Jitters and a Giveaway

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) Many folks in the Poetry Friday community have been sharing their poems from What Is a Friend?, edited by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell. This book benefits IBBY, with the editors and poets all donating their efforts. I’m thrilled to share my poem with you, thanks to the nifty graphic the Pomelo Books folks sent to me :>)

And they also sent me some books to share! When my next edition of Small Reads (my monthly e‑letter for educators) goes out, on Nov. 8, I’ll be offering a giveaway of this book to the first 3 responding teachers/librarians. You can subscribe here if you’re not already a subscriber.

Also, if you’re interested in writing process, I shared the process of writing this poem with my Patrons over three videos. Here’s the first video, from August, in which I chose three mentor poems from Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s Poems Are Teachers, and then wrote first drafts of poems to go with the above image. I try to keep the videos between 5–8 minutes most of the time, but this one is longer. Maybe watch it at 2x :>D

Want to know more about my Patreon group? Just click the Writer in Progress graphic. And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with poet, educator, former teacher, and climate activist Heidi Mordhorst!Save

25 Responses

  1. Love this, Laura. I can’t wait to watch the video. I saw part of It I think but it is an absolute honor to be in a book with you. Who would have imagined this? I might have had a kind of foggy dream of being published some day but in the beginning ie around 2010 and 2011 when I first learned about the Poetry Friday poets I was mainly interested in celebrating and sharing poetry and learning about new poets like you!!! I count myself so incredibly blessed and lucky. I learn so much from you.

    1. One of the best things about anthologies is that feeling of community with poets you admire. I feel it with every anthology I’m in, including this one. So happy to be sharing pages with you, Janet!

  2. Loved to hear your process for this poem, sharing about the inspiring mentor poems. And also hearing that your process changes for poems, and that you try out different forms of poems. “Jitters” captures me and brings me right there in the midsts of both skater’s emotions, delightful, thanks for all Laura!

  3. It’s early morning and I’m off to a field trip, but I will come back to watch the video. I love to hear about your process. I love how your poem ends with laughter between friends and how it takes all our worries away.

  4. Laura, as if your written contributions to children’s literature weren’t enough, your essential generosity to other writers is a gift that I’m sure has inspired Sylvia and Janet. In this poem I really love how its regular metric form is disguised by line breaks that create deliberate pacing that intensifies the emotion. Later I’ll watch the videos to see if that’s exactly what you intended to do!

  5. I remember following your process in writing this poem, Laura. I love how you captured a roller coaster of emotions in such a short space. You are always an inspiration!

  6. Your process videos are so helpful, and I always learn something. “My gut’s like a stone.” I know that feeling! Another wonderful poem, Laura!

  7. I love the ending of “Jitters”, Laura, what friendships mean. I’ll try to listen to your video later in my day! Thanks for sharing that, too!

  8. I can certainly relate to “Jitters.” 😀 Thanks for the cool video; enjoyed hearing the mentor poems and how you approach new projects.

  9. I love how the mutual laughter at the end cures the jitters in your poem, Laura! I found your process video very interesting. I often read poetry to inspire my own writing, but I’ve never approached it quite as analytically as you have. I want to give that approach a try now.

  10. You poem is wonderful, Laura! It captured the feeling of being on the ice and jitters completely! I am envious of those of you that have been in more than one of Janet and Sylvia’s books. I was in their first cohort — Things We Do, for anthology 201. I keep trying but have not found success another time. Still, despite my disappointment, when I read the selected poems that people share, I always love them! This is a very creative group!

    1. I’ve had poems not selected for anthologies I was so eager to be in, Carol. Always a disappointment, but also part of the creative life. We just keep writing and keep trying!

  11. Laura, I enjoyed listening to your videos, the one here and the other with your Patreon group. The title Jitters is such an inviting one. I do like the questioning in stanza one and the laughter at the end. This poem fits well with the anthology on friendship. I plan on sharing your monthly e‑letter for educators info with the teachers I am providing a keynote address during February and March. I am trying to give them resources they can go to that would help them in the classroom. Thanks for freebies to keep teachers interested in being teacher writers.

  12. Such a generous sharing of process, Laura! Like Irene, I didn’t have much experience with ice skating while growing up in Florida, but I did ice skate a few times, and your poem is spot-on about those feelings of being a little wobbly figuring it out. Honored to share pages of another book with you, poetry FRIEND.

  13. Such truth in your poem! With friends by our side, we can try hard things…and laugh when we (inevitably) fall!

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