Madness! Writing 126 New Children’s Poems in 21 Days

“No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.”  — Aristotle

Every March, like many Americans, I cannot help but get caught up in college basketball’s year end championship tournament. Even if I hadn’t paid a lick of attention all season, how can I not watch? It’s March Madness!!! (Sorry CBS, we’re never gonna call it March Mayhem.)

But as exciting as it is, the feeling is rather fleeting. My interest fades along with my bracket’s odds of winning, and dies with the final game’s final buzzer. To break this cycle, I need to channel my fascination with March Madness into something with a bit more permanency. A bit more … poetry.

For many Division I men’s basketball teams, just participating in the NCAA tournament is an accomplishment. Sure, there are inevitable complaints about seeding and slotting, and once they’re in, all teams turn toward winning; but simply “making the dance” is always cause for celebration.

So how do we capture that same spirit, that same energy, that same madness, and use it to celebrate the world of kids’ poetry? Simple. We pry open our notepads, put on a pot of coffee, and pound out 126 poems in 21 days!

In the month of March, I am proposing a friendly NCAA-style tournament for children’s poets.

Here’s how I envision the thing working:

  • The tournament bracket will be organized in familiar fashion: pairing seeds 16 vs. 1, 15 vs. 2, 14 vs. 3, 13 vs. 4, 12 vs. 5, 11 vs. 6, 10 vs. 7, and 9 vs. 8.
  • Seeds will not be determined by participant skills or credentials in any way. Rather, seeds will reflect the difficulty of writing kids’ poems on certain topics — certain WORDS to be precise. For example, words that I mentioned in a prior post as being particularly challenging included turducken, defenestration, and lukewarm. These would get very poor seeds as a result. In contrast, words like, kissgreasy, or shower seem easier, and as such would get much better seeds.
  • Two words of opposing difficulty would then face each other in a prompted poem pairing. For example, 10-Turducken might be paired with 7-Shower, 13-Defenestration might be paired with 4-Greasy, and 16-Lukewarm might be paired with 1-Kiss.
  • Each assigned word must be included somewhere within the body of the poem.
  • On the first day of each round, I will publish a new post for each poetry pairing. The time stamp on each post will start a 72-hour clock for that pairing, during which all writing and voting will take place.
  • Once the post is opened, the poet assigned each word can publish their poem in the comments section at any time. The first 36 hours are reserved for writing. After 36 hours, if both poems have been published, voting may begin. If only one poem has been published, that poem will accumulate one bonus vote for every full hour that passes until the other poem is published. Once both poems are published, readers vote anonymously with +1 buttons that will be provided in the comments.
  • Voters can use whatever criteria they’d like when determining their preferred poem from each pair. As a random guideline, I’ll suggest using the criteria on which the contestants on the cooking show “Chopped” are evaluated: presentation, taste, and creativity. Translated roughly into poetry terms, presentation might include technical aspects such as meter, rhyme, form/shape, etc.; taste might be the net effect — did the poem move you to laugh, cry, think, kill, etc.; and creativity might include the poet’s approach toward a certain subject, image evocation, clever wordplay, etc.
  • Voting will remain open until the 72-hour clock stops. The poem that receives the most total votes wins. If exactly tied, voting will continue in successive 3-hour “overtime” periods until a winner is decided (it shouldn’t be too tough to round up a few stray voters in these rare cases).
  • Both poems will then be moved into the main body of the post along with the final vote tally. The winning poet will move on to the next round, where another equally-seeded word awaits. The non-winner will be sent off with a warm round of virtual applause.

A few other points:

  • Poets can sign up to participate any time through Friday, March 9, 2012.
  • Participants may request a certain seed for the tournament, or leave it up to chance*.
  • The full bracket, including all first round pairings, will be presented on “Selection Sunday” — March 11, 2012. The first round will begin the next day on Monday, March 12th. The event will continue for three weeks, ending April 2nd.
  • To provide some commonality between paired poems and to not overly burden participants or voters, poem length limits will be in place for each round. Rounds 1 and 2 will feature very short poems: 1-5 lines. Rounds 3 and 4 will feature poems with a bit more weight: 6-16 lines. Rounds 5 and 6 will be free form.

Now, this all sounds nice and good, but I am conscious of the fact that I just started this blog four weeks ago, and that I don’t even know 64 children’s poets. However, I do know good children’s poetry, and I desperately want to see more of it in the world. So, to make this happen, I need your H.E.L.P.

