Get on your spacesuits, everyone! The Big Honk has arrived!

Books just showed up yesterday, and we’ve already got a whole crew ready to send these out into the universe and into your hands. Thank you all for being a part of making this book real. It wouldn’t have happened without you, and I hope you enjoy the book as much as Spencer and I loved making it.

For those of you who participated in the Kickstarter, if you haven’t confirmed your address on the site, please check one last time to ensure these make their way right to where you are.

Hey all. Life update!

So, as some of you know, I’ve had the recent opportunity to move into a new role, working at Nickelodeon. I am so excited to be working with so many amazing creatives, and one of the incredible opportunities has been to start directing.

Working with a number of brilliant people to devise creative that works and a remote production plan for the shoot that involved shipping cameras, lights, and a single (COVID tested) production person to our talents’ homes , we were able to flim two episodes of a brand new series that will live on the Nickelodeon YouTube channel AND wherever you get your podcasts.

The LEGO Friends Podcast is a really fun project where we got Nicole Laeno and Jordan Williams “together” to chat and play games. The conversations are real, and really funny – and the games? Have you ever played “Eat It or Wear It?”

Yeah, a sleeve scarf. It’s a sclarf!

Jordan Williams and Nicole Laeno

Both Jordan and Nicole were a joy to work with and I’m so thrilled with the way both episodes turned out.

“Hi friends. I’m Phil, and I’m a poet, just like you.”

What more needs to be said? I couldn’t be more excited to launch the first episode of a series dedicated to celebrating all of the incredible young poets out there.

Let me know if you check it out, and if you know any incredible poets with something special to share, I hope you’ll check out the submission page above. “See you next time, and until then, keep writing!”

I’m incredibly excited to announce that I will be collaborating with Lake Orion Community Schools to kick off Poet, Show It!, a new series made specifically to highlight all of the incredible poets out there – like you, and you, and YOU.

I started the channel very recently, while author visits and readings are not possible, in an effort to find an engaging way to reach out to students. It will feature videos with me reading my own poetry (Phil Writes Poems), poetry tips and tools (Poetry Workshop) and of course, Poet, Show It!

The show is a natural extension of my annual digital author visits with the 2nd graders at Stadium Drive Elementary in Lake Orion, MI – and I can’t wait to start reading!

Students, with their parents’ help, can submit their poems HERE

Hey friends.

Just launched a YouTube channel. As you can imagine, there isn’t a lot going on over there just yet… but I did do a reading of one of my favorites that has never found its way into a book or elsewhere.

The goal for the channel is to give kids, parents, and educators a resource for poetry readings – and more importantly – an opportunity to share their poetry with the world. (More to come on that soon).

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 04: (L-R) Maya Peterson, Erica Hendry, Phillip Van Wagoner, Alexandra Woog, and Jeremiah Radel speak onstage at Velocity X Creative Summit Los Angeles on December 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Viacom)

Had an amazing opportunity today to talk about my writing, joining some awesome Viacom coworkers in a panel discussion around our passions and projects.

Sharing the stage with a podcaster, a world-ranked Tri-Athlete, and a medium was fun – and even more fun because I “know” them all, and then realized that I really didn’t know much about my coworkers at all.

Thank you to Dario and the team for setting up CxV, which turned out to be an awesome experience and opportunity to learn more and connect on a personal level with a lot of the people we see every day.

Got to share The Ugly Sweater while I was at it. Come to think of it, it’s that time of year again…

My wonderful wife got me a letterboard for my birthday! As if, between pens and pencils and laptops and smartphones, I didn’t have enough ways to play with words, now I have another!

Super fun gift, and something that will be ever-changing in our hallway.


As you may know already, Spencer and I are hard at work on the next book, which will be primarily focused on outer space and our place in the universe.

Working through some ideas for the book – I don’t know that this one will make it – so I figured I’d share it here. This is an image I made that let’s us see just how far away the moon really is from the earth, which I thought was kind of mind-bending. The distance from earth to moon, and the sizes of earth and moon, are all to scale.

Hopefully we’ll be coming back with some good news and more details about the next book soon!

Had an amazing time on Skype with the brilliant students at Stadium Drive Elementary! I got to read a lot of the students’ poems this year and in 2018, this class mastered the shape poem.

Anytime a student (Alisha) writes a poem (Calculator) so reminiscent of one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems (Homework Machine), I get really excited to share them both.

And Cooper’s response poem to Could You Hug A Cactus? was so good (and a very solid argument against the idea) that I had to response poem back to his response poem. New penpal? Maybe…

A huge thank you to Stadium Drive for having me my digital representation once again. Looking forward to next year!!!


This past Saturday, Spencer and I got to visit the truly incredible children’s book store, Once Upon a Storybook, in Tustin, CA. Susie, Erin, and Tina there have created an absolutely beautiful store and an even more amazing community, bringing in authors, hosting weekly book readings, and truly building something special in just a few years.

Of course, the Cactus had to come with us, and sat proudly at the store entrance to take pictures with people coming in. Upstairs, Spencer and I got the opportunity to hang out, read poetry, and even make new illustrations with some awesome kids and their families.

If you get the chance to check out Once Upon a Storybook, I highly recommend it. It’s a prime example of why local bookstores and businesses are so important and an absolute treat to peruse.