books

Poetry Friday: Learning to Talk by Minnie Bruce Pratt

On Magnolia Avenue there are no magnolias. Someone bought
the house of the one survivor. All morning I heard the chainsaw
sever its limbs from root to bud. No more scattered flowers, star city.
No pink galaxy. Now the yard is a parking space, one Jeep SUV,
one older car. Next door a woman comes out, late afternoon,
a child in her arms. She speaks low, as if there’s just the two of them.
She says to him, Listen to the little birdies, and he listens to
the common sparrows talking in the hedge. He listens as they argue
back and forth, their dialect of nature, as the street clatters with commuters
taking a shortcut home. She says: Listen. And he turns his head to follow
the fugitive motion, the small streaked wings unfolding, folding,
the relentless chirp from a tiny blunt beak, the sound almost within reach.

- Learning to Talk by Minnie Bruce Pratt

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Poetry Friday: Cat by Marilyn Singer

I prefer
warm fur,
a perfect fire
to lie beside,
a cozy lap
where I can nap,
an empty chair
when she's not there.
I want heat
    on my feet
    on my nose
    on my hide.
No cat I remember
dislikes December
    inside.

- Cat by Marilyn Singer

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Poetry Friday: All Goats by Elizabeth J. Coatsworth

All goats have a wild-briar grace.
They are as elegant as thorns,
With little bells beneath their chins,
And pointed horns.

So quick are they upon their feet,
So light and gaily do they prance,
Their hoofs seem little castanets
To which they dance.

And as they raise sagacious heads
Disturbed by some crude passer-by
They look upon him with a most
Satiric eye.

- All Goats by Elizabeth J. Coatsworth

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Poetry Friday: Some Beauty by Lia Purpura

Its nature
is ruthless, nothing
as simple as
loss being ruinous,
those undeniable rainbows
of oil, shock of bright
sulphurous puddles
(in goldfinch, in lemon)
and now what,
if that beauty's
terrible plumage
makes you keep looking
and disturbs your despair.

- Some Beauty by Lia Purpura

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Author Interviews

This is the archive of exclusive interviews with authors I've conducted for the Bildungsroman blog and website, as well as interviews with other artists and actors I've written for other publications. The most recent interview is the first to be listed.

