Friday, March 26, 2021

Celebrate NCTE Award Poets

I'd like to highlight the poetry award that recognizes poets who write expressly for young readers and honors them for their entire body of work. That's the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) strives to recognize and foster excellence in children’s poetry by encouraging its publication and by exploring ways to acquaint teachers and children with poetry through such means as publications, programs, and displays. As one means of accomplishing this goal, NCTE established its Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children to honor a poet for his or her aggregate work. This award was established in 1977 to honor a living American poet for his or her lifetime achievement in works for children ages 3–13. The award was given annually until 1982, at which time it was decided that the award would be given every three years. In 2008 the Poetry Committee updated the criteria and changed the time frame to every other year. Check out the NCTE website for award updates: 

Award Recipients
2021 Janet S. Wong
2019 Paul B. Janeczko
2017 Marilyn Nelson
2015 Marilyn Singer
2013 Joyce Sidman
2011 J. Patrick Lewis
2009 Lee Bennett Hopkins
2006 Nikki Grimes
2003 Mary Ann Hoberman
2000 X. J. Kennedy
1997 Eloise Greenfield
1994 Barbara Esbensen
1991 Valerie Worth
1988 Arnold Adoff
1985 Lilian Moore
1982 John Ciardi
1981 Eve Merriam
1980 Myra Cohn Livingston
1979 Karla Kuskin
1978 Aileen Fisher
1977 David McCord

Look for Another Jar of Tiny Stars: Poems by NCTE Award-winning Poets, edited by Bernice Cullinan and Deborah Wooten, an anthology of poems by NCTE Poetry Award recipients (up to the year of the book’s publication). It is an excellent resource, based on children’s votes for their favorite poems by each award winner. It is a very child-friendly collection of some of the best poetry by some of the best poets who have ever written poetry for children. Plus, it includes biographical information about, sketches of, and quotations from the award-winning poets.

You can find wonderful background information about each of the award-winning poets at the NCTE Poets Spotlight Series created by author ReneƩ M. LaTulippe. She features an in-depth overview of their work, as well as personal interviews with Lee Bennett Hopkins about each poet. Lee was a giant in the field of poetry for young people and received the award himself in 2009. Check out these fascinating profiles of each poet here.

Each one of these poets has a body of work of poetry for young people that is worthy and outstanding-- and they all still have books you can find at libraries and bookstores. As National Poetry Month (April) approaches, see if you can't find, read, and share one poem (or book!) by each of these fantastic and timeless poets! 

Now head on over to Soul Blossom Living where Susan is hosting our Poetry Friday goodness! See you there!

And come back every day in April where I'll be celebrating National Poetry Month with poem videos created by my awesome graduate students. 


Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Such incredible talent, and such wonderful human beings. Sad to know that folks like Paul & Lee are no longer with us - but grateful that so many are still pouring out their creativity for us.

jama said...

Wow!! Thanks for this fabulous tribute to the NCTE Award winning poets. I'll have to look for Another Jar of Tiny Stars. :)

Jeannine Atkins said...

So much beauty here! Thank you!

Joy Acey said...

Is there a poster available of this fantastic graphic of the poets and one of their books?

Linda B said...

It's a wonder to see all these together, Sylvia. I'm proud to write that I have nearly all these books & will note those I don't have. Joy is right, a poster would be lovely. I did love the posts/videos that ReneƩ & Lee did. Thanks so much!

Randi Sonenshine said...

This makes my heart sing!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks, y'all! I had fun making this graphic and gathering all this info in one place. There's no poster version, but you are welcome to make one! Thanks again!

Linda Mitchell said...

I love this list! I'll be sharing with teachers in my school and district. Thank you so much!

skanny17 said...

This is a great graphic and deserves to be a poster!! So so so glad Janet Wong is the 2021 honoree. Your blog is a wonderful resource for teachers, poets and poetry lovers. Thank you once again for all you do for poetry!
Janet Clare F.

Ruth said...

That's quite a gallery of greatness! Thank you!

Catherine Flynn said...

This is a terrific resource, Sylvia! Thank you for putting it together.

Liz Steinglass said...

What a wonderful celebration of children's poetry! And yes, a gorgeous graphic. Should definitely be a poster.

Kay said...

What a stellar collection of poets and their poetry!

TOMIGIRL said...

Are these the books the authors were recognized for?