Thursday, February 14, 2019

LOVE is...

Guess What?

I was going to skip Poetry Friday. Seriously. It's been a busy week. I've not been feeling very energetic....I got home late tonight (Thursday evening) and I was sure that skipping one Poetry Friday would be no big deal.

And, literally turning into my driveway at 7:20 pm I thought I heard my kid's 1st grade teacher's voice on the car radio. Three of my children had the same first grade teacher and I am delighted by that. Miss Stephens is the most amazing teacher you can imagine. She's an author and champion of writing. My kids who are fixing to leave high school STILL tell Miss Stephens stories. She is much beloved by our family.

Books by Ann Marie Stephens

Did I hear Miss Stephens on NPR?!

Sure enough, I came in the house and, Miss Stephen WAS on NPR. Her facebook page said so! She happens to be a friend of author/poet/publisher Kwame Alexander who recently challenged teachers across the US to ask students to fill in this blank...

L O V E    I S . . .

Kwame Alexander then used collected responses to create an original poem which you can hear on at the link to the Morning Edition show for 2/14/19.

Miss Stephens not only took his challenge. But, she made the challenge work in an interesting way. Listen in for how she did that and got the most amazing responses to Love is...

I invited students at my school to define love too. They did in all kinds of silly, serious, emotional, dark, fun ways on paper hearts from weeded books.

Love is...getting to be a part of the lives of kids I know at my school for the brief time I get to know them. Love is teachers having as much fun as students in the library and saying, "hey....what if we make Love is...a black out poem? (awwww, Ms. C. you rock!). Love is a Library Assistant who goes with an idea last minute by leafing through discarded books looking for Love is...illustrations to cut out into enough paper hearts to create a border for a large bulletin board. Love is the community of folks that were part of Love is... including you.

What a gift to behold this Valentines Day

So, here I am blogging. And, I really didn't think I had time. Isn't that grand?

Please visit Check it Out for this week's round-up of poetry love. Jone's holding a Cybils Award Party!


  1. Thank you, Linda, for leading me to the NPR broadcast with my friend Kwame. So glad that you did not skip PF this week.

  2. Love is... offering so much to your communities! Thanks for letting us know about Miss Stephens and for sharing your Love-ly work.

  3. LOVE is the lifting, lilting, high-flying kite of a post this is, Linda!
    How sweet to know your wee ones, now big ones, found that same 1st-grade Poet Guide. And many today still are guided by Ms. Stephens. How wonderful now to be able to look up/check out a new-to-me picture book author - Ann Marie Stephens - thank you. And how heart a popping it is to anticipate listening to the NPR broadcast with Author/Teacher Stephens & Dynamo Author Poet Kwame Alexander !!! So much love you share not only in your Love Lab of a Library there in Virginia, but here in the Kidlitosphere of Poetry Friday. And I must add, in your so busy week, you answered me readily when I sent out that plea to you for assistance. What a gem A WORD EDGEWISE & you, its creator, are. I am so blessed to know you.

  4. Wow, just read Christy's post about this same broadcast and didn't realize you knew Miss Stephens! It was fate that you heard her on NPR, and now this wonderful post. Love works in mysterious ways . . . :-)

  5. I just heard the name of a former colleague as a big supporter of our own public radio, can imagine a little bit of what you thought when there was your children's favorite Miss Stephens. Love is all those things shared, and that you posted after all, Linda. Your board is fabulous!

  6. Thanks for your heart-felt-filled LOVE post Linda–it's amazing how serendipity works into the cracks of our busy lives sometimes…

  7. As I was listening Thursday morning, and she was introduced, I immediately thought, "I wonder if Linda knows her?" LOL! It was a lovely piece. Can't wait for Kwame's next challenge. Bring it! xx -- Christie @

  8. It's grand, indeed! I'm so glad you decided to post, Linda! This is a wonderful idea! I am eager to share this heartfelt invitation to write of all things LOVE!

  9. I love this teacher! "Poetry isn't just important, it's NECESSARY." Yaaaas!

  10. Grand, indeed! I had grand intentions of sharing this challenge with my class and my colleagues...failed on that one though. I'm so glad that there are teachers like you and Miss Stephens to step up and follow through. Well done and thanks so much for sharing!


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