Sunday, May 20, 2012

TLA Videos: Janet Wong

I was also so pleased to bring my friend and frequent collaborator, Janet Wong, to the TLA Poetry Round Up. She's always such a fun addition!

Janet Wong was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of a Chinese father and Korean mother. She attended UCLA and earned a B.A. in History; studying abroad for a year in France. She went on to attend Yale and earn her law degree. She practiced corporate and labor law for several years, but realized she was not happy in her current line of work, and what she truly wanted to do was write for children.

She studied under poetry mentor extraordinaire, Myra Cohn Livingston, worked hard, received many rejection letters, sold her first book of children’s poetry Good Luck Gold and has been a dynamo ever since. She’s been featured on Oprah, received the “International Reading Association's "Celebrate Literacy Award" and visited the White House, just to name a few.

She has published at least two dozen works for young people, including the Poetry Tag Time series of e-books of poetry that I had the honor of collaborating with her on last year. Her latest book, is the very timely, DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE: POEMS FOR AN ELECTION YEAR, with twenty poems about "liberty, kids’ rights, free speech, political debates, unusual presidential candidates, the two-party system, voting and more" all designed to encourage conversations with kids about our electoral process.

Here Janet leads the audience in a group performance of her "theme" poem from the book, Declaration of Interdependence.

Selected works by Janet Wong

Wong, Janet S. 1994. Good Luck Gold and Other Poems. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 1996/2008. A Suitcase of Seaweed, and Other Poems. Booksurge.
Wong, Janet S. 1999. Behind the Wheel: Poems about Driving. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 1999. The Rainbow Hand: Poems about Mothers and Children. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 2000. Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 2003. Knock on Wood: Poems about Superstitions. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 2003. Minn and Jake. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Wong, Janet S. 2007. Twist: Yoga Poems. McElderry.
Wong, Janet. 2008. Minn and Jake’s Almost Terrible Summer. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Wong, Janet. 2011. Once Upon A Tiger; New Beginnings for Endangered Animals.
Wong, Janet. 2012. Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election Year. PoetrySuitcase.

And our collaborative e-book poetry anthologies:
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. P*TAG.
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. PoetryTagTime.
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. Gift Tag.

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