Poetry Month: Tiptoeing Between Words and Images

Here's a list of poetry and word image apps that are just made for Poetry Month. Have some fun with your own favorite words, poems or poetry you write yourself:

Word Collage word clouds

Word Collage word clouds

Visual Poetry - Word Collage (iPad - $1.99)

Create concrete (or shape) poems using this collage app. 

TypeDrawing (iPad - $2.99)

Draw with text, with a variety of special effects, lots, colors and more. On the desktop website here at this link. http://www.storyabout.net/typedrawing/

POETRY From The Poetry Foundation (iPadAndroid - Free)

Easy access to thousands of poem from a searchable library of poems that includes many classics. There is audio support for many selections so you can hear different poems read aloud. Search by poet, mood, or subject.

Haiku Poem (iPadAndroid - Free)

Haiku poetry follows a specific pattern-- here you can identify syllables in words as you brainstorm a list to include in your own Haiku. 

WordCollage (iPad - $.99)

Turn a set of words from any site, document or blog post into a collage-like word cloud with selections for color, font, size, direction etc.

And for some inspiring words about digital poetry, see this Edutopia post by Terry Heick:

The best definition I’ve heard for poetry is that it’s “the extraordinary perception of the ordinary.” Being a kind of art, poetry shrinks away from strict definitions. The very nature of art is to challenge thinking. Trying to defining something artistic simply opens up new ground for exploration by those hoping to challenge convention.

Digital poetry is a part of that conversation.


The Missing Alphabet

Got a nice email today about The Missing Alphabet, the book I coauthored that is about putting your kids on the path of creative thinking. IF you'd like to see more about the book, check out the website here.

Subject: book

Message: Hey Susie,
Just wanted to say that I recently gave your book about creative kids (what is the title- can't find it on your website..) to my niece as a present (with a burp cloth swaddled around it) for her newborn daughter. She and her husband both went gaga over the book! I finally just read cover to cover on the plane on the way there, so wanted to tell you how much I admire the thorough and inspiring job you've done with it. It looks beautiful, reads well, and the chapters are chock full of good stuff.
Congrats again!


Explore the full spectrum of a child's strengths

A step-by-step parents' guide that demystifies "creativity," and helps children grow up to be 21st century thinkers

AUSTIN – In a future that will require visual literacy and innovative thinking, today's kids will be expected to think across disciplines, come up with imaginative solutions, and have the capacity to invent with many media. And in order to succeed, they'll need to have creative thinking skills. Yet, we've been trained to think that some kids are "born" creative, while others are not.

But as the noted education researchers and co-authors of The Missing Alphabet: A Parents' Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids (Greenleaf Book Group, October 23, 2012, 288 pages, $17.95) have discovered, this simply isn't true. Rather, every child is born with a rich creative capacity; parents can build on that by supplying the building blocks of the missing alphabet – also known as "Sensory Alphabet."

The Missing Alphabet is as basic as the traditional alphabet is for reading and writing, and is the foundation for understanding our sensory world: line, color, texture, sound, movement, sound, rhythm, space, light, and shape. By teaching children the symbol system first, then layering thinking skills on top of it, children gain a whole new repertoire for ways to express their ideas. 

Over the past 40 years, co-authors and researchers Susan Marcus, Susie Monday, and Cynthia Herbert, PhD. have studied how children individually learn, and also how parents and educators can help them utilize untapped reserves of their creative potential. The authors were the co-founders of Learning About Learning Educational Foundation, a future-oriented organization in San Antonio, Texas,. Responding to the needs of 21st century literacies, they have collaborated to produce "New World Kids," a popular series of after-school and summer programs for children in pre-K through second grade, now being used in school districts, museums and creative arts programs. Today, parents can have access to this approach in The Missing Alphabet, no matter where they live.

Through vivid photographs and illustration, The Missing Alphabet helps parents and educators hone in on a child's natural strengths, and develop his or her particular brand of imagination. In a digital world where information is also communicated through pictures, icons, sound and video, tomorrow's adults will need to have creative thinking skills that are broader than those centered on text and numbers – and this is the guide to do it. 

SUSAN MARCUS, SUSIE MONDAY and CYNTHIA HERBERT, PHD are the co-creators of the popular "New World Kids" program, as well as The Foundry in Austin, TX, producing programs in creative thinking for children, parents, and professional development for educators. Cynthia is a developmental psychologist, the former Director of the Texas Alliance for Education and the Arts, and a specialist in Differentiated Education. Susie is a children's museum designer, educational consultant, and an adjunct faculty member of the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio. Susan has worked as a consultant to museums and children's program designer. She is the co-author (with Herbert) of Everychild's Everyday (Doubleday), and When I Was Just Your Age (University of North Texas Press), and (with Monday) New World Kids (FoundryMedia)..

