On the one hand, you keep all the negativity in one place. On the other, seeing a whole list of “DENIED!” is kind of a bummer. Maybe I need to work on my phrasing. (See, you can put a positive spin on it! In any case, it seems poetry is a tough sell in general, mine especially so.)
I have a poem up at Word Riot today, if you are so inclined.
I’m going to have some exciting poetry news to share later in April, but for now, just get into it. Here’s my favorite William Carlos Williams poem to help you get started.
As the cat
the top of
first the right
then the hind
into the pit of
Cats In The Alley (written by my friend Nicolle, and drawn by me) debuted last night during the Superbowl. If you were too busy looking at the power outage, you can still read it, because the internet is forever. You can also like us on Facebook, or follow us on Tumblr.
Here is a panel from the first one that we are going to make into bookplates. Instead of “this book belongs to” they will say “this book was not thrown away by _______”). Just try to act like you don’t want these!
New episode Sundays and Thursdays. You can add them to your RSS reader if you’d like to keep up.
My friend Nicolle and I are launching a webcomic on February 3rd. Bookmark Cats In The Alley. Do it.
I recently got an email from a student who needed to know 16 facts about me for a school project. He said the facts could be anything, so here is what I gave him, in case you find yourself faced with a similar project.
Erik P. Kraft . . .
1. Has 6 pet chickens (named Boss Chicken, Suzy Creamcheese, Henny Penny, and The Mandrell Sisters)
2. Has eaten a whole pie on his own on more than one occasion
3. Has been writing ever since he could hold a pencil
4. Is vegetarian
5. Has a son who thinks he is a weirdo (but who thinks being a weirdo is funny)
6. Once had gigantic Elvis sideburns
7. Often performs comedy (or what he thinks is comedy)
8. Can drive a stick shift
9. Went to UMass Amherst
10. Started writing children’s books after taking a class taught by Jack Gantos
11. Started illustrating his stories after having Chris Raschka as an advisor in grad school, who suggested he do it
12. Once convinced a friend in school that Impressionist art was when you carve pictures into potatoes and stamp them in ink
13. Is not superstitious about the number 13
14. Had a picture of Mr. Rogers in his high school locker
15. Was not himself called Miracle Wimp in school (they went more for the cheese names rather than mayonnaise) but knew someone who was.
16. Is colorblind and his outfits reflect his.
One of my former students recently published a book about raising chickens, and it’s really cool. I helped her with it in class, and I’m very impressed with the end result. Her story was even what pushed me from “should I get chickens?” into “I should get chickens!” Here’s what she has to say about it:
I still remember the moment I knew that I had to raise chickens. My two year old was feeding corn to some curious hens at a local pumpkin patch. I watched him giggle with delight as several beaks pecked corn from his hand, and I just knew that backyard chicken farming was in our future.
I had always been a city chic, and knew I had a lot to learn before I could bring home a batch of baby chicks. While my husband and my two little boys built a chicken coop in our garage, I purchased 5 different books about how to raise chickens, and conducted extensive research online. If you’ve ever looked for a “how to” guide for children, you know that my search for a resource to get my kids ready ended in frustration. I knew something had to be done about this void the day I found my six year old pretending to read my two-inch thick Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.
With the help of my family, I published Young Chicken Farmers: Tips for Kids Raising Backyard Chickens. It’s a 32-page hard cover book full of color photographs, educational tips, and egg-citing facts on every page. It’s designed for children ages 3-8 years old. The book has already received positive feedback from editors of Hobby Farms and Backyard Poultry magazines. And if you like what Erik likes, he has provided an outstanding review as well!
You can order a book from www.beaverspondbooks.com (you can search by author or title). For a 20% discount, use Coupon Code: chicken. If you’d like to follow our chicken adventures, visit my blog at www.mychickenadventure.com.
Click here to go right to the book page.
My friend Nicolle and I are working on a graphic novel/webcomic type thing. We have finally decided on how the characters should look. So, presenting Tabs and Dizzy.
We’re not quite there yet, but when we are, the comics will be posted at The Cats In The Alley Tumblr.
I just added a couple of small prints of some drawings I’ve done over on my Etsy shop, if anyone’s into that sort of thing.
Including the infamous “And the baby was a clown!”