Friday, October 28, 2022

Picasso pig poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Jone Rush MacCulloch for Roundup.

We've been in the north Georgia mountains this week exploring the little railroad town of Blue Ridge. Actually, mostly, we've been walking and talking and sleeping and eating! (We needed a break!)

Of course I took a little time out to write the next installment of ArtSpeak: Animals. This week Picasso has a pig for us! 

Friends, I wrote a DARK poem. 

But it does a lot of the things I hope a poem will do, so I am sharing it first... and THEN, because I don't want to leave anyone in a dark place, I've got a more joyful pig poem for you. Thanks so much for reading...see you in November!

It looked so happy,
the prancing pig on the ramp
to slaughter

- Irene Latham


with a snout like that
young pig can't help but follow
every fresh scent

- Irene Latham


Friday, October 21, 2022

Picasso Dachshund dog poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Bridget at wee words for wee ones for Roundup.

Last weekend we had our community fall festival. It was so great to see friends and neighbors enjoying pumpkin painting, scarecrows, food & craft vendors, hayrides, and so much more... I was in charge of the silent auction, which brought in over $800 to turn back around into community programming. DH Paul was in charge of grilling 200 hot dogs. :) (This is an oddly appropriate thing to include in this post! Read on!)

Irene & Dahlia
(in front of Floyd Cooper art)
A few days before that, I was at Highlights, where I met for the first time in person my friend Dahlia Hamza Constantine. Joy! Dahlia and I have written a picture book together that celebrates the joyful relationship between a girl and her grandfather "Giddo"— and traditional Egyptian arts like the Tentmakers of Cairo. It will be released by Nancy Paulsen Books in 2025. :)

Dahlia brought me issues of a new-to-me magazine from the UK called Daphne's Diary. It is full of whimsy and just thumbing the pages is an Artist's Date. This week I played with butterflies from inside the pages...and I'm still playing!

Irene & Charles hanging out on the
porch of cabin #10, where Poetry Friday
friends Laura Shovan, Linda Mitchell,
and Rose Capelli stayed before me!
More about Highlights: It was my first time to visit, thanks to Charles Waters, who has a long history at Highlights. His enthusiasm was absolutely my favorite thing about the experience—especially as everything he's ever said about the people and place is 100% true. Beautiful, beautiful! And our group was so kind and brilliant! We really bonded over words and risk-taking and dreams...also, the fabulous Carol Hinz was there. I took so many notes during her talk and had a breakthrough on a wip. :) I'm so, so grateful and look forward to the beauty this group will be bringing into the world and especially into the lives of children. 

And this just in from that amazing publishing duo Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell. I loved writing about friends both far away...and furry!

Today's Artspeak: Animals poem reminds me of the one Dachshund we ever owned, a black-n-tan cutie named Chester. Perhaps you have or have had a Dachshund in your life?? Do tell!

Meanwhile, the end is in sight for this Picasso mini-series...I'm thinking I'll write 2-3 more and then move onto something else. Thanks so much for reading!

whole long body

a smile perched on stubby legs

this dog

- Irene Latham

Friday, October 14, 2022

Picasso Ostrich poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme for Roundup.

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful time at Highlights! More on this next week, once I've had a chance to unpack. Old friends, new friends, adventures, inspiration, delicious food, heart is full. :)

I didn't do much writing while there, but wow, on the (14 hour) drive home, I voice-recorded many many many notes, breakthroughs, and new ideas. I'm excited to sort through everything and share more.

I don't know what an ostrich has to do with Highlights (or anything), but I did tackle Picasso's drawing as the latest in this mini-series as part of my ArtSpeak: Animals project.

 Actually, now that I'm reading it again, it's kind of exactly where I am in my writing life as described above! Ha! How our poems reveal us... 

Thank you so much for reading.

ostrich swerves through grass

a blur of fluffy feathers

far from flightless

-Irene Latham

Friday, October 7, 2022

Live from Highlights!

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Sarah Grace Tuttle for Roundup.

The header is actually wishful thinking...but I am en route (driving!) to Highlights, where Charles Waters and I are leading a retreat on Poetry for Kids: A World of Publishing Possibilities. We're excited to share this time with other passionate poetry peeps!

 Earlier this week I posted about ghosts of AFRICAN TOWN over at Smack Dab in the Middle. Read the poem here.

And here's my latest ArtSpeak: Animals poem. Yep, another Picasso-inspired haiku! (The 10th, actually. I just counted. :) Thanks so much for reading.

on dark autumn morn

rooster will not be silenced

the sound of sunshine

- Irene Latham

p.s. Whatever's happening in the world, however dark the day...we can all be roosters! xo