FOR EVERY LITTLE THING: POEMS AND PRAYERS TO CELEBRATE THE DAY (Eerdman's). I'm always excited for a new poetry anthology, and this one is a beauty. I especially enjoyed seeing poems by our Poetry Friday friends Michelle H. Barnes and Charles Ghigna. Congratulations to all!
|Nancy Tupper Ling|
NTL: As an author who can barely draw a stick figure, I find “the delicious” to be that moment when I receive the first sketch or two from the illustrator. In the case of FOR EVERY LITTLE THING, this happened when June Cotner and I got a sneak peak at a few of Helen Cann’s sketches, including the “Nightfall” chapter and a full-page spread, which reflected all four seasons in one glorious tree. Ultimately, the tree was paired with a poem by Jill Noblit MacGregor called "Simple Graces" and it is stunning (shown below!), That experience was as delicious as picking the first Empire apple in a New England fall. Ah!
NTL: As an anthologist, I know you’ve experienced this too, Irene, but it’s always hard to let go of a poem that is beautiful. For some reason it doesn’t fit with the collection. This could be because there are too many similar poems on one spread, or because the poem itself is a bit too long. Often, we work with our contributors on a revision if it can make their poem stronger. Still, there are other times when we must say goodbye to a perfectly wonderful poem. That said, that very poem might be perfect for another anthology down the road.
IL: Yes! SO DIFFICULT to say goodbye to some poems. I want to keep them ALL. Alas...
That there is a World Gratitude Day (September 21st)! Who knew? And that FOR EVERY LITTLE THING launches on this very day is a perfect fit. When June and I first put a proposal together for our book, gratitude was at the heart of it. Our hope was to foster “appreciation for the small and big gifts of the world,” and by journeying through a child’s day, from waking up to falling asleep, our selected poems and prayers will awaken a sense of gratitude in readers of all ages.
NTL: Yes, some very good news! Back in January, I left my position as a librarian at Morrill Memorial Library (after 10 years) so that I could devote more time to my writing. I wanted to give myself a full year to pursue this dream, even though it seemed quite risky with two daughters in college. Well, guess what? As announced in Publisher's Marketplace, June and I recently sold another children’s anthology entitled BLESS THE EARTH: A CHILDREN'S BOOK OF PRAYERS AND POEMS FOR HONORING THE EARTH to Keren Baltzer at Convergent/Penguin, thanks to our agent, Anne Marie O’Farrell at Marcil-O’Farrell Literary (world). Also, FOR EVERY LITTLE THING became a Gold Standard Selection, as awarded by the Junior Library Guild. Turns out, it was a risk worth taking!
as maples do,
in burnished gold
rest and reflect—
a puddle after rain
welcome the child's boots
as a way to give yourself
to the world
and when it is done,
in your damp hands,