Poetry Friday and the Mortimer Minute Children’s Poetry Blog Hop

Mortimer has come for a visit, thanks to critique buddy and poet extraordinaire, B.J. Lee, tagging me from A Blue Window. I haven’t blogged much since school started, so I’m grateful for the nudge–er, nibble–from Mortimer.


In case you’re not familiar with the Blog Hop and how it works, here it is in a bunny’s nest:

  • Answer 3 questions. Pick one question from the previous Hopper. Add two of your own. Keep it short, please! This is a Blog Hop, not a Blog Long Jump. This is the Mortimer Minute – not the Mortimer Millennium!
  • Invite friends. Invite 1-3 bloggers who love children’s poetry to follow you. They can be writers, teachers, librarians, or just plain old poetry lovers.
  • Say thank you. In your own post, link to The Previous Hopper, then keep the Mortimer Minute going – let us know who your Hoppers are and when they plan to post their own Mortimer Minute.

So let’s hop to it!

Mortimer:  What got you started writing children’s poetry?

Liana:  I’ll be honest. I can’t remember. When I was a teenager, I loved writing free verse poems for young adults and adults, and somewhere along the line, I began experimenting with rhyme. I was a former English teacher with a strong music background, so meter and rhyme came easily to me, though I still find it a challenge to get every poem just right. As an adult, I began learning more about writing for children and started working on prose picture books. Somewhere along the line, my fun with rhyme met my urge to write for children, and like chocolate and peanut butter, the perfect merge was formed.  But now I am totally hooked. How about you. Go back to your roots. What got you started eating carrots?

Mortimer:  Very funny. What project are you working on right now?

Liana:  Right now, I am completely obsessed with a few of my poetry collections in progress. I’m working on collections that have a non-fiction focus. For each subject featured in the collection, the poem serves as the hook, and then some catchy bit of non-fiction content follows. I’m writing about things like slime, caterpillar poop, animal disguises, and vomit. As B.J. Lee puts it, the poetry is “nicely disgusting.” It also makes for fascinating dinner conversations with the family. I’m sorry to say, though, that I don’t feature any rabbits in any of these collections. Yet. 🙂

Mortimer:  Who is your dream mentor in the world of children’s poetry?

Liana:  It’s tough to choose, but I’d have to say Jane Yolen. Or Douglas Florian. Or Joyce Sidman. Or Leslie Bulion. Or Eileen Spinelli.  DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!!!  Okay, let me say this, though. I found an amazing group of dedicated children’s poets online, and with them as my critique partners, I believe I have found my dream mentors. They’re super-talented, and totally dedicated to their craft. And they’re tough, too…always pushing me to bring my poetry to a new level. A big shout-out to my critique group at The Poets’ Garage!

Thanks, Mortimer, for stopping by at Commas Have Wings.

Now, admittedly, I have been a little lazy today. I haven’t tagged anyone yet for the next blog hop. Check back soon for the next taggee!!! (Watch out…Mortimer has his eye on you!) And while you’re at it, be sure to check out all the amazing poetry and poets at our Poetry Friday round-up.


Today’s Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem.