A few years ago, I started writing children’s books about poets. My head is full of anecdotes from literary history that come up in lectures, and I started writing some of them down. As with most of the things I make, they sit on my hard-drive because I’ve never been good at sending things out, preferring instead to make more things. But this year, trying to follow the advice of Austin Kleon, I sent a few query letters to agents, and the practice of sharing, even in just that small way, got me excited about the project again. That excitement has led to my starting two more books.
I imagine these as a kind of series, though all about different poets. So far, I’ve finished:
- The Poet’s Castle, about the place where Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the Duino Elegies.
- The Poet’s Shipwreck, about the nautical obsessions of Percy Shelley.
Who knows what will happen with them, if anything, but it’s been great fun putting these together. My friend Lenae Nofziger, a poet and teacher of Children’s Literature at Northwest, has been giving me tips on the professional side. Meanwhile, I’m working to finish the next installment: The Poet’s Menagerie, about Byron’s collection of animals.
I’ll keep you posted about relevant developments. These are uncharted territories for me, but I hope to share one day these charming stories with you. Perhaps by the time my daughter starts reading?