Write kids’ poetry? Sign up today. Use comments, mailbox, or Twitter. Spots awarded on first come, first served basis.

Know a poet? Share this link. Encourage participation in your circle of influence.

Love kids’ poetry, but don’t write? Commit to vote. Or say “screw it” and sign up to participate anyways!

Have a suggestion? Comment below. I’m open to whatever ideas you may have to make this event even better.

If this event sputters and only 4 people participate, then we’ll cut the nets right away and congratulate the inaugural Final Four — while the event itself would be a bit lame, the world would still be up six original poems in six days. If we get more, great: 8 participants yields 14 poems, 16 participants yields 30 poems, 32 participants yields 62 poems, and a full tournament of 64 participants will introduce 126 new children’s poems to the world in three weeks. And we all get to have fun and enjoy each other’s company while doing it.

For poets interested in signing up, here are the entry qualifications:

1) You must be willing and able to “go public” with up to six original poems in three weeks, prompted by words assigned specifically to you based on your tournament seed.

2) You must accept that you probably won’t win, purely from a statistical perspective. Assuming full participation, the fact is that 98.4% of entrants will eventually have one of their poems get beat by another person’s poem. Half of all entrants will “lose” in the first round.  But really, everybody wins … because we all get to read more poems!

3) You need not worry about copyright, redistribution, etc. Each poet retains full rights to their own work. (Whether you want it or not is a different matter.) The goal here is to spark creativity, have fun, and introduce a crazy number of new kids’ poems into the world in a very short time span.  Nothing more.

As a small additional motivator to participate and in appreciation of your early support of Think Kid, Think!, the winning poet will receive a free copy of the 2011 Cybils poetry category award-winning book, which will be announced on February 14, 2012 at www.cybils.com. [EDIT: And the winner is ... Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto by Paul B. Janeczko (Candlewick Press). Since I know that this book may not be for everyone, the Madness! 2012 champion can choose from any of the Cybils poetry finalists. Offering a choice was probably a better idea to begin with anyways.]

Thank you in advance for anything that you can do to help make this event happen.

-Ed

 *Except where seeds have been specifically requested, all seeding and first round pairings will be 100% random. To be more specific, I will put all 64 participant names into an Excel worksheet, and use the =RAND() function to spit out a 9-digit number between 0 and 1 next to each name. I will then lock those numbers and sort them in ascending order, pairing each set of two owners successively as I go through the list. No judgment; no mercy. If you get paired against the ghost of Shel Silverstein (who is apparently still writing poems), well, good luck to you.

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  • http://laurasalas.wordpress.com laurasalas

    Ed–Love this idea! Sign me up! I don’t understand the seed stuff details at all, but I’ll trust you’ll tell me what to do. Wish I had known about this before today–I’m PF Host (as you know), and I’d have put it right there in my post. I’ll try to help advertise it next week. So cool.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      You are officially signed up. I think I’ll create a little logo and post the participant names (and links to their respective sites) on the left sidebar.

      Would LOVE your help “advertising”. It’s still only midday, you know — never too late for an early nudge in this direction.

      It would be awesome if we actually got 64 participants. Assuming people don’t mind if I organize AND participate (I won’t cheat, I promise), then we’ve already got 2 poets in … just 62 to go!

      Make it happen, people. The more participants we have, the better the event will be!

      -Ed

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    As for seeding, I will explain everything nearer the start date of the event. But basically, all that matters is that each participant will be assigned (or can request) one seed that will stick with them for the entire tournament, and that seed will determine the difficulty of their word in each round.

    Word difficulty is highly subjective. That is, subject to how difficult I think it would be to write a kids’ poem focused on (and directly using) that word.

    Much like the real NCAA tournament, the worst-seeded (highest number) teams have the most difficult path to the championship. They will constantly be paired with another poet with what I would consider to be an easier word. But as everyone knows, reader expectations will be different for a word like “lukewarm” vs. “kiss”. Anything competent using lukewarm might be viewed positively, while you have to come up with something pretty clever using the word “kiss” to avoid sounding unoriginal. So, there are advantages to both good and bad seeds.

    -Ed

  • http://readingyear.blogspot.com Mary Lee

    I’m in, Ed! Sounds like fun! I’ll be a “Division 1″ poet who’s just glad to have a spot on the bracket, no matter how brief my stay! And I’ll take my chances on my seed number.

