Sunday, April 13, 2014

National Poetry Month Ideas

Teachers can find great ideas for teaching students poetry, beautiful art (like butterflies) made from poetry pages, an onomatopoeia and acrostic ideas, poem in a pocket, book binding and more... all on my pinterest board, Poetry Art, Poetry Ed for Children. I have to find time to do these!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Publishing a Poetry Book

From the Depths of Red Bluff

I know I've neglected my blog dear readers, but it's been the BUSIEST year of my life and only one thing is finished, one BIG thing... my first book! I haven't released the Kindle version yet, but will after I finish with my National Board Professional Teacher Certification. It's a MAJOR ordeal!

My first Book Signing will be on April 26 at the Mississippi Poetry Society's Spring Festival at Comfort Inn & Suites, Starkville, MS. Hope you can make the festival!

You can find my book, From the Depths of Red Bluff is now on Amazon just in time for National Poetry Month! As soon as I find out how and have time it will be on Kindle! I'm not trying to make a lot of money (as if poets could), I just want to share my poetry and hope it touches someone.

If you are thinking of publishing a book, please read my helpful advice here.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Poetry Contests/Submissions

Click here for a great list of poetry contests with NO FEE.

Calls for submissions for poetry and fiction may be found a NewPages.

Search for particular states at Poets&Writers!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Music Workshops

I attended two workshops already this fall-- Artie Almeida's wonderful workshop was the first one, held at St. Joseph School in Madison, MS. Joey and Andrea Coleman were in charge, they are the head of the Orff society in our area We were so excited to get awesome Artie here! We learned a lot of great activities with drum sticks, using large cans with foam pads, and circle songs with beat buddies (stuffed animals). My favorite one was Brown Bear, Brown Bear where each child in the circle has a turn to sing the answer to the question "What do you see?" with their animal singing the name of the animal next to them.

This is us shooting little plastic frogs into the "pool" on the song Five Green and Speckled Frogs. Children love to combine play with songs!

me and Artie

A little Mallet Madness with Artie.

 Dancing Drum Workshop

I learned to play the djembe hand drum, BOOM bah and the Djun-djun with sticks. These are West Africa instruments. We did dances, claps, and the drums to character education songs in Drumming Up Character. I'm so excited our counselor, in charge of the PBIS (Positive Behavior in Schools) curriculum is going to order the program for me! It has a dvd and complete character ed instruction. I will teach the song and dances. The kids will love it and learn a lot about good character in the process!

The drum circle included the "tick-tock" blocks and maracas. It was so much fun and I think the kids would love it! I hope to find some money via a grant. I don't know how or where, but I bet it would make a big difference for some kids.

Steve giving us instruction.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday's Small Beauty, July 9, 2013

Tuesday’s Small Beauty

This cutie certainly qualifies as a small beauty.

Photo by Wynne Huddleston

Very early one morning I dreamed about a yellow bird and its baby. The next morning I saw my dream becoming reality. Although my dreams often do come true... it still gave me a strange feeling. If only I could harness this ability which seems to come and go... for instance, I was staring at my ceiling stain from where my AC unit in the attic leaked last year and guess what? Hours later it was leaking again... more on this later. Back to the yellow bird dream:

The bird has a string, like a clothesline wrapped around its neck. I unwind it, but the bird still sits there in a tangle of straw. Finally I say, I'm trying to save your life--get off! It looks at me and says, I'm trying to save my baby! I pick it up and it has underneath it, in its claws, a baby bird. I don't know what to do with them. I set them on the ground, but I'm afraid a mean bird nearby will get them. I move them, a white rabbit appears, I move them again. They seem to be okay and I wake up.

Injured bird? Where its tail? Fuzzy crown on head...
Photo by Wynne Huddleston

Photo by Wynne Huddleston

The next day I look outside and see a yellow bird flying around a baby bird on my back patio door step. I run to get my phone to take a picture. I get really close, but scare it, and it hops off onto the ground. The mother I presume, is flying around with her mate. Oh, no, I think, she won't be able to find her. I try to shoo the tiny bird back; it can't fly, but hops... toward me! I start to pick it up, but I'm afraid I'll hurt it. I try to get a pic of the mom and lose baby bird. I don't know where it is...

I'm wondering now if this is the bird I saw in an opening in the brick by the AC pipe outside and if when they cleaned the "LINE" it decided to move. Or maybe my dream was making a pun on "line" as in a line of poetry... hmm.

