Friday, February 02, 2018

New Voices, Maham Khwaja and VERSIFY

Did y'all see this news? 

I'm really looking forward to more from this new writer and poet-- and I hope it will be SOON! For more information, go here.

Plus, Kwame Alexander is launching a new imprint with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that will also be seeking out new voices-- and for poetry, in particular!

Here's a link for more info, FYI.

Exciting times for poetry and diversity!

Now, be sure and check out the rest of the Poetry Friday goodness over at Mainely Write with thanks to Diane for hosting us!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

BOOK LINKS: Going Global with Poetry

If you're a BOOK LINKS reader, check out the January, 2018 issue with a focus on diversity. My article, "Going Global with Poetry" (p. 25-28) features a look at international poetry for young people. Here are a few excerpts.

In this evolving digital world, it is getting easier to have access to literature for young people from around the globe. What a great opportunity to share stories and poems created for children in countries outside the United States. In this way, we can help grow the next generation of readers, thinkers, and leaders with a worldview that might have a more inclusive and compassionate perspective. Poetry in particular is a concise and powerful package that can cross borders and boundaries in various ways, in print, web, audio, video, and even game and gift formats. By and large, we're looking for poetry in English, whether from English-speaking countries around the world or translated into English. That’s a good place to start. However, there are also resources for finding children’s literature in many languages, but that will have to be a future article. Where can we find quality poetry for young people from around the world in print and online? Let’s take a look. 

Global Literature in Libraries (GLLI)
Rachel Hildebrandt initiated a new blog with an exclusive focus on international literature and books in translation called the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative ( Its focus is “to raise the visibility of world literature for adults and children at the local, national and international levels.”  Its outreach is to translators, librarians, publishers, editors, and educators, in order to encourage crossover connections and collaboration. The blog includes helpful book lists, lists of publishers, a list of international literature journals, and links to 15 other blogs that focus on international literature. 

Global Reading
Another excellent blog with an even more specific focus on international literature for children is Global Reading (  maintained by Robin Gibson. She offers programming ideas and lists of international books for storytimes, such as the poetic picture books New Clothes For New Year's Day (Kane-Miller Books) by Korean author-illustrator Hyun-Joo Bae and In the Meadow (Enchanted Lion Books), set in Japan, written by Yukiko Kato, illustrated by Komako Sakai, and translated by Yuki Kaneko.

World Kit Lit
Translator Avery Fischer Udagawa puts together a tremendous annotated list of 100 Translated Children’s Books from Around the Year in celebration of World Kid Lit Month in September on the blog, World Literature for Kids (

World of Words (WoW)
At the World of Words center in Arizona and on the web (, you can find a searchable database of book reviews of many poetry selections, such as Salsa: Un poema para cocinar/ A Cooking Poem (Groundwood) by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and Elisa Amado, among many others. This site also provides “Language and Culture Kits” with annotated lists of books from countries and cultures whose primary languages are Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.

International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL)
I’ve written before about the amazing International Children’s Digital Library
( which aspires to “build a collection of books that represents outstanding historical and contemporary books from throughout the world.” These are the full-texts of more than 4600 books published in 59 languages. A quick search for books of poems reveals more than 600 books of poetry and nursery rhymes in English, Russian, Mongolian, Serbian, Hebrew, Spanish, Persian/Farsi, Yiddish, Finnish, Swedish, Arabic, Hungarian, Croatian, Dutch, Danish, German, French, and Polish.

Young Poets Network
For a British perspective (but open to all), check out the Young Poets Network ( for opportunities for young people to submit their own original poetry including through multiple competitions, as well as “advice and guidance from the rising and established stars of the poetry scene.” 

Children’s Poetry Archive
The Children’s Poetry Archive ( web resource is a repository of recordings of poems read by the poets themselves, primarily by British poets (many of whom have books published and distributed in the U.S. such as Allan Ahlberg, Michael Rosen, Tony Mitton, and more). 

