My very first Poetry Friday poem was inspired by the fact that my mother taught English as a Foreign Language when I was growing up. Our church ran a free program which allowed my mother, whose dream of being a teacher had to be deferred when she left high school, to finally realize that dream.
As a teen, I assisted the teacher of the children's class, and one of the highlights of every semester was the potluck dinner. From Poland to Thailand, Guatemala to Vietnam, at every potluck the table was full of the culinary specialities of the many countries our students had come from - side by side in one delicious feast.
I looked forward to my favorites, loading up my plate with delicious flavors and foods that I would never have encountered, were it not for the fact that we had been brought together from many countries to learn and eat. In food, we can celebrate and appreciate our differences, while at the same time being drawn together by the sharing of it.
Food has been on my mind a lot lately, not least because of my participation in the Anthologies 201 course led by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell. From selecting poems to the nuts and bolts of uploading a book for print-on-demand publishing, they gave us a glimpse of the many hats one wears when publishing an anthology. And this week that anthology is out in the world!
Like their previous anthology, Things We Do, this book supports the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund, which provides support for children whose lives have been disrupted through war, civil disorder or natural disaster. In this moment, with so many children's lives being disrupted by war on a scale not seen in Europe since World War II, I could not be prouder to have a poem in this newest anthology.
Things We Eat is a celebration of food, with diverse, inclusive photos and rich back matter that makes it perfect for school and classroom libraries, as well as a fun book for parents, grandparents and caregivers to share with their young foodies. You can find out more about Things We Eat, with buy links, on the Pomelo Books website.
Sylvia and Janet are our hosts for Poetry Friday this week. You'll find pictures of some of their foodie adventures, as well as a smorgasbord of today's yummy poetic goodness, here. And here is my poem from the anthology.
Bon Apetit! (or as we say where I live, En Guete!)