Episode 9: The Magic of Poetry — Interview with Marilyn Singer

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Today’s interview is all about writing and the magic of poetry. I’m so thrilled to introduce Marilyn Singer, who I first met at Book Expo America many years ago and whose work I both love and admire. A New Yorker born and raised, Marilyn has published more than a hundred books for children and young adults.

She’s written across various genres including: contemporary fiction, fantasies, fairy tales, picture books, mysteries, non-fiction and, of course, poetry. She has won several Children’s Choice and Parent’s choice awards and her book Mirror Mirror , for which she created a new poetry form (the “reverso).

In other words, when it comes to poetry Marilyn knows her stuff. What she creates with words on the page is nothing short of magic. Today we’ll be talking about poetry and the magic of words, a topic that Marilyn knows much about.

About Marilyn Singer

Marilyn’s works have won several Children’s Choice and Parents’ Choice awards and many other citations.  Her book, Mirror Mirror (Dutton, 2010), for which she created a new poetry form, the “reverso,” received six starred reviews, has been nominated for twenty state, city, and international awards, and won the Land of Enchantment Award and the Cybil Award for Poetry, 2011, as well as being named an ALA Notable; and a CLA/NCTE Notable.

Marilyn lives in Brooklyn, NY and Washington, CT, with her husband Steve Aronson, and their standard poodle, a cat, two doves, and a rescued starling. Her interests include swing and ballroom dancing, dog training, reading, bird-watching, and going to the theatre. She is the former host of the AOL Children’s Writers Chat and currently co-hosts the Poetry Blast, where children’s poets read their work, at AlA and other conferences.

In this interview…

Writing poetry

  • What a reverso is and how Marilyn came up with it.
  • How the process differs when writing reversos (as opposed to prose or other poetry forms).
  • An inside look at what Marilyn’s process was like for writing Mirror, Mirror.
  • How do you edit a poem?

More on writers and poetry…

  • What brought Marilyn to poetry in the first place?
  • What can writers of prose gain from studying poetry? What skills would they learn?
  • As a reader, how do you approach a poem?
  • As a writer, how do you dive into a poem? What do you do first? What’s the biggest challenge?
  • Plus, Marilyn’s #1 piece of advice to new writers wanting to explore poetry.

Resource Recap

Interested in more reversos? Check out Marilyn’s books: Mirror, Mirror and Follow, Follow.

Marilyn Singer has published over 100 books. To learn more about her and her work, check out her website. You can also find her on Goodreads and Facebook.

Link to Episode 9

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.


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