I’ve been publishing poetry books for over forty years, but LOTS OF KISSES is my first book for kids. I’d never thought of writing one, and I wouldn’t have attempted to do so if Andrew, the publisher of Orca Books, hadn’t approached me after one of my readings and suggested that I’d be good at it. My usual response to a new challenge is to feel inadequate. I told him, “No, I don’t think so,” then went home and a few days later couldn’t get rid of the rhymes that started to roll off my tongue.
Like most contemporary poets, I’ve avoided rhymes at the end of lines all of my writing life. I value music in poems more anything else, but I’ve worked hard to thread through the sound repetitions in more subtle ways. After Andrew’s prompt, when I allowed myself to roll around in words like nose and toes and elbows, I felt as if I were breaking some kind of taboo. Yet I haven’t had so much fun since my days as a high school cheerleader (yes, I admit it) when I lay awake in bed composing yells for the squad and couldn’t wait to get to practice to show my friends.~ read more ~