Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Poetry of Place: Celebrating Geography in Poetry

I just got a copy of the new anthology, Amazing Places, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and I was tickled pink to see that the State Fair of Texas was included in the 14 landmarks across the U.S. highlighted in poetry. So.... of course I had to take the book with me on my annual visit to the state fair this year and get my photo taken with Big Tex himself! 
    The arrow points to the image of Big Tex that is included in the illustration!
Big Tex as featured in the book illustration
The accompanying poem is "Midway Magic" by Rebecca Kai Dotlich-- a wonderful poem to read aloud-- nice and LOUD! 

Lee is having a great year with three books of poetry out in 2015 and each one is a treat:
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2015. Amazing Places. New York: Lee & Low.
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Sel. 2015. Jumping Off Library Shelves: A Book of Poems. Ill. by Jane Manning. 
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Sel. 2015. Lullaby & Kisses Sweet: Poems to Love with Your Baby. Ill. by Alyssa Nassner. New York: Abrams.
And because I love to travel, it was fun to browse through each of the sites featured in Amazing Places and savor each of the poet perspectives, too. That got me thinking-- are there other works of poetry that particularly showcase the importance of place? Of course there are! So, I pulled a list together to share with you here-- and I welcome additional suggestions, of course. 

The Poetry of Place: Poems and Geography
  1. _______. 2012. A Poem as Big as New York City: Little Kids Write About the Big Apple. Ill. by Masha D’yans. New York: Teachers Writers Collaborative.
  2. Asch, Frank. 1996. Sawgrass Poems:  A View of the Everglades. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  3. Asch, Frank. 1998. Cactus Poems. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  4. Asch, Frank. 1999. Song of the North. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  5. Begay, Shonto. 1995. Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa. New York:  Scholastic.
  6. Brown, Skila. 2014. Caminar. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  7. Bruchac, Joseph. 1995. The Earth under Sky Bear's Feet: Native American Poems of the Land. New York: Philomel Books.
  8. Bruchac, Joseph. 1996. Between Earth and Sky:  Legends of Native American Sacred Places. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  9. Coombs, Kate. 2012. Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems. Ill. by Meilo So. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  10. Dotlich, Rebecca Kai and Lewis, J. Patrick. 2006. Castles: Old Stone Poems. Ill. by Dan Burr. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press. 
  11. Engle, Margarita. 2008. The Surrender Tree. New York: Holt.
  12. Engle, Margarita. 2011. Hurricane Dancers; The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. New York: Henry Holt. 
  13. Engle, Margarita. 2014. Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  14. Engle, Margarita. 2015. Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir. New York: Atheneum.
  15. Greenfield, Eloise. 2011. The Great Migration: Journey to the North. Ill. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. New York: Amistad/HarperCollins. 
  16. Grimes, Nikki. 2000. Is It Far to Zanzibar: Poems about Tanzania. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. 
  17. Grimes, Nikki. 2004. Tai Chi morning: Snapshots of China. Chicago: Cricket Books.
  18. Gunning, Monica. 1998. Under The Breadfruit Tree: Island Poems. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  19. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2000. My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  20. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2009. City I Love. Ill. by Marcellus Hall. New York: Abrams. 
  21. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2002. Home to Me: Poems Across America. New York: Orchard.
  22. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2006. Got Geography! Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
  23. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2015. Amazing Places. New York: Lee & Low.
  24. Johnston, Tony. 1996. My Mexico-Mexico Mio. New York: Putnam.
  25. Katz, Bobbi. 2007. Trailblazers; Poems of Exploration. New York: Greenwillow. 
  26. Kurtz, Jane. 2000. River Friendly, River Wild. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  27. Lai, Thanhha. 2011. Inside Out and Back Again. New York: HarperCollins.
  28. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2002. A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme. New York: Dial.
  29. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Good Mornin’, Miss America: The U.S.A. in Verse. School Specialty Publishing. 
  30. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Monumental Verses. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.
  31. Lewis, J. Patrick. Ed. 2015. The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry. Washington DC: National Geographic.
  32. Littlechild, George. 1993. This Land Is My Land. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
  33. Locker, Thomas. 1998. Home: A Journey through America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  34. Mora, Pat. 1994. The Desert is My Mother/El Desierto es Mi Madre. Houston, TX: Pinata Books.
  35. Myers, Walter Dean. 1997. Harlem: A Poem. New York: Scholastic.
  36. Myers, Walter Dean. 2011. We are America; A Tribute from the Heart. Ill. by Christopher Myers. New York: HarperCollins.
  37. Prelutsky, Jack. 2002. The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders. New York: Greenwillow.
  38. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2008. Tiny Dreams, Sprouting Tall: Poems About the United States. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone.
  39. Siebert, Diane. 1988. Mojave. New York: Crowell.
  40. Siebert, Diane. 1989. Heartland. New York: Crowell.
  41. Siebert, Diane. 1991. Sierra. New York: HarperCollins.
  42. Siebert, Diane. 2000. Cave. New York: HarperCollins.
  43. Siebert, Diane. 2001. Mississippi. Ill. by Greg Harlin. New York: HarperCollins.
  44. Siebert, Diane. 2006. Tour America: A Journey through Poems and Art. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  45. Singer, Marilyn. 2005. Monday on the Mississippi. New York: Henry Holt.
  46. Thompson, Holly. 2011. Orchards. New York: Random House.
  47. Wassenhove, Sue Van. 2008. The Seldom-Ever-Shady Glades. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
  48. Wolf, Allan. 2004. New Found Land; Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  49. Yolen, Jane. 1996. Sacred Places. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
Meanwhile, head on over to Heidi's place, My Juicy Little Universe, for the Poetry Friday gathering. See you there!