Kathy Kacer (To Look a Nazi in the Eye)
Joel ben Izzy (Dreidels on the Brain)
Suzanne Nelson (Serendipity's Footsteps)
Laurel Gale (Dead Boy)
Courtney Summers (All the Rage)
Una LaMarche (Like No Other)
Micol Ostow (Amity)
Julie Danielson and Betsy Bird (Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature)
Kelly Jensen (It Happens)
Jen Wang (In Real Life)
Shirley Vernick (The Black Butterfly)
Joy Preble (The A-Word)
Kirsten B. Feldman (No Alligators in Sight)
Varsha Bajaj (Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood)
Robyn Bavati (Dancing in the Dark)
Ilsa J. Bick (White Space)
Holly Schindler (The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky)
Alison Cherry (Red)
Chris and Kyle Bolton (Smash)
Alison Croggon (Black Spring)
Shirley Vernick (Remember Dippy)
Jessica Day George (Wednesdays in the Tower)
Shayne Leighton (Of Light and Darkness)
Hilary McKay (Lulu)
Leslie Stella (Permanent Record)
Lauren Baratz-Logsted (The Sisters 8)
Nataly Dawn (singer/songwriter, How I Knew Her)
Doreen Rappaport (Beyond Courage)
Kirsten Miller (How to Lead a Life of Crime)
Caroline B. Cooney (The Face on the Milk Carton)
Dallas Clayton (Make Magic! Do Good!)
Tara Altebrando (What Happens Here)
Kelly Thompson (The Girl Who Would Be King)
Leigh Dunlap (Halifax, A Cinderella Story)
Christopher Golden (Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism)
Ashley Sandeman (The Thickening Water)
Ned Vizzini (The Other Normals)
Daniella Alonso (Revolution actress)
Megan Frazer Blakemore (Secrets of Truth and Beauty)
Elizabeth Zechel (Is There a Mouse in the Baby's Room)
Donna Freitas (Gold Medal Summer)
Peter H. Reynolds (Sky Color)
Iva-Marie Palmer (The End of the World as We Know It)
Lisa M. Stasse (The Forsaken)
Jennifer Miller (The Year of the Gadfly)
Dave Roman (Teen Boat!)
Tim Lebbon (The Sea Wolves)
Megan McDonald (Judy Moody)
Lisa Papademetriou (Confectionately Yours)
Mary Lowry (The Earthquake Machine)
Cecilia Galante (The Little Wings series)
Gaby Rodriguez (The Pregnancy Project)
Trina Robbins (Lily Renee, Escape Artist)
Susan Lee (Mastermind, Diary of a Mid-Life Crisis)
Beth Kanell (The Secret Room)
Loretta Ellsworth (Unforgettable)
Kristen Tracy (Sharks & Boys)
Anne Ursu (Breadcrumbs)
Erin McGuire (Breadcrumbs)
Tinsel Korey (The Twilight Saga actress)
Alexa Martin (Girl Wonder)
Elisabeth Rohm (Nerissa)
Mary E. Pearson (The Fox Inheritance)
Jane Mendelsohn (Innocence)
Maria Padian (Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best)
Emily Howse (Zitface)
Rachel Karns (Gray)
Shirley Vernick (The Blood Lie)
Janet Lee Carey (The Dragons of Noor)
Tim Lebbon & Christopher Golden (The Secret Journeys of Jack London)
Julia DeVillers & Jennifer Roy (Trading Faces)
Adele Griffin (The Julian Game)
Daisy Whitney (The Mockingbirds)
Maya Gold (Cinderella Cleaners)
Mary Jane Beaufrand (The River)
Loretta Chan (The Struggle to Be Strong)
Jamie Rich (12 Reasons Why I Love Her)
Lisa Shanahan (The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It)
Buzzy Jackson (Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist)
Kirsten Miller (Kiki Strike)
Jaclyn Moriarty (The Year of Secret Assignments)
Andrew Auseon (Freak Magnet)
Kristen Tracy (A Field Guide For Heartbreakers)
Sarah Mlynowski (Gimme a Call)
Holly Cupala (Tell Me a Secret)
J Torres and Jason Bone (Alison Dare)
Cecil Castellucci (Rose Sees Red)
Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown (Picture the Dead)
Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi)
Sarah Kuhn (One Con Glory)
Donna Freitas (This Gorgeous Game)
Holly Schindler (A Blue So Dark)
Barbara Dee (This is Me From Now On)
Julie Bowe (My Best Frenemy)
Meg Cabot (Runaway)
Robin Benway (The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June)
Karen Cushman (Alchemy and Meggy Swann)
Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (Goddess Girls)
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
Cherie Priest (Boneshaker)
Carrie Ryan (The Dead-Tossed Waves)
Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels)
Shula Klinger (The Kingdom of Strange)
Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall)
Jen Calonita (Reality Check)
Elissa Brent Weissman (Standing for Socks)
Kristin Walker (A Match Made in High School)
Carrie Jones and Alyxandra Harvey (Captivate; Hearts at Stake)
Robin Friedman (The Importance of Wings)
Loretta Ellsworth (In a Heartbeat)
Melissa de la Cruz (The Ashleys)
E. Lockhart (The Treasure Map of Boys)
Joan Holub (Shampoodle)
Thomas Randall (The Waking: Dreams of the Dead)
Jacqui Robbins (Two of a Kind)
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Blue is for Nightmares)
Courtney Sheinmel (Positively)
Cynthia Leitich Smith (Rain is Not My Indian Name)
Tom Sniegoski (Legacy)
Laura Resau (The Indigo Notebook)
Tim Raglin (The 13 Days of Halloween)
Barbara Jean Hicks, Sue Hendra, and Erin Clarke (Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli)
Matt Phelan (The Storm in the Barn)
Amber Kizer (Meridian)
Thomas Randall (The Waking: Dreams of the Dead)
Melissa Wyatt (Funny How Things Change)
Tanita S. Davis (Mare's War)
Autumn Cornwell (Carpe Diem)
Cheryl Renee Herbsman (Breathing)
Lara Zeises (The Sweet Life of Stella Madison)
