Winter is coming. Soon, it seems. A winter storm watch is in effect for the early part of the week with lows in the single digits. Lover of winter that I am, I keep quiet about my glee while others lament the start of this long season in Minnesota. Thankfully, I have a few hardy friends who also like the chilly season!
My friend and teaching partner spent the afternoon at the Red Balloon Bookshop celebrating winter - and Joyce Sidman's Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold - with me. Numerous starred reviews preceded today's book event. In Winter Bees, Joyce captures winter's images through the actions of creatures who must prepare for and endure winter by migrating, preparing shelter, gathering food, keeping warm, and hibernating. Accompanying each poem is text explaining each creature's habits and adaptations. Rick Allen's detailed and gorgeous illustrations "were made through the unlikely marriage of some very old and very new art mediums." Some of the linoleum blocks carved for the artwork are in the above photograph. After listening to Joyce talk about the inspiration for "Dream of the Tundra Swan" (hearing them fly above her at about this same time of year) and read two other poems, members of the audience shared their favorite winter poems and songs.
It was a lovely inspiration for us to plan a winter poem event with our staff, a quiet way to celebrate a season of frigid temperatures and ways to be warm.