Again, thank you, Sylvia, for your devotion to poetry and poets.

jama said...

LOVE the pic of you and Big Tex. He's so cool! Can't wait to get my paws on this book. And thanks for the fabulous list of place-related poetry books!!

BJ Lee said...

Great informative post Sylvia. Love your list of resources!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Woo-woo! SOOO many books of poetry books about places! What a great travel project: bring the ones that relate to your trip and read 'em along the way. Then write your own!

Linda B said...

Love seeing your picture. I have that book on its way, have the others and have enjoyed them very much. I love Chris Soentpiet's art too, so I'm looking forward to Amazing Places. Thanks very much for the list. I have one suggestion, an older book illustrated by Thomas Locker, titled Home: A Journey Through America. Some friends gave it to me when I moved from a home of many years to my home now. It is lovely.

Keri said...

An inspiring list -- what better way to pay homage to the places we love than to write poems? Unless of course it's to eat funnel cake while a the fair in celebration!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks for coming by and commenting too. Glad there are fellow traveling poetry lovers out there with me! And thanks for the tip, Linda. I'll add that title to the list now too!

Mary Lee said...

Heh. Just a FEW books on the same topic! I'm wondering how many of those came to you without a trip to the shelves for double checking... (You're flat-out AMAZING!!)

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I just think it's a good thing you live in Texas and not, say, Maryland--I don't think there would be room enough here for your gigantic immense voluminous internal and external libraries! Always a treasure trove at Sylvia's...

Catherine said...

What a great list! Thanks so much for sharing!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks for the sweet compliments! I LOVE making lists like this-- as you can see. On my own, I only remembered SOME of these titles, but I keep a mega-master bibliography of poetry books and I combed through it for other examples of place-themed poetry. That's my secret! :-)

Author Amok said...

Great photo, Sylvia! The illustration of Big Tex really captures his expression. Believe it or not, there is a giant roadside cowboy in my home state of NJ:

Charles Waters said...

You are such a champion of children's poetry, I wish I could jump through the laptop and give you a hug! Can't wait to hold the book in my hands.