April is National Poetry Month. It was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets with the hopes of "increasing the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry's ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated." (poets.org). At the start of the month, I pegged April 26th as the day our family would experience poetry with a birthday celebration of one of my favorite poets and with one of my favorite poetry activities.
Today we are celebrating Renee LaTulippe's birthday. I have gotten to know Renee through the 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge. One of the things I have learned about her is that the word "busy" does not even to begin to describe her life. She is an author, poet, editor, video blogger, wife, and mother of twin boys -- and she sings in a local choral group in her town in Italy! She writes educational materials for All About Learning Press and has published books with her co-author, Marie Rippel including Lizard Lou: a collection of rhymes new and old and What am I?: a collection of short stories. Renee has been described as, "one of the top editors in the educational market today," and also works with adult authors to polish their work. (WordSpark Editing).
I have become one of the biggest fans of her unique blog, No Water River, where she delivers her poetry not only in text but also in video. Tocelebrate National Poetry Month, Renee expanded her video poetry platform to feature numerous poets and authors sharing their own poetry including the U.S. Children's Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis and Deborah Diesen, author of The Pout-Pout Fish (a family favorite!). Renee expressed her thoughts on video poetry on Katie Davis' Blog, "Poetry is alive! Poetry is meant to be spoken and heard and savored by ears, mouth, eyes, bodies." Additionally in an interview with DeoWriter she said, "I like the idea of setting a poem free in the wild, unfettered by walls and ceilings." Our family had to try our own video poetry to celebrate Renee's birthday. Her idea of presenting the poems "in the wild" actually led us to write poems about two events that are happening right now in our own backyard. - Click Here to Read More -