Friday, June 21, 2019

Coretta Scott King Award & Honor POETRY BOOKS

As you may know, this is the year we celebrate FIFTY YEARS of the Coretta Scott King Award, given annually to "outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values." In addition, the award "commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood." (You can find our more about this important award at the CSK Blog here.) We'll be celebrating all weekend long at the annual conference of the American Library Association in Washington DC-- at a gala, the annual breakfast, and at multiple sessions. 

I follow this award closely because it showcases new and favorite names of creators of books I admire and enjoy. BUT, I especially love this award because it consistently honors quite a lot of poetry for young people, too. I'm sure the award committee members are not necessarily singling out poetry for the award, but that's how it often turns out. What does that say? Does the African American community have a big heart for poetry? YES! Do African American writers have a gift for writing poetry? YES! Should we all be grateful for their contributions and leadership in giving young audiences more and more wonderful, powerful poetry on a regular basis? YES! YES! YES! 

So, I thought it might be meaningful to pause and highlight the poetry selections from the last fifty years of CSK awards here. There are 35 books of poetry to note! (As a point of comparison, only 14 books of poetry have been recognized in 100 years of the Newbery award (including honor books). And this amazing CSK selection of poetry includes anthologies, single poet collections, picture book collections, novels in verse, biographies in verse, and more. And look at the names!  Jacqueline Woodson, Marilyn Nelson, Nikki Grimes, Eloise Greenfield, Joyce Carol Thomas, Angela Johnson, Lucille Clifton, and others-- each winning multiple CSK awards, as well as Newbery, Printz and other awards and honors, too. It's a "who's who" of poetry and during the last 20 years, in particular, we're seeing poetry garner more and more awards. Happy dance!  So, without further ado, here is the list of works of poetry that have earned the Coretta Scott King Author Award or Author Honor recognition. Do yourself a favor, and please keep the Coretta Scott King Award on your radar in the future, particularly if you seek out quality poetry for young people. You won't be disappointed. 

Coretta Scott King Author Award and Honor Books of POETRY
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan illustrated and written by Ashley Bryan
brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson
Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes
Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney 
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
The Great Migration: Journey to the North by Eloise Greenfield
Never Forgotten by Patricia C. McKissack
Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith
The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas
Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford
Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali by Charles R. Smith
Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes
A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson
Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem by Marilyn Nelson
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes 
Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes
Jazmin’s Notebook  by Nikki Grimes
The Other Side: Shorter Poems by Angela Johnson
Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea by Joyce Carol Thomas
Night on Neighborhood Street by Eloise Greenfield
When I Am Old with You by Angela Johnson
Nathaniel Talking by Eloise Greenfield
Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton 
Don’t Explain: A Song of Billie Holiday by Alexis De Veaux
Africa Dream by Eloise Greenfield
Everett Anderson's Friend by Lucille Clifton
I Am a Black Woman by Mari Evans
Every Man Heart Lay Down by Lorenz Graham
The Voice of the Children by June Jordan and Terri Bush

For more Poetry Friday adventures, go to A Word Edgewise where Linda is hosting this week. 



Cheriee Weichel said...

Thanks so much for this. I'm acquainted with some but not all of these titles.

Liz Steinglass said...

Thank you, Sylvia. I have read many of these, but there are plenty here I have not. I can add these to my summer reading list.

Mary Lee said...

Another GREAT resource from Super Poetry Advocate Sylvia!

Linda Mitchell said...

This is an outstanding list--I'm making it my reading list. Love it. Thank you.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

I'm happy to have read many of these, and even happier to have so many MORE to read! Thanks for the handy-dandy list, Sylvia.

Ruth said...

How wonderful! Thanks for this post!

jan godown annino said...

Appreciations. And much good poem making to remember, some many titles to dip into for the first time, for me.
Poster will be groovy on teaching library walls & halls.

Michelle Kogan said...

Thanks for this compelling list of books Sylvia–many I've read and many I'll welcome reading!

Michelle Kogan said...

Thanks for this compelling lists of books Sylvia–many I've read and many I look forward to reading!