Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This Choir #NCTE17

Charles Waters, (editor) Carol Hinz,
Irene Latham
It's been a few days now since I returned from NCTE, and I am still as stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey -- with gratitude. And poetry!

I'm grateful for all the words I heard, the old friends I hugged, the new friends I made... along with so many lovely educators/humans, I met for the first time 3 poetry heroes: Marilyn Nelson, Ralph Fletcher, and Allan Wolf!

Charles Waters and I signed books and presented together and plotted future adventures. I met with some of my editors, presented alongside people I admire, and came away exhausted and recharged.

Jeannine Atkins, Irene Latham, Mary Ann Sacco,
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Kim Doele, Emily Callahan
Here are a few favorite moments that somehow made it into pictures:

Spotting a new friend sporting rainbow shoelaces in support of diversity and individuality and CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?


Witnessing Jeannine Atkins meetup with one of Edmonia Lewis's sculptures at St. Louis Art Museum. (Edmonia is the heroine of Jeannine's beautiful verse novel STONE MIRRORS.)



Seeing my poem "Music Teacher" in SCHOOL PEOPLE, a book of poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrations by Ellen Shi and published by WordSong/Boyds Mills Press -- my first time to have a poem included in one of Lee's anthologies!


Photo-op with the one and only Nikki Grimes! Nikki appears in our book, so Charles and I were delighted to present to her a copy AND also collect her signature on the pages in our reading copies where she appears. Joy!

Charles Waters, Nikki Grimes,
Irene Latham

The Awards Luncheon. How much do I love attending this luncheon?! This year Lerner sponsored Charles and me at tables, where our seat-mates got free copies of CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?... and oh wow, what a great group! "Can I touch your hair? HAIR, No!" (You had to be there. :) And then all the amazing words from Marilyn Nelson and Jason Reynolds and Melissa Sweet... I walked away so full of the book-love! (And the cake wasn't bad either.)



And now, here's a poem by Rabia of Basra, and female Islamic saint (who preceded Rumi by 500 years) from a book called LOVE POEMS FORM GOD, edited by Daniel Ladinsky.

This Choir

So amazing this choir of
socks, shoes, shirt, skirt, undergarments,

earth, sky, suns, and
moons.

No wonder I too, now,
sing all day.

- Rabia

To my U.S. friends, Happy Thanksgiving! xo

18 comments:

  1. I'm loving all the NCTE fun in this post. Thanks for labeling the poets in the pic. I recognized you, Kim, and Amy, but didn't know the others. And getting to meet your poetry heroes . . . that's the best. Thanks for all the fun pics and the poem too. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. Oh, ah, aw, that was one good time. So glad we had a few chances to connect, and with art and Edmonia Lewis, too. So glad to see people celebrating you and Charles and the new book!

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  3. What a grand, wonderful experience! I love seeing the pictures. Especially the one of Jeannine and the statue!

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  4. What an eventful few days you had, Irene! It all sounds grand (though yes, tiring too!), and you found a wonderful poem to sum up the experience and give thanks for it all. BTW, I tried to tag you on Twitter last Monday, but in case you missed it, I shared "Still Life with Fox" on TLD. Wouldn't want you to miss out on your lovely comments! https://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/2017/11/dmc-still-life-with-fox-by-irene-latham.html xo

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  5. It sounds (and looks!) like you had a wonderful time at NCTE! The Rabia poem captures it perfectly!

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  6. What a joyous post to read. Looks like a great time. Congrats on all your success. Well deserved.

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  7. What a wonderful post....the excitement is palpable! I look forward to wherever your newly re-charge self takes us all to next. You are such a joy in this world.

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  8. I think #ncte17 was one of the best in recent memory! I was so glad to be at your table at the luncheon shouting "HAIR, NO!" to the world. And yes, the cake was quite good, too!

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  9. Thanks for this virtual visit to the NCTE Conference Irene, it sounds like it was a FANTASTIC and rich event! Marilyn Nelson and Melissa Sweet are two of my favorites, I heard them both at Zena Sutherland lectures at the Chicago Public Library (Melissa Sweet just this past spring.)

    Congrats on the inclusion in"SCHOOL PEOPLE. Lovely singing from "This Choir"; and I love the little poet pin you have on and all the special pics you've included. Thanks for all!

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  10. Good to hear that this was a wonderful NCTE, Irene. Love that meet up with you, Jeannine and Edmonia...reading about it just makes me smile.

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  11. Sounds like a wonderful time, Irene. Glad to hear that Charles and your new baby is getting lots of book love!

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  12. NCTE truly looked like a joyous time, Irene. I'm happy for your and Charles' new book, can't wait to read it! The poem is a wonder of a surprise. Poets know how to do that, don't they?

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  13. What a fun post! I hope you live on a poetry-high for a lot longer, yet, Irene. It looks and sounds like a blast!

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  14. Sounds like you had an amazing time. Go you! And I adore the poem.

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  15. Your enthusiasm and joy are contagious. I wasn't there, and don't know half the people, but I leave here feeling happy and as if all's right with the world.

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  16. What a feast you had at NCTE. Thank you for sharing all those moments.

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  17. I feel the rejuvenating joy in your post. I'm glad we had a moment together. I felt that this year's conference was all about love and joy and spreading that out into the world. I obviously was not the only one who felt it.

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  18. Great post, Irene! I, too, came away inspired and fortified by the experience. Being around such talented, passionate folk, you included, made the journey worthwhile!

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