Australian Children’s Poetry
If you want to explore the world of Australian Children’s Poetry (, you can do no better than this site which features links to more than 50 Australian poets who write for young people, many of whom also publish in the U.S. like Sally Murphy, Kathryn Apel, and Steven Herrick. In addition, this comprehensive website includes articles and reviews, competitions, interviews, and lots of links. The “Poem of the Day” feature is fresh and new every day and instantly share-able, similar to the Poetry Minute in the U.S. (

International Book Awards
When it comes to seeking international children’s poetry books in print, it can be a bit more challenging. So few poetry books from other countries are translated and/or published in the U.S., compared with the output of U.S. authors and poets. Plus, the challenge of translating poetry from another language into English while maintaining both the music and the meaning of the original text is quite challenging. Still, it can be interesting to share poetry by writers outside the U.S. with the children we serve. We can look for books by recipients of the Hans Christian Andersen award ( given to an author from any country in the world for her or his body of work. Several writers of poetry have received this prestigious award including Maria Teresa Andruetto (Argentina), Michio Mado  (Japan), Annie M. G. Schmidt  (Netherlands), Cecil Bødker  (Denmark), James Krüss (Germany), and Eleanor Farjeon  (UK). 

Lists of Outstanding International Books
There are also several helpful and searchable lists of recommended books that depict countries and cultures around the world. The Outstanding International Books (OIB) list ( established by the United States Board on Books for Young People is published every year and focuses on books published or distributed in the United States that originated or were first published in a country other than the U.S. This list typically includes several books of poetry. In the most recent 2017 list, for example, these poetry books were highlighted: The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Ban” (Groundwood) by Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrated by Sydney Smith, Somos Como Las Nubes/We Are Like the Clouds (Groundwood) by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Alfonso Ruano, translated by Elisa Amado, and Night Guard (Eerdmans) by Synne Lea, illustrated by Stian Hole, translated by John Irons. 
The International Literacy Association also creates an annual list of outstanding international books published in the U.S. for “enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world.” That list, the Notable Books for a Global Society (, also regularly includes books of poetry and novels in verse.

Like so many things, once you start looking for international literature and poetry in particular, you can find it in many places. For example, the popular Pinterest site is a gathering place for many visual teaching tools, including poetry resources. SoundCloud hosts audiofiles of all kinds of poetry by all kinds of poets all around the world.... If you’re looking to introduce students to literature from around the world, poetry is a great place to start. As the award-winning Slovene poet Boris Novak observed, “Childhood is the poetry of life. Poetry is the childhood of the world.” 

Now head on over to A Journey Through the Pages where Kay is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering. See you there!

Friday, January 05, 2018

Sneak Peek list for 2018

It's time again to gather a list of all the poetry for young people that is set to be published in 2018. So much to look forward to! As always, the list is a living list and I'll be making additions and revisions all year long. In fact, I usually begin with about 30 titles that I know are coming, but by the end of the year have about 100 titles on the list! Thus, you'll find a link to this sneak peek list for easy reference in the sidebar of this blog to check at any time. Also, I welcome all input on poetry books you know about that might be missing from this list. (Use the comments link below.)  I've included all the poetry picture books and novels in verse that I have heard about thus far. I have not read all these (yet) or even seen them all, so there may be one or two that are NOT entirely poetry and I'll remove them if I find that to be true. I don't usually include poetic picture books, as much as I enjoy them. But there are plenty of new novels in verse-- many by new poets-- and lovely picture book collections and anthologies to enjoy. So, let's get rolling!

