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Hope Anita Smith visits GAAH Press Club

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The GAAH Press Club spent a morning talking to award winning poet Hope Anita Smith and wrote about their experience meeting her.

/GAAH Press Club

Underwriting support from:

Odes written by Press Club members in a workshop with Hope Anita Smith

Ode to Rap

by Donny

Rap always makes my day bright.
They make me want to sing but depends on what type
But my favorite artist is Eminem and the crew of YMCMB
They rap a lot of songs, it is nearly like poetry
it rhymes a lot, sometimes it has free-verse


Ode to Watergun

by Luis

You can squirt water
You are orange like a carrot
You make me feel good when I wet people
I like you, watergun


Ode to Spaghetti

By Carlos

I love the way that spaghetti lays
on my plate. I love the way that
sauce and meatballs sit on the noodles
I love the way when I serve 4 plates of


Ode to Sleeping

by Ignacio

Because its silence
dreams that make me go in my favorite
video games in my dreams. I also
like that it’s dark. I like that I get rest
and also it’s the time I can slack off
and not get yelled at.


Ode to Mom

by Ana

I love the way that you clean
my room. I also love the way that you
hug me and kiss me.
When you hug me I feel


Ode to Music


I love the way I feel
when I hear music
It feels awesome when
I hear music that talks
about my feelings
and it makes me get
inspired. It makes me feel more
happy and more laughy!

/GAAH Press Club

/GAAH Press Club

The GAAH Press Club spent a morning talking to award winning poet, Hope Anita Smith and wrote about their experience meeting her. The GAAH Press Club thanks the Grand Rapids Public Library for this wonderful opportunity! The GAAH Press Club also welcomes a brand new reporter, Juan!

The class today talked about trying, writing, energy and when Hope Anita Smith started writing. [We asked] if she sang, and she said “Yes, I write songs about country music.”

She cried in a restaurant [with her editor], and said “Okay, you can have your title of “The Way a Door Closes.”

“Pow, pow, pow!” As Hope Anita Smith explained how she fought to get her title. She was very active, funny, and energetic. She had a lot of problems publishing her first book.

Hope Anita Smith is an award-winning author. On the book “The Way A Door Closes,” she had a bumpy journey to have its title. She went through email after email to get the title [that she wanted]. Her editor had a whole different idea for the title of her book. One day her editor and she went to lunch. They talked and talked and then all of a sudden her editor mentioned the title. Hope was so desperate for her title that she would do anything for it. She decided that the only way to get the title is to cry. She told the Press Club that sometimes crying helps you get things.

Hope Anita Smith, an award-winning author, came to the Cook Arts Center to talk to a group of kids about how awesome it is to write, the process it takes to publish and the problems she faced publishing.

She also said “I love my job. The best part of my job is this- coming and talking to kids about writing.”
Hope Anita Smith has published three books, “The Way a Door Closes,” “Mother Poems,” and “Keeping the Night Watch” and is making more.

Hope Anita Smith is an award-winning author who writes poems and stories. She started writing when she was 8, and she started reading when she was 4. Hope is an energetic person. When she visited, the Press Club students wrote poems, and one student wrote a spaghetti poem.
Hope Anita Smith talked about how to express your way to write stories. She had ways of writing if she was stuck or confused. She would look at picture files, or word files to help her get ideas for her stories and poems.

When Hope Anita Smith came to visit the Press Club, she spoke very loudly with a lot of energy in her words. She told the Press Club about her life, tips in poetry, what she likes about poetry and to try something new.

When she was little, she wanted long flowing hair. She began [writing] poetry when she was 8 years old. She started to read at the age of 4.

In tips about poetry, she looks into a subject and starts making a story of the image, word, place or person. The reason she likes poetry is nearly everything. You can make poetry by singing. You can make it from experiences or life.

[She said] don’t be afraid to try something new. For example, her editor told her to try to illustrate her own poem. She didn’t want to, but tried it and succeeded.

On June 14, Hope Anita Smith made poetry more energetic and fun, not boring, but more interesting.

Hope Anita Smith is a lady who writes poetry and stories. She started writing poetry when she was 8 years old. Hope Anita Smith had some problems while writing and illustrating her books and poetry because some stuff didn’t turn out like she wanted it to.

What I liked about Hope Anita Smith is that she gets a lot of inspiration and she fights for what she wants. She writes poetry but she also wrote some songs.

Hope Smith’s first book took four years to be published. She started reading when she was 4. She had some problems publishing her books because her pictures or titles don’t always come out the way she wants them to.

Hope Anita Smith is just a lady who writes books and poetry and a lady who fights for what she wants and is always trying to do new stuff.

On June 14, 2012, Hope Anita Smith came to the Cook Arts Center and talked with the Press Club. She told the story of a flying dog to show how to make a good story and it needed to have a problem and a solution. When she was little she put the bathroom towel on her head and pretended it was long flowing hair and she said that was her deepest secret. She helped us make an ode story. An ode is a poem of praise to a person, place or things. Kids wrote about sleeping, spaghetti and squirt guns.

“If you want to be a great writer, you have to be a reader,” she said.

Hope Anita Smith is an energetic writer. She said if you want to be a writer you have to be a good reader. On June 14, 2012, Hope Anita Smith visited the Cook Arts Center. She told the Press Club to write a story it will take many experiences like a lot of reading and using names she knows.

She talked about how to write a good story. She said you have to have a plot and a conflict. She used an example of a story she made up a story with a flying dog scared of heights. Also, she said it takes many years to publish a book.

“Writing is hard work, even though you like doing it,” she said.

Also she helped us write odes. She told us we can write about anything. Some kids wrote about spaghetti, squirt guns, etc.

The Press Club enjoyed meeting Hope. She is energetic, fun and loud!

Hope Anita Smith is not afraid to try or say no. She taught us about problem and solution. She also said that she started to write when she was 8 years old. The students were impressed when they heard that. So then she told a story about a flying dog and how he solved the problem. She told that story because they want to know the problem.

She told us that sometimes when you write that you send it to an editor so they can see it and then they send it back to you with all the corrections they made. And when she wrote her story they had argued about what the title was, so they had to fight for either “How the Door Closes” or “New Moon.” So, her editor took her to lunch and she cried. That’s how she got her title.

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