Claudia Emerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and English professor at the University of Mary Washington, will be inducted into the prestigious Fellowship of Southern Writers during its biennial meeting at the Conference on Southern Literature. Emerson won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Late Wife. She has written five books of poetry, with a sixth forthcoming, and has won numerous other honors. We are fortunate that each April she has helped our library system by judging the Teen Poetry Contest and acting as presenter for Teen Poetry Night.
Summer is the perfect time to sit down and read some poetry. Grab a picnic and a blanket, and lay down under a shady tree with a few of the books in our new booklist, Poetry Breaks. You'll have a fun afternoon laughing at Lee Bennett Hopkins' poetry in "Oh No! Where are My Pants?" or musing over the "reversible verse" in Mirror, Mirror that puts a twist on familiar fairy tales. Poetry is so much more than just a haiku assignment at school. It can be hilarious, sad, clever, and profound, sometimes all at once.
When Minfong Ho was a small girl, she listened. She listened to her parents who taught her all those necessary things that parents do. Their words were Chinese, and their words went straight into her heart, giving her wisdom and strength.
When Minfong became a little older, she played in the streets, marketplaces, and temple fairs of Bangkok. All around her, she heard life being experienced: the shouting, the playing, the prayer, the love, and the daily work. It was time to grow, a time to learn how to do the practical things. Minfong came to think of Bangkok’s Thai language as the language of doing; the language of her hands.
When she was a very young woman, Eloise asked her grandma to tell her stories about growing up in the countryside of North Carolina. Eloise was born there, too—in a little place called Parmele. In her grandparents' day, the Parmele lumber mill provided lots of work for people. But with the trees gone and the mill just a memory, the mostly black families who lived there got by as best they could.
Provensen and Provensen. Alice and Martin. Martin and Alice. Two illustrators and writers working so closely together that their styles were indistinguishable. It was the same style really, gentle drawings so delightful in their clarity that they subtly underscored the text of the dozens of children's books that they illustrated.
Poetry books are well represented on library shelves and eagerly checked out by readers raised on Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. Fans of their humor and wordplay will love Adam Rex’s two monstrous poetry collections, “Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich” and the brand-new ”Frankenstein Takes the Cake.” Each book features poems about famous monsters – Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera, Bigfoot – and their trials and tribulations.
"In a poem, the secrets of the poem give it its tension and gift of emerging sense and form, so that it’s not always the flowering in the poem and the specific images that make it memorable, but the tensions and physicality, the rhythms, the underlying song.
The high spots of a poem could be said to correspond with the bloom in the garden. But you need the compositional entity in order to convey the weight and force of the poem’s motion, of its emerging meaning.
The Owl and the pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl and the Pussycat is a funny sort of poem indeed and only one of Mr. Lear's many nonsense verses. Anyone who would travel along with a Pobble who has no toes or take a sail in a sieve with the blue-handed Jumblies is welcome to be a friend of Mr. Lear.