Sneak Peek List of Poetry for Young People 2018
  1. Acevedo, Elizabeth. 2018. The Poet X. New York: HarperCollins. 
  2. Alexander, Kwame. 2018. Rebound. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
  3. Brown, Calef. 2018. The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook.
  4. Browne, Mahogany. 2018. Black Girl Magic: A Poem. Ill. by Jess X. Snow. New York: Roaring Brook Press. 
  5. Bulion, Leslie. 2018. Leaf Litter Critters. Ill. by Robert Meganck. Atlanta: Peachtree.  
  6. Carter, James. 2018. Once Upon a Star. Ill. by Mar Hernandez. New York: Random House/Doubleday.
  7. Clark-Robinson, Monica. 2018. Let the Children March. Ill. by Frank Morrison. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
  8. Coombs, Kate. 2018. Monster School. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle.
  9. de la Peña, Matt. 2018. Love. Ill. by Loren Long. Putnam. 
  10. de la Mare, Walter. 2018. Snow. Ill. by Carolina Rabei. London: Faber & Faber.
  11. del Rosario, Juleah. 2018. 500 Words or Less. New York: Simon Pulse. 
  12. Donegan, Patricia. 2018. Write Your Own Haiku for Kids: Write Poetry in the Japanese Tradition. Tuttle Publishing.     
  13. Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. 2018. You and Me. Ill. by Susan Reagan. Mankato, MN: The Creative Company. 
  14. Duncan, Alice Faye. 2018. A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks. Ill. by Xia Gordon. New York: Sterling. 
  15. Elliott, David. In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years. Ill. by Matthew Trueman. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. 
  16. Engle, Margarita. 2018. The Flying Girl. Ill. by Sara Palacios. New York: Atheneum.
  17. Engle, Margarita. 2018. Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots. Ill. by Rudy Gutierrez. New York: Atheneum. 
  18. Engle, Margarita and Karanjit, Amish and Karanjit, Nicole. 2018. A Dog Named Haku: A Holiday Story from Nepal. Ill. by Ruth Jeyaveeran. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner.  
  19. Florian, Douglas. 2018. Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All. New York: Beach Lane Books.
  20. Giardino, Alex. 2018. Ode to an Onion. Ill. by Felicita Sala. Cameron Kids. 
  21. Green Shari. 2018. Missing Mike.  Pajama Press. 
  22. Grimes, Nikki. 2018. Between the Lines. New York: Nancy Paulsen Books.
  23. Harrison, David L. 2018. Crawly School for Bugs. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.  
  24. Harrison, David L. 2018. A Place to Start a Family: Poems About Creatures That Build. Ill. by Giles Laroche. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  25. Heidbreder, Robert. 2018. Rooster Summer. Ill. by Madeline Kloepper. Toronto: Groundwood.
  26. Herrera, Juan Felipe. 2018. Jabberwalking. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  27. Hesterman, Katie. 2018. March: A Round of Robins. Ill. by Sergio Russier. New York: Nancy Paulsen Books.   
  28. Holt, K.A. 2018. Knockout. San Francisco: Chronicle. 
  29. Hood, Susan. 2018. Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World. New York: HarperCollins.
  30. Hopkins, Lee Bennett (Ed.). 2018. School People. Ill. by Ellen Shi. Honesdale, PA: Noyds Mills Press. 
  31. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. (Ed.) 2018. A Bunch of Punctuation. Ill. by Serge Bloch. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press/Wordsong.
  32. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. (Ed.) 2018. I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage. New York: Lee & Low.
  33. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. (Ed.) 2018. World Make Way: New Poems Inspired by Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Abrams. 
  34. Hudson, Wade and Hudson, Cheryl Willis. Eds. 2018. We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices. New York: Crown. 
  35. Jensen, Cordelia. 2018. Every Shiny Thing. New York: Abrams. 
  36. Jensen, Cordelia. 2018. The Way Light Bends. New York: Philomel. 
  37. Judge, Lita. 2018.  Mary's Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein. New York: Roaring Brook Press.
  38. Kaufman, Caroline. 2018. Light Filters In: Poems. Ill. by Yelena Bryksenkova. New York: HarperCollins. 
  39. Konola, Hanna. 2018. A Year with the Wind. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith.
  40. Kirk, Daniel. 2018. Prayer for the Animals. New York: Abrams.
  41. Latham, Irene and Waters, Charles. 2018. Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship. Ill. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. Carolrhoda/Lerner.
  42. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2018. Phrases of the Moon. Ill. by Jori van der Linde. Mankato, MN: The Creative Company. 
  43. Lewis, J. Patrick. (Ed.) 2018. The Poetry of Us: More Than 200 Poems about the People, Places and Passions of the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.  
  44. McCullough, Joy. 2018. Blood Water Paint. New York: Dutton. 
  45. Medina, Tony. 2018. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy. Penny Candy Books.
  46. Mora, Pat. 2018. Bookjoy, Wordjoy. Ill. by Raúl Colón. New York: Lee & Low.
  47. Neri, G. 2018. When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel. Ill. by David Litchfield. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. 
  48. Nye, Naomi Shihab. 2018. Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners. New York: Greenwillow.
  49. Orgill, Roxane. 2018. Siege: How General Washington Kicked the British Out of Boston and Launched a Revolution. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  50. Paschkis, Julie. 2018. Vivid: Poems and Notes About Color. New York: Holt. 
  51. Pate, Alexs. 2018. You. Ill. by Soud. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone. 
  52. Pinkney, Andrea Davis. 2018. Martin Rising: Requiem for a King. Ill by Brian Pinkney. New York: Scholastic.
  53. Preston-Gannon, Frann. 2018. Sing a Song of Seasons. Somerville, MA: Candlewick/Nosy Crow.
  54. Reynolds, Jason. 2018. For Everyone. New York: Atheneum. 
  55. Rosen, Michael J. 2018. The Greatest Table. Ill. by Becca Stadtlander. Mankato, MN: The Creative Company. 
  56. Rosen, Michael J. 2018. The Horse's Haiku. Ill. by Stan Fellows. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  57. Rosenberg, Sydell. 2018. H is for Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z. Ill. by Sawsan Chalabi. Oklahoma City, OK: Penny Candy. 
  58. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2018. Meet My Family! Animal Babies and Their Families. Ill. by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. Brookfield, CT: Lerner/Millbrook.
  59. Singer, Marilyn. 2018. Every Month Is a New Year. New York: Lee & Low.
  60. Singer, Marilyn. 2018. Have You Heard About Lady Bird: Poems about Our First Ladies. New York: Disney-Hyperion.
  61. Slade, Suzanne. 2018. Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon. Ill. by Thomas Gonzalez. Atlanta: Peachtree.  
  62. Smith, Heather. 2018. Ebb and Flow. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press.
  63. Sones, Sonya. 2018. The Opposite of Innocent. New York: HarperTeen.
  64. Toalson, R.L. 2018. The Colors of the Rain. Bonnier Publishing USA. 
  65. Tuttle, Sarah Grace. 2018. Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife. Ill. by Amy Schimler-Safford. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
  66. VanDerwater, Amy. 2018. With My Hands: Poems About Making Things. Ill. by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson. New York: Clarion. 
  67. van de Vendel, Edward. 2018. I'll Root for You. Ill. by Wolf Erlbruch. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
  68. Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet (Eds.). 2018. Great Morning!: Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.
  69. Walker, Sally M. 2018. Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up. Ill. by William Grill. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  70. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2018. Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You. Ill. by James E. Ransome. New York: Bloomsbury.
  71. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2018. How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace. Ill. by Frank Morrison. New York: Atheneum. 
  72. Weston, Robert Paul. 2018. Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms. Ill. by Misa Saburi. Tundra.
  73. Winters, Kay. 2018. Did You Hear What I Heard? Poems About School. Ill. by Patrice Barton. New York: Dial.
  74. Wright, Richard. 2018. Seeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright. Ill. by Nina Crews. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press.
  75. Yolen, Jane and Stemple, Heidi. 2018. Fly With Me. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. 
And don't forget to join the Poetry Friday crew hosted this week by Catherine at Read to the Core. See you there! 

