Friday, March 31, 2023

A Guest & a Project on NPM Eve!

Hello Readers! If you are looking for the 2023 National Poetry Month 24 HOURS poems, they have been taken down from The Poem Farm as they are out on submission for hopeful publication. xo, Amy

Happy National Poetry Month Eve!

From The Poem Farm, 2017

I returned home late last night from two days of writing workshops with the young poets of Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, CT, and this morning I am still thinking about those poets. I was moved and touched by their words and ways of seeing and responding to the world and am grateful for the time we spent together. Thank you Lower School girls and teachers for such a delightful visit!

Today's poem comes to us from a special guest. Today I am excited to welcome Adam C., a fourth          grade poet from Mrs. Jenny Hershberger's class at Washington School in Wyckoff, NJ. Recently I was leading an assembly at Washington, and Adam asked if he could share his poem with me. I was fascinated by how he compared the learning of facts to rain. Now, whenever I read facts on my own - regardless of the weather - I will think of his words and the way that we each grow our own learning puddle. Thank you, Adam, for joining and inspiring us today. 

Poem by Adam C. 
Mrs. Jenny Hershberger's Class
Washington School, Wyckoff, NJ

Process Notes by Adam C.
Mrs. Jenny Hershberger's Class
Washington School, Wyckoff, NJ

Students - Adam reminds us of something important about writing - we can write at any time in any place. Lying in bed, Adam connected his reading life to the weather, and this connection led him to his thoughtful poem. This week I recommend learning from Adam's writerly habit. Think about your life as you lie in your bed. Allow your thoughts to roll through the ocean of your mind, and allow them to bump into each other, creating new ideas and connections. Consider keeping a notebook or a piece of paper with a pencil by your bedside...just in case. Brains are amazing places, places where rain can change a brain. 

And now...
         is March 31st.

Tomorrow begins National Poetry Month and with it, my annual National Poetry Month Project. Each year, for the past twelve of thirteen years, along with many other writers, I choose to write and share a daily poem. I like to write these collections around themes, and during the weeks before April, I toss many ideas around inside of my head. Here is a list of my past projects:

2010 - Birth of The Poem Farm -  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.  And I stayed to post on Fridays.

2011 Daily Poems Again - For each day of April 2011, I continued to write and share daily 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.

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. One of these singable poems ended up in my book WITH MY HANDS: POEMS ABOUT MAKING THINGS.

2016 - Wallow in Wonder - For my 2016 National Poetry Month project, I celebrated learning and writing from learning, writing poems from each daily Wonder at Wonderopolis.  I have not yet collected these posts into one post, but I may one day.

2017 - Writing the Rainbow - Each day of April 2017, I randomly selected a different Crayola crayon from a new box of 64.  Each day, I wrote a poem inspired by the color I chose.  These poems all ended up telling the story of a young city girl and the moments of her daily life and are no longer here at the blog.

2018 - 1 Subject *** 30 Ways - Each day of April 2018, I wrote daily poems focused on the constellation Orion.  Each poem played with a different poetic technique, and I used the lessons in my own book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS: HOW STUDYING POETRY STRENGTHENS WRITING IN ALL GENRES, to stretch my writing.  These poems are not currently online.

2019 - Tell a Poemstory - Three years ago, I shared a series of 30 free verse poems that told a story about a boy named John and a dog named Betsy and a lady named Betsy. I am so happy to report that these will be one day published by Eerdmans.

2020 - Roll the Dice - Three years ago, for my most recent April project, I rolled three word dice daily (from inside my vintage camper Betsy) and wrote daily poems inspired by one, two, or three of the rolled words. You can watch the videos that went with these on my YouTube channel, Keeping a Notebook Videos #13 - #42.

2021 - Two years ago, I returned to the classroom as a fourth grade teacher after 22 years away and did not share a public poetry project in this space.

2022 - Pick a Proverb - Last year, for each day of April, I wrote a new poem inspired by a popular saying such as "The grass is always greener on the other side" or "One person's trash is another person's treasure." These poems are out on submission in the hope that they will one day grow up into a book.

And this year, I welcome you to...

This year, for each day of April, I will share a new poem about 1 hour in 1 day in the life of an old barn. I will write 24 hourly poems, 1 for each hour of a spring day, beginning with midnight and ending right before the following midnight. Because April has 30 days, I will write and tuck 6 additional poems into the month, likely 2 at the beginning, 2 in the middle somewhere, and 2 at the end.

