Saturday, October 14, 2006

Teen Read Week Oct. 15-21


Coming up next week is national Teen Read Week established by the American Library Association in 1998 with the purpose of encouraging teens to:
* Make time to read for the fun of it
* Use their local library to discover their interests
* Get reading materials and participate in events at their school or public library

This year’s theme is “Get Active @ Your Library” and there is a rich resource of information on the ALA web site:
http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/teenreading/trw/trw2006/trw06.htm

In 2003, the theme for the week was “Slammin @ your library” with a focus on poetry for teens. Lots of helpful information about YA poetry is archived on that site:
http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/teenreading/trw/trw2003/trw2003.htm

Meanwhile, here’s a poem ABOUT teenagers by Pat Mora, one of my favorites. It's from the parent perspective, so it really speaks to me just now (as the parent of two young adults).

Teenagers
By Pat Mora

One day they disappear
into their rooms.
Doors and lips shut
and we become strangers
in our own home.

I pace the hall, hear whispers,
A code I knew but can’t remember
Mouthed by mouths I taught to speak.

Years later the door opens.
I see faces I once held,
Open as sunflowers in my hands. I see
Familiar skin now stretched on long bodies
That move past me
Glowing
Almost like pearls

The poem can be found in Echoes: Great Poets Inspiring Young Writers and online at:
http://project1.caryacademy.org/echoes/poet_Pat_Mora/SamplepoemsMora.htm
ALSO: Pat Mora has a wonderful YA poetry collection entitled, My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults worth checking out.

Don’t fall prey to “ephebiphobia,” the fear of teenagers! Share a poem with a teen you love or smile and say “hi” to the teens you pass next week.

2 comments:

Kendiya said...

That's really great that your trying to get people to share poetry with teenagers.

Elaine M. said...

I love Mora's poem--and how true it is! Thanks for the links.

Two of the past Poet Laureates of the United States instituted wonderful programs to encouarge the sharing of poetry. There is Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project and Billy Collins' Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools. Both programs have websites with excellent poetry resources.

The Poetry 180 website has 180 poems for teachers to share with their high school students. They are wonderful works written by a myriad of contemporary poets. Collins also compiled two books of poems from the website:
- POETRY 180: A TURNING BACK TO POETRY
- 180 MORE: EXTRAORDINARY POEMS FOR EVERY DAY

The Favorite Poem website includes ideas for sharing poetry across the ages and lessons for teachers at elementary, middle, and high school levels.

The Favorite Poem project has produced three books:
- AMERICANS FAVORITE POEMS
- POEMS TO READ
- AN INVITATION TO POETRY

The last title includes a DVD of project participants reading their favorite poems.

Here are links to the two poetry sites:

http://www.favoritepoem.org

http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180

Happy reading!