Friday, May 31, 2019

Poetry Friday: Naomi Shihab Nye and The Creativity Project

Mary Lee, at A Year of Reading, has the round-up today. She's celebrating Naomi Shihab Nye, so I thought I'd join in that bit of poetic goodness.

Mary Lee played around with this delightful prompt (and wrote a delightful poem):

"Write a list of ten things you are NOT (not an astronaut, a perfectionist, a wool spinner, a butterfly, a name-caller). Then pick your favorite lines and develop, or embellish, them, adding metaphors, more description, whatever you like."

That's just one of Naomi Shihab Nye's prompts from this book (which just went on my wish list):

Edited by Colby Sharp, The Creativity Project is full of writing prompts, plus a huge bonus. Here's the teaser from Amazon: 

Colby Sharp invited more than forty authors and illustrators to provide story starters for each other; photos, drawings, poems, prose, or anything they could dream up. When they received their prompts, they responded by transforming these seeds into any form of creative work they wanted to share.
The result is a stunning collection of words, art, poetry, and stories by some of our most celebrated children book creators. A section of extra story starters by every contributor provides fresh inspiration for readers to create works of their own. Here is an innovative book that offers something for every kind of reader and creator!

You can see why it went on my list. I'll be using it in the fall for Ramona and her friends when we meet for our weekly writing group.

And to continue the Naomi Shihab Nye immersion, here she is reading her poem, "How Do I Know When a Poem is Finished?"


May has been such a busy month (my mom in the hospital a couple of times, but we think they finally found and addressed the problem, thank goodness ... teaching a class for Brave Writer ... keeping up with all of my daughters' and Atticus's goings-on) but summer is coming, and I'm hoping for more time for writing, poetry, and books, books, books.

Be sure to join Mary Lee for the round-up!

(Other posts about Naomi Shihab Nye are here.)


  1. Lovely to hear the birdsong along with Nye reading her poem. Glad that you've found some help for your mother, Karen. Thanks for the poem. I have The Creativity Project, a keeper! Happy Summer!

  2. I loved the birdsong, too, Linda! Can't wait to get my hands on The Creativity Project. Thanks for the well wishes, and happy summer to you, too!

  3. You (and Ramona's writing group) are going to LOVE The Creativity Project!

    You managed to find a NSN that I didn't know! It's on my list of favorites now!! It's very Billy Collins-esque, isn't it? With a bit of Wm. Carlos Williams thrown in for good measure!!

  4. NSN answers a tough question there. (But what if the blue chair would look good with a yellow pillow too? Ugh!)
    I hope you have a healthy, book-filled summer!

  5. Oh yes, this poem is the best. No I must reread it.

  6. Lovely lovely poem! What a glorious celebration of Naomi Shihab Nye it's turning out to be.

  7. I'd agree with Mary Lee, it sounds a bit like a William Carlos William poem especially at the end with the chair and the pillow, thanks for sharing it Karen.

  8. Love this. I always have a difficult time deciding when a poem is finished.

  9. I agree with the Billy Collins/WCW assessment, and I always have those "What if" questions lingering, too! :)