    (I’m impressed with your organization and attention to detail.)

  • http://myjuicylittleuniverse Heidi Mordhorst

    Hi, Ed. Nice to meet you. Like Laura, I find nothing breezily “familiar” about NCAA-style seeded tournaments (although I do enjoy a nice seeded rye around my pastrami), but I get the general idea and will enjoy participating. Sign me up!

    Can I be on your troublemakers list?

  • http://www.irenelatham.com Irene Latham

    Hi Ed – I’ll play. And hey, I LOVE that HELP acronym. I agree wholeheartedly!

  • http://www.teacherdance.blogspot.com/ Linda Baie

    I wish I could do this, but I’m doing the March slice of life challenge at Two Writing Teachers-just cannot do two posts every day. I’ll certainly watch along & comment when I can. What a wonderful idea!

  • http://maclibrary.wordpress.com jone

    Please consider me in! Love the idea.

  • http://lindakulp.blogspot.com/ Linda

    Ed- this sounds like fun! I’m not sure I understand how this will work except that we choose (or are assigned) two words and must use the words in a poem. We would have 36 hours to write the poem. Is that right? Add me to the list, although with the wonderful poets you have already, my stay will probably be very brief! : )

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Thanks for signing up!

      Each poet will be assigned only one word, and that one word must be used in their poem. Their “partner” (or opponent if you want to make it sound more competitive) will get a different word, and will have to use that word in their poem.

      You are correct on the 36 hour writing period. I am open to discussion on this if people think it is off. I actually originally had only 24 hours to write and 48 hours to vote, but then I decided most participants would benefit from two evenings / one day to write, leaving two days / one evening for the voting. It is also tempting to allot a full 48 hours to writing and only 24 hours to voting, but that may not give readers enough time to keep up with everything.

      One thing that I think cannot change is that the total time span per round must be no more than 72 hours. This allows us to fit all six rounds within the three-week NCAA tournament window, the crescendo of which carries us right into National Poetry Month in April.

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    Just to be 100% clear for everyone, this event will require one poem to be written every three days at most, and a grand total maximum of six poems in 21 days, and that’s if you make it all the way to the finals.

    The “average” participant will have to write just under 2 poems.

    The full breakdown is as follows:

    32 people will write only 1 poem
    16 people will write 2 poems
    8 people will write 3 poems
    4 people will write 4 poems
    2 people will write 5 poems
    2 people will write 6 poems

    So, what seems like collective MADNESS! is actually quite reasonable for the typical individual participant. (But that’s just what an insane person would have you believe, isn’t it?)

    -Ed

  • http://www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com Joy Acey

    I’d love to play.
    My free shot stinks,
    I travel a lot
    and I definitely can’t
    make a three point shot.

    But if you can write poems
    between baseball innings
    I’m willing to share
    (during basketball games)
    my poemy beginnings.

    Oh that is bad, but you didn’t say they had to be great poems. Just making it to the dance is something.
    Shall we?

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      You’re in … thanks for participating!

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy LV

    This looks like tons of fun, and man, are you organized! I will be traveling a lot in March and trying to keep up with my own blog, but like Linda, I’ll definitely be coming by to cheer and enjoy all of the growing poems! a.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      I appreciate the support, Amy, even if you cannot participate (which I completely understand). Safe travels!

  • http://www.carolwscorner.blogspot.com Carol

    Mary Lee convinced me. Sure. I’ll try it. Why not????

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Welcome, Carol.

      (And thanks, Mary Lee!)

  • http://www.AprilWayland.comandwww.TeachingAuthors.com April Halprin Wayland

    Hey, Ed ~

    Welcome to the Kidlitosphere. Your tournament sounds like a blast–sign me up!

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Cool – you’re in! -Ed

  • http://www.nowaterriver.com/ Renee LaTulippe

    Hi Ed,
    I had to think about this for a few days, mainly because I didn’t understand a single word you wrote in the original post. :) But now I’ve read all your explanations in the comments, and this sounds doable. Please sign me up, and feel free to put me in the group with the harder words.

    IF you can manage a video poem any time soon, we could do a combo featured poet/plug for the contest. If not, I will do an extra post sometime in the next week or so.