It's a Carolina wren! I found a pic almost exactly like this one!
The description fits the mom, too. White eyebrows, pale yellow breast, gray/brown back and wings.. They say they stay on the ground while learning so I guess it's supposed to be there. I believe the dad was in a nearby tree next to a bush that I had been trying to weed muscadime, blackberries, honeysuckle and a bunch of other junk out of. Apparently they like brush piles, and the berries, so I guess I will leave it alone. They may even build in your potted plant! The male and female pair for life, how sweet! The male builds several nests and the female chooses which she prefers, lol! The male Carolina Wren can sing up to forty different songs – up to 3,000 times in a single day! The male in my yard, I guess this one's dad says, Germany, Germany Germany! And Teakettle-teakettle. You can listen here.

I sure will watch where I step from now on. It's no bigger than a baby frog, and the color camouflages it!


Come on, take wing,

Tiny little thing.
Your daddy is calling, 
Germany, Germany, Germany
and telling your mom to get 
the Teakettle, Teakettle!

 Don't you want to get out of this grassy place?

                                                                                    He tries, but falls
                                               flat on his face...


Carolina Wren

UPDATE!!! Mama decided to move in the birdhouse my youngest son and his wife gave me for Mother's Day : )
It's near my garage, so every time I come out she starts fussing at me, lol!

Now I can't get the song Yellow Bird out of my head... 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Poetry Month, April 2013

April certainly did bring a busy month for me. The first weekend was not poetry, but our Mississippi Music Educators/Choral Directors State Conference in Hattiesburg, MS. Three of my wonderful students were chosen to sing with the Elementary Honor Choir. (Only 5 from each school are allowed to tryout.) The concert was beautiful.  I also attended many workshops during the week.

The next weekend, April 12-14, was the Mississippi Poetry Society 2013 Spring Festival at Ocean Springs, MS. You can read about here. I was proud that my music students (also in TAG) won top honors with their great poems! I'm also pleased that our 3rd graders make their own books and have an "Author's Tea" each year in May. Way to go teachers!

I had a weekend off : )

The last weekend of April was Experiencing Poetry, hosted by Lorelei Books and the Mississippi Writers Guild. The day began with a workshop on Ekphrastic Poetry with facilitator Irene Lathum, a Birmingham poet and novelist. Her debut historical novel LEAVING GEE'S BEND (Putnam/Penguin, 2010)  was awarded Alabama Library Association's 2011 Children's Book Award. Her latest novel is DON'T FEED THE BOY (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, 2012). She is the poetry editor for Birmingham Arts Journal, and has two award-winning poetry collections WHAT CAME BEFORE (Negative Capability Press, 2007) and THE COLOR OF LOST ROOMS (Blue Rooster Press, 2010).  The workshop was so informative and fun. We were happy to have a 14 year old young lady in attendance. She is quite talented! It's always a pleasure to know that poetry will continue to thrive in the years to come.

After lunch we heard readings by Irene and also the 2011-2013 Louisiana Poet Laureate Julie Kane. A native of Boston, she has lived in Louisiana since 1976. Her poetry collections include Jazz Funeral (Story Line Press, 2009), which received the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, and Rhythm & Booze (University of Illinois Press, 2003), a winner of the National Poetry Series and finalist for the 2005 Poets’ Prize. The anthology that she co-edited with Grace Bauer (Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum: Critical and Creative Responses to Everette Maddox) was a finalist for the 2007 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) book prize in poetry. She is also the associate editor for 20th century poetry of the Longman anthology of Southern literature, Voices of the American South (2005), and the co-author of the memoir Counterpart: A South Vietnamese Naval Officer’s War (Naval Institute Press, 1998), which became a History Book Club Featured Alternate Selection. Her poems appear in more than thirty anthologies including Poetry: A Pocket Anthology (Penguin, 2012); Villanelles (Everyman’s Library, 2012); Hot Sonnets (Entasis Press, 2011); The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volume 4, Louisiana (Texas Review Press, 2011); A Field of Large Desires: A Greville Press Anthology 1975-2010 (Carcanet, 2010); and The Book of Irish American Poets from the 18th Century to the Present (Notre Dame University Press, 2007). They have also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor and in journals such as The Antioch Review, Barrow Street, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, and The Southern Review. A former George Bennett Fellow in Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy, New Orleans Writer-in-Residence at Tulane University, and Fulbright Scholar at Vilnius Pedagogical University in Lithuania, Julie teaches at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA where she is a Professor of English and Creative Writing, and on the faculty of the West Chester Poetry Conference.

