Thursday, January 19, 2017

BOOK LINKS: Pushing Boundaries with Diverse Poetry

Once again I'm so happy that ALA's Book Links magazine continues to highlight poetry and poets in their pages on a regular basis. For January, I corralled 11 poets about their forthcoming poetry books in 2017 and asked them to share a bit of "back story" about each of their books in this article, Pushing Boundaries with Diverse Poetry. 

This includes Jeannine Atkins, Patricia Hruby Powell, Nikki Grimes, Pat Mora, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Marilyn Singer, Margarita Engle, Irene Latham, Charles Waters, Kwame Alexander, and Carrie Clickard. They write about their new books: Stone Mirrors (Atkins), Loving vs. Virginia (Powell), One Last Word (Grimes), Bookjoy (Mora), I Remember (Hopkins), Every Month's a New Year (Singer), Bravo! Poems about Amazing Latinos (Engle), Can I Touch Your Hair? (Latham and Waters), Out of Wonder (Alexander) and Dumpling Dreams (Clickard). Here's the link to the piece onlineAnd just in case, here are a few excerpts:

Every January I love anticipating all the new books that will be published in the coming year. In fact, I post a “sneak peek” list of poetry for young people on my blog ( every January and then update it all year long. What can we look forward to in 2017? So much wonderfulness! Here we highlight 10 titles that show the amazing variety that poets create for us, a diverse rainbow of writers and forms, from picture book biographies to edgy anthologies to fact-based verse novels to historical homages to celebrations of culture—all poetry! To whet your appetite, I asked these poets to give us a “behind the scenes” glimpse into their new books, sharing the biggest surprise or challenge they encountered while creating these wonderful works.

As you choose new books to read, share, and add to the library, be sure you include new poetry in the mix, especially poetry that reflects the diverse experiences that make our lives and communities so interesting. 


*Make crossover connections to social studies or history and invite students to choose people from the past who have made a difference in the world and who represent diverse cultures and experiences. Students can gather facts and details about these individuals, but instead of writing a report, encourage them to try shaping those facts and details into a free verse poem describing their subjects.

*Invite students to try The Golden Shovel” poetic form that Nikki Grimes employs in One Last Word. They begin by selecting a favorite, familiar poem and choosing one line from that poem to incorporate into a new original poem they create. Each line of their new poem must end with one of the words from that line of the original, “borrowed” poem.

*Students can work with a partner to collaborate on back-and-forth poetry like Irene Latham and Charles Waters do in Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship. Start by allowing them to write notes back and forth and then challenge them to turn those notes into poems that are linked to one another.

  1. Alexander, Kwame. 2017. Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. Ill. by Ekua Holmes. Candlewick.
  2. Atkins, Jeannine. 2017. Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis. Simon & Schuster.
  3. Clickard, Carrie. 2017. Dumpling Dreams: Joyce Chen and Her Peking Ravioli. Ill. by Katy Wu. Simon & Schuster.
  4. Engle, Margarita. 2017. Bravo! Poems About Amazing Latinos. Ill. by Rafael López. Macmillan/Henry Holt.
  5. Grimes, Nikki. 2017. One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. Bloomsbury.
  6. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2017. I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage. Lee & Low.
  7. Latham, Irene and Waters, Charles. 2017. Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship. Ill. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. Millbrook Press.
  8. Mora, Pat. 2017. Bookjoy, Wordjoy. Ill. by Raúl Colón. Lee & Low. 
  9. Powell, Patricia Hruby. 2017. Loving Vs. Virginia. Chronicle.
  10. Singer, Marilyn. 2017. Every Month’s New Year. Ill. by Susan Roth. Lee & Low.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Poetry Friday posts over at Violet Nesdoly's blog here

1 comment:

Charles Waters said...

Thanks again for asking me and Irene to be a part of the article, Sylvia! Love that prompt for our book as well! VARDELL POWER!