I’ve been fortunate to have several poems published in books, mainly poetry anthologies. Children’s poetry anthologies (or collections) often contain the work of many different poets. Sometimes the books have themes, and sometimes they don’t. In some cases, children’s poetry itself is the theme.
The first poem I had published in an anthology was called “Gym Class,” and it described the sharp and pungent smells of — you guessed it — a locker room. The book was If Kids Ruled the School. It was published by Meadowbrook Press, a company based in Minnesota that specialized in funny poems for kids. I was eventually included in eight different books by Meadowbrook including Rolling In the Aisles, Dinner With Dracula, and My Teacher’s In Detention. Some of my poems were titled “Creepy Pizza,” “Vampire Brat,” “What’s Inside the Teachers’ Lounge?”, “Fleas As White As Snow,” “Frankenswine,” “Christmas In July,” and “Letter From Camp.” I even wrote a song parody called “My Favorite Fibs” to be sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things” for a book called I’ve Been Burping In the Classroom.
In addition to the Meadowbrook books, I have poems in other collections, including Poems To Learn By Heart, a magnificent book edited by Caroline Kennedy and published by Disney-Hyperion. This mixture of famous and contemporary poetry, includes works by such poets as A. A. Milne, Shel Silverstein, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, and Ogden Nash. I am honored to have my poem “Baby Ate a Microchip” appear right in between poems by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll.
Two years ago, Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt compiled a collection of short poems to be read at bedtime and invited me to contribute. One Minute Till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems To Send You Off To Sleep, published by Little, Brown and Company, included a new poem I wrote especially for the book, called “Moon Mice.”
Another anthology I contributed to was The Poetry Friday Anthology For Celebrations, complied by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, and published by Pomelo Books. This bilingual collection presents over 150 poems in English and Spanish to be used in classrooms to commemorate different holidays and celebrations throughout the year. My poem “Retired Tires” celebrates America Recycles Day (November 15).
Although these anthologies are compilations of works by various poets, anthologies can also be collections of work by a single writer. I haven’t published a book of my own poems yet, but I hope to have my own collection one day.