Monday, June 27, 2011

Here & There: June 27, 2011

Note: I was so happy to see that Salley Mavor’s book Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes won the Picture Book Award. Mavor’s illustrations in the book are truly a “feast for the eye.” Pocketful of Posies is one of the many children’s books that I gave to my daughter for her baby shower. (Check out my A Baby Shower & Everywhere Books! post.)

P.S. Joyce Sidman’s Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night received a Picture Book Honor Award.

Click here to read my review of Dark Emperor.

Congratulations to Salley and Joyce—and to all the other Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winners and honorees!

From the Horn Book Website:

The winners will receive their awards at the 2011 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards ceremony on Friday evening, September 30, 2011, at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. The following day, several of the recipients will also be participating in the Horn Book at Simmons colloquium, which examines the winners and honor books in the context of library and educational work with children and teens. The colloquium will be led by Horn Book Editor in Chief, Roger Sutton, and Cathryn M. Mercier, Associate Dean and Director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College. For more information visit

About the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards

All children’s and young adult books published in the United States between June 2010 and May 2011 were eligible for the award. The winning authors and illustrators may be citizens of any country. Winners in each category receive a cash prize and an engraved silver bowl. Honor recipients receive an engraved silver plate. The acceptance speeches of the award winners will be published in the January/February 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards Reaction by Elizabeth Bluemle (Publishers Weekly)


Ness, Baker-Smith Win Carnegie, Greenaway in U.K. by Julia Eccleshare (Publishers Weekly)


by Rukhsana Khan
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

The 2011 Ezra Jack Keats and New York Public Library New Writer and New Illustrator Awards for Children's Books

2011 New Writer-Award Winner: Laurel Croza for I Know Here (Illustrated by Matt James)

2011 New Illustrator Award Winner: Tao Nyeu for Bunny Days (Written by Tao Nyeu)



Movie Alert: 'Winnie the Pooh' by Matia Burnett (Publishers Weekly)

Winnie the Pooh Movie Trailer

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Poem for a Retiring Music Teacher

I had brunch last week with my good friend Grace Lin. Grace has been on my case a lot lately. She keeps telling me that I’ve got to start sending my poetry manuscripts out soon—before I become a grandmother and a part-time daycare provider for my first grandchild. Grace is persistent. She even sent one of my poetry collections to an editor herself a while ago! (More on that story in the future.)

Grace and I had a long talk on the telephone yesterday. We exchanged a lot of thoughts about my poetry manuscripts—which got my creative juices flowing. Our discussion reminded me of advice that both Grace and Janet Wong had given me about my collection of animal mask poems a couple of years. I had forgotten about their advice because I was so revved up after our get-together that I began work on a brand new collection of poems titled Docile Fossil.

So…yesterday, I got to work revamping my collection of animal mask poems. I hope to send that out to a publisher in the next few weeks. Then it will be back to work on my Docile Fossil collection, which I set aside for far too long.

L to R: Me, Janet, & Grace

Note to Grace and Janet: I appreciate all of the help and advice and encouragement that you have given me these past few years. 


On Tuesday, we had a retirement party for Valerie “Val” Peterson. Val had been the music teacher at the elementary school where I taught for nearly twenty-five years. My daughter had her as a teacher from kindergarten through the fifth grade. Val was exceptional! I know she will be missed by the staff at Bell School.

My contribution to the celebration of Val’s retirement was a poem I wrote for her. My Poem for Val is a cento.

(Cento: From the Latin word for "patchwork," the cento is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets. Though poets often borrow lines from other writers and mix them in with their own, a true cento is composed entirely of lines from other sources.)

A Poem for Valerie
by Elaine Magliaro

There is music in me,
Music of melting sky,
A symphony,
The voice of magic melody
And a stretch of song
Rippling like piano keys
With a medley of horns, bassoons, piccolos
All softly playing.

