Ask the Pumpkin

October, 2004

Poet Rick Agran’s new children’s book, Pumpkin Shivaree (Handprint Press), tells the story of the transformation of a pumpkin from “a little silver seed” to full-grown pumpkin to jack o’lantern. As the jack o’lantern’s features are carved, the little pumpkin uses its newfound senses to discover the world around it. The story itself also went through a transformation: Agran began the story in college in 1986 as an interview with a pumpkin, a tell-all exposé. Over time the story was condensed into a poem, “Shivaree,” and gradually transformed into a children’s book. Agran collaborated with illustrator Sara Anderson for a year to create this lovely, vibrant edition. Agran, who has taught in PSU’s English department as well as for UNH, the College for Lifelong Learning and Thompson School of Applied Science, gave a reading of Pumpkin Shivaree for local children at the PSU Bookstore in October.—MLS

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