On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Missing-Alphabet-Developing-Creative/dp/1608323781



100 objects

I've just come across a BBC radio series that is truly intriguing and inspiring.  And no time for big descriptions tonight, just go discover on your own!


Look at the Arts Participation....

This just arrived in my mailbox:


Crossing the Threshold

Perhaps a better way to look at the new year is not as a big bugaboo of resolutions, but simply a stepping over a threshold where there is opportunity to sit in a new chair, to look out a different window, to climb up the stepladder and choose a book you've been wanting to read, and maybe wander into a room that you've closed off for too long.


Think of this year as a new home. You can paint the walls whatever color you want or leave them showing layers and peeling edges from long-ago paint jobs. You can clean house. That's what we did this morning and yesterday morning, tackling one room today and one yesterday, and with just a little effort found the new order, the cleared out drawers, the scoured doorknobs and newly hung  photos and art -- like sluffing off old skin and coming up newborn, with shining scales, iridescent in the sun.

I'll be facilitating an artist journey/artist journal workshop on the weekend of January 23. 

This annual event has a history of setting the doorway and the threshold into good order. This session I'm planning to do less with calendars and more with process, less with destination and more adventuring through a mixed media exploration that sets the steps in motion, one after another. It's a rich process that puts the past year into perspective, allows for some healthy self-assessment (no beating up, no gnashing of teeth), and, with the quiet and boisterous sharing, gives us all time to share, envision, cut-and paste our way into the new house that is 2015.

We look with uncertainty

by Anne Hillman

We look with uncertainty
beyond the old choices for
clear-cut answers
to a softer, more permeable aliveness
which is every moment
at the brink of death;
for something new is being born in us
if we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
awaiting that which comes…
daring to be human creatures,
vulnerable to the beauty of existence.
Learning to love.



Hope to see you at one or more of these inspiring workshops:

Artists' Journey/Artists' Journal

Start out your sketchbook and your creative journey of 2015 with reflections on your work and creative process this past year, with new vision ideas for the coming year, and a creativity jump start to get your ideas in motion. We'll spend a Friday night (optional) with personal and peer critique on one or more pieces of completed or in-process work or series. Then Saturday and Sunday, dive into the new year with planning, calendar ideas, studio rituals, collage and the creation of a New Year's poster and/or artist's altar to take your studio or work space. This long-running workshop changes each year, but always contains elements that put us all on the creative path of artful reflection, journaling, collage and more. 

January 23-24-25. 

Supplies included other than sketchbook, favorite mark making tools and a glue stick.

Fee: $200, with all meals (except Friday Potluck) included.

Accommodations from free to $30 (private room and bath)

Email me for details and to reserve your space. Limited enrollment.

IPad Art Studio


Each month I'll be hosting a guided iPad tablet creativity studio session at the Cabin in San Antonio, 539 Senisa, near Woodlawn Lake. These sessions, limited to 7 participants each session, will allow for individual consultation, critique, technical problem solving, app recommendations and more as you work on your own iPad, digital and print projects, including eBooks, collage work, Spoonflower digital print designs, photo editing, photo books, etc. When you sign up, send me an email with what you hope to accomplish so I can prepare a bit! Or just call at the last minute and see if there is space available. Each 4 hour block of time (you can stay as long or short a time as you wish) runs from 12 noon to 4 pm on the third Monday of each month. The cost for this guide-on-the-side and personal coaching is just $40 per session. January 19, February 16, March 16, and April 20. No reservation fee, but do send an email if you can! 

iPad Art Basics

Friday, January 30

The best art, editing and organization apps to start with -- and a world of tips and tricks that will take you from FB or reading on the tablet to a whole lot more -- digital printing, improving photos, making simple (and complex) photo collages and start-up sketching tools. This is a simplified version of the iPad Art Adventure that I have been teaching (by request from folks who thought that one would be too advanced!) This 6 hour workshop includes several chapters of my soon-to-be-published eBook on the subject to take home for further study.. 9:30 am to 2:30 pm with a lunch break (bring your own or walk down the block for soup or tacos). 539 Senisa near Woodlawn Lake. Fee, including supplies other than app purchases: $80.

Happy New Year!


Just some images of recent iPad design doodling! To get your creative juices flowing...



Pomegranates, peaches and a world of adventure to us all in 2015!