Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Poet and the Artist

TCU Press is going to publish a book of children's poetry by the 2005 Texas Poet Laureate, Alan Birkelbach. And my neighbor, Susan, is going to illustrate, so tonight I hosted a meeting of Susan, Alan and his wife, Melinda (production manager and essential to such dealings), and me. Fixed an antipasto tray, served wine, and we sat around with chit-chat for a while. Then we got down to basics of book production--what size book appeals to the 8-10 crowd, etc. I had long held that a large book would look like a pre-school picture book and our target audience wouldn't be interested. Finally we decided on 7x10, which I think is perfect--a standard size, which makes printing a bit cheaper, etc. But the interesting part of the evening came when I asked Alan and Susan if they were ready to talk about individual poems--they sat side by side at the dining table and discussed each poem. Alan had made careful notes of what his vision was, and Susan made notes from what he told her. But the two of them were totally engrossed in their own world, their smiles showing that they were really conecting with each other's ideas. It was fun to watch, and since both poetry and art are far beyond my creative abilities, I was kind of in awe of the way they were able to communicate with each other. Alan says he's looking forward to working with Susan, and she says she's excited about the project. Look for it in bookstores in the early fall of 2010. Title? Ogres Hate Okra.
Maddie read some of the poems and I asked her for a reader's report. She didn't write one, but she did draw me a picture, and Alan was pleased that the poetry had engaged her interest and imagination enough that she wanted to draw a picture.
PS I hate okra too!
Otherwise a mostly uneventful day. I have been trying to get to the grocery for days so went this morning making myself late for work--but I had to buy ingredients for the anitpaso tray, many of which will serve as appetizers now for a dinner party Jordan and Christian are going to Friday night. Now I'm puzzling about how you assign points to an antipasto tray on Weight Watchers, but Ill figure it out.

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