Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Podcast: Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen Interview and Giveaway
Today we welcome one of the most prolific writers of children’s fantasy and poetry, Jane Yolen!

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Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

When I began my freelance writing career, I chose the picture book genre. After all, my kids were small and I read dozens of them aloud per week. It didn’t take long to discover the writing of Jane Yolen. Jane’s books embody the best of the picture book genre. She uses language artfully, poetically. She gives the reader an immersive experience any time you come into contact with her words. She’s also in tune with a child’s sense of humor and wonder.

I also found a bird-watching companion in Jane! Her husband brought to their family a naturalist’s passion for the natural world. Jane took that passion and translated it into wonderful prose and poetry.

When Jane agreed to be interviewed for our humble podcast, I felt like a fan girl at a rock concert. It has been 20 years of admiration on my part that led to this wonderful conversation. Heidi Semple, Jane’s adult daughter, joins us as well. She and Jane have co-authored several books that feature birds, in fact!

Enjoy this rich exploration of poetry, writing, nature, and the celebration of family culture! I introduce to you: Jane Yolen.

Show notes are available as a free download! Sign up for them HERE.

Show Notes for Jane Yolen Podcast


Check out Jane’s written interview on the Poetry Teatime blog.

PLUS we have a FUN GIVEAWAY featuring Jane Yolen’s brand new book, Grumbles from the Forest, and two others! We also discovered one last Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz tea cozy and are including that too.


Stacie Canales!

Congrats, Stacie! You will receive:

Grumbles from the Town
Grumbles from the Forest (NEW!)
You Nest Here with Me

…plus the LAST Poetry Teatime Tea Cozy called the Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz (sold out pattern).

BONUS Surprise: Two bookmarks from Jane!


Jane Yolen Book Giveaway

Podcast: Janet Wong & Sylvia Vardell

Podcast with Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell

Today we’d like to welcome two amazing women who are on the cutting edge of children’s poetry.

Janet Wong is a prolific writer of poetry and short stories for young people. Her work has received wide recognition from shows like Oprah Winfrey to awards such as the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. She is the first generation daughter of Korean and Chinese immigrant parents, and many of her works deal with multicultural experiences.

Dr. Sylvia Vardell is professor of children’s literature at Texas Woman’s University and is the author or contributor of over 24 books. She received the 2014 Scholastic Library Publishing Award for her work in the field of children’s literature. She blogs regularly at Poetry for Children.

Together, these two authors have collaborated on the Poetry Friday Anthology series, a collection of poems by some of the best children’s poets from around the world. Even better, each poem comes with lesson plans and classroom resources for teaching these poems. Whether in a traditional classroom or at home, these books offer a wonderful means of widening your family’s consumption of poetry.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these two powerful women! We all agreed that too often poetry is perceived as boring or difficult. Yet those who love poetry say otherwise. Janet and Sylvia make poetry so accessible and delightful through their work, I found myself wanting to run right to my poetry anthologies after our conversation to spend time again with my poet friends.

Enjoy our conversation and do yourself a favor: take the plunge into exploring and experiencing poetry for yourself and with your children.


Here is the link to Sylvia Vardell’s blog Poetry for Children and Janet Wong’s website. Be sure to check out their books below or at your local library!

By Janet Wong

A Suitcase of Seaweed: And Other Poems. Celebrates diversity. Winner of the Claremont Stone Center Recognition of Merit Award.
The Trip Back Home
Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams. NY Times Best Illustrated Books of 2000.
The Rainbow Hand
Knock on Wood: Poems about Superstitions
Twist: Yoga Poems
Behind the Wheel: Poems about Driving

By Sylvia Vardell

Poetry Aloud Here!

Poetry Friday Anthologies

You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book for Tweens & Teens (Soon to be available!)
The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations
The Poetry Friday Anthology
The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School
The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for Kids

Check out Janet and Sylvia’s written interview
on the Poetry Teatime blog!

Interview with Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell

Poetry Teatime Companion on Kindle!

Poetry Teatime CompanionBig news! The Poetry Teatime Companion is now available on Kindle!

You can buy it for a tiny fee if you already own the book, or you can buy the eBook for $14.95. We’re excited that Create Space and Amazon so valued our book, they turned it into a Kindle eBook for us!

Poetry Teatime pairs tea and treats with poetry reading—anywhere from the kitchen table to a picnic table, by the seaside or on top of a mountain. Families around the world are indulging in this pleasurable, meaningful shared experience.

The Poetry Teatime Companion is an anthology of classic poems that will help your family bring the practice to life.

Now available on Kindle!


Poetry Teatime Companion is HERE!

Poetry Teatime Companion - 52 poems for your teatimes!

It is my pleasure to announce the publication of Brave Writer’s collection of treasured poems for Poetry Teatime!

Poetry Teatime Companion is an anthology of public domain poetry paired with gorgeous artwork and fascinating details about each of the hand-picked poems. The poems are divided by season and categories (like “Creatures of the Air” and “Light Bearers”).

The 8″ x 10″ paperback book is the right size for both little and big hands. The four-color illustrations make it easy for young children to pick a poem to read!

Get Yours Today!

Interview with Poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Podcast with Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterImage of Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is by Melissa Deakin

It was my delight and privilege to talk with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Her poetry is delicious—like a strawberry smoothie or a fresh mint lemonade. She brings vowels and consonants together in ways that leave the mouth happy and satisfied.

Not only that, her family lives in the countryside and has made the choice to not have a television. One way they fill those hours is to explore the great outdoors right beyond their backyard. Amy readily admits that she did not know the names of plants, trees, mosses, and wildflowers when she began. But together with her science-loving husband and two children, they grew in their ability to recognize and name the natural world around them. You will see those affinities in her poetry which bursts with detail and nomenclature.

I also enjoyed Amy’s enthusiasm for children. She shares a love of writing and the belief that all children are writers already. She calls them “walking poems.”

Amy’s first book, Forest Has a Song, has received many praises, including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. Amy also recently released her new book, Every Day Birds (affiliate links).

Enjoy our conversation, and please do check out her books!

Here’s the link Amy mentions in the podcast: The Private Eye

Read Amy’s written interview on the Poetry Teatime blog!