A Space Lift (after 25 years)

ARTIST: Sydney Smith. Interior from 25th anniversary edition/re-release of Toes in my Nose.

In the weeks to come, I'll show more of the visual magic of artist Sydney Smith. I'll write more about how it feels to see the work of your younger self come back into print. About Molly Lamb Bobak, who illustrated the Doubleday first edition waay back in 1987.

I'd like to share what I've discovered about writing poetry for children, performing children's poetry, teaching the teaching of children's poetry, teaching the writing of children's poetry, the publishing of that poetry, continued study and reading of children's poetry. There is so much yet to read.

And also, I'll talk about: why it matters.

For now? Poetry for children can say so much with so little, and no it doesn't have to rhyme or be slapsticksiliyicous but lipslippery joy is word music—language seeps into our body transfusing infusing us with— well—wildchildness and a little lamb who made thee wonder but wait a mildness alongside a fiery tiger brightness that burns us until our souls are on fire. ROARRRR. *Well, speaking for myself.  

Look for some thoughts on the poetry anthology I'm co-editing with Anne Hunt. My obsession and 20-year project. For now, check out the Poetry At Play website and interview with a children's poetry editor, Melissa Manlove. Isn't it awesome? We who love children's poetry are not alone. 

And if you want to meet Robert Priest—poet/minstrel in utter space—here's a meditation on his work.