Would you write a valentine to a potato? Wax poetic over beans? Write free verse about free range chickens?
Thirty-four writers from seven countries did just that, and you can read their work in the anthology Dear Tomato: an International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems edited by my friend and fellow writer, Carol-Ann Hoyte.
I was one of a handful of people who volunteered to read our favorites to all who gathered at the book launch this past Sunday. I chose A Potato’s Valentine by Philippa Rae of England because fries are one of my weaknesses, especially the curly ones. Cafe Zephyr was the perfect spot to hold the launch. The crowd spent the afternoon listening to poetry about food while downing freshly brewed coffee and munching on delicious pastries.
For young readers aged 8 to 12, the topics in Dear Tomato range from the veggies children hate to the joys of gardening. Photos by Norie Wasserman help bring the poems to life. As Karen Washington, a 2014 recipient of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award, says in her introduction, “The poems are dripping with international flavor, a reminder that food is universal.”
Carol-Ann is also the editor of the award-winning anthology And The Crowd Goes Wild: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems. Both books are available on Amazon.