I invite you to join me in this project! 

To do so, simply:

1. Choose a place or a person, an animal or an object you could imagine writing 30 poems about, someone or something you could imagine following and writing about through an imaginary day.

2. If you wish, download the hourly log and note page below to keep track of poem ideas as you have them through the month. You may do this project on your own, with a friend or two, or with your whole class, each person selecting different hours.

(Teachers - Please print or make a copy so students can access these.)

3. Write a new poem each day of April 2023. You might write in order of the hours (I probably will), or you might choose to write your hourly poems in a mixed-up order and place them in order at month's end. If you miss a day, do not worry. Just come on back to your project when you can. And know that I will share some poem writing ideas along the way. 

4. Teachers and writers, if you wish to share your 24 HOURS subjects or poems, please do so on social media with the hashtag #24Hours. Teachers, if you have permission from parents and only first names on student poems, I will share their topics and poems here in a Google Slides presentation.

Well, here we go....I look forward to spending 30 days - and 24 hours - with you. 

Mary Lee is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Another Year of Reading with a patient and hopeful springy etheree and an announcement of her National Poetry Month Project...a month of cheritas! Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

To learn about more National Poetry Month projects and all kinds of April goodness, visit Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup where Jama has generously gathered this coming month's happenings. Happy National Poetry Month 2023 Eve!



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  1. Looking forward to your 24 hours, Amy! And yay for Adam's rain in the brain! I love his process, too. Rainy nights are good for many things. xo

  2. Adam's poem was a joy to read! Thank you for sharing it. I enjoyed reading through your poem projects and remember writing alongside you for several of them. So glad to see some of them will become poetry collections. Looking forward to learning about that old barn. You always have such creative ideas.

  3. I always look forward to seeing what you're planning for April, Amy, still think of you when I visit a thrift store! I love Adam's poem of raindrops to facts, wishing I had a rainy night sometime! And I like that he created an inspiration for everyone! Happy April!

  4. I'm so excited for this! Writing the Rainbow will always be my favourite and I hope you put them in a book someday.

  5. So fun to look back over the years and see which poems still live here and which ones live in books! Can't wait to read your poems this month!

  6. Love this 24 hour plan for April, Amy! Adam C.'s "Facts" is great for launching a puddle-full poetry month!

  7. That is a sweet rhyming poem on the night before April. I love the playful sounds and the rhymes that flow without any awkwardness. Congratulations that there some of your former April challenges are out for publication. Good for you!

  8. Thanks for Adam's poem--a downpour of appreciation for nonfiction! And have a beautiful Poetry Month. You always come up with the coolest ideas, Amy!

  9. Dear Amy, what a very fun idea! (You never disappoint. 😊) I can't wait to see what you and others come up with, especially for those wee hours when we aren't typically watching anything but our dreams. I hope that you might encourage any kids or classes you collaborate with to submit poems to my new WHISPERshout Magazine for publication. It's up and running, but I hope by Wednesday, the official launch, to have a better grip on the platform I'm using, but the most important part of the project is to provide the space for kids' work. Thanks!

  10. I'm utterly gobsmacked by Adam's poem. It's so perfectly encapsulates the joy of reading nonfiction.

  11. This is wonderful from idea to shared writing. Thank you for the invitation to write. I love the idea of writing about something throughout the by one in a day. You've got me thinking.

  12. Congrats to Adam C. and his wonderful poem! Thanks for posting it here. I like your 24 Hours idea, too, & can't wait to see the results.

  13. Wow... Adam's poem is terrific. Thanks for sharing it.

  14. I love Adam's poem. "Now read and read and grow your puddles"! :) Utter delight. Thanks for sharing your history of NPM projects and the idea and resources for this year's 24-hour project too. Love that idea.

  15. There's always so much to love at The Poetry Farm. Yes, poetry month eve was a delight - and you captured it in words. I look forward to following 24 hours and appreciated the trip down memory lane of your past projects.

  16. Oh, 24 hours -- how divine! I adore this idea...

  17. OMG - Adam is precious. I love his process note: "In bed I thought about it." -- that is THE BEST! Look at the ripple effect of your gift of teaching!