Thursday, May 11, 2017

5/12/17 Poetry Friday

Almost a year ago, I attended a wonderful writer's retreat at Highlights in Honesdale, Pennsylvania for verse-novel writers. 

This retreat was transformative for me. Truly, my question going into the retreat was (and often remains) am I good enough to do this thing? Can I really write a novel in verse?

First, thank you to Keisha for hosting this week's Poetry Friday round-up. I enjoy Keisha's weekly reflections, poems and writing invitations. I highly recommend a visit to her Whisper from the Ridge. 

As with so many writers, I learned that my answer is....

Yes,
No
Maybe so
It depends.....

The attendees of the retreat were as welcoming and as encouraging as I could have hoped for. Kathy Erskine and Alma Fullerton are exceptionally knowledgeable and skilled teachers. I learned so much!

One thing that I learned is that I have more to discover about story crafting. I want to do this work. Happily, work involves reading lots of novels in verse. Kathy Erskine has a fantastic list of Verse Novel a Day for Poetry Month. It's well worth checking out.

When I looked over her list, I was mentally checking off what novels in verse I had already read and, novels in verse on the shelf at my middle school library where I am a Teacher Librarian. I thought that other verse-writers might be interested to see what's typically on a library shelf nowadays. Perhaps my catalog can enrich your knowledge. The photos below are screen shots from the library catalog at my school.

Please note....not every single title on this list is strictly a verse novel. For example, Engle's Enchanted Air and Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming are memoirs. Grimes' One Last Word is a collection. However, when I'm talking verse novels with teachers and students I include these because of the element of the story to discover. If anyone is a genre-bender....it's a verse novelist!

I have more to say about Highlights...and my learnings next week when I celebrate a year of writing since attending in May 2016. But, if there are any teachers in the house.....Highlights is offering a $200 discount on a writer's retreat for Teacher Appreciation Week. Woot! 

For now, I'm Poetry Friday partying with A Teaching Life. Join us! Thank you, Tara, for hosting. 
























17 comments:

  1. I enjoyed seeing your catalog, Linda. Wonderful to see all the novels in verse. The school where I taught only had a few. I kept pushing for more, but our librarian was not a fan. I've read most of the books on your list, but I did see a few I've missed and will check those out. Thanks!

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  2. So many books, so little time! You've got an admirable collection, there, Linda!

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  3. Thanks for this wonderful list of verse novels. I see I have more to read. I wish I could come peruse your library. Such a rich collection.

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  4. I am impressed that they are all over the library, in so many different section. The form is very flexible.

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  5. Thanks, Linda, I've read most, and do love the reading of them. I've noted a few that are new to me, so thanks for the list. I love Highlights too, a wonder of an experience!

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  6. Wow! Thanks for sharing the glimpse into your catalog. I've read several of these, but there are lots more for me to explore. Highlights sounds like an amazing experience.

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  7. I've been so impressed by the variety of subjects, styles, tones and topics that can be found in verse novels, especially as the genre continues to grow and gain popularity. So inspiring!

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  8. Wow -- what a great list. The verse novel is definitely having a moment. So many here that I would like to read. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. What an amazing list to offer all of us, Linda. Thank you so much. I am glad that you had the experience of a Highlight retreat. I would love to be immersed in writing only for several days. What a treat!

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  10. Holy cow, as many familiar ones as there are, there are many more that I haven't read, and some I don't even recognize! Can you say SUMMER READING? Hooray! Thanks for the list, Linda... looking forward to the day when your verse novel will be among them. :)

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  11. I'm in awe of verse writers! Finding Wonders was the first I've read, and I have a few more on my summer reading list. You've now tripled my summer reading list! :-) I was apprehensive at first to read one, not knowing how to go about it. Found I was trying too hard, but now I just let it flow. Thanks! Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/blog/

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  12. I love this list. I am in the midst of reworking my verse novel. And I was at Highlights for a verse novel workshop in 2013.

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  13. Thanks for this, Linda! I have saved the post link to find this wonderful list of titles for when I'm in the mood for a verse novel.

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  14. I now have a whole shelf of verse novels in my classroom! More kids read from that shelf this year than ever before, and I believe it was because I began with a verse novel read aloud -- The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by our own Laura Shovan! Looking forward to adding yours (and mine!) to that shelf!!

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  15. Thank you for sharing this incredible list, Linda! There are many titles that I know and love, but quite a few I haven't read. Off to the library...

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  16. I've read many, but not all, of these verse novels. It's such a wonderful form, especially suited to historical and voice-driven stories.

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  17. Thanks for these comprehensive lists Linda! I'm familiar with a good many, and appreciate the new ones to look into. I have another book for you to add, Marilyn Nelson's "How I Discovered Poetry." And her book "Carver, a Life in Poems" is excellent too (not sure if this last one was in verse, but it was wonderful.)

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