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What started off as an idea to share poems I wrote years ago with today’s young children has blossomed into something bigger—a 20-day series of free podcasts, called Poem Pods, for children and families with my feisty 11-year-old grandson Eli as my trusty pod-host!
As Eli and I say in our homegrown broadcasts, Poem Pods are fun poems and fun stories for fun people! And indeed, they are! My hope is that they give children encouragement, entertainment, and inspiration to get them thinking creatively as a summer without camps and public pools begins.
The pods will begin to post, one per day, on June 23 and will run through July 12. They will be accessible on the site long after that as well. While we are low-tech, and our recording quality is not stellar, we are high energy, and our pods pack some punch.
Poem Pods are theme-based and explore concepts like family, friendship, inspiration, vulnerability, fears, and asking for help. When the day’s poem is about family, for instance, Eli and I discuss the importance of family, and we interview a family member.
At the start of each segment, we talk about my writing inspirations and education, starting when I was six years old, and my grandmother gave me a notebook.
The poems, which I wrote years ago for my two daughters, are short and silly and cover topics from dogs and cats to family, raindrops, love, and friendship. They follow the introductory conversation and are in the middle of the podcast—much like a pea is in the center of a pea pod.
After the day’s poems are read, Eli and I have lively and interesting conversations on that day’s theme and offer children an activity. And in 11 of the pods, we bring on a guest, and Eli conducts an interview that extends the discussion.
A blog with a complete Poem Pod schedule, outlining posting dates, the names of interviewees, and conversation topics, can be found here.
Each audio episode will also feature a written transcript in this blog feed, for those who would rather read than listen. Or, some could choose to listen while reading along.
Eli is a perky and dependable co-host! He brought all kinds of energy and ideas to Poem Pods. As we worked on the project—writing the scripts, practicing what we might say, recording, and then making promotional videos.
We had a lot of fun, and I liked watching Eli learn. He discovered how to interview people, for instance, and he really grew into the role of narrator, asking questions on the fly and offering his perspective and other impromptu remarks off-script.
I watched him learn words and concepts and incorporate them into his remarks. It was cool. And “cool” is a word we use a lot in the Poem Pods. We also use some very mature vocabulary, explaining what it means to be inspired, what you can do with inspiration, how you might get stuck, feel vulnerable, and need help, and how discipline keeps you going. We also define words such as “memoir” and “segue.”
Where Eli and I fall short is in the IT department. We recorded the Poem Pods on the Voice Memos app on my iPhone. Our “set” was the gazebo in my yard and the back deck. So, listeners will hear background noises, such as traffic and the occasional weed whacker, but the sound of all voices is clear and audible, and the volume, for the most part, is steady.
We also have some awkward moments when Eli and I interrupt each other, or a guest, or we move too quickly in the conversation! Sometimes you’ll hear us turning the pages of our notes!
But Poem Pods are real and interesting. We think children will really like Poem Pods, and we hope you’ll be some of the fun people who tune in for the fun poems and stories!
If you sign up for my blog, you’ll get an email with a link to each new daily post!
Please enjoy! Let us try to inspire your children at a time when inspiration is sorely needed.
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