Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Getting through the summer

Here we are well into summer, the heat of it, the heartbreak of more violence, more people dying from being stopped by police.  And what to do from here in Iowa?  Perhaps witness, perhaps notice, perhaps be alert for what to do.  It's not enough. I know that.

One thing I can do is something I promised Hamline student (now alum) Judi Marcin during the Hamline Residency: do my part to promote diverse books, buy them talk about them, give them away.

Shortly after making that promise I found myself eating pancakes and reading picture books with an awesome group of writers and illustrators in Minneapolis.  One reader brought H.O.R.S.E. by Christopher Myers.

 It's a wonderful story of two kids playing basketball--outdoing each other with word games as they work at out-shooting each other with the basketball.  Myers's illustrations add energy to the lively language and make this a fun read for all ages--basketball players or not.  These books are going to two people who teach kids, kids who might play basketball.

 I've been thinking about Hip Hop poetry lately and am looking forward to going to Prairie Lights Bookstore tomorrow to hear Kevin Coval read from The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop.

And while I'm there I want to pick up a copy of  When the Beat Was Born, A Story of DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill (Roaring Brook, 2013).

It wouldn't be summer in Iowa without mention of corn and the garden. Here's corn, corn from the imagination and beans from the earth, from seeds I saved last year.  Here's to both--imagination and good seeds and good soil. Perhaps they will help us get through the summer.