Neesha Meminger (Shine, Coconut Moon)
Alyson Noël (Evermore)
Terri & Brittany MacLeod (113 Things to Do By 13)
Jim Rugg (The Plain Janes)
Jessica Burkhart (Canterwood Crest)
Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don't Die)
Nikki Goldstein (GirlForce)
Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon)
Sarah Darer Littman (Purge)
Rachel Renee Russell (Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life)
Cylin Busby (The Year We Disappeared)
Lauren Myracle (Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks)
Thalia Chaltas (Because I Am Furniture)
Rosemary Clement-Moore (Prom Dates from H&!!)
Carolyn Hennesy (Pandora Gets Jealous)
Amber Benson (Death's Daughter)
Sarah Mlynowski (Parties & Potions)
Linda Urban (A Crooked Kind of Perfect)
Meg Cabot (Forever Princess)
Judy Blume (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing)
Robin Benway (Audrey, Wait!)
Lisa Ann Sandell (Song of the Sparrow)
Emily Ecton (Boots and Pieces)
Sarah Darer Littman (Purge)
Luisa Plaja (Split by a Kiss)
Courtney Summers (Cracked Up to Be)
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (The Floating Circus)
Helen Hemphill (The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones)
Amy Belasen and Jacob Osborn (Jenny Green's Killer Year)
Claire Mysko (You're Amazing! A No-Pressure Guide to Being Your Best Self)
Julie Kraut (Hot Mess: Summer in the City)
Barbara Jean Hicks (The Secret Life of Walter Kitty)
Carol Plum-Ucci (What Happened to Lani Garver)
Jen Calonita (Secrets of My Hollywood Life)
Debbie Reed Fischer (Swimming with the Sharks)
Taylor Morris (Total Knockout: Tale of an Ex-Class President)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 13)
Kristin O'Donnell Tubb (Autumn Winifred Does Things Different)
Nancy Viau (Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 12)
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (In the Forests of the Night)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 11)
Paul Miller (Earthling Publications)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 10)
Courtney Sheinmel (My So-Called Family)
Suzanne Supplee (Artichoke's Heart)
Brooke Taylor (Undone)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 9)
Vivian French (The Robe of Skulls)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 8)
E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle (How to Be Bad)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 7)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 6)
Alison McGhee (Snap)
Cherry Cheva (She's So Money)
Denise Vega (Fact of Life #31)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 5)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 4)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 3)
E.M. Crane (Skin Deep)
Jennifer Bradbury (Shift)
Tera Lynn Childs (Oh. My. Gods.)
Susane Colasanti (Take Me There)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 2)
Suzanne Harper (The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney)
Ingrid Law (Savvy)
Christina Meldrum (Madapple)
Gaby Triana (The Temptress Four)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 1)
Shannon Hale (Book of a Thousand Days)
Liz Tigelaar (PrettyTOUGH)
April Lurie (The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine)
Sara Hantz (The Second Virginity of Suzy Green)
Jody Gehrman (Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty)
Laura Preble (Queen Geeks Social Club)
Robin Wasserman (Seven Deadly Sins, Skinned)
Josie Bloss (Band Geek Love)
Cheryl Klam (The Pretty One)
Teri Brown (Read My Lips)
Kim Flores (Gamma Glamma)
D. Anne Love (Defying the Diva)
Cecilia Galante (The Patron Saint of Butterflies, Hershey Herself)
Jennifer E. Smith (The Comeback Season)
Lisa McMann (Wake)
Dorian Cirrone (Prom Kings and Drama Queens)
Carmen Rodrigues (Not Anything)
Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox)
Maryrose Wood (My Life: The Musical)
Jennifer Ziegler (How NOT to Be Popular)
Jamie Ponti (Prama)
Siobhan Vivian (A Little Friendly Advice)
Sherri L. Smith (Hot, Salty, Sour, Sweet)
Robin Palmer (Cindy Ella)
Daphne Grab (Alive and Well in Prague, New York)
Lesley M.M. Blume (Tennyson)
Sara Lewis Holmes (Letters From Rapunzel)
Gabrielle Zevin (Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac)
Beth Kephart (Undercover, House of Dance)
Melissa Walker (Violet on the Runway)
Amy Goldman Koss (The Girls)
Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries)
Liz Gallagher (The Opposite of Invisible)
Justina Chen Headley (Girl Overboard)
Aimee Ferris (Girl Overboard)
Jo Knowles (Lessons from a Dead Girl)
Kirsten Miller (Kiki Strike)
Michele Jaffe (Bad Kitty)
Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars)
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List)
Micol Ostow (Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa)
Maureen Johnson (Girl at Sea)
Tom Sniegoski (Owlboy: The Girl with the Destructo Touch)
Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Punk Farm)
Erik Brooks (Lucy's Pups)
Eric Luper (Big Slick)
Paula Brehm-Heeger (2007-2008 YALSA President)
Justina Chen Headley, Lorie Ann Grover, and Janet Lee Carey (Readergirlz: 31 Flavorites)
Melissa Lion (Swollen, Upstream)
Christopher Golden (Body of Evidence)
Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Ironside)
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
Kelly Bingham (Shark Girl)
Simmone Howell (Notes from the Teenage Underground)
Deborah Davis (Not Like You)
Tom Sniegoski (Billy Hooten, Owlboy)
Sara Ryan (The Rules for Hearts)
Simone Elkeles (How to Ruin a Summer Vacation)
Julie Halpern (Get Well Soon)
Caroline Hickey (Cassie Was Here)
Gretchen Olson (Call Me Hope)
Stephanie Hale (Revenge of the Homecoming Queen)
C. Leigh Purtill (Love, Meg)
Dana Reinhardt (A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life)
Ysabeau Wilce (Flora Segunda)
Christopher Golden (The Menagerie: Crashing Paradise)
Jordan Sonnenblick (Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie)
Sameera "Sparrow" Righton via Mitali Perkins (First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover)
Sarah Beth Durst (Into the Wild)
Kristen Tracy (Lost It)
Alex Richards (Back Talk)
Janet Lee Carey (Dragon's Keep)
Sonya Sones (What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know)
Cecil Castellucci (Beige)
Joni Sensel (Reality Leak)
Dia Calhoun (The Phoenix Dance)
Nina Malkin (Orange is the New Pink)
Karen Day (Tall Tales)
Julie Bowe (My Last Best Friend)
Sarah Miller (Miss Spitfire)
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Twisted)
Elizabeth Scott (Bloom)
Alex Flinn (Beastly, Diva)
Wendy Toliver (The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren)
Laura Bowers (Beauty Shop for Rent ...fully equipped, inquire within)
Jessica Day George (Dragon Slippers)
E. Lockhart (Dramarama)
Mary Wilcox (The Hollywood Sisters)
Debra Garfinkle (The Band)
Kristen Buckley (Tramps Like Us)
Crissa-Jean Chappell (Total Constant Order)
Liane Bonin (Fame Unlimited)
Heather Brewer (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod)
Shannon Greenland (The Specialists)
Carrie Jones (Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend)
S.T. Underdahl (The Other Sister)
Kerry Madden (The Maggie Valley Trilogy)
Margo Rabb (Cures for Heartbreak)
Jenny Han (Shug, interview two)
Jennifer L. Holm (Penny From Heaven)
Justina Chen Headley, Lorie Ann Grover, Dia Calhoun, and Janet Lee Carey (Readergirlz)
Robin Friedman (The Girlfriend Project)
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (Reaching for Sun)
Terie Garrison (The DragonSpawn Cycle)
Lisa Graff (The Thing about Georgie)
Alison Bell (Zibby Payne and the Terrible, Wonderful Tomboy Experiment)
Jeannine Garsee (Before, After, and Somebody In Between)
Deb Caletti (The Nature of Jade)
Wendy Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life)
Paula Chase (So Not the Drama)
Melissa Schorr (Goy Crazy)
Nina Wright (Homefree)
Helen Hemphill (Runaround)
Sara Zarr (Story of a Girl)
Christopher Golden (The Veil)
Garret Freymann-Weyr (Stay With Me)
Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Angel's Choice)
Kirby Larson (Hattie Big Sky)
Lesley M.M. Blume (Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters)
Bonnie Dobkin (Dream Spinner)
Pamela Lowell (Returnable Girl)
Lisa Yee (Millicent Min, Girl Genius)
Raina Telgemeier (BSC Graphix)
Marcy Dermansky (Twins)
Christine MacLean (How It's Done)
Alex McAulay (Bad Girls)
Kelly Parra (Graffiti Girl)
Janette Rallison (It's a Mall World After All)
Amy Saidens (Simon Pulse book cover artist)
Micol Ostow (30 Guys in 30 Days)
Erin Downing (Dancing Queen)
Aimee Friedman (A Novel Idea)
Kelly McClymer (Getting to Third Date)
Jennifer Echols (Major Crush)
Niki Burnham (Do-Over)
Sarah Bushweller and Emily S. Morris aka Libby Street (Accidental It Girl)
Gena Showalter (Oh My Goth)
Justina Chen Headley (Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies))
Bev Katz Rosenbaum (I Was a Teenage Popsicle)
Christopher Golden (Straight on 'til Morning)
Laura Wiess (Such a Pretty Girl)
Cara Lockwood (Bard Academy: Wuthering High)
Caridad Ferrer (Adios to My Old Life, interview two)
Beth Killian (The 310: Life as a Poser)
Jenny O'Connell (Plan B)
Tara Altebrando (The Pursuit of Happiness, interview two)
Susan Taylor Brown (Hugging the Rock)
Jenny Han (Shug)
Justine Larbalestier and Scott Westerfeld (Magic or Madness, Uglies)
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Golden)
Tom Sniegoski (Serial Interview, Part 4)
A. Lee Martinez (Gil's All Fright Diner)
Tom Sniegoski (Serial Interview, Part 3)
Jordan Roter (Girl in Development)
Tom Sniegoski (Serial Interview, Part 2)
Lorie Ann Grover (On Pointe, Hold Me Tight)
Caridad Ferrer (Adios to My Old Life)
Chris Abouzeid (Anatopsis)
Tom Sniegoski (Serial Interview, Part 1)
Ally Carter (I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You)
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
Tanya Lee Stone (A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl)
Serena Robar (braced2bite)
Mari Mancusi (Boys That Bite)
Cynthia Lord (Rules)
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
Tara Altebrando (The Pursuit of Happiness)
Polly Shulman (Enthusiasm)
Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks)
Amber Benson and Christopher Golden (Ghosts of Albion: Accursed)
Christopher Golden (Last Breath)
Christopher Golden (The Monster Book)
Christopher Golden (Strangewood)
Christopher Golden (Body of Evidence)

