When Kenn Nesbitt walked into the Cascade Elementary School gymnasium, he knew what he was up against: about 100 fidgety grade schoolers not likely to sit still for an hour while a poet, a poet, read to them from his books.
Even funny poems. Nesbitt knew it would be a tough crowd.
The 49-year-old author is on the school assembly circuit. This week he’ll hit schools in the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla, trying not only to make kids laugh, but get them to read.
So what makes a good kid’s poem?
“It doesn’t have to be funny, but engaging,” Nesbitt says. “If a poem can engage, get them to voluntarily read, that’s a good poem.”
Wired up to a sound system, making burlesque gestures, Nesbitt commanded the Cascade Crowd with poems covering such pertinent topics as fingers stuck in noses, water wedgies, Justin Bieber.
You know. Kid stuff. Things from which good poems are made.
Nesbitt lives in Spokane. His next book, THE ULTIMATE TOP SECRET GUIDE TO TAKING OVER THE WORLD, is due out in July.