to come along with you, if my old photos don't inspire them!

Jane Heitman Healy said...

Happy Birthday, Poem Farm! Time at the Farm is always well spent. Thank you, Amy! You have chosen a most wonderful project for 2016. I hope to participate at least a little bit, and I look forward to your "wonder" poems!

Linda B said...

Happy Blog Birthday Amy. It's been a joy to read your posts and poems all through the years. Wow, six years later & you are still creating "wonder-full" projects to write to! I still love the thrift store project, beautiful reflections that month. Wonderopolis will be a terrific inspiration. Can't wait to see and read!

Tabatha said...

Congratulations and happy blog birthday! It's quite an accomplishment. Looking forward to seeing your Poetry Month project unfold!

Liz Steinglass said...

Happy blog birthday! I look forward to reading your wonder poems. It's funny. I think maybe we are feeling a little similar. My theme seems to be no theme. I feel like wandering this year. While you wonder, I will wander. : )

Rebecca Gomez said...

Happy Blog Birthday! I look forward to National Poetry Month every year.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Happy birthday to a BBF (best blog friend)! Can't wait for the NPM wonders to begin. :)

Linda A. said...

I love the way you celebrate. So happy that children will have a chance to read your donated books. I also look forward to your Poetry Month posts. It's great that you are so open to a new way to "wonder." I'm posting this on Facebook too.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Happy, Happy Bloggie Birthday, Friend! I could wallow around the Poem Farm until the clocks run out. Need to catch up a bit over here, in fact. Thanks for sharing so much WONDER! XO

Catherine Johnson said...

Happy Blog Birthday, Amy! It is an absolute treasure as are you.

Trudy Bosman said...

Looking forward to your blog!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Happy Blogiversary, dear Amy! I am in awe, grateful to call you my friend.


Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Happy Blog Birthday and Almost Poetry Month, Amy! Congratulations on all your successes so far...you've really built the blog up quite far from its humble beginnings!

Carol Varsalona said...

A blogging birthday for you, Amy. Thank you for the backstories. I love to hear how friends got started with poetry and Poetry Friday. I am very excited about your Wonderopolis poetry venture since I was just recently named a Wonder Lead Ambassador along with Paul Hankins. Hopefully, I will join you (but not everyday) at my Beyond LiteracyLink blog and at my Wonder Ground site.

KateCoombs said...

Happy Blog Birthday, Amy, and Happy National Poetry Month! Off to check out Wonderopolis, which I've never heard of. :)

Shari Daniels said...

A very happy blog birthday, Amy! I love when April arrives because it means my poetry senses are on full alert! And you could not choose a better site to stir some poetry up from - Wonderopolis is my favorite place to take my third graders.

I will join you this month in celebration of poetry, although every poem may not be focused on a wonder, but in my own poetry journey throughout the month. I hope that's okay! I'm looking for a writing community and a loving place to share poems. :-)) I always feel at home here.

Alice Nine said...

Happy belated blog BD to you, Amy. (Wow, loving all those /b/'s in that phrase) Happy Poetry Month to all of us who love poetry. I will be back. I've challenged myself to write a poem each day this month. I like your past challenges and think your W challenge for 2016 is great.