    I’m in three kidlit writer groups on FB with hundreds of people in them, so I’ll try to recruit some more poets from there. This will be fun!

  • http://www.nowaterriver.com/ Renee LaTulippe

    OK, I just posted it in 5 FB writing groups with a total 956 members. SOMEone’s gotta bite…

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      You rock! (Perhaps that means you need a mohawk.)

      • http://www.nowaterriver.com/ Renee LaTulippe

        Just sent to 300 G+ poetry circle people and tweeted to another 300. Will keep plugging it throughout the week. I love this initiative, so I’m glad to help! Aha, I see Natalie signed up — there’s one!

  • http://www.wadingthroughwords.wordpress.com Natalie

    Sign me up! Sounds like fun! :)

  • Marina

    Sign me up, please! Thanks Renee for sharing the info.

  • http://sparble.blogspot.com Stephanie Parsley

    Please sign me up, Ed! It sounds like fun. My favorite line in your post: “You must accept that you probably won’t win, purely from a statistical perspective.”

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      I was kind of partial to “Write kids’ poetry? Sign up today.” myself.

      You’re in, Stephanie!

      That’s our first 16!

      Looks like a tournament to me … Get in while you can, people!

  • http://www.donasday.blogspot.com Donna Martin

    Hi Ed!

    I read about your challenge from Renee LaTuLippe’s post on Facebook. We are both kidlit writers on some other challenges and since I write some PB stories in verse, I thought I would give this a try…count me in!

    Donna

  • http://julielarios.blogspot.com Julie Larios

    What a great idea – fun, fun, fun!!! I’d love to do it if there’s still room for me. And I have my fingers crossed I’ll get a word like “defenestration”!

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      In!

      Remember: if you want to request a particular seed, you are welcome to do so. Upon further thought, however, I will only allow 2 of 4 slots for a specific seed number to be requested in advance, to provide some suspense value to our risk-loving “random” participants.

      If you want something tough like “defenestration”, I’d suggest something in the 13-16 range!

      -Ed

  • jane Yolen

    My website is http://www.janeyolen.com and for some reason the computer won’t let me put it on the line.

    Do or die,
    I’ll try, I’ll try.
    Give me the words
    and watch me fly!

    Jane

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Ooh, Jane Yolen has arrived!

      May I suggest a title to your poem? “BATTLE CRY!”

      Perhaps your insta-poem could be the new theme of Madness! 2012

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      p.s. Not sure what’s going on with the website entry. I’ll link it properly in the sidebar.

  • http://www.jpatricklewis.com J. Patrick Lewis

    Dear Ed,

    Please forgive me for begging off. My upcoming travel schedule has me talking to myself (in Russian curses)
    as a prelude to defenestrating myself. But I wish everyone well in your March Madness.
    Ever, Pat

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      And to make our day even brighter, the reigning youknowwhat decides to demonstrate “defenestration” by jumping through my window to say hello.

      Thank you for the well wishes. Participation or not (and this goes for everyone), you are of course welcome and encouraged to stop by anytime next month to witness the madness.

      -Ed

  • http://joannamarple.com Joanna

    Count me in, Ed. Just hope I have understood what is expected. :-) Great initiative!

  • http://nessamorris.com Nessa

    I’ll give it a shot. Sounds like fun.

  • http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com Catherine Johnson

    Count me in too, Ed. I hope understand the rules, yikes! Waves at Renee and Joanna :)

  • http://www.debbielacroix.com Debbie

    OK, I’m going to jump on board just for fun. I used to write poetry all the time, and maybe this will get me going again. :-)

  • Melissa Kelley

    Ed! I love your passion – and more than two of my Facebook friends are signed up, which always provokes in me the twin spirits of curiosity and competition. :) OK, since the odds are very good that I won’t be up against Jane Yolen – and if I am, I probably won’t know that I am – please sign me UP! I’m a mediocre poet, believe me I know it, and my “seed” will show it, but I’m ready to blow it! (Burma Shave)

  • http://www.lindaboyden.com Linda Boyden

    Well, how interesting and intriguing. I must sign up for the fun of it.

  • http://www.lizsteinglass.com Liz

    The peer pressure is unstoppable. I didn’t really understand your description of the process, but I have faith it will all work out.

  • http://www.renajtraxel.com Rena J. Traxel

    I’m in! Sign me up.

