#SOL21: Books Make Me

On Thursday, July 22nd, Penny Kittle interviewed Kwame Alexander for BookLove. It was a feast of:



mutual admiration with

Penny reading poetry and

Kwame reading poetry.


One of the ideas shared was the community poems that Kwame has written/curated recently. You can hear “This is Our Dream” at this NPR link.

We were challenged to write our own lines to a prompt proposed by Ann Marie Stephens . . .

“Books Make Me”

Books make me

Soar high above the clouds

Drifting along, tugged by the wind, escaping gravity.

Books make me

Crawl into the shoes

And psyches of characters as they live in their stories.

Books make me

Respond. I might:

Cry, Scream, Laugh, Pound, Question, Wonder and Think.

Books make me

Rush to collect those “just published” ones

That entice me with the fresh ink and new learning!

Books make me

Yearn for conversations

With authors, readers, and writers to pick up on nuances contained.

Books make me reread

Slowing down

Savoring the ideas, thoughts, and words of the author, both spoken and unspoken.

Books make me curl up on rainy days

To maximize every second

Of freedom to read and relax with my choice of text.

Books make me travel to places

Near and far

In my imagination and other times and places.

Books make me swoon

A well-written phrase

A well-developed character or even an old friend who is captivating.

Books make me aware

Of just how much I don’t know

And encourage me to dig in and satisfy my curiosity.

But most of all,

Books make me . . . me!

What line(s) would you add? How could you use this format? What will your prompt look like?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum.

Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

“Poetry is literature’s multivitamin . . . ” https://www.npr.org/2021/07/26/1020612153/joy-why-traffic-on-poetry-websites-has-increased-during-the-pandemic

12 responses

  1. I keep meaning to write to this as well, so I may today for my slice! Hearing them talk together was such fun! I love what you have created here- lots to think about!

    1. Erika,
      I went straight to the drafts and wrote this on the same day as Penny and Kwame’s chat. It was simply delightful. I hope to revisit to “see more”.

  2. What a great response to a great prompt! I’ll definitely be writing about this in my notebook and checking out the link you shared. Thanks!

    1. You are welcome!
      I couldn’t write just one line. I’m still thinking about more ideas!

  3. Yes to all of this and especially that last line, books make me…me! Sounds like an incredible experience and I love your response to the prompt. (I signed up for Book Love this year and wasn’t able to make it to any sessions. =/)

    1. Almost all of the sessions are recorded. Example: Meg Medina’s this morning where she read “Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away”. So much fun to hear her words in her voice.

  4. It was a thrill to hear Kwame Alexander speak at our PCTELA conference a few years ago. This is a great prompt and you really hit on all the ways books affect our lives. Yes, books change us often in ways we are not aware of.

    1. He is amazing.
      I saw him live at a reading in a NYC bookstore. Mesmerizing!!!

  5. Fran, every single thing that books “make you” resonates with me, especially the swooning over a well-written phrase and well-developed characters in whose shoes we walk for a while. I will have to try this myself. I would start with something like “Books make me immerse so deeply in another time and place or sea of thought that it’s physically painful to be called out before I’m ready…” Thanks for this inspiration today! What a mighty way to get young people thinking about the power of reading and their reading identities!

    1. You are welcome!
      Love your idea!

  6. Thank you for reminding me of this conversation and prompt. I can’t pick a favorite line as I relate and love them all. I will have to spend some time on this in my own notebook.

    1. You are welcome, Heather. Anne Marie really came up with a “writeable” prompt just for Booklove!

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