An Interview With Children’s Poet Arden Davidson
Poet Arden Davidson talks to Storyberries about her inspiration for the new kids poetry collection, 'What's Weird About A Mirror'.
We sat down this week and spoke with Arden Davidson, the beloved children’s poet behind our first published poetry collection, What’s Weird About A Mirror.
Arden’s poetry first sprang to our attention here at Storyberries when we were looking for some fun modern poems to share with our readers. We found a few of her poems, and on exploring, a few more. Little did we know that Arden writes prolifically, and had more than a hundred children’s poems that she had penned over the previous decades… and they were all wonderful! We couldn’t help but want to share the whole of them with our readers.
Arden’s poetry has been favourably compared to those of Shel Silverstein, as both poets share a love of irreverence, a fun curiosity and a love of wordplay. What’s Weird About A Mirror is Arden’s first published poetry collection, and features 101 poems that range from a snoring grandma, to a six-footed camel, to reflections on the weirdness of mirrors.
1. What inspires your poetry? How do you come up with the ideas for your poems?
I tend to look at the world a little differently than most people, I think. Ideas just fly into my head when I see something that catches my attention, or I realize that two words rhyme that I had never thought about before. I don’t have children of my own but I often tend to think like a child, so my brain is always running at full speed.
2. How long does it take you to compose a poem?
It usually doesn’t take me very long to write the poem. Once I have the idea, I can get the bare bones down in a matter of minutes. But then I keep going back and building on it, and making changes, until I get it just the way I want it. That takes a lot longer.
3. What do you like best about being a children’s poet?
I really enjoy making people laugh, and think, and become inspired. I have always loved fun, funny poetry. When I was a kid, Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein were my heroes. Actually, I guess they still are. To know I can bring a smile to someone I’ve never even met is a special feeling.
4. What is your favourite poem in the collection, and why?
My favorite poem in the collection is “What’s Weird About a Mirror,” which is why I wanted that to be the title of the book. I have been writing poetry almost all of my life, but that is the first poem I wrote specifically for kids. I have seen children try to act it out and try to catch a glimpse of their mirror without themselves in it, and it is so much fun!
5. What has been the best response of a child or parent to your poems?
One time I went to an elementary school classroom to read my poems to the students. Their teacher had found some of my poems online, so they had already been reading them for weeks before I got there. They were shouting out, “read Flying Popcorn!” and “read Princess Abby!” It was so cool that they knew the titles and they already had their favorites. I felt like a celebrity.
6. This book has been a long time coming. How does it feel to see your poems brought together in this collection?
I am beyond excited that Storyberries has given me this amazing opportunity. Plus, they found the perfect illustrator – Kseniya Shagieva – someone who completely “gets” me and understands exactly what I am going for. I am elated, and I just hope everyone enjoys reading my poems as much as I enjoyed writing them.
What’s Weird About A Mirror: 101 Curious Poems by Arden Davidson is Storyberries’ first published paper book!
It’s a long-awaited, hilarious collection of children’s poems by poet Arden Davidson, and includes topics ranging from a snoring grandma to a six-footed camel to reflections on the weirdness of mirrors.
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