  • http://www.pennyklostermann.com Penny Klostermann

    Count me in! Sounds fun :•)

  • http://www.katyaczaja.com/ Katya

    What a fantastic idea. If you still have room, I’m in. And I’ll take whatever seed I’m assigned to.

  • http://mylmnopreadstokids.blogspot.com Pam

    My writing ability is sorta like my understanding of the term “seed.” I won’t go on. Although I’m great at writing lists of all sorts However, I’d love to participate. Sign me up, will ya!?

  • http://www.teacherdance.blogspot.com/ Linda Baie

    Okay, Ed. The pressure is upon me too & it looks like so much fun to participate. Sign me up! We will get a notice of when it’s time, won’t we? And, thanks for doing. I can see that you’ve spent a lot of time on this!

  • http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com Kathryn Apel

    Oh. Madness indeed. I really, really, REALLY want to do this. Have just finished co-ordinating a Month of Poetry in January (Hi Catherine. Nice to see you here, too. :P) and in the middle of a Month of Haiku – and starting an online collaborative wiring project with school children in 4 days, so on one hand, I’m stretched to the max and my brain is tied in knots… but it sounds like such FUN! And I don’t think I can pass it by… *gulp* This could be a ridiculous sign of weakness & stupidity on my part on my part… but count me it. :?

  • Patricia Nozell

    This looks interesting, so,

    I may be a newbie,
    But I’ll do my best;
    To rhyme head to head
    With all of the rest!

    (with fingers crossed that I don’t end up with too many sports-related words, as I was one of the many who did not understand the rules at first).

  • http://kraftyellenwrites.com Kathy Ellen Davis

    Hi Ed, I’d love to join! This sounds like a lot of fun, and what a creative idea to spin it on the NCAA tournament! I’d like to write more poetry and this is just TOO FUN to pass up! I did play basketball in college but I won’t pretend like that’s going to help me!

    Thanks for doing this!
    KE

  • http://creativity.notunimportant.com _camer0n

    Ooh. Poems for kids? Sounds great. I’d love to participate.

  • Stephanie Farrow

    Please sign me up. There are never enough excuses to indulge in poetry!

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    Okay, everyone through Patricia N. is in.

    Now for the biiiiiiiiiig leap. We need to go straight from 32 to 64 participants to populate the first round fully. At this rate, it seems that we’ll get there without issue.

    THANK YOU ALL for signing up and spreading the word!

    -Ed

    p.s. Anyone else notice that we’re a bit light on Y chromosomes in this tournament?

    • http://www.nowaterriver.com/ Renee LaTulippe

      Exactly, Ed. Which is why I’ve been hounding you to come on my blog. I would love to see more male voices around the kidlit blogosphere! But I don’t know any. I’ve been plugging this like crazy, but have only turned up females. :)

      Can you get your friend Greg Pincus to join in?

      • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

        Ooh, this is fun. I think you have magic powers, Renee. Keep calling people by name and we’ll see if they appear!

        • http://www.nowaterriver.com/ Renee LaTulippe

          Wow, I go away for 48 hours and now look at all the guys! Fabulous! I’ll spread the word again today, and also put a plug in Poetry Friday.

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    Oh, and one more thing. You may have noticed that I removed myself (and my Y chromosomes) from the roster on the left sidebar and bumped everyone else up a notch. As much fun as I think this will be, since I will be orchestrating the event, I’ve decided not to directly participate.

    I will still supply a new-to-the-world “word” poem with each round as part of the emcee process, though … just for kicks.

    -Ed

  • http://gottabook.blogspot.com Greg Pincus

    OK – count me in!

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Welcome, Greg! I was kinda hoping that you would join in the fun.

  • http://www.FatherGoose.com Charles Ghigna

    Bravo to you for providing us all with this new poetry sandbox for kids … young and old!

  • http://www.ericode.com Eric Ode

    If there’s still room on the roster, Ed, I’m in! I’m no sports nut and don’t quite understand the “seeding” concept, but I think I understand this much… “Here’s a word. Use it in a poem. You have 36 hours to post. Go!” About right?

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      “Here’s a word. Use it in a poem. You have 36 hours to post. Go!” About right?

      Yes, exactly right!

      Eric just condensed 1,447 words down to 15. Watch out, everyone, if you end up paired with him in the first round, you better make every word count!

