Thursday, December 03, 2020

Poetry Friday -- Roundup and D-39 Cover Reveal



Novelist and poet Irene Latham has never shied away from hard topics. With Charles Waters, she has tackled race and racism head on (pun intended), and given readers definitions that will pave the way into a brighter future. She has introduced us to heroic characters who lived through difficult times in the past.

And now she's turning her attention to the future.

Arriving in bookstores on May 18, 2021 is D-39: A Robodog's Journey (Charlesbridge). This middle grade dystopian future verse novel is told in tidy rectangular prose poems that are strung together like beads, with the last word or phrase of one becoming the title of the next. The language is rich and innovative, with a glossary full of newly-minted compound words.

For a taste of the look and sound of the poems, here is the very first poem in the book, to whet your appetite:


And yes, you read that description of the book correctly: D-39: A Robodog's Journey is a middle grade dystopian future verse novel.

I asked Irene why she chose to write a dystopian novel for middle grade readers: 
"When circumstances are dire, all the stuff that doesn't matter kind of falls away, and you discover what's most important to you— and maybe even who you really are. As a reader and as a writer, I enjoy exploring that white-hot space."
Although D-39 is a dystopian future novel based loosely on the timeline of diminishing freedoms the Syrians experienced during the Syrian War, it is primarily the story of a child and a dog, a journey, family relationships, home, heroism, and self-determination.

Irene knows the love of a dog. Her Rosie, a 2 year-old Australian shepherd, loves socks as much as D-39 loves gloves.


The landscape of D-39 is similar to that of North Dakota. Here's Irene on a research trip for the book:


Jamie Green is the artist who created the cover for D-39. Jamie is an illustrator/curious person based in Greenville, SC and recent graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design. When they aren't working they can be found climbing rocks, venturing through the woods or scouring the ground for mushrooms to study and catalogue.


This is what they had to say about creating the cover image for D-39:
As an artist, or in this case I will say "visual communicator," it is something special when you read through the manuscript and have the desire to do fanart of the characters. That's essentially what creating the cover for D-39 felt like to me. I was taking the Klynt and D-39 that I had been imagining in this cluttered shed and presenting them outward--how fun for me! My goal was to portray a sense of connection and determination in our main duo, while engulfed in a smattering of items that are seen in their journey together.

And now...

Drumroll...

Here is the cover reveal of D-39: A Robodog's Journey



Join me in congratulating Irene on this newest amazing project! If you'd like to read a galley of the book, contact her at Irene@IreneLatham.com with your request.

And now, on to the Poetry Friday Roundup! Let's see what other wonders the Poetry Friday community has to share today! Leave your link with Mr. Linky.

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While we're on the subject of the roundup, we're gathering roundup hosts for January-June 2020. Check out the calendar and pick your date here.

Happy Poetry! Happy Friday!

30 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Irene! I can't wait to read it. Thank you, Mary Lee, for introducing us to this new book!

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    1. Thank you, Linda! It was quite an adventure to write. :)

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  2. The book sounds fantastic! Thanks for introducing us to it and revealing the cool cover. Congrats to Irene!! Thanks for hosting this week, Mary Lee. :)

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    1. Yes so many thanks to Mary Lee! And thank you, Jama -- this book challenged me in all the best ways! xo

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  3. Congratulations on this book and it does sound fantastic! Nice post, Mary Lee, showcasing it. Thank you for hosting.

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    1. Thanks, Janice! The book may be dystopian but it is filled with hope... xo

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  4. Thanks, Mary Lee, for introducing us to this book. I can't wait to get my hands on it, as I'm a huge fan of Irene. "Dictionary for a Better World" has become a cornerstone of my classroom culture this year. Thanks so much for hosting this week!!

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    1. This makes me so happy -- I do think you and your students will find lots to unpack in this novel. Lots of layers. Appreciate your support so much! xo

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  5. I love dystopian books! And dogs! and Irene! Thanks for hosting, Mary Lee!

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  6. :) :) :) Funny thing: my editor Karen Boss upon reading my ms said she doesn't generally like verse novels OR dogs... and yet she wanted to acquire this book. I took that as a huge encouragement! xo

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  7. Congrats Irene, sounds like an adventure I'd like to journey into… Thanks for sharing Irene's book Mary Lee, and for hosting!

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  8. Oooh, the new book looks great! It's going on the wish list. Congrats to Irene! And thanks for hosting, Mary Lee.

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  9. Wow! Go, Irene! Many congratulations on this forthcoming book. The power of verse novels is strong. I can tell you that they are popular in MG. I'm just delighted to see a new one with a dog! Woot! Thanks for hosting, Mary Lee. I've come to rely on this blog for it's goodness.

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  10. Wow--that Irene is one versatile writer. This sounds fascinating!

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  11. Thank you for sharing this Mary Lee. What?! Dystopian verse novel Irene! I’m holding back from gushing right now. Nonet, This Poem is a Nest, and now D-39! You’ve got it all friend. I am in awe. So, so excited to read about D-39 and discover the story.

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  12. Oh, this new book sounds very good, Irene! Having an "outer space" adventure right now is something many of us would enjoy! I love the cover, too! Congratulations and thanks, Mary Lee for the peek & for hosting!

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  13. Sounds like the kind of book I would have enjoyed at that age! Congrats to Irene - and thanks for hosting, Mary Lee!

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  14. Thank you Mary Lee for alerting this devoted fan of verse novels to Irene's upcoming book. Thank you also for hosting this week.

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  15. Yay! Thanks for hosting PF Mary Lee! And congratulations to Irene on her new book! It sounds intriguing and Jamie's cover art is very inviting. I know what I'll be reading to my Smidgey for bedtime next summer. ;)

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    1. I must amend my comment to add, Happy Birthday, Mary Lee!

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    2. Thanks, Bridget! Irene gave me the best Poetry Friday birthday gift--the joy of doing the cover reveal for D-39!

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  16. Compelling review of a compelling book - thanks for the sneak peek! I love insights of an illustrator's artistic process, being a "visual communicator."

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  17. WOw, there are so many different hallways in Irene's mind, leading to incredibly different rooms! Thanks for this preview, and happy birthday!

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  18. Mary Lee, thank you hosting today and for a wonderful peek at Irene's new book. Congratulations, Irene!

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  19. Congrats, Irene! A dog and poetry and sci-fi sounds like a winning combination!

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  20. Oh my, is there anything our Irene can't write? Or is it brave enough to try? What an amazing, inspiring woman! And her topics are always out of left field...which leave me laughing and breathless. Just considering them!

    Thank you for your terrific post about her and this book, Mary Lee. And thank you Irene for... Everything!

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  21. Irene's imagination is boundless! How lucky we are to wise voice in our world. Thank you for hosting today, and happy birthday!

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  22. Wow! This sounds like an amazing story--so many things woven together here. How wonderful and wondrous. I can't wait to read it. And what fun to see the cover and hear from the artist about their inspiration.
    Thanks for sharing this, Mary Lee, and thanks for hosting this week, too.

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  23. Congratulations, Irene! This looks like such an incredible story. Mary Lee, thank you for introducing us to Irene's new baby and also for hosting this week.

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  24. It's Poetry Wednesday here, as I finally got around to reading all the posts. Thank you for hosting, and I hope your birthday was the best ever!

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