Hello Friends. Thanks for being here!
I'm celebrating the publication of Irene Latham's most recent book, The Museum on the Moon: The Curious Objects on the Lunar Surface (Moonshower '23) Hooray!
In June, Irene invited all of us to write moon poems to welcome this new book into the world. Maybe you wrote one like I did? But, just like a late party guest, we mistake for the birthday girl to shout SUPRISE! there was a bit of a delay for Museum on the Moon to make her debut. Sigh...we've been waiting ever since.
As I type this, Amazon is having a tough time keeping up with pre-orders for this book--and I'm not surprised. It's beautiful.
The first beauty of MOTM to notice is the color palette of white, blues, orange, and teal. Illustrator Myriam Wares's art for these twenty-one poems about the moon during the years of the US Apollo missions is a mix of lunar cool and kid-friendly invitation.
The poems vary in style from acrostic to ghazal, golden shovel, triolet, and more. Each is paired with short, factual prose about objects on the moon that have turned Earth's closest natural satellite into a curious sort of museum.
There's a sweet poem about a family photo, a memorial poem for astronauts who gave their lives to the space program's development, and a sentimental poem for a man whose ashes were taken to the moon. Latham has also included poems about things inquisitive kids want to know like what happens to poop when humans are on the moon.
Backmatter in MOTM describes the important people and events of the Apollo missions including the Soviets who inspired, competed with, and even helped NASA sometimes. We poets can soak up the wonderful descriptions of poetic forms and get a peek into Irene's amazing process of creating the book from a form index.
My favorite poem from this book has to be, 'Lunar Library.'
|From The Museum on the Moon by Irene Latham. Illustrated by Myriam Ware. Moonflower Press. 2023|
Of course, my fingers itched to poem back.
Lunar Librarian for the Museum on the Moon
Little free moon library you say?
One sun-bleached Bible inside?
Oh, my--that won’t do!
Young readers are coming; lunar-kids,
with curiosity and imagination–
they’ll be here soon!
Moon newbies need good story books,
cosmic jokes, celestial novels,
And bedtime poetry. Owl Moon, Goodnight Moon,‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,
or, If You Were the Moon.
With young readers coming they’ll want to know
about the place itself, books of moon facts
to be attuned.
to the quiet, pull of the moon on ocean tides,
lovers, witches on brooms. and night owls who
hoot a verse or two.
Linda Mitchell 9/8/23
I hope you'll pick a copy of The Museum on the Moon to share with your favorite people. Or, ask your local library to order a copy to share with lots of young people. That's what I've done.
Congratulations to Irene on her beautiful and slightly overdue book. I've enjoyed it immensely and learned a thing or two about the Apollo missions along the way.
Thank you to Amy who is hosting our round-up this week at The Poem Farm this week.