I get way down in the music.
My heart hears every note.
Each note rings
So silvery.
The beat gets in my blood.
The music fuels my feet.
I dance to the beat…
Dance out the door.
I have a secret power, and
I can fly to where the sky begins.

In sweet music is such art.
Make music with your life.


The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Carol’s Corner this week.

Friday, June 17, 2011

RHUBARB: An Original Memoir Poem

I know I haven’t been blogging much lately. Lots of things on my mind…lots on my list of things to do. Among other things, I’ve been making plans for the future…for when I become a grandmother. I’ve volunteered to provide daycare for my first grandchild three days a week when my daughter returns to work after her maternity is over. It’s been a long time since I cared for a wee one. I hope I have the stamina!

When I think of being a grandmother, I’m reminded of my maternal grandmother. As I wrote in my Poetry Friday post last week, I loved spending summer days at the home of my maternal grandparents. My Babci loved her six granddaughters—and she loved feeding her family. To her—food was love. I admit that I am much like my Babci in that way. I enjoy cooking and baking for both family and friends.
Here’s another of my memoir poems. It's about my Babci, rhubarb, and spending time with two of my cousins on a summer day:

by Elaine Magliaro

Rhubarb grows in a small patch
in a far corner of the yard
behind the brick fireplace.
When it is ready for picking,
Babci cuts the stalks and puts them in a basket.
In the kitchen, she snips off the large leaves,
trims the ends, and washes them.
We sit on the screened porch
dipping the tangy red rhubarb in sugar
and munching it till our jaws grow tired.
Babci chops the rest of the stalks
and cooks up a big pot of rhubarb sauce,
sweet and sour, thick as jam,
perfect for spooning over
Babci’s homemade bread
for a delicious summertime dessert.


Jone has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Check it Out.

Friday, June 10, 2011

RAIN BARREL: An Original Memoir Poem

I still have vivid memories of the times I spent at the home of my maternal grandparents. I’d often ride my bike over to their house in the summer so I could play with my cousins Karen and Joyce. They lived on the other side of my grandparents’ duplex. We three cousins would help weed my grandfather’s vegetable garden, play dress-up with my aunt’s old clothes, run through the sprinkler, and water my grandmother’s sunflowers, peonies, hydrangeas with water my grandparents collected in a rain barrel that stood just outside their cellar door.

The following poem comes from my unpublished collection of memoir poems titled A Home for the Seasons:

by Elaine Magliaro

Beside the cellar door
stands Dzidzi’s rain barrel.
Deep brown as the earth itself,
it seems rooted in the ground.
In it Dzidzi captures the melting sky
he waters garden flowers with.
We plunge our small tin watering cans
deep into Dzidzi’s wooden well
and pull them out full of fallen rain
we shower over the brown-faced sunflower,
bright pink peonies, and puffy white snowballs.
On sticky summer days, we splash
our arms and faces in its coolness.
And sometimes, alone in the backyard,
I stare down into its dark liquid universe
as if looking for a lost star
that has fallen there.


Anastasia Suen has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Picture Book of the Day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

HOLES by Lillian Morrsion: A Poem in Memory of a Dear Friend

Dr. Stephen D. Hayes

I wrote a post on Wednesday about my close friend Dr. Stephen Hayes who passed away last Saturday. We had a wonderful memorial celebration of his life yesterday. It was held at the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Steve loved the ocean and kept his boat moored in Marblehead Harbor. My husband and I always spent the Fourth of July holiday with Steve and his family and some close friends on his boat. We’d eat fresh lobsters, drink wine and margaritas, watch fireworks--and spend a lot of time laughing. Steve was always the ultimate host. He was also one of the most intelligent and funniest people that I have ever met. My long friendship with him enriched my life.

Here's a picture I took from Steve's boat
one Fourth of July a few years ago:

Steve was a special man who was well loved by all those who knew him. His absence will be felt by many. I will miss him more than words can say.

