Writing gives me the opportunity to explore ideas, play with language, solve problems, use my imagination, and draw on my own childhood.
Frankly, writing poetry for children is plain old fun, and I consider myself blessed to have such a delightful career.
When I began writing, I didn’t read any other children’s poets… I didn’t want to be influenced until I’d found my own voice. Now I read them all.
We all need ways to express ourselves, and poetry is one of mine.
Poetry seems to sink into us the way prose doesn’t. I can still quote verses I learned when I was very young, but I have trouble remembering one line of a novel I just finished reading.
I write the poems first, with only a few exceptions for odd reasons, where I’m given the illustration first.
I’m working now on a collection of Shakespearean sonnets, about 100 of them, that I may publish if anyone’s interested. My take on life is a little different from the bard’s.
I’m never bored.
There’s not too much difference between writing a picture book and writing a collection of a hundred poems or so, except that the bigger books take a lot longer to do.
I invented animals and birds – I had about two dozen. After working on them for six months, I sat down and just for fun wrote two dozen poems to accompany the drawings. It was for no one to every see, but a friend sent me in to an editor.