Friday, December 29, 2017

One last thought for 2017

What a year! I've been rather remiss in keeping the weekly posts going this year and I apologize for that. A variety of variables have contributed to this, but I hope to be more faithful in 2018. I'm not allowed to post my usual list of favorite poetry books of the year, so I'll have to skip that this time. [I'm on the Caldecott committee which has been an amazing and wonderful experience, but also imposes strict limits on discussing picture books in any public venue.] But look for my "sneak peek" list in January-- I'll be posting my usual list of poetry for young people set to be published in 2018. 

Meanwhile, I ran across this interview with Jason Reynolds on PBS and found it so compelling. I thought you might enjoy it too. It's entitled, "How Poetry Can Help Kids Turn a Fear of Literature into Love" and the here's the link. (Available as an audio file or as a transcript.) He compares the fear of literature to the anxiety of facing pit bulls and says poetry can be the "little furball"  puppies that get young people comfortable with poetry! My favorite quote? Reynolds says:
Poetry has the ability to create entire moments with just a few choice words. The spacing and line breaks create rhythm, a helpful musicality, a natural flow. The separate stanzas aid in perpetuating a kind of incremental reading, one small chunk at a time. And the white space... adds breathability to a seemingly suffocating task.
His latest book, Long Way Down, is a powerful novel in verse and was on my Christmas wish list (and I got it!). Can't wait to read it! Meanwhile, check out the "best lists" of poetry at Nerdy Book Club and the Cybils Award site (announced on January 1). I look forward to seeing which poetry books pop up on other award and "best" lists soon. Happy new year in poetry!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

NCTE: Poetry + Humor & Hope

I'm presenting at the annual conference of the National Council of Teachers of English this week in St. Louis. This is always such a great conference full of people who love books, reading, language, and POETRY! (If you've never attended, I urge you to consider it. I've been going nearly every year for 35 years!) This year, I'm presenting along with Janet Wong, Allan Wolf, and Chris Harris. Our topic is Mission Reboot: Engaging Students Through the Poetry of Humor and Hope. Here's our session proposal with some great background info. 

