Poetry Friday? It’s Poetry Month! (But you knew that.)

Around the blogosphere, there have fantastic posts all month about April, National Poetry Month. If you haven’t been privy to the wealth of words please see this 2023 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Roundup from the incomparable Jama Rattigan on her fantastic blog, Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

As with many celebratory “months,” I firmly believe that poetry should be enjoyed all year round–read it, write it, buy it! Here are a few of new few of my new favorite purchases.

I’m a huge fan of Dr. William Carlos Williams, and I’ve slipped this tiny red volume in my bag to go with me everywhere and anytime I need a poem. Place is so important to Williams; he has a knack for specific details about everyday things that change how you see your surroundings.

The Path to Kindness, is an anthology to pick up when you need a moment of sunshine in an otherwise dark world. In “Grandmother,” Kate Duignan writes of the bond forged over separated eggs when making a cake. Julia Alvarez’s contribution includes “Love Portions,” about the balance and imbalance of relationships and domestic work. Each poem, as mentioned in the subtitle, illuminates connection and joy.

Dorothy Parker keeps it light with mostly rhymed verse in Enough Rope. Parker lived from 1893-1967. Many of the poems have a turn-of-the-century sensibility.

Some men break your heart in two,
Some men fawn and flatter,
Some men never look at you;
And that cleans up the matter.

Love Poems (for Anxious People) by John Kenney is entirely modern and hilarious. Titles of the poems include: “Here comes someone whose name I should know,” “A friend hasn’t texted me back yet and I am totally fine with that,” and “To the man on his phone at 7-Eleven who bumped into me and spilled iced coffee on my pants and said, “Whoops,” and then walked away.” I couldn’t stop laughing. These are poems that you finish and you can’t help but laugh at the you you see in the poem.

While these are all poems written for the adult market, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this poetry month moment to remind you of my poems in the anthology, The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-to Poems, which include “Playin’ Jacks” and “Fireworks.” This Pup Steps Up for the youngest readers also features an extended poem with rhymed couplets. Pick yours up today and happy Poetry Month!

A Knish is Love Part 2: The origin of the sticker

Did you read part 1? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. In my last post, I unveiled my fun new sticker from the fictional Morty’s Deli in my upcoming middle-grade book, SHIRA AND ESTHER’S DOUBLE DREAM DEBUT, on sale October 10, 2023. The sticker and a signed book is available to those who preorder the book from my local independent bookstore, Politics & Prose. Do that now! I’ll wait.

The sticker’s origin is a quote from the book:

A sign on the door says best knishes in idylldale. What? It’s not bragging if it’s the truth—and if there’s one thing you want from a deli man, it’s the truth.


But where is Idylldale and what is a knish? For the first question, I don’t want to steal my narrator’s thunder. I’ll simply say that Idylldale is the setting in the novel. It’s part Manhattan’s Lower East Side and part Catskill Mountains Borscht Belt resort (see below for a map of vintage Jewish Resorts and Hotels).

Jewish food and culture tie these two geographical regions together. Every culture has its filled pastry: dumplings, bao, meat pies, and Jewish culture has the knish. As Morty, the deli owner, says in my book:

Kinder. You already know that when you are very, very hungry, almost anything—with the exception of liverwurst with onions—tastes good. But Morty’s knish is not just anything. Did I already say they are the best in Idylldale? What? You never had a knish? Imagine the lightest, fluffiest mashed potatoes wrapped in a piecrust and baked to perfection. You got it? Yes? No. It’s not like that at all. A knish is better than a fluffy biscuit, better than a melt-in-your-mouth donut, a knish is love.


A Knish is Love Part 1: Reasons to Preorder my book!

If you’ve been following along, you know that I recently received my advanced reader copies for my middle-grade debut novel, SHIRA AND ESTHER’S DOUBLE DREAM DEBUT. The book won’t be in your bookstore until October 10, 2023, but here are a few good reasons why you should preorder yours now.

  • We’ve all seen what happens when the supply chain is interrupted. When there is unexpected demand, it can take a long time for production to catch up. When you preorder, the publishing company can gauge demand for the book and order accordingly.
  • A successful preorder campaign creates buzz for a book and builds anticipation for the launch. Especially if you, the consumer, posts about your purchase and support!
  • Sales of foreign rights and other rights are more likely to be successful if the book has buzz.
  • Independent bookstores often purchase only one or two copies of a book (especially from a debut author) if they are unsure how it will do. If you order from your local independent bookstore now, they will have guaranteed sales and a reason to order more!
  • Finally, if you order from MY local independent bookstore, Politics & Prose, I will sign your book and add in a fun sticker from the fictional Morty’s Deli! Here’s the link to order SHIRA AND ESTHER’S DOUBLE DREAM DEBUT from Politics & Prose!

What? You don’t know what a knish is? Stay tuned!