Friday, February 23, 2024


 Hello an Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit terrific Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for Roundup.

I've got lots of exciting poetry things coming this spring. One of them is a public poetry project. Thanks to poetry friends Jay Brazeau and Joan Riordan for helping to keep this flame alive in my heart!

some pockets that need
 This year I am in charge of the bulletin board at my local library for National Poetry Month. I've decided to focus on Poem in Your Pocket Day, and I'll be using a display of actual (mostly denim) pockets cut from thrift-store clothing. I'd like to fill those pockets with YOUR POEMS! Family-friendly poems that patrons of all ages can pull from the pockets on the bulletin board and take home to display or gift or ponder...or simply smile over! 

**If you'd like to contribute some printed poems to this project, that would be awesome! And I know that readers in Blount County, Alabama, will be enriched and entertained by your words. 

This is totally something you can hand-print or print on your at-home printer...could be bookmarks or index cards...any slip of paper that would fit in a pocket but stick out a little (for easy grabbing)! 

I'd suggest individual poems printed on paper at least 4 inches tall, but not wider than 3.5 inches. 

As for how many, I'm thinking 5-30 per poet? 

(This is my first time doing this, so I'm not sure how many patrons will snag poems. But the bulletin board will be up all month long, and there will be 15-20 pockets... I sure don't want to run out of poems! Any leftovers I will circulate at various conferences and poetry workshops I have scheduled this year.)

You can mail them to me by April 1, 2024 at PO Box 122 Oneonta, AL 35121. Alternatively, if you create a digital file and send me a PDF, I can print them for you!

... and I will certainly share pics of the completed project!

Questions? Please put them in comments or email me: irene (at) irenelatham (dot) com.

In other happy news,
Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems (Charlesbridge, illus. by Amy Huntington) was selected as a Mathical Honor Book! 

Y'all, this book came out during lockdown in 2020, and in the midst of a flurry of other releases, so I wasn't able to celebrate it properly. So this recognition feels especially sweet. So many congratulations to all the other book creators whose works were honored...and many thanks to the committee!

Also: My contribution is next-up in David Harrison's Poetry from Daily Life column. I'll post a link next week!

This week's ArtSpeak: FOLK ART poem is the third one this year about death. Earlier I posted We Bring Flowers: A Funeral Song and Mule Ringing the Doorbell in Heaven. And today I've got a memoriam poem! 

I kind of love thinking about my deceased loved ones, communing with them, bringing them into my daily father, especially.

 Recently a friend asked me, "What's your favorite memory of your father?" And wow, I had a lot of answers to that question! But what stunned me was the question itself, and how I don't think anyone has ever asked me that. So I have really enjoyed wandering that particular memory-forest. 

So here's a poem, inspired by art created by Woodie Long.  I hope my father is up there reading this poem and that he is reassured that he is not and never will be forgotten.

For You (In Memoriam)

For you we
step outside,
greet steep March

wind. For you
we unspool
string and lift

kites. For you
we dash fast
and faster,

send blazes
of red silk
into blue

their bright tails

you. We do.

- Irene Latham

p.s. This poem is a double tricube. xo


  1. Oh my gosh, I think I finally get to comment on your blog! Amazing! The question about favorite memories is a fantastic question that makes me wish my memory was better. I like those tails whip-whagging. (I'll send you poems for your pockets!)

  2. Irene, your ArtSpeak poem is another one of your fabulous memoriam poems. Even though I read the others, I took a trip backwards to read through the triple treat. Your words, whip-wagging,/spinning. bring a magical quality to this poem. I love your poem in a pocket project. It is a gesture of good will that will bring poetic goodness to the public. Thank you for inviting us. Let me ponder what poems I shall offer. Congratulations on your nonet poem book honor!

  3. What a perfect remembrance--I especially like these lines:

    send blazes
    of red silk
    into blue


  4. Love that, Irene. The line breaks are [makes sign of chef's kiss]!

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  6. My library shares poems, but not in the pockets. I share them, too, at the store! I'll be sure to send some, Irene. It's a marvelous idea that people won't miss seeing! And, the memory question and your sweet answer for your father, a kite-flying day fills all the senses, doesn't it? Like others, I love the "whip-wagging,/spinning". March is on the way!

  7. I love visiting this blog on weekends. There's always so much poem busy-ness. My favorite kind of busy. I'd be happy to send you some poems. Thank you for asking! My goodness...memories of Dad. What a great prompt and beautiful memorial. I love the "steep March/wind."

  8. Oh I love "greet steep March." I'm excited about your Poem in Your Pocket display. I'm going to try something similar in my library. It was on my to-do list for this morning--to try to gather some poems for it. I'll send you one for your project!

  9. What a fun project Irene! Also, a beautiful poem and tribute. What gifts you've shared today-- thank you! And, congratulations on Nine's success!

  10. Congrats on all this good news Irene, and especially the recognition for "Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems!" Your April Poetry Project sounds delightful, and I'd be happy to send you some poems. Thanks for sharing your beautiful, in memoriam poem for your Dad, love the closing, "we
    you. We do."

  11. That ending. So heartfelt. Lovely project, and congratulations on the Mathical honor! Woohoo! I hope to get my act together to send you some poems. <3

  12. Frankie sent me a link to your book award asking, "Do you know this book?" Well, duh, Frankie! Of course I do! Congratulations, Irene! Glad your COVID book gets a bigger audience. I'll definitely send you some poems for the pockets. (What a great idea!)

  13. I love the celebratory tone of this! The repetition of "for you" resonates with sending greetings skyward. And congrats on the book award!

  14. All kinds of goodness here, Irene. I'm in with some digital poems for your pocket project. And hooray for Nonet's Mathical honor! But most especially, your Memoriam poem for your dad soars! I can think of another "whip-wagging" tail that I think of often. :)


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