(Missed my successful Kickstarter for a collection of anti-testing poetry? Check it out here!)
It’s now summer — I’m officially done with school and on my way to the mountains for a couple months. I’ve got a lot of work to do on finishing the book — and another HUGE thanks to everyone who really came through to support the project — and I want to make sure my focus is entirely on that project. So, I will not be doing regular updates this summer.
I’ll probably throw in some posts and poems, as well as a link for people who didn’t support the Kickstarter but still want to pre-order a copy. But those probably won’t follow a particular schedule. For now, have a great summer, and thanks again to everyone!
P.S. Here’s my summer vacation poem from last year: Summer Vacation
Support my Kickstarter and get your own book of anti-testing poetry!
Readers of this blog know I have…feelings about standardized testing. Throughout my weeks of monitoring PA state assessments for 10-year-olds, I’ve been resisting in the way I’m best at: by writing silly poems when I’m supposed to be doing other things (e.g. monitoring PA state assessments for 10-year-olds).
As it turns out, many of you have feelings about standardized testing as well.
I’ve been really excited about the positive response these anti-testing poems have gotten, in part because it’s been a great way to combine silly writing with advocacy for something I think is important. And I want to build on that. So…
I’m producing a book of anti-testing poetry – and I’m launching a Kickstarter to fund it!
Please consider supporting my Kickstarter and buying your own e-book, chapbook, or hardback: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1893721908/testing-poetry-a-book-of-passive-aggressive-resist
Things to get excited about:
-Artwork by Anna Fox!
-Opportunities to spotlight anti-testing work around the country!
I hope you’ll consider joining this project! Also, please share with your networks — this is about generating a conversation, so let’s spread it as widely as possible!
Links to some of the testing poems published on this blog:
Testing, Day 1: New Testing Mandates
Testing, Day 2: Beat the System
Testing, Day 3: ABAD
Testing, Day 4: Marvin K. Parker
Testing, Day 5: Bright
Testing, Day 6: Stamina
Testing, Day 7: Testing Instructions
Testing, Day 8: Inspirational Slogans
Testing, Day 9: The Pledge
It’s been a busy couple of months — Anna and I have gotten lots of work done, we visited the SCBWI winter conference in New York, and we’ve both had lots of new ideas for work going forward.
Thanks for you’re patience, and I’m excited to get this blog running again! As always, please send me any requests for how poetry could help your classroom or life.
I spent last weekend with Anna Fox Ryan at the SCBWI Winter Conference — what an amazing experience getting to go deep into the world of children’s book publication and meet lots of others at different stages of their journeys as authors and illustrators.
It’s going to take a lot of work to get published, and there are a lot of different directions this project could go. For now, though, it’s been great getting to carry around something like this:
This blog has been much more successful than I could have hoped for, as a way to keep me writing. As I posted back in September, I am now on a quest along with Anna Fox Ryan to turn these collected poems into a book.
While I refocus on this project, I have decided to take a temporary break from regular blog posts. A few notes on this pause:
- I will still eagerly take requests and do request posts.
- I may resume at a later date.
- I went ahead and queued up three poems instead of the usual one today. Bon appetit!
Thanks so much for your support, and keep those requests (and advice for getting published? Contacts in the agency world? Genies and magic spells?) coming!
I started this blog to motivate me to write more. Well it worked: I couldn’t be more excited to keep growing this project…and I want to turn it into a book.
There’s a lot that will have to come together to make that a reality, but I wanted to share with you two awesome pieces of news.
The first is that I’m almost done: I set myself a target of 150 poems, and I’m getting pretty darn close. There’s LOTS I haven’t published online yet. Which is probably a good idea if I want to find a publisher. In the interest of keeping much of my material in reserve, I’m going to switch to a Saturday-only blog schedule, starting now.
The other — and much more exciting — piece of news: I’m not doing this project alone. The incredibly talented and acclaimed artist Anna Fox Ryan has started working on illustrating the collection, which we’re currently calling The Odd Shoe (named for one of my personal favorites from the collection). I can’t believe how amazing her illustrations so far are, and I know you’ll love them too. We may share some at some point, but for now, you’ll have to settle for the new website header logo, which Anna created.
In the meantime — if you’d like to help with this project, there are a few ways you can help:
- Send me ideas and requests for poetry! This is especially true for teachers — I want to create poetry that can be useful in the classroom (and if this gets published, I’m hoping to make a teachers’ edition as well), and the easiest way for me to do that is if I’m creating poems I know will fit teachers’ needs!
- Teachers: use these poems in your classroom! Then, let me know how it goes! I’d love feedback if you have any; I’d also love to eventually get testimonials, but for now, it’d just be useful for me to know who’s using it.
- Umm…Anybody know anything about getting published? Any advice or networking will help!
It’s almost summer vacation! I’m hoping to write a lot this summer, and I’m also going to be doing a bunch of planning for next school year, and that gave me an idea. I know that many of my readers are teachers, so I wanted to ask: is there anything I could write that would be useful to your classrooms?
So for the first time, I’m taking requests! Such as:
- Are there any rhyme schemes, poetic meters, or types of poems that you’d like examples of (for instance, doing a unit on limericks and want some samples? Teaching rhyme scheme and want something with a particular pattern? Etc.)
- Are there any poetic devices or techniques (metaphor, onomatopoeia, assonance, etc.) that you’d like me to incorporate?
- Any topics you’d really like a poem about?
- Feel free to include other requests (particular reading levels, vocab words to include, etc.)
I’d like to make this blog as useful to readers as possible. So if you’ve just finished a unit on sea slugs and also are introducing personification and you’re going to be doing Shakespeare soon and you just NEED to have a sonnet personifying sea slugs — I’m your guy. If you need eight cinquains about cacti that are differentiated by reading levels, let me know. If you want rhyming couplets to help your students remember the properties of triangles, just shoot me a message.
I’ll also take requests from non-teachers. Need a birthday poem? Want me to Cyrano de Bergerac the love of your life? Looking to soften the news that you won’t be coming home for Thanksgiving?
Some of these poems might end up on this blog, others may be sent to you directly (I’ll exercise my best judgment over whether normal people are really going to want to read a sonnet about sea slugs, weirdo).
Got a request? Email me at JGpoems@gmail.com, or message me on Twitter @jez3g.