Welcom to bradburg.com

Kids: To see (and hear) a poem that's a swingclick here!
"Play it again, Dad!"


To jump right to the music, click here.

 Hello, from Brad Burg, an award-winning children's book author and songwriter (with a #1 country hit, and a Dave Brubeck collaboration). This site's about my writing and music, and about concrete (graphic) poetry for children, in which the poem's layout reflects the subject matter.

1. Writing: My Penguin Putnam book of concrete children's poetry, Outside The Lines: Poetry At Play, is a national Blue Ribbon prize winner. All of its poems are about different kinds of play--"Swing," "Slide," and so on; to see samples online, click here. The reviews were very favorable:   

    "A sparkling synthesis of text, layout and art."     "Calorie-burning reading!"
 "Readers are compelled to jump in."                   "Delightful!"     
                                                        "Not to be missed!"

2.  Music: The CDs here include songs based on the poems, in a collection praised as "innovative" by the L.A. Times. Like the poetry's visual layout, these songs suggest the action and mood of the play activity involved--in vivid, unusual ways. The Times reviewer noted: "In 'Catch,' the singers toss the melody back and forth; vocals convey the on-and-off wink of 'Fireflies;' and in 'Kites,' the tug of the wind is unmistakable." (Click those song titles to hear what the reviewer liked.)

    A recent
collaboration with Dave Brubeck is among other music here. 
3. Concrete poetry for children. The site demonstrates and discusses this child-friendly type of poetry, with pages for kids, parents, and teachers. (See below.) 


                        The book:  Outside The Lines: Poetry At Play 

  Publisher: Penguin Putnam. Illustrator: Rebecca Gibbon
  The cover is on the upper left above, next to my daughter Allison.

* The book is 2002 Blue Ribbon award-winner from the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (one of only 11 to win in its category.) 

* The book's unusual, because the poems are visual (click here to see). Eac
poem's layout suggests the action and mood of its subject--and may need some puzzle-solving, to read. (It's a book about play, in several ways.)  

* As noted, the reviews were extremely favorable. Comments included these--"E
xuberant!" "Delightful!" "Adventurous!"--and these: "Readers are compelled to jump in!" and "Calorie-burning reading!"

* Readers often send e-mail saying what they liked about these poems--
kids, parents, and teachers. (And there are some thoughts here on special  ways teachers may find this book quite helpful in school settings.)  

. . . and: WHAT CAN YOU DO HERE?

For kids (and teachers, of course):
See what graphic (concrete) poetry is; maybe write some.

For TEACHERS in particular: I've been a teacher (English, math) myself, and I believe these poems could be quite useful in elementary-school class activities, and also as performance material--in what might be called "collaborative reading aloud." (For details, see the page For Teachers.) 

For all grownups:
Join the (more-or-less) Great Concrete/Graphic Debate.
Check out a few other good sites (and suggest more)

For all:
See pages from 
Outside The Lines: Poetry At Play
-- while hearing songs based on the poems you're viewing  

 To buy the book, click here.  

otl cover - the good one.png

Send e-mail to: brad@bradburg.com


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