Friday, December 29, 2017

One last thought for 2017

What a year! I've been rather remiss in keeping the weekly posts going this year and I apologize for that. A variety of variables have contributed to this, but I hope to be more faithful in 2018. I'm not allowed to post my usual list of favorite poetry books of the year, so I'll have to skip that this time. [I'm on the Caldecott committee which has been an amazing and wonderful experience, but also imposes strict limits on discussing picture books in any public venue.] But look for my "sneak peek" list in January-- I'll be posting my usual list of poetry for young people set to be published in 2018. 

Meanwhile, I ran across this interview with Jason Reynolds on PBS and found it so compelling. I thought you might enjoy it too. It's entitled, "How Poetry Can Help Kids Turn a Fear of Literature into Love" and the here's the link. (Available as an audio file or as a transcript.) He compares the fear of literature to the anxiety of facing pit bulls and says poetry can be the "little furball"  puppies that get young people comfortable with poetry! My favorite quote? Reynolds says:
Poetry has the ability to create entire moments with just a few choice words. The spacing and line breaks create rhythm, a helpful musicality, a natural flow. The separate stanzas aid in perpetuating a kind of incremental reading, one small chunk at a time. And the white space... adds breathability to a seemingly suffocating task.
His latest book, Long Way Down, is a powerful novel in verse and was on my Christmas wish list (and I got it!). Can't wait to read it! Meanwhile, check out the "best lists" of poetry at Nerdy Book Club and the Cybils Award site (announced on January 1). I look forward to seeing which poetry books pop up on other award and "best" lists soon. Happy new year in poetry!