  • http://www.itsrhymetime.com Tiffany Strelitz

    Ok, sign me up! This will either be tons of fun…..or completely demoralizing. :-D (What a great idea!)

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      In!

  • http://formerboytellsall.wordpress.org Ben Eckley

    Please oh please oh pleeeeeez. Sign me up!

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      You’re in! (But I am having trouble accessing the site link that you provided.) (Nevermind, I see that it should be .com rather than .org.)

  • Jen Kelley

    I’m definitely in. What a fantastic idea!
    Thank you for doing this.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      I just added you. Do you have a site you want me to link back to?

  • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

    Okay, Ed.

    Sign me up.
    And may the best pen win.
    Most importantly,
    can we dump a bucket
    of gatorade over the winner’s head?

    Metaphors be with you,
    Allan Wolf

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Okay, only 20 spots remaining!

      As the first ever participants in this event, I think that you should all think about what traditions you want to start and what precedents you will set for the future. Gatorade over the head could work, but perhaps for poetry something like scribbling on the winner’s face and neck with permanent ink would be more appropriate.

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy LV

    I keep circling around this like a hawk…I’m in after all!
    Thank you, Ed, for the fun. I’m off to buy Gatorade and Sharpies.
    a.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      [Putting on my best Pacino voice] “Just when you thought you were out … we pull you back in.”

  • http://www.rebeccakaidotlich.com Rebecca

    Best of luck with this new brew of poetry!
    I’ll visit, but time restraints prevent me from participating.
    Well, that and my brain has an aversion to story problems and 72-hour
    clock stops. I love the choosing and using of one found word
    in a poem; I frequently challenge myself to it.
    Enjoy and I’ll check in, if you don’t
    mind, to read the poetic goodies. Hats off to you, Ed!
    Rebecca Kai Dotlich

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Thanks for stopping by Rebecca. Please do come back and vote/comment throughout the month of March! -Ed

  • Melinda

    I am certainly not worthy, but I’d like to give your poetry-tourney a try…sign me up, please!

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      You’re in. Send me an e-mail if you want me to link back to a blog or other landing page. -Ed

  • http://www.laughalotpoetry.com Darren Sardelli

    Hey Ed,

    I want in on this. It sounds pretty awesome!

    I’m always up for a challenge!

    Darren Sardelli
    http://www.laughalotpoetry.com

  • http://www.kristinegeorge.com Kristine O’Connell George

    Hi, Ed!

    Wish I could play but my March is jam-packed & slam-whacked with deadlines. I will, however, pass the news of your March Madness on and I will be cheering from the sidelines!

    Kristine George

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Kristine. Please do visit during the tournament to vote and comment. I’m sure that everyone participating would welcome your presence!

  • http://woozlecatch.weebly.com/ Stephen W Cahill

    Great idea Ed! I’m in.

    Muchos thankage to @TiffRhymes for the tip off. Let battle commence!!

    PS – please don’t punish my late application by pairing me with Her Royal Rhymeness, the mighty Jane Yolen! Yikes!!

  • Suz Blackaby

    Looking forward to the tip-off! Count me in!
    Suz B.

  • Dana Koster

    This sounds like a great challenge! I’d love to sign up.

  • http://www.writingonthesidewalk.wordpress.com Sarah

    Fun idea ~ I’d like to give it a go!

  • http://www.quicksilverpartners.com Jeanne Poland

    Looking forward to the madness:
    Tee-Tee
    (T T)

    Take time.
    Touch the screen.
    Tender sounds
    Tile the ears.
    Talisman.

    Take time.
    Tender brushes on the hair.
    Tendons
    Tendrils of
    Teraphim.

    Take time.
    Talk tall oil.
    Tambourine
    Thrums
    Tugging.

    Take time.
    Tick-tock.
    Tickle
    Tongues.
    Tangency.

    Take time.
    Tame
    Tamper
    Tandem twangs
    Tango.

    Jeanne Poland

  • http://juliekrantz.wordpress.com julie krantz

    Please sign me up, too! Thanks.

  • Annabelle Salas

    Hey Ed!

    Heard about this from my mom, and poetry runs in the family. I’m in if you’ll take me!

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Absolutely!

      Just to be 100% clear, I will not intentionally match you up with your mom (presumably Laura?), nor will I prevent such a matchup.

      If it happens, it happens!

      -Ed

  • Ken Slesarik

    This looks fun! Please sign me up.

