Thursday, October 27, 2016

Poetry Friday --- and more @: Laura Salas'

Thanks to beautiful Linda B. for hosting this week's Poetry Friday. She's got loads more poetry to enjoy over at her blog:  

Last Friday, I was at my World's Fair, my Disney, my mom-cation.....I was at the Virginia Association of School Librarians Conference in Hampton, Virginia.

It's where I connect with my people....professionals who strive to bring information to all our students. I was again lifted by the synergy of hundreds of connected and dedicated Teacher Librarians.

The last session I attended was 8 am on Saturday morning. I could have slept in, or skipped it and gotten on the road to home early. I'm so glad I didn't!

Eukua Holmes spoke about her work and how she came to illustrate her Caldecott-winning work, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford.

Photo of mixed-media collage by Eukua Holmes shared by the artist VAASL 2016

Weatherford's, text in Voice of Freedom:Fannie Lou Hamer is written in verse and beautiful despite depicting difficulties of life in the Mississipi Delta for Hamer, born to sharecroppers who rose to leadership in our nation's Civil Rights Journey.

Grabarek, Daryl. "“The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement” | Carole Boston Weatherford on Fannie Lou Hamer." School Library Journal. Genesis Framework: Wordpress, 11 Aug. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2016. 

It's been a long time since illustrations solely pulled me into a story the way that Eukua Holmes inviting art does. As Ms. Holmes spoke and shared photos of her collages to illustrate Fannie Lou Hamer's story I appreciated Holmes' journey as an artist.
Photo of mixed-media collage by Eukua Holmes shared by the artist VAASL 2016

Ms. Holmes introduced herself as a person who loved art and made art but didn't always consider herself an artist.

I kinda got that! After years of writing as a kid and teen, I didn't think of myself as a writer -- after all, I'm not published. Right? But, the truth is I write to understand what I think and believe and I feel stronger, healthier when I write. I found a critique group and other poet friends. I found out that I wasn't as odd a duck as I thought. I found Poetry Friday!

Ms. Holmes tells her story of illustrating Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer far better than I. Please seek out her story in her own words.
@wburartery. "Bostonian Wins Caldecott Honor For Biography Of Civil Rights Hero Fannie Lou Hamer." WBUR. WBUR, 16 Jan. 2016. Web. 26 Oct. 2016. 

Enjoy some of the luminous art Holmes shared with librarians at our conference. And, if you ever have a chance to meet her in person...don't miss it. She is a gem of an artist and human being.


  1. Looks like a wonderful book. I love the illustrations you selected. They do tell a story. I also do art, but don't take on the title artist, although others have called me that. At this point, I do consider myself an author and poet. Years of dedication bring you there, I think, not publication.

  2. Thanks for sharing the book and the fabulous illustrations, Linda. I enjoyed reading your post. If we write we are writers, Linda.

  3. I dd love this book when I read it earlier this year, Linda. How wonderful that you were able to see Eukua Holmes present about her life as an artist and this special book, too. I love that middle picture, too. I enjoyed hearing about your own journey too! Thank you.

  4. Sounds like that mom-cation was just the ticket!

  5. I've heard so much about this book but haven't seen it yet. You were so lucky to see and hear the artist in person. What beautiful sample illustrations you shared. Thanks for this post. :)

  6. I love attending conferences whenever possible (I wish they weren't so expensive...) - there's something so inspiring about being surrounded by fellow literacy champions and passionate educators. It's so thrilling to meet an artist and get an insight into their creative process and spirit. Sounds like a fantastic experience.

  7. What a treat to hear Holmes speak about her book, Linda! I can see why the illustrations pulled you in. I look forward to reading it. =)

  8. I think the hardest thing about being a poet is accepting the title of "poet," I always think it should be "poser."

  9. Thanks for sharing your experience and these beautiful illustrations, Linda!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!