Friday, October 18, 2019

Find Inspiration in Illustration

Little Vampire Girl

Students - Life is a joyous journey! This Monday I drove a few hours to Clayton, NY to work with the good and generous teachers of the Thousand Islands School District. In my hotel room on Monday evening, I came across MacKenzie Haley's illustration of Little Vampire Girl. I commented on MacKenzie's Twitter post, she wrote back, I wrote back, she wrote back, I wrote back, she wrote back, I wrote a poem, and here we are.

Twitter Comment Thread

When I saw this MacKenzie's illustration, I wanted to talk with Little Vampire Girl, her rainbow-y unicorn, and Moon too.

And you know what?  In writing...I can. I loved imagining Little Vampire Girl talking with Wise Moon.  Had I eaten something different for dinner or slept a different number of hours last night, perhaps I might have written a different poem. One never knows. 

This poem tells a story. Even though a poem often has short lines and may rhyme and use a meter, a poem can tell a story. We can find or create a character or two and make something happen. We can invent conversations and settings and plots. We can build worlds in lines and stanzas, even very pretend ones involving conversations between imaginary and celestial beings.

We need never be stuck for ideas for our world is full of images: in museums, in magazines, on walls of our dentists' offices, in books, on the fabrics we wear and sleep under. We can draw our own images or from our friends' images or from art hanging in the kindergarten hallway at school. The art of others can awaken art inside of us. Each time we open our eyes, we can choose to be inspired.

Thank you, MacKenzie Haley, for your kindness in allowing me to share your Little Vampire Girl here today. I want to hug her! And yes, I AM willing to take a risk with my neck.

Congratulations to Linda Mitchell!  You have won a copy of Marilyn Singer's WILD IN THE STREETS: 20 POEMS OF CITY ANIMALS, illustrated by Gordy Wright and published by Words Pictures/Quarto. Please send me your snail mail address, Linda, and I will get this book right off to you!

Jama is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup. We welcome everybody to join us each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find the roundup each Friday.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. Hi Amy,
    I LOVE this little vampire girl and her story and your poem. So spot on once again. Were your ears ringing? I mentioned you a bunch at Highlights poetry and we got to see the F and G of Write Write Write, another gem I can't wait to hold. I am bummed you will not be at Rochester. Hmmmm. Are you going? I may race over for a bit but we are in transit (as always). Rebecca D. was again reminiscing about the time you were at the farmhouse and how she can picture you on the floor with your Thesaurus. Inspiring. I love your poetry and all you do. Janet Clare F.

    1. Hi Janet! I am so glad you got to attend the Highlights workshop again...those are the best. I will not be at the RCBF this year - no new books, and our girls will be home. Yay! Happy fall to you and your family. xx

  2. Wonderful poem, Amy. You captured the unique charm of Little Vampire Girl in MacKenzie's picture. Love the dialogue with Moon and the nod to being yourself. PB in the making? :) . . . *rubs neck*

  3. Your poem had me giggling, Amy. Remembering to embrace my inner-blood drinking!

  4. You had me in giggles....but of course, your poem is about positive self-image. That gets an awwwwwwww

  5. I'm in love with the message in this poem (and the story of its inspiration), but I have to admit I'm a little worried for her kitten...


  6. Amy, while reading your poem I thought what a marvelous mentor text this would be. The positivity of your line, "Be yourself. Yourself is good!, is a strong message for children. I would love to see poetic responses to your words.

  7. Wonderful poem, and I enjoyed the story of how it came to be.

  8. Fun and spooky poem Amy! I like the back and forth voices your created with the moon and her, and how it connects to your twitter thread, thanks!