For such a short month, February certainly was packed!
It began with a trip to Denver, CO to speak at the Colorado Council International Reading Association. While there, good friend Amy Malskeit treated me to the Orchid exhibit at the Denver Botanical Garden. The vibrant colors and delicacy of those beautiful flowers was absolutely mesmerizing!
I made a trip to Oakland, CA for a writing retreat. A second trip to Northern California took me to Berkeley for three school visits and a bookstore event at Mrs. Dalloway's Literary & Garden Arts. In between, I enjoyed a visit from Shirley Williams, a British friend from my years in Sweden. We spent a wonderful day at the Mission Inn in Riverside, as well as a stop at the Riverside Art Museum. Our favorite exhibit there was of photographs depicting the lives of migrant workers in Northern California, those hardworking immigrants who grow and harvest the wonderful produce we are privileged to put on our tables. Who will do this work if they are all deported? I think it's a question worth asking.
February was touched by all things Wilder. With the help of friends, I made two videos for the Wilder ceremony to be held at ALA this June, in Chicago. Horn Book published an interview under their feature "5 Questions," which was lovely. I began making notes for my speech, and plans were laid in for my ALA schedule, including the Wilder ceremony itself and a number of lunch and dinner events connected with it. Party time!
Turns out, this was a month of being in the news. Aside from the Horn Book feature, an interview I did with Kwame Alexander appeared in Publisher's Weekly, where Kwame and I discussed our new and upcoming books, and our shared passion for poetry. Fun! In addition, Entertainment Weekly included Garvey's Choice and One Last Word in their list of 10 new children's books for Black History Month. Yay!
In other book news, Garvey's Choice made the ALA list of Notable Books; ACL designated Garvey's Choice and One Last Word as Outstanding; I learned that Planet Middle School is going to be published in paperback; lastly, I signed contracts for two new books. Whew!
Oh! One more thing of note: Garvey's Choice was selected as a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book. Not too shabby for a short month! Let's see if March can match it.
All for now.