Themed interviews with multiple authors:
Tell Me a Secret
What Makes You Smile
Art Saves
Family Ties
Definitions of Hope
Their Favorite Books
Looking Forward

This archive is mirrored at the Bildungsroman website.

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Poetry Friday: 1938 by J. Patrick Lewis

The audience hears the ghost of Robert
Johnson, four months gone, easing out
of a Victrola phonograph at center stage -
the entire concert suddenly enveloped
by the man who was not there.

- selected lines from 1938 by J. Patrick Lewis

Read the poem in its entirety.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

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Poetry Friday: This Most Perfect Hill by Lisa Jarnot

On this most perfect hill
with these most perfect dogs
are these most perfect people
and this most perfect fog

In this most perfect fog
that is the middle of the sea
inside the perfect middle of
the things inside that swing

In this most perfect rhyme
that takes up what it sees,
with perfect shelter from the
rain as perfect as can be,

In this most perfect day
at the apex of the sun
runs this most perfect
frog song that is roiling
from the mud

In these most perfect habits
of the waving of the trees,
through this imperfect language
rides a perfect brilliancy.

- This Most Perfect Hill by Lisa Jarnot

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fly, look up

Poetry Friday: Words are Birds by Francisco X. Alarcón

words
are birds
that arrive
with books
and spring

they
love
clouds
the wind
and trees

some words
are messengers
that come
from far away
from distant lands

for them
there are
no borders
only stars
moon and sun

some words
are familiar
like canaries
others are exotic
like the quetzal bird

some can stand
the cold
others migrate
with the sun
to the south

some words
die
caged -
they're difficult
to translate

and others
build nests
have chicks
warm them
feed them

teach them
how to fly
and one day
they go away
in flocks

the letters
on this page
are the prints
they leave
by the sea

- Words are Birds by Francisco X. Alarcón

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View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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Poetry Friday: White-Eyes by Mary Oliver

In winter
    all the singing is in
         the tops of the trees
             where the wind-bird

with its white eyes
    shoves and pushes
         among the branches.
             Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep,
    but he's restless-
         he has an idea,
             and slowly it unfolds

from under his beating wings
    as long as he stays awake.
         But his big, round music, after all,
             is too breathy to last.

So, it's over.
    In the pine-crown
         he makes his nest,
             he's done all he can.

I don't know the name of this bird,
    I only imagine his glittering beak
         tucked in a white wing
             while the clouds-

which he has summoned
    from the north-
         which he has taught
             to be mild, and silent-

thicken, and begin to fall
    into the world below
         like stars, or the feathers
               of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,
    that is asleep now, and silent-
         that has turned itself
             into snow.

- White-Eyes by Mary Oliver

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Poetry Friday: That New by Susan Rothbard

At the market today, I look for Piñata
apples, their soft-blush-yellow. My husband
brought them home last week, made me guess at
the name of this new strain, held one in his hand
like a gift and laughed as I tried all
the names I knew: Gala, Fuji, Honey
Crisp - watched his face for clues - what to call
something new? It's winter, only tawny
hues and frozen ground, but that apple bride
was sweet, and I want to bring it back to him,
that new. When he cut it, the star inside
held seeds of other stars, the way within
a life are all the lives you might live,
each unnamed, until you name it.

- That New by Susan Rothbard

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View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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