Friday, November 27, 2020

Book + Gift = Happy Holidays! (2020 Gift Guide)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Carol's Corner for Roundup.

2020 has been some kind of year, hasn't it? I'm incredibly thankful to have had 4 books release this year. And since it's Black Friday, I'll be buying books for friends -- and  perhaps you will be, too! With that in mind, I thought I'd offer some shopping suggestions.

To pair with THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO, how about some cat-themed memo pads? Or adopt one of these adorable crochet kitties! Or (my favorite), these cat socks?

For DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD, I am loving this "Together We are Better" poster from SeasideShedStudio. (If you've read the last poem in the book --  a byte entitled "The Etymology of Progress," you'll know that's what Charles and I learned from our experience creating this book! Art by Mehrdokht Amini.)

To pair with THIS POEM IS A NEST, might I suggest this "Found Poem" t-shirt, available from TourDeBookshop which, when I discovered it, I promptly gifted myself?

Finally, for NINE: A BOOK OF NONET POEMS, try Play Nine (a card game!) and... if the recipient happens to be a 9-year-old child, you can't beat this "Nine Years/108 months/3,287 days/78,894 hours/4,733,640 minutes/284,018,400 seconds of Being Awesome" t-shirt available at Vintagestylearts! (Add to the fun by checking the math!)

And now, the latest installment of ArtSpeak: RED... inspired by another one of Richard Jones' illustrations! I was thinking about how the holidays can be difficult for many -- and for me, honestly  -- and I wanted to write a poem for us. Savvy readers will also notice that it's a tricube: 3 3-line stanzas, in which each line has 3 syllables.

Bear's Promise

When day bends
burnt yellow,
bear with me.

When red heart
hollows blue,
bear with me—

paintsplash skies
will arrive!

- Irene Latham


  1. What can I even say about all the loveliness in this post? Happy Day After Thanksgiving, friend!

  2. Such creative gift ideas! I love them all. Thank you. And, tricube. A tricube about a cub...that ends on a hopeful note. Quintessential Irene. I'm grateful for your words to children of all ages and that you continue to share so much. Thank you.

  3. I love all the gift pairing ideas. I may gift myself the Found poem t-shirt. Can I steal paintsplash skies? Reminds me of how my grandson paints with splash. Happy Holiday season!

  4. Thank you for this loverly post! And congratulations on four books this year! Wow, wow, wow! I love your gift ideas! Will spend today shopping (virtually) for my six-year-old granddaughter and two-year-old grandnephew. Of course there will be books, but I love the idea of pairing them with something else. The tricube format intrigues me. I have written so little this year, but maybe I could do something like this.

  5. Congratulations on your year of wonderful new books!

  6. Yes to echo Liz, Many Congrats on a year-full-o-books!!! I like your "paintsplash skies" too–lovely poem form, thanks.

  7. Congratulations on your wonderful literary accomplishments this year! I'm fascinated by your tricube and appreciate your pointing it out so cleverly/tactfully for the less-than-savvy reader (a-hem). I'm head-over-heels with Dictionary for a Better World and am using it regularly to frame discussions in my classroom. What a gift to readers and humans everywhere!

  8. A plethora of poetry Irene. A most productive time and the enticement of gifts to consider. Dictionary For A Better World holds much appeal for me.

  9. Irene, I am hanging on to your paintsplash skies promise. Those words bring such hope into life. Nature is a healer and your poem is a full of words of wisdom. Thanks for the thoughts on paired gifts.

  10. I love your gift pairing ideas! And that tricube! I must trycube! The shift in meaning of "bear with me" ... love it!

  11. Oh, the gift pairing idea is brilliant. (May I steal it?) And I love the hopefulness in Bear's Promise...

  12. Thanks for the book gift reminder, and the sweet tri-cube poem. Love "paint splash" skies.

  13. I do appreciate your curated gift ideas--also that little sugarcube of forbearance and optimism. I'm happy for your banner year, Irene, and I hope your books can all rise above the challenge and sell sell sell. I think I'll just link to this post and your previous one on Facebook...

  14. I love all these suggestions. Great ideas. What a great year you have had for books, may they sell well.

  15. The holidays are hard for me too, especially this year. Your poem touched my heart. Thank you!


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