Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Help Me Publish Atrocious Poems A To Z Because Writing Is My Thing

My 5th, 7th, and 9th grade English teachers all made a point out of telling me writing wasn't my thing, which was unusual because I wasn't even claiming writing was my thing or expressing any interest in it. They just felt it was their duty to alert me that it wasn't "my thing. I think they all used exactly that terminology. I didn't put too much thought into it because I always assumed they were right. After all, they were paid professionals. 

My first foray into writing was this gem, A Monster Dictionary, which I wrote and illustrated the night before it was due in 5th grade. Looking back it seems most of the monsters were variations of myself. 

Also, I seemed to be listening to Blondie Autoamerican on steady rotation that year instead of doing my homework. I remember having a tremendous case of the flu and my father trying to cheer me up by buying that album. The shoddy work got this notice from my teacher...

If you had made more effort... blah blah blah

All these years later I have made some effort, and decided writing is my thing, after all. My writing. Your writing. Everyone's writing. I just want to champion the written word wherever and whenever I can, and as editor of Zombie Logic Review, Outsider Poetry, and the Rock River Literary Series I get to do that. 

Book four in the Rock River Literary Series is my own, Atrocious Poems A To Z. I created the series to publish book by Rockford, Illinois writers because it is my hometown and because I think we need more national exposure for doing positive things. 

The book is about things kids hate. And my favorite part is I get to work with my real life partner Jenny Mathews, who did the illustrations. 

Atrocious Poems A To Z: K

Working with Jenny has made my job as a writer a thousand times easier because she always knows intuitively how to amplify or play down the message I am trying to convey in the poem. 

Atrocious Poems A To Z is a book that takes the problems and challenges of childhood seriously. VERY seriously. Some might say too seriously. By taking a comic approach to everyday issues children face in lighthearted poems and whimsical drawings we hope to present a jumping off point where children and parents can discuss topics like bullying, sharing, dealing with siblings, anxiety etc. It was our goal to ease into these topics employing comedy, sensitivity, and an understanding that although children may see these "atrocities" as the end of the world, they are really things we have all gone through and just a natural part of growing up. 

Another thing I was hoping to do in the book was to teach a few key literary concepts like half rhyme, to let kids know that its ok to make poetry their own, be themselves, and ignore the opinion of those who tell them writing isn't "their thing" when needed. 

The book will be released June 5th, and is part of a show at the Rockford Art Museum called Bittersweet Observations. It will be available in the gift shop of the museum, but I hope you'll want to support this project and order yours now at Kickstarter 

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