In these dog days of summer, we have watermelon!
Almost ready to be picked!
Celebrating African American
Music Appreciation Month
Did you know that each poem in I Lay My Stitches Down contains a musical reference or a line from an African American spiritual? Part of the joy of reading poetry is discovering unexpected pleasures.
Can you name the spiritual contained in this poem?
Birds in the Air
At morning’s hush, when stars begin to fall,
she’ll toss a pan of corn down behind the
quarters, whistling pure and sharp. Like the wren’s
song, she hits the grace note just so. Soon, we
see wings aquiver; sky fills with birdsong.
Through a thick weave of Western clouds comes a
feathery carpet of birds. In makeshift
nests, they leave us their eggs. She makes her way
to the Big house to work, but not ’til we’ve
given thanks for her heavenly breakfast.
Commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, June 19, 1865, when those enslaved in Texas were the last to be freed.
It is June, 2020, and many of us are still…
sheltering at home because of corona virus and COVID-19; we are still grieving and protesting the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and so many other African Americans whose lives have been cut short by police brutality; it is the month the LGBTQ community would be celebrating with PRIDE their own lives and protests against discrimination.
The presidential election campaigns are about to ramp up and it is almost a given that the campaigns will be unforgivably mean; teachers and their administrators are meeting and planning to figure out if and when the school year should begin; parents don’t know how their children will be cared for when they return to work if the schools do not open; recent graduates, from high school, college, and graduate school do not have the opportunities that they normally would have.
There will be an end to this chaos, confusion, and fear. But until then, here are a few links that may help you get through the next few months.
Teachers, Parents, Friends!!
As Asian Pacific American Heritage Month draws to a close, be sure to catch me reading Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children from the Librarian They Left Behind over at the Charlesbridge website. It will be up through the month of June. Lots of Charlesbridge authors are reading their work!Check them all out.
The first roses make their appearance, just in time for a mid-April snowfall.
In times of uncertainty, I like to keep busy. Keep my hands busy. I’ve been cleaning, gardening, painting, gardening, playing ping-pong, gardening, and petting our rabbits. When it warms up, we’ll paint the garage with some leftover paint from another project. So far, my family and friends remain healthy, though I’m worried about a few.
To my readers, I wish you good health, hope, love of family and friends, and something to do that soothes your heart.
Early March Late March
New Mexico friends! Come see Gospel star, Kelontae Gavin, and accompanying Gospel choir (of which I am a new member, along with a few other writers) singing Sunday, February 16, to mark New Mexico Black History Month.
And while you’re at it, consider purchasing either one
of my first two books–still in print!!
And after that, wander over to Erica’s at What Do We Do All Day? for more books to celebrate African Americans.
February 19 marks the anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, when more than 120,000 Japanese American citizens were imprisoned by the US government for the duration of World War II.
In honor and remembrance of this day, I will be reading, signing, and speaking about Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind.
Friday, February 7: Georgia O’Keeffe Elementary, Albuquerque
Saturday, February 8: Special Collections Library, Albuquerque. Program begins 10:30 a.m.
wishing you a warm and safe holiday…
see you in the new year
I have one more event scheduled in 2019!
December 7: Barnes and Noble, Coronado Mall, Albuquerque
On this anniversary of the bombing of Peal Harbor, I’ll be sharing Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind.
Not only did the US enter what would become known as World War II on this day, but the lives of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans would be changed forever.
While you’re here, shop around. The New Mexico chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) will receive some of the day’s proceeds, which enables us to provide scholarships to conferences and offer free workshops on writing and illustrating.
I’m excited to announce that Write to Me will be released in paperback in mid-October, and released in Japan in November!
It has recently received two awards: Virginia Library Association’s Jefferson Cup, and the International Reading Association’s Social Justice Award.
Over the next couple of months, this is where you’ll find me:
September 17: Albuquerque, NM – Bachechi Open Space, teaching Poetry through the Seasons – Autumn
October 23-24: Norfolk, VA – Virginia Library Association Annual Conference – Jefferson Cup for Children’s Biography!
October 27: Albuquerque, NM – Page One Books, 3 pm.
November 16: Albuquerque, NM – Return of the Crane Festival, Open Space Visitor Center – Migration and Poetry Workshop, 10:00 am-2:00 pm.
December 4: Albuquerque, NM – Bachechi Open Space, Poetry through the Seasons – Winter
Offline for the rest of summer ~ enjoy.
Next week . . .
Poetry through the Seasons (Summer)
Bachechi Open Space, Wednesday, July 17, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Celebrate the moon…
Celebrate the 50th(!) anniversary of the first lunar landing with Moonstruck! Poems about Our Moon, an anthology of poems for young readers. Twenty classic moon poems and 20 new poems, including one by yours truly. Available June 1.
4 February: Adobe Acres School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
29-30 March: New Mexico Historical Society Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico
13 April: Gallup Book Festival, Gallup, New Mexico
18 April: Back to Adobe Acres!
24 April: Poetry Workshop — Bachechi Open Space, Albuquerque, NM
27 April: New Mexico Battle of the Books, Rio Rancho, NM