Friday, April 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, April Halprin Wayland

Happy birthday to April in April! Poet and picture book author April Halprin Wayland is, in her own words, “… a writer, a mother, a speaker, a musician, an organizer, a teacher, a poet, a performer, a storyteller, a traveler, a stay-put-er, a walker, a meditator, an aqua farmer, a pet-owner, a cloud collector, a procrastinator…” She’s also a bright new talent to watch. Her first novel in verse, Girl Coming in for a Landing (Knopf, 2002) received rave reviews, including a Lee Bennett Hopkins honor award in 2003. Kirkus called it "…utterly fresh and winning collection of verse …spot-on observations. Employing many forms of verse, some rhymed, some not…all of them are accessible and exquisitely crafted.” Horn Book described it as “…sincere and overflowing with turbulent emotion. The unnamed narrator’s innocent exuberance spills forth…”

Here is just a tiny taste of that engaging verse novel, appropriate for readers in middle school and up, IMO:

Poetry is My Underwear
by April Halprin Wayland

My sister found them.

Read them out loud.
She’s so proud,

she’s running to our parents
waving my poems in the air.

Doesn’t she know
she’s waving my underwear?

from Girl Coming in for a Landing by April Halprin Wayland (Knopf 2002)

Wayland has published nearly 100 poems in a variety of anthologies and magazines and has a new novel-in-poems coming soon: Thirteen, Fourteen, Fatteen.

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