Poetry Friday: Rewriting
February 15, 2008
The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County just won a Cybil award for best fiction picture book of 2007. Its author, Janice N. Harrington, is a poet—not to mention librarian and storyteller. I linked to one of her poems (for grown-ups) a while back on another Poetry Friday. Don't miss this interview with Harrington, who is working on a book of children's poetry (yay!), at The Brown Bookshelf's 28 Days Later feature. Here's a clip:
Don Tate [interviewer]: What about your road to publication. What were the highs and lows?
Janice: Re-writing, re-writing, and more re-writing. With my first children’s book, I had to learn the concept of “arc,” that a story has to have a change or conflict or transformation. In Chicken Chasing, my greatest challenge was closure. Okay, I got the reader here—now what? There was a moment when I threatened to drown myself in a bucket of Kentucky nuggets out of despair.
One poet who has written many books for children is Nikki Grimes. In the "Poems to Go" section of her web site, where she provides a writing prompt for kids, Grimes says that she loves prefixes. "The minute you stick one on a word, the meaning is slightly altered," she says. Her poem there is about writing poetry, and includes the lines, "Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite/is the rule."
Grimes' novel Bronx Masquerade is the February selection at readergirlz, an interactive web site for teenagers, with a discussion forum at MySpace.
Vivian at HipWriterMama is rounding up the Poetry Friday posts today.
Don't let the girls in the coop hear that part about "drowning in Kentucky nuggets!!"
Posted by: Mary Lee | February 15, 2008 at 05:04 PM
I know! I'll have to cover their ears.
Posted by: Susan T. | February 15, 2008 at 05:41 PM
One of the best questions ever! I really enjoyed her interview at TBB's 28 Days Later. I adore that book.
Posted by: cloudscome | February 16, 2008 at 08:31 AM
I really like it, too. I'm glad it won a Cybil!
Posted by: Susan T. | February 16, 2008 at 05:47 PM