Today I have the pleasure of
having with me the Illinois poets who contributed to the wonderful anthology And the Crowd Goes Wild! A Global Gathering of Sports Poems.
This collect of over fifty poems is
sure to have children cheering!
From rock climbing to lacrosse,
polo to ping-pong, and swimming to soccer, this unique anthology pays joyous
tribute to a wide spectrum of sports. Fifty poets, representing 10 countries,
share a mix of thoughtful and humorous perspectives on all aspects of athletics.
A potpourri of poetry styles pay tribute to an athlete’s determination, agony,
and exhilaration, celebrate the spirit of spunk and fair play, and more.
Award-winning Canadian author/illustrator Kevin Sylvester lends energy to the
poems with exuberant pen-and-ink drawings. Here’s a book that’s sure to be a
slam dunk for readers ages 8 - 12.
A portion of the royalties from
this book will be donated to Right to Play. How awesome is that!!
The book also includes a page called "Poetry Forms and
Poetic Devices" that identifies over twenty poetic forms used--a feature
I think educators will appreciate and find useful in the classroom. And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems is a book that promotes appreciation of
poetry, the Olympics, healthy lifestyles and active participation in sports for
And now for the interview. I asked the Illinois poets to tell me how they
got the idea for the poem they wrote for this exciting anthology, and here’s
what they said…
Cathy Cronin author of Rock n’ Rappel
A: I chose rock climbing because it's a fun, challenging sport that has
broad appeal. Once I started brainstorming, the terse verse form really
fit the "feel" of rock climbing.
Then I had the idea to stack the words up,
like the reader is climbing a mountain and rappelling down. I'm really
happy with the way it turned out.
Eileen Meyer author of The Letter
A: For my
sports poem, The Letter
wanted to combine two interesting themes: first, introduce a situation where a
parent is the coach and highlight the awkwardness that may result on occasion,
and second, illustrate that we all have had a sports outing where nothing seems
to go our way. I was able to weave these two themes together in a humorous
fashion in this poem. Volleyball’s fast-paced action provided the perfect
setting for this player’s all-too-silly mishaps.
Cooley author of King’s Gambit
I was inspired to write a poem
about chess in honor of my son, John, who was the MVP of his high
school team for two consecutive years. Chess is an internationally
recognized sport that can be played and enjoyed at any
Patricia Murphy author of Ready, Set, GOLD!
A. I've always been fascinated with
the thought processes racing (bad pun
intended) through athletes' minds as they compete--no matter the sport. Exploring this idea and pairing
it with the OLYMPICS theme resulted
in my poem for two voices READY, SET, GOLD! Why two voices? I wanted to feature two competitors'
voices with one shared goal in mind.
Claudia Kohlbrenner author of Weighty Matters
A: I confess that I have no
particular interest in the sports of wrestling or boxing, so my
weight class-related "Weighty Matters" came about
serendipitously after I'd tried with no luck to construct a concrete,
"wacky wordy" cheerleader poem using the palindrome
"pep" in small letters to construct a visually larger word, "step," ie., cheerleaders have "pep in (their)
step." With a concrete poem in mind, I simply scrolled down
through many pages of listed sports on the internet until the words
"lightweight, "middleweight," and "heavyweight"
immediately triggered the visual idea of using different fonts of varying
thicknesses to represent each word. "Sumoweight" then popped into my
head along with the image of someone underneath that immense
poundage which led to my trusty rhyming dictionary providing the
word "deflate" for me.
Carmela Marino author of At the Chicago Marathon
A: Heidi sent out a special
call for poems related to the Paralympics, which many people confuse with
Special Olympics. As Heidi put it, “paralympians are elite athletes with world
rankings in their disciplines, while Special Olympians have mental
disabilities.” Her email reminded me of how inspired I felt when I saw Richard
Whitehead, an Englishman born without legs, set a new world record at the 2010
Chicago Marathon, and so I wrote a poem about him.
Michelle Schaub author of Mono Skier
A: My grandmother spent her entire adult life
in a wheelchair, and she often felt frustrated at being labeled disabled
because she was a woman of many talents. I wanted to write a poem that
focused on the ABILITY in disability. I chose the sport of mono-skiing because I was inspired by the courage and determination of paraplegic
skiers, and I wanted to capture the thrill of accomplishment felt in flying
down a mountain side.
Delabre author of The Master Dance: A Poem for Two Voices
A: This poem was born of a lively debate among
friends: one friend who loves football, and another who loves formal dance. The
latter friend was expounding on how football is a brutish, ugly, violent sport
with no redeeming qualities. The former was saying that dance is not a real
"sport" and that it's "lame and ridiculous." As I listened
to this conversation, it struck me: football and ballet are so amazingly
similar, actually, and the athletes involved in both train extremely hard. So,
the poem was born. :)
Thanks to these wonderful poets for being with me today! And congratulations on your new anthology!
And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems?
I’m glad you asked! See
below for the links…
And the Crowd Goes Wild! A Global
Gathering of Sports Poems
Paperback (color): Available through
FriesensPress, Ingram, and booksellers
And the Crowd Goes Wild! A Global
Gathering of Sports Poems
E-book - PDF file (color): Available
through various online booksellers worldwide
Meet the editors of this great book:
an emerging Canadian children’s poet. Her poems appear in School Magazine
Australia, Smories.com (England), Stories for Children (United States),
R.E.A.L. Magazine (Canada), Anansesem: Caribbean Children’s Literature Magazine
(United States), and Sheree Fitch’s book, Breathe, Stretch, Write (Pembroke
Publishers, 2010). When she is not immersing herself in poetry, she works
full-time as assistant librarian at a boys’ private school. Carol-Ann loves
novels in verse, limericks, and riddle poems and lives in Montreal, Quebec,
Bee Roemer, co-editor
With nearly 400 poems, articles,
and stories in various children’s magazines and anthologies to her credit,
Heidi is also a song lyricist and children’s book reviewer. Her debut book,
Come to My Party and Other Shape Poems, (Henry Holt, 2004) received starred
reviews and was nominated for the Monarch Award, Mockingbird Award, and Great
Lakes’ Great Books Award. Her newest books are What Kinds of Seeds are These?
and Whose Nest is This? Since 1995, Heidi has voluneteer in
various capacities for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and
Illustrators; most recently as Assistant Regional Advisor in Illinois. She is a
former instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature, and currently
serves as a writer-in-residence for several Chicago Public schools. “Heidi Bee”
has visited hundreds of schools and libraries; her instructional yet playful
poetry presentations inspire students to become better readers, writers, and
poets. Visit Heidi's website.
To learn more about Carol-Ann and Heidi, check out these interviews:
You can join the fun! Check out the ATCGW Launch schedule below:
September 26 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Library— Wendy Asbridge
W. 195th Street
Mokena, Illinois 60448
October 16 at 7 p.m.
Nov. 3 at 1 p.m.
Arlington Heights Library—Lynne Priest
Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.
Magic Tree Book Store—Iris and Rose
Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
Québec H3Y 2H8
Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m.
The Toronto Public Library
(Northern District Branch)
40 Orchard View Blvd. (2nd floor)
Toronto, ON M4R 1B9
Thanks for stopping