Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit blue-bungalow-Heidi at my juicy little universe for Roundup.
First, I must share the new graphic Highlights sent over, so that everyone knows Carole Boston Weatherford will be joining us at our Poetry for Kids session April 16-19! I know several Poetry Friday friends will be there, and we are so, so lucky to learn from her. Join us!
I do have a new ArtSpeak: Light poem for you. But first I'm excited to have a special guest today at Live Your Poem: Jessica Whipple, author of ENOUGH IS...(illus. by Nicole Wong, coming April 18, 2023, from Tilbury House). Preorder your signed copy here! (Readers, I've seen an ARC on Netgalley. It's wonderful!)
(photo by Nick Gould)
Jessica and I became acquainted when she submitted a poem for mine and Charles' anthology IF I COULD CHOOSE A BEST DAY: POEMS OF POSSIBILITY. (Illus. by Olivia Sua, coming from Candlewick 2025.)
We weren't able to publish Jessica's poem, but she did something I really admire. Upon rejection, she wrote back and asked for feedback. How could she improve the poem?
Now you know that set my poet-heart thumping! A poet going the extra mile, working to improve her craft...so of course I offered feedback, and do you know Jessica went on to publish that poem someplace else?! Yep, that's the kind of writer she is.
And now she's just welcomed her debut picture book into the world. Congratulations, Jessica! Please read on to find out more about Jessica, her life, and this book, as she responds to a few simple prompts.
JW: The concept is a tough one to get down to picture-book size, but that was my goal and hope from the start. I'm grateful to Tilbury House who matched me with Nicole Wong so we could each tackle the vision for the book! Kirkus and some early Goodreads and NetGalley reviewers feel we've successfully simplified the concept, so hooray! Still, the book lives beyond the page in the conversations readers have with kids to get them thinking about how much *is* enough, and what does that look like--because it's different in every situation. We also needed to speak about and depict it in a way that's relevant to kids, which, of course, is what all kidlit authors are wrestling with.
JW: I'm thrilled with the reception the book has been getting from readers, reviewers, podcasters, and interviewers. It really has been wonderful to hear that Enough Is... is a book many adults, caregivers, and teachers hope to use to introduce contentment to children.
JW: Throughout the process of writing, querying, pitching, and submitting this manuscript and my others, I've learned the latent power each of us has in just *asking* for things. As long as we're honest, respectful, grateful, and humble, many people want to help along the length of the book publishing timeline... and beyond. You're one of them, Irene! It's all a truly beautiful example of community.
Aww, thanks, Jessica. So happy this book is in the world!
And now for my poem. Last week, Karen Edmisten mentioned something in comments about light and water sharing some similar traits. That got me thinking...what happens when Light and Water meet? And then I've got Jessica talking about "enough"...and so my mind did leap!
When Light Meets Waterhere
, light whispers,take these cloudsdance with me,
and sends up
a thousand ripples
they spark and dip,
kissing all hoursmore,
say the lilies,
their bellies warm,
their petals reaching,