Tuesday, June 07, 2011

TLA: Helen Frost

Time to catch up on the Round Up.
Next up, Helen Frost!

In a biographical essay written for Something About the Author, Helen Frost writes that she was born “in the middle of a century, in the middle of a continent and... in the middle of a family.” Anyone familiar with her work knows there is very little “middle-ish” about Helen Frost. She is a prolific writer who doesn’t feel the bounds of genre. Her works encompass everything from plays and poetry for adults, juvenile nonfiction series like “All about Pets” (Pebble Books, 2001); and novels in verse for young adults.

Her works have received critical acclaim. A recent Kirkus reviewer commented on Crossing Stones (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009) “With care and precision, Frost deftly turns plainspoken conversations and the internal monologues of her characters into stunning poems that combine to present three unique and thoughtful perspectives on war, family, love and loss. Heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful…” In reviewing the Printz Honor book Keesha’s House ((Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003), reviewer Hazel Rochman notes Frost’s remarkable ability to create “dramatic monologues that are personal, poetic and immediate.”

There have been many awards for Frost’s work, including the naming of her 2004 title Keesha’s House as an American Library Association Printz Honor book and The Braid (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006) as a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor book, among many others.

In addition to her writing, Frost has traveled and taught extensively, from Scotland to Alaska and all areas in between. Her work in the violence prevention program, part of the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, resulted in a collection of student’s writings eventually made into a play called "Why Darkness Seems So Light" and is the basis for her book, When I Whisper, Nobody Listens; Helping Young People Talk about Difficult Issues (Heinemann, 2001). Look for this title and more of her novels in verse, including the newly released Hidden (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2011).

Frost lives in Fort Wayne Indiana with her husband, children and grandchildren. When not writing she enjoys hiking, kayaking and raising monarch butterflies.

Here, Frost shares poignant excerpts from Crossing Stones, her novel in verse set during World War I, weaving together love and loss, innocence and sacrifice, through the points of view of four main characters. So powerful!

Image credit: SV; Marianne Follis

Thanks to Marianne Follis for research and writing our intros!

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

BethMooreSchool said...

I love the video clip! It is always a treat to hear a poet read her work!