Saturday, September 09, 2006

Aileen Fisher's birthday

Aileen Fisher was born this day, September 9, in Iron River, Michigan and died in 2002 at age 96. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1927 from the University of Missouri. She lived in Boulder, Colorado all of her adult life and her interests included woodworking, hiking, and mountain climbing. During her career she worked as director of the Women’s National Journalistic Register in Chicago from 1928-31; a research assistant for the Labor Bureau of the Middle West in Chicago, 1931-32, and then as a freelance writer beginning in 1932.

She was an award-winning author of over one hundred children’s books, including poetry, plays, short stories, picture books and biographies. Aileen Fisher was the second winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1978.

For a more recent compilation of some of Fisher’s most popular poems, look for I Heard a Bluebird Sing (Boyds Mills Press 2002). This volume features 41 Fisher poems chosen by children, along with excerpts of interviews with and articles by Fisher about her life and her work. Her simplicity and directness shine through these poems, often reflecting a childlike point of view about the natural world. Here’s one lovely example of Aileen Fisher’s special voice.

Open House
by Aileen Fisher

If I were a tree
I'd want to see
a bird with a song
on a branch of me.

I'd want a quick
little squirrel to run
up and down
and around, for fun.

I'd want the cub
of a bear to call,
and a porcupine, big,
and a tree toad, small.

I'd want a katydid
out of sight
on one of my leaves
to sing at night.

And down by my roots
I'd want a mouse
with six little mouselings
in her house.


Anonymous said...

im doing a report on aileen fisher and this really helped thanks for just having the information i needed. thanks again!!!!

Suzanne said...

Thank you - I'll be included a link to this post in my 6/15 Poetry Friday post.



Anonymous said...

Aileen Fisher isn't just for children. Her poetry has a magical ability to transport adults back to the innocence and awe of childhood.

Anonymous said...


I knew Aileen personally from here home in Boulder. She knew my grandparents very well. We will miss her.
J. Dixon

Anonymous said...

I love all of Aileen Fisher's poem and read them to my children when they were little. They reminded me of the poems that my great-great aunt Aletha Phillips-Spoor wrote that I enjoyed when I was young.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Lovely to make that connection! Check out my Dec. 21 posting for more on a new release of Aileen Fisher's poetry.

Anonymous said...

I am seeking permission to use one of Aileen Fisher's poems in an article that I hope to submit to the journal called The Reading Teacher. Would you have any suggestions of where I might try to find permission to reprint one of Ms. Fisher's poems?
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am seeking permission to use one of Aileen Fisher's poems that I hope to get published in the journal The Reading Teacher. Would you have any information for where I might go to get permission to reprint one of her poems?

Sylvia Vardell said...

I would start with the publisher of the book that this particular poem appears in. They may still hold the rights. If not, they should be able to direct you to the proper source. Best of luck!

Unknown said...

Thank you this information is a big help I'm doing a report on her.
I have to memorize a poem she wrote and write an essay.

My report is sadly already late.

Anyways thank you!


Anonymous said...

I retired from teaching third grade and I used Aileen Fisher's poems to teach poetry. Her poems were so visual, easy to memorize, and absolutely lived by the chilren and me. She was a treasure.

Anonymous said...

looking for the poem: the snowmans revolution....does anyone know the words

Anonymous said...