Eric Ode interview

Eric Ode interview
Andrea's Guest Poet is ERIC ODE all the way from the USA. 
He's a brilliant children's poet and you can read his interview and some poems on this page. And his website is www.ericode.com
 
Eric Ode
 
 
What made you decide to become a poet? 
My mom insisted. When I was just a little boy, I told her I wanted to grow up to be an aerospace engineer. Or maybe a geophysicist. She about hit the roof. "Absolutely not!” she shouted. "You’ll grow up to be a poet, and I don’t want to hear another word about it!” So I became a poet to keep my mom happy.

Where do you get your ideas from?
Good ideas are running around everywhere! (Or maybe they’re swimming or flying – I’m not sure.) They are hiding in the things we see and in the things we read and mis-read. They are found in words we hear and in words we mis-hear. The difficult part is not finding the good ideas. The challenge is holding onto them and then putting them to good use. I try to make sure to keep a notebook or journal on hand at all times. If those good ideas don’t make it onto paper quickly, they escape.

What’s the best thing about being a poet?
For starters, I love being able to use the "Poets Only” parking spaces at the shopping malls. More honestly? I get to spend my time playing around with words and ideas. And then I get to visit with kids and teach them how to do the same. What could be better?

What’s the hardest thing about being a poet?
Making time to write! I seem to get easily distracted by multiple projects. I provide a lot of school visits and library programs and community concerts… And the writing process itself is tough! Well, at least it is for me. Getting those words to come together just right can take a long, frustrating time. But when they finally DO come together and I’m happy with the results - that part rocks!

Can we see some of your poems?

WHAT MAKES A CAMEL?

What makes a camel
the mammal it is? 
His legs, long and lanky?
His fur full of frizz?
His back like a mountain?
His neck like a pine?
(An ample example
of desert design.)
His faithful devotion
to friends and to family?
What makes the camel
a mammal so camel-y? 


THE SPIDER

She is
mathematician
and architect.
She is 
engineer,
artist,
and acrobat.
And she leaves me
captivated. 


Do you visit schools / offer performance or workshops? 
I used to be an elementary school teacher. When I quit teaching, my goal was to provide fun, fast-paced, high-participation, music-filled assemblies and workshops for schools. So, yes, I do a LOT of school visits. And I write a lot of music for kids, so I also provide a lot of concerts throughout the country. (I’m here in the United States of America, by the way.)

Where can we see more of your work?
Three collections of my poems have been published. I’m also the author of a number of picture books. And I’ve written for more than two-dozen poetry anthologies published both here in the USA and in the UK. 

What will be your next book?  
My fourth collection of poetry will be released this January, 2019 from Kane Miller Books. It’s a collection of wetland poetry – poems about ducks, salamanders, river otters, cattails… I’m REALLY excited to see this book hit the shelves!

 
 


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