Poetry Friday: Winter Update & Tips for Poetry Success

Today is Poetry Friday! Susan at her blog Chicken Spaghetti is our host for today! Be sure to check out her blog for links to more great poems and poets. Thanks for hosting Susan!

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This week I thought I’d provide an update on what’s brewing in my poetry corner of the world.

Another Poetry Reading

I’ve been asked to participate in a poetry reading for our public library system in La Crosse County. My name was given to the librarian by the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, or WFOP, a group to which I belong. I am pleased to have another opportunity to share my poetry with a live audience. The reading is tentatively scheduled for April. Updates will follow as I know more. I hope some of my local friends can attend!

State Poetry Groups Membership Importance

This brings up the importance of belonging to poetry groups. I decided to join this group last summer before we moved to the Northwoods. The cost is nominal and the networking has been great! I would surely have not had the above opportunity or others if I wasn’t a member.

Success might start small. The WFOP regularly runs contests, meetings, and announcements for participants. Many of the opportunities are limited to those within our state or even a region of the state. Competition is fierce for publication so it limits the number of submissions by being constrained to a state or area. I highly encourage you to find a similar organization in your state if you haven’t already. (I know many of you belong to the Society of Children’s Book Writers (SCBWI) and Illustrators which provides a similar and probably model service for members).

Another Chapbook

Due to the upcoming reading, I’ve decided to publish another poetry chapbook with my compilation of color poems. I hope to have it ready for purchase by the time of the reading. It will include instructions for writing color poems with children as well, following the Wong and Vardell of Pomelo Books, poetry plus way of publishing. If you haven’t yet taken a workshop from them, I would highly recommend it. After taking the anthology 201 Course, I was able to publish my first chapbook of poetry and publish through Amazon and Kindle Direct Press. I already knew how to use Canva software from writing a curriculum for my after-school garden club, so I used that to format the book. It was a great experience and I hope to add my own photographs to this second chapbook on color.

My first chapbook of poetry was published in May of 2022.

Queries

As of yet, I’ve not been successful in querying publishers with ideas or write-for-hire opportunities. I will continue this query-ing quest with my idea for a book on How Trees Wear Snow. I wrote another poem this week featuring Apple Trees and how they wear winter white.

Just like gaining a following on a blog, queries take persistence and a belief in oneself. I have 805 followers on this blog and 463 followers on my Medium.com page. I’ve written daily for almost six years (the end of February will be my 6th year anniversary of this accomplishment)! Time, patience, and dedication are what it takes. I’ve got this!

Winter Poetry Postcard Exchange

Again, this month I participated in the Poetry Friday Winter Poetry Postcard Exchange. I participated last year for the first time and it was so heartwarming, I decided to participate again! I’ve received postcards from several participants so far and have most of my cards mailed out!

I find this a fun way to network and share with other poetry pals. My cards are made on Zazzle with my own photography. I also wrote a haiku using the traits of a water rabbit to send a winter wish.

2023 is the Year of the Water Rabbit, as celebrated for Chinese New Year. After doing some research on the traits of the water rabbit (to aid the writing of my haiku), I discovered that I was born in the Year of the Water Rabbit (1963). This was fun to learn and read about!

Many thanks to Jone Rush MacCulloch for organizing the exchange again this year!

Here is a draft of my poem How an Apple Tree Wears Snow:

How an Apple Tree Wears Snow

Bearing a heavy weight is familiar
For my fruit can weigh me down.

Thus, when the snow flies,
I wear it like a crown.

My strong branches do not droop
Or even sway in strong winds.

They stay stately and upright,
No matter when bad weather begins.

Holding several inches of snow up on my branches
Is not a feat for me.

There it stays, stacks of flakes,
I wear it proudly, can’t you see?

While the other trees bend down
In the heaviest of snow,

You’ll notice that I’m upright,
As all fruit trees grow.

© Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2023,
All Rights Reserved.
Apple trees wearing snow. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2023
Wisconsin in the winter. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2023.

17 thoughts

  1. Wow, Wisconsin in the winter is beautiful, as is your poem about the apple tree in snow. Friends just moved to northern Michigan, and I imagine they’re having a similar winter.

    I’ll have to look & see if Connecticut has a state poetry association. I’d think it does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susan. Yes, I believe the UP of Michigan probably has more snow that us – I heard they had ten feet! That’s a crazy amount! And, do look into your own state poetry society – it’s been well worth it for me! Thanks again for hosting!

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  2. Cheers for all the poetry goodness you’ve created. I love the way your poem reminds me of the huge hard work that apple ~ and all fruit trees, we have lemon + fig, here ~ perform for our pleasure And snow? It feels like a possibility these days here in North Florida ~ we experienced a more Wisconsin-like `19 F during late December!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Fruit trees are hard workers! We had a home orchard for 23 years – I don’t know if I mentioned that in this post but although these trees require work, they are worth the reward in yumminess!

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  3. Congratulations on your successful publications, Carol! I hope it leads to many more. I agree, sending out queries takes persistence and belief, and so tempting to give up when the passes roll in. Good luck on your journey. Love that photo of the apple tree and your poem written in the voice of the tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the thought of the stout apple tree, Carol, carrying the weight of snow, so gracefully! It has never occurred to me to know how they must be strong, strong enough to carry all their apples’ weight! Best wishes on all your endeavors. Sounds like your life is very full right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These lines make me smile, “There it stays, stacks of flakes,/
    I wear it proudly, can’t you see?”
    I’m cheering you on from here for many poetry successes in 2023. You DO got this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carol, your photos are lovely. Winter, where you live, is full of white while we are still green but I sit here in the middle of your winter dreams wishing you well with all your endeavors. It is exciting that you are moving on to a second chapbook. My only recollection of Wisconsin was a train ride from Central NY I took with my Nonnie when I was 14. I remember all the farmland and cows. That ride was tucked far into my memory and your winter scenes resurrected it. Thanks for letting me “be” in the presence of winter for a few moments.

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  7. Congratulations on all the good poetry news! Your persistence is paying off. Your snow photos are beautiful as is your apple tree snow poem. I would love to see some more snow this winter.

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  8. I enjoyed your catalog of possibilities, opportunities, accomplishments here, Carol–I’m adding a few things to my ToDo List! Never thought of apple and other fruit trees holding up so well on account of needing to literally BEAR their fruit!

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  9. Wow! You’ve accomplished so much! I’m a member of a Maine-based group and am trying to do more than simply read their e-mails! This past weekend I attended a Zoom event and I’m taking my first foray out this week for one of their informal social gatherings. Schmoozing is not comfortable for me, but I’m pushing on the edges and trying to shake myself up a little bit. You’re an inspiration to continue to do so!

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  10. Even the title of your poem is full of beauty. Carol, I wonder if you know my friend Lisa Vihos, who is Poet Laureate of Sheboygan.

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