We are experiencing a renaissance in poetry with greater interest in poets, poetry books, poetry jams and slams, poetry websites, National Poetry Month, and more. Why? What does poetry do for us? Cullinan, Scala, and Schroder (1995) remind us that “poetry is a shorthand for beauty; its words can cause us to tremble, to shout for joy, to weep, to dance, to shudder or to laugh out loud.” In particular, young people respond immediately to the humor and relevance of contemporary poetry. They enjoy the obvious slapstick laugh, as well as dark and twisted humor, witty wordplay, playful puns, and everything in between. In fact, you’ll find Shel Silverstein’s landmark books, Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up, in the top 100 best-selling children’s books of all time. Plus, early studies of children’s poetry preferences found humorous poetry at the top of the list. Medical research shows us that laughter has many positive physiological and psychological effects on us—reducing stress, increasing infection-fighting antibodies, improving blood flow, and enhancing wellness, relaxation, mood, and positive outlook. We can all benefit from the leaven of laughter through poetry.

But poetry also offers students deeply felt emotions, powerful personal experiences, and nuggets of hope and belief. Poet Margarita Engle writes, I am haunted by stories about people who make hopeful decisions in situations that seem hopeless” and poet Joyce Sidman notes that poetry offers “the chance to ease the heart.” These poets and others speak of their lives, of their humanity, of their humor. Students of all cultural backgrounds deserve to know their names and hear their words. Research commissioned through the Poetry Foundation noted that most poetry readers (80%) first encounter poetry as children, at home or in school. We can help students establish a pattern of connecting poetry with their lives and internalizing poems through genuine poetry talk. In her seminal work, The Reader, The Text, The Poem (1994), Louise Rosenblatt underscored that multidimensional nature of the reading process. As Michelle Obama, an avid poetry lover, reminds us, Think about how you feel when you read a poem that really speaks to you… and you feel understood, right? I know I do. You feel less alone. I know I do. You realize despite all our differences, there are so many human experiences and emotions that we share. . . And even if you don't grow up to be a professional poet, I promise that what you learn through reading and writing poetry will stay with you throughout your life.”

I hope to share more info AFTER our presentation, but meanwhile, here are some nuggets from my part. (And if you're at the conference and can join us, we're in Rooms 120-121 at the Convention Center.)

Janet and I always like to give things away at our sessions, so this time we've made our own magnetic poetry kits. (We'll also have Laffy Taffy [= humor] and sunflower seeds [= hope]!)  Here's the lowdown on our DIY poetry kits:

Obviously, Allan Wolf and Chris Harris and Janet will have much more to add and I look forward to learning from them too! More to come... 

Now head on over to Rain City Librarian, where Jane is gathering the Poetry Friday crowd!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Hallow-winners and more!

A few weeks ago, Kathy Temean posted a lovely piece on her blog, Writing and Illustrating, (THANK YOU, Kathy!) about Pet Crazy, my latest production with Janet Wong. We promised three lucky people (commenters, tweeters, posters) 2 free copies of the book and we have 3 winners!

Kim Pfennigwerth
Donna Taylor
Elizabeth Castillo

Congratulations! Your books will be on their way to you shortly!

Halloween Fun
Meanwhile, if you missed my list of Halloween poetry books a few years ago, here's that link.

