Over the last year, you might have noticed some smart, funny, poignant author acrostics popping up on your social media feeds. These inventive introductions are brought to you by author Nancy Tupper Ling. 24 Carrot Writing talked to her about the intersection of author promotion and poetry and the importance of supporting fellow writers.
Tell us about your author acrostic project and how it got started?
Several months into the pandemic, I decided it would be fun to include some author interviews on my blog. But how to make them a little bit different? I wanted something playful, visual, and easy-to-read when people were flipping through social media. Why not an acrostic of their name? Soon I added a brief bio and the covers of my guest’s books. In the last few months, I’ve made all of the acrostics into a flipbook, thanks to my web designer, Eric Dubois. Feel free to flip through: https://www.nancytupperling.com/author-acrostics/
What is your connection to poetry that spurred your decision to solicit acrostic poems?
Funny you should ask. There was a time when I swore I would never be a poet like my mom, Jean Tupper. That was “her thing” and I wanted to write short stories instead. Well, that didn’t last. In college I began to submit my fledgling poems to various journals. Gradually, after many revisions, a poem or two was accepted, and then more. Winning the Writer’s Digest Grand Prize definitely helped my confidence as a writer. What I love about poetry is how something as small as a haiku or as long as a sonnet can be so power-packed. This is true with “Author Acrostics” as well. I hope readers learn so much about each writer—their soul, their essence, in a tiny space.
Why do you think it is important to promote your fellow authors?
The road is long and we’re all still learning, even after we’ve been published. Certainly, the pandemic reminded us that even if we might think that we prefer a solitary writer’s life, we still need one another for encouragement and growth. The journey is most valuable when we can be generous with our talent and our art.
What do you hope to accomplish with your acrostic project?
Honestly, I don’t know if I thought about this in the beginning, but what I have come to love most about spotlighting an author is the responses I get about their books. Either people learn about books they had no idea about, or they are reminded how much they loved a particular one, and they go back and reread it. It’s the librarian in me who wants to find the perfect read for the readers out there.
What is next for you?
My next book is a children’s anthology with my co-author, June Cotner, called For Every Little Thing: Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers). Arranged from waking up to falling asleep, this collection is all about finding gratitude in each day and its delights.
Nancy Tupper Ling surrounds herself with books. She is an award-winning children’s author, poet, book seller, and librarian, who has great fun teaching poetry to all ages. Her picture books have received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, and her next anthology entitled For Every Little Thing (Eerdmans Publishing) is due out in September 2021.
Titles of Picture Books:
My Sister, Alicia May (Pleasant St Press)
Double Happiness (Chronicle Books)
The Story I’ll Tell (Lee and Low Books)
The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful (Putnam Young Readers)
For Every Little Thing (Eerdmans Publishing in September)