    Ken Slesarik

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    Stephen, Suz, Dana, Sarah, Jeanne, Julie, Annabelle, and Ken …

    IN.

    Only 9 spots remain! I think I’ll look for a few backups, too, just in case anyone needs to drop unexpectedly.

    Thank you, everyone, for helping to spread the word.

    -Ed

  • http://www.MattForrest.com Matt Forrest Esenwine

    Sounds like fun, Ed – I’d love to jump in!

  • http://quinettecook.com Quinette Cook

    I would love to play, er write poems, but it looks like Lara Salas is your 64th participant. If I’m mistaken let me know!

    Thank-Q

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      No, you’re in. I am listing participants from the top down so people can see how many spots are left open (at the bottom) rather than how many have already been filled.

  • Carol-Ann Hoyte

    Ed:

    Is there still room for me to sign up to participate in this challenge?

    Carol-Ann

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Yes — I’ve listed all participants on the left sidebar.

      Only six more spots remain!

      -Ed

  • http://www.charleswaters.net Charles Waters

    Good luck with this. I’d love to participate next year.

  • Michele Krueger

    Hello Ed,

    Sign me up if there is still an available spot.
    And thank you for your dedication to advocating creativity in the lives of children.
    Michele Krueger

  • http://www.dorainebennett.com Doraine Bennett

    Left a message on your last blog post, then realized I might should have posted it here. Anyway, I’ll take one of those last slots if they are still open.

  • http://quinettecook.com Quinette Cook

    I’m so excited that I’m in. Should be fun. – Q

  • Kristy Dempsey

    Saw a link on Laura Salas’s Facebook. At first I thought, no way can I do this. March is packed. But then I laughed at your ghost of Shel Silverstein joke and I thought, why not? Will you send an email reminder or do I need to come by your site on March 11th?

  • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

    Not sure if there is any room left but if so, I’m in and hoping you’ll let me know one way or the other.

  • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

    So if I understand it right, you’ll post the words and for us here and we post our poems in the comments here using the word within the allotted time, right? So all the assignments and posting of poems happen here, right?

    Oh gosh, I know I’m crazy. Must begin to work ahead on my poetry month event.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Not quite.

      I will launch a separate page explaining everything, including an example poem pairing. This was just the announcement and signup post, which I’ll probably close to commenting at some point since this is becoming unreadable for everyone except for me, probably (I have an admin view that makes it easy to see comments across posts.)

      Also, remember, this is a winner-moves-on tournament, so the breakdown of poems per participant is really:

      32 people will write only 1 poem
      16 people will write 2 poems
      8 people will write 3 poems
      4 people will write 4 poems
      2 people will write 5 poems
      2 people will write 6 poems

      The “average” participant will have to write just under 2 poems, and 48 of 64 participants will write only one or two poems.

      That said, if you keep winning, then you might be in for a busy month, indeed!

      -Ed

      • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

        Right, I get that it’s an elimination tournament. I just wanted to confirm that it is all happening here, on your pages. (Except for the promo of it which I’ll be doing elsewhere.)

        • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

          Sorry, I took “here” to mean “in this exact post”, to which the answer is my emphatic NO!

          But YES, all hosting/posting/boasting will be done within the invisible walls of this site.

          -Ed

          • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

            Gotcha! Thanks for the clarification. I’m just home from an intense conference and my brain is overfull and slightly fried. :)
            Susan

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    Michele/Doraine/Kristy/Susan … IN. Plus one more that snuck in in between.

    That leaves ONE.

  • http://www.animalhero.com Dave Crawley

    It appears that you have a full bracket…but if not, count me in! I’m partial to difficult words…

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Way to take that last french fry, Dave. You are in.

      Ladies and gentlemen, we have a full tournament!

      I’ll still take a few backup entrants in case something happens to any of the current 64 participants already signed up.

      -Ed

  • http://sarahcpilon.wordpress.com/ Sarah C. Pilon

    I’ll be an alternate. Thanks :)

    Sarah

  • Marianne

    Hi Ed, consider me an alternate too…thanks

  • http://blogs.neisd.net/ikistl Irene Kistler

    I’d love to be an alternate as well.

    :-) Happy writing,
    Irene Kistler

  • http://www.mainelywrite.blogspot.com Donna Smith

    I’d love to be a backup writer! Wish I’d heard of this sooner.