And here are some additional poetry books to add to the Halloween fun:
  1. Caswell, Deanna. 2016. Boo Haiku. Ill. by Bob Shea. Abrams Appleseed.
  2. Cyrus, Kurt. 2013. Your Skeleton is Showing: Rhymes of Blunder from Six Feet Under. Ill. by Crab Scrambly. New York: Disney/Hyperion. 
  3. Hemphill, Stephanie. 2013. Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. New York: HarperCollins.
  4. Heppermann, Christine. 2013. Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty. New York: HarperCollins/Greenwillow.
  5. Herz, Henry. 2015. Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  6. Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2007. You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together. New York: Little, Brown.
  7. Lewis, J. Patrick and Nesbitt, Kenn. 2015. Bigfoot is Missing! San Francisco: Chronicle.
  8. Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2015. The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.
  9. Yolen, Jane and Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. 2016. Grumbles from the Town: Mother Goose Voices with a Twist. Ill. by Angela Matteson. Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
  10. Yolen, Jane and Dotlich, Rebecca. 2013. Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy Tales with a Twist. Ill. by Matt Hahurin. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  11. Yolen, Jane and Lewis, J. Patrick. 2017. Last Laughs: Prehistoric Epitaphs. Ill. by Charlesbridge.
Do you have a birthday that dovetails with a major holiday? If you do, you know how it feels to be torn about which to celebrate and a little bit overlooked as people focus on the holiday and not your birthday (says the girl with the Christmas-y birthday!). That's one more reason to enjoy this poem by Joan Bransfield Graham from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. 

I also stumbled upon these amazing Halloween birthday celebration ideas at Pinterest here. Check them out!

Meanwhile, head on over to Friendly Fairy Tales for more Poetry Friday fun!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

World poetry

I'm attending the 12th IBBY Regional conference sponsored by USBBY (the U.S. section of IBBY) in Seattle, WA. I'm presenting with David Jacobson, author and editor with Chin Music Press, Margarita Engle, Young People's Poet Laureate, and Janet Wong, poet and collaborator.  Our presentation is entitled, "Around the World in 80 Poems" (with a nod to Jules Verne). 

Poets, anthologists, and poet biographers are now creating accessible books of poetry that incorporate multiple languages, diverse cultural content, and a variety of forms and styles. Where can we find quality poetry for young people in print and online? And how do we share such poetry with young people in ways that are meaningful, engaging, and participatory? Our session features classic and contemporary poetry for young people from around the world in print, app, web, audio, video, and game formats. We discussed how the powerful package of poetry can help children face life’s challenges and inspire them to work for peace and understanding. Here are some nuggets from our session. 

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Bilingual Poetry in Audio Form

There's nothing quite like hearing poetry read aloud, is there? Especially hearing a poet read her or his work aloud or a professional narrator who infuses poetry with emotion. A few years ago, I posted a lengthy discussion of the power of recorded poetry as part of my presentation at the USBBY/IBBY regional conference along with Dr. Rose Brock. You'll find the whole thing here. I shared ten online resources of audio poetry and a lengthy list of audiobooks of poetry that are definitely worth finding, listening to, and sharing with young people. 

Now, I am absolutely tickled pink to have participated in creating a mini-audiobook of poetry! 

You can find 35 poems from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations in audio form for free at SoundCloud here. These same poems are also available on a CD via Amazon here (for $9). PLUS, each poem is read aloud in both English and Spanish, complete with musical introductions. We're so thrilled to offer this alternative mode for experiencing poetry! And what a great way to hear the poems in two languages!

Here are the poems from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations that are included in the CD:

“Three Kings Day”
“Compliment Chain” 

“How to Love Your Little Corner …” 
“Bilingual Daisy” 

“World Water Day” 

“Children’s Day, Book Day” 
“Pocket Poems Card” 
“The Dancer” 

“Look for the Helpers” 


“Independence Day” 
“Moon Walk” 

“Family Day” 
“The Very First Day of School” 

“Far away on Grandparents Day”
“I Can Ask and I Can Learn” 
“Our Blended Family”

“When to Eat Pan Dulce…” 

“At Our House” 
“Day of the Dead” 
“Dear Veteran” 

“Christmas Tree” 

“Happy Noon Year” 

The poems were read by David Bowles and about a dozen of his college/graduate students at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley (native Spanish speakers). David Bowles hails from a Mexican-American family and has lived most of his life in the Río Grande Valley of south Texas, where he now teaches at the University of Texas there. His work focuses on “the crossroads of myth and legend, genre and literature” and includes a weekly book review column, several edited series, works in periodicals and literary journals, and the Pura Belpré Honor Book The Smoking Mirror

Here's one sample poem to enjoy-- and the audio recording for this poem is #6 on the SoundCloud playlist.

Now be sure and join the rest of the Poetry Friday fun gathered by Violet Nesdoly's blog here.