Saturday, February 3, 2018

3 Shorts for the Shortest Month

1. I recently read FREAK THE MIGHTY by Rodman Philbrick about an unlikely friendship between giant-sized, slow-learning Maxwell and short, highly intelligent, handicapped Kevin (nicknamed "Freak"). I loved it!

2. I have on my nightstand FLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES edited by Ellen Oh, cofounder of We Need Diverse Books, whom I've been lucky enough to share a panel with twice in the past few months. Such great short stories! The one that I keep going back to is The Beans and Rice Chronicles of Isaiah Dunn by Kelly J. Baptist. Wish I'd read this one when, a few weeks back, someone asked me for a middle grade book about "rural poverty." It's not rural, exactly, as the kids live in an apartment building, but it's definitely poverty and addiction and heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time.

3.  One of my favorite songs EVER, is "Short Skirt Long Jacket" by Cake. Want to be inspired to write original analogies and unforgettable characterizations? Take a listen!

Hope your shortest month is full of all the things most important to you.

Irene Latham is an Alabama author of more than a dozen current and forthcoming poetry, fiction and picture books for children and adults, including Leaving Gee's Bend, 2011 ALLA Children's Book of the Year and Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship (with Charles Waters). Winner of the 2016 ILA Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, she also serves as poetry editor for Birmingham Arts Journal.