Hang on, Spring is on the way!

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A workmate captured these two silvereyes squabbling in her garden.

So what’s the connection with PitWR? Well the latest cards are that shade of yellow and it’s such a great photo I wanted to share it with you!

The spring edition of PitWR has now been delivered to medical centres and rest homes. I still have some cards left if anyone would like more. I popped a note in with the cards asking for feedback about the poems and cards. Thanks to the medical centres and rest home staff/residents who responded. It’s always great to be able to include quotes from readers when applying for funding.

For your interest I’ve provided short bios of the poets whose work appears in this edition. While I’ve been granted permission to use all these poems some poets didn’t provide a bio so I’ve gleaned information about them from the internet. All mistakes are mine!

I’ve just realised we have only two New Zealand poets appearing in this card. Because I’m already working on the summer card we’ll wait until Autumn 2011 Poems in the Waiting Room and have a special edition featuring New Zealand poets only.

Elaine Riddell has a background in education. Now semi-retired, she lives in Hamilton, New Zealand. She has a particular interest in haiku and tanka, but also writes longer poems. Her work has been published in anthologies and journals in New Zealand and further afield

Charlotte Zolotow turned 95 in June 2010. She is wheelchair-bound, close to blind and pretty mad about it (understandably). But she has no illnesses or diseases, and though she is sometimes forgetful these days, her memories about writing, editing, and the children’s book world are very clear. See http://www.charlottezolotow.com

Michael Swan writes English-language teaching and reference materials for a living. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines; his collection ‘When They Come For You’ was published by Frogmore Press in 2003.

Cilla McQueen is the National Library New Zealand Poet Laureate 2009-11. She lives and writes in the southern port of Bluff.

Olive Dehn was a poet, writer and organic farmer who lived on the edge of Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, England.

Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 and the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2006.

Alistair Robinson lives in South Shields, and teaches journalism at Sunderland University. Alistair has been writing poetry for over 20 years and in 2004 he won a Northern Promise award for his poetry.

Karla Kuskin was an award-winning author and illustrator of over 50 books of prose and poetry for children. In 1979 she received an award for excellence in children’s poetry from the National Council of Teachers of English. She died in Seattle in 2009.

Poet and playwright Tom Kelly was born in Jarrow and now lives further up the Tyne at Blaydon. He has had over a dozen plays and musicals staged at the Customs House, a venue he regards as home. At present he is working on a new poetry collection History Talks to be published by Red Squirrel in February 2011.

Po Chü-i (772-846), a poet and a government official, was one of the great writers of the Chinese Tang dynasty.

Arthur David Waley is still considered one of the world’s great Asian scholars. He was self-taught in both Chinese and Japanese. He received the CBE in 1952, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry in 1953, and in 1956, the Order of the Companions of Honour. The Japanese government awarded him the Order of Merit of the Second Treasure for his services in making Japanese literature known and appreciated in the Western world.

Look out for the Summer card early December. I’m having a break from poem hunting for a week or two, hoping to spend some time in my garden!

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