Lillian Morrison's poem HOLES expresses best the emptiness that I feel inside me at this time.

by Lillian Morrison

Strangest of gaps
their goneness-
mother, father, loved friends

the black holes
of the astronomer
are not more mysterious

this kind of hole
will not be filled
with candle flames
or even a thousand thoughts

the hole is inside us
it brims over
is empty and full at once.

You can find the poem HOLES in Lillian Morrison’s book Overheard in a Bubble Chamber and Other Science Poems; in A Time to Talk: Poems of Friendship, selected by Myra Cohn Livingston; and in This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort, selected by Georgia Heard.

Steve & His Wife Clare
at our 40th High School Reunion
in 2004

Steve and Clare at Mittersill.
Mike and I used to ring in the New Year
with them in the White Mountains
of New Hampshire.

Steve and Clare
visiting with Mike and me
on Westport Island in Maine.

Mike and I were so happy
that Steve was able to come
to our daughter Sara's wedding
last July.

This is how I will remember Steve!

Dear Friend,
you are gone now--but you will never be forgotten!


Toby Speed has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Writer’s Armchair.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Post in Memory of My Dear Friend Dr. Stephen D. Hayes

Last Saturday, one of my oldest and dearest friends passed away. Both my husband and I had been close to Dr. Stephen Hayes—and his wife Clare—for almost fifty years. It is hard to say goodbye to someone who has been an important part of your life for so long.

Steve, a child and adult psychologist, psychoanalyst, and addiction specialist, was a brilliant and an accomplished man. He held three doctorates and two board certifications. He was the co-founder of the Lynn Community Health Center in Lynn, Massachusetts. He helped build a thriving Behavioral Health and Integrated Care Service department at the center. The LCHC now serves more than 33,000 people—including 45% of the children who live in the city. Steve was dedicated to serving the people who came to the health center for four decades.

From Steve’s obituary: "The true meaning of his life was to help others feel loved."

I know that to be true. Steve was a very busy man. But he was never too busy to help a friend who asked him for advice or who called him in an hour of need. He made all those he spent time with feel that they were important to him.

One of the things I loved most about Steve was the joy he took in spending time with family and close friends. He had a great gusto for life and living, a big hearty laugh, and the most wonderful sense of humor. My husband and I enjoyed being in the company of Steve and Clare. They were always the most gracious of hosts and extremely generous people. They made everyone feel special.

I wrote the following poem for my friend Grace Lin when her husband Robert died in 2007. Like Robert, Steve battled cancer for several years. Like Grace, Clare was a tower of strength through all the difficult and dark days that she and her husband faced together. Steve leaned on Clare who had been his soul mate for nearly fifty years. I believe she helped give him strength and helped to ease his suffering. I have so much admiration for her.

I rededicate my poem today to my dear friend Clare in memory of her husband Steve. (Note: The poem is a cento. It was composed using lines from other writers' poems.)

A Poem for Clare
(In Memory of Steve)

Have you ever found something beautiful, and maybe just in time?
Lift up your lovely eyes and look.
I’m going to somewhere gentle.
I have a secret power, and
I can fly to where the sky begins…
Into the white fire of a great mystery,
Feel stars and sun and bells singing,
Swing through the shadows like warm gray whispers…
Spinning and dancing.
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free…
And I consider eternity another possibility.

You were such a star to me.
Wherever you are
I watch you twinkling
While you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas.
And wherever I go, it feels as though I never left at all.
But wherever I go,
I will build a palace
Fit for you and me.

Goodbye, dear friend. I will shed many tears because you are now gone from my life--but I will smile often when I think of all the happy times we shared with each other.

Information about Dr. Stephen D. Hayes

Hayes Building dedicated at LCHC

Lynn Health Center co-founder Hayes to leave lasting imprint

No sign of slowing down; Hayes reflects on 38 years at Lynn Community Health Center

Ceremony at State House Honors Community Mental Health Pioneer Dr. Stephen D. Hayes on May 5

Dr. Stephen D. Hayes Community Mental Health Project Event by Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology - MSPP (Albums)

Health Center’s Building Is Named for Local Doctor