So I had a brilliant idea. Humorous poems about stinky animals. Lots of back matter. You know–skunk, stink bug, mink, ferret,. Had a moment’s doubt that there wouldn’t be enough. Google set my mind at rest. Talked to daughter Heidi about doing the book with me.
This verse novel began as a bunch of different poems about Baba Yaga,my culture hero. I’d read a bit of a blog in which the author purports to be Baba Yaga as a love columnist. The columns were particularly snarky and strong. So I wrote a poem about Baba Yaga as a love columnist and then branched out into writing poems about her in general: having tea with Kostchai the Deathless, (When he kisses the Baba on the cheek, “it leaves a scar.”) or how she feels about her cousin the witch from Hansel in Gretel.
Hard- hitting political poetry for adults. Remember—-I lean left. Far left. So Trump & Co. get no kudos from me. I began writing the poems slightly before the vote, Finished it in January when it was published. Wonderful intro by Bill Newman, head of the Western Mass ACLU, a writer himself. And Civil Rights lawyer.
I first met the editor, John Patrick Pazdziora as he was finishing his doctorate at St Andrews University in English Literature. My friend Debby brought him, his lovely wife Rebecca, and their amazing then two year old daughter Fern to tea at my house. We began a conversation about his work
This small art press limited edition (of 50) hand-bound books is for the serious collector. The book includes both published and unpublished adult poems in the faerie tale/fantasy genre. If you go to www.papaveria.com you will find ordering information
Over a period of seven years, I wrote a sonnet a year about the life of my favorite poet (and neighbor!) Emily Dickinson. Not looking to get them published, not at first. Just writing them. They certainly didn’t seem to me to be something either an adult poetry publisher would want or something
Rebecca Kai Dotlich and I wanted to write a book of poems together. We tried several ideas, but the one that seemed to catch fire—and catch the eye of an editor was a book of fairy tale poems each fairy tale with a poem by each of us.
The then head of Simon & Schuster’s children’s book trade department, and my old friend, Rubin Pfeffer came to my house to visit with me and my very ill husband, David. The three of us told stories, laughed, lifted the spirits of everyone in the room.
I had tried for years to write a memoir of my father’s family and their travels to America from a small shtetel (Jewish village) in the Ukraine in the early 1900s. I’d done a quasi first chapter, written a children’s book that fictionalized one of the funniest of our family stories—called And Twelve Chinese Acrobats.
Before he became Children’s Poet Laureate, Pat Lewis and I had sold several other poetry collections together–Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers, the Life of Chagall in Verse, came out first. Then Take Two, our book of twin poems. (He’s a twin, I am grandmother of twins.) The third book we sold was