We also were blessed to hear Jack B. Bedell, upcoming Louisiana Poet Laureate, Professor of English and coordinator of the programs in Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also serves as editor of Louisiana Literature and director of Louisiana Literature Press. His most recent books are Bone-Hollow, True: New & Selected Poems, Call and Response, and Come Rain, Come Shine, all with Texas Review Press.

A discussion panel was hosted by A native of Meridian, Mississippi, Howard Bahr has authored four novels. In 2009, he received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters fiction award for his fourth novel, Pelican Road. Bahr won this year’s Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Literary Arts. He lives in Jackson Mississippi, and teaches at Belhaven University.

A reception followed in the loft above Lorelei Book Store. Laura was the gracious host, and I had a wonderful time talking with Julie, Jack and his lovely wife.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

MPS 2013 Spring Festival

The Mississippi Poetry Society 2013 Spring Festival was held in Ocean Springs, MS on April 12-14. Friday night Eva Alvara hosted a party at her beautiful home in Pascagoula. The sunset from her patio over the water was beautiful, as you can see.

 Dierdre Payne, contest coordinator, presented the contest awards.
Me and Elvis

My poem, I Can't Stop Loving You, won 1st Place in the Elvis themed poetry contest : )
There was a workshop with a panel comprised of Doris Jones, Ann Carolyn Cates and Mick Denington. Poems were read and critiqued. Ann Carolyn Cates introduced us to the Dorsimbra poem which is a form comprised of 12 lines that combines a particular order of rhyme, free verse and blank verse. She said this is a good form to try when we have writer’s block.

Ken Davies and Eva Alvara, performing after supper.
Festivities continued Sunday with a devotion by Dierdre Payne. She also presented the top award to... me! And was I ever surprised! I couldn't even remember which one I had submitted!
Wynne Huddleston reading "Devil's Due"1st Place MPS AWARD

Devil’s Due

by Wynne Huddleston
Devil’s gonna get his due
on Highway 61; he stirred up
tornados, put us through hail, and threw
rain at Old Man River ‘til he swoll up
in such a rage
from Illinois, to Louisiana
through the Mississippi Sound, now he’s
goin’ ag’in the law of nature—
pushin’ up,
instead of flowin’ down the Arkansas.

Devil’s gonna get his due.
Chasin’ deer and ants right out o’ the fields,
swallowin’ our homes, drinkin’ the catfish
ponds, takin’ Rolling Fork, eatin’ acres
and acres of cotton, sweet corn,
soybeans, and wheat planted
in the fertile Delta
soil with the sweat and toil
of the poor and the rich alike.

Devil’s gonna get his due.
Floodin’ Muddy Waters’
playground, and Elvis,’ too, messed up
them blue suede shoes. Hear the music
shake and shiver—a sorrowful
tune; our Blue Delta’s cryin’
a Mississippi River.

Devil’s gonna get his due.
Ev’ry body come to Vicksburg
to watch it, too. Gonna see if it’s
bad as the flood in ’26-‘27. They ain’t

waitin’ for the levee to break, no,
they done blowed it up to save
the big cities, left us
country folks to soak it up… but we ain’t
complaining’ cause we know

Devil’s always gonna get his due.

3rd Place for "Addicted"

President Brenda Finnegan presided over the business meeting and installed new officers.
Me, Secretary, Judy Davies, VP/Treasurer, Jeanne Kelly, President

About Me

My Photo
Wynne Huddleston is a poet, musician and teacher. Her first book of poetry, From the Depths of Red Bluff, published by the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc., is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Ms. Huddleston is the Mississippi Poetry Society 2014 Poet of the Year. Her poetry has been published in numerous publications including the Birmingham Arts Journal, Camroc Press Review, Stymie Magazine, Danse Macabre, Orange Room Review, New Fairy Tales Anthology, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and Four and Twenty. Her poem, Same Stars, Different Houses received a Pushcart Nomination from Deep South Magazine. Awards include the 2013 MPS Award, and Winner of the Grandmother Earth National Contest 2010 for Environmental Poetry. Ms. Huddleston was born in Lone Star, Texas, but has lived in Mississippi most of her life. She has been an elementary music teacher for 25 years, and has 2 grown sons, and 2 grandchildren.

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