Monday, March 23, 2009

National Poetry Month - Super Secret Project REVEALED!

Last year for national poetry month I wrote a series called Poetry in the Classroom. For 30 days I wrote about a poetry book or related set of books (on a theme) and described how they might be used in the classroom. Over the course of the month I covered 62 books by 39 authors.

During the madness of reading nominees for the Cybils, I found my mind wandering to April and thinking about what to do to celebrate poetry this year. After settling on an idea, I plucked up the courage to write to some of the most amazing writers of poetry for children on the planet. I wrote to more than 30 of them, thinking that surely some would be too busy to participate in my project.

I'm thrilled to report that 36 of the 38 invited poets agreed to be interviewed regarding their work. I put the same set of questions to each writer, and even though the questions may seem quite prosaic, I assure you their answers are not. You will be moved by their views on writing, their muses, and of course, their poetry.

My only dilemma in putting this shindig together comes from an embarrassment of riches. With only 30 days in the month, I've been struggling to figure out how to give each of 36 poets his or her due. Since Poetry Friday is such a big event in the kidlitosphere, I have decided to feature two poets (each with their own post) every Friday during the month. That gives me a total of 34 posts, so there will be two additional days when two poets are featured. So, without further ado, here is the schedule of interviews for April.
April 1. Kenn Nesbitt
April 2. Rebecca Kai Dotlich

April 3. Avis Harley / Ann Whitford Paul

April 4. Joyce Carol Thomas
April 5. J. Patrick Lewis
April 6. Janet Wong
April 7. Joseph Bruchac

April 8. Ralph Fletcher / Steven Schnur

April 9. Jane Yolen

April 10. Linda Ashman / Julie Larios

April 11. Adam Rex
April 12. Marilyn Singer
April 13. Lee Bennett Hopkins
April 14. Georgia Heard
April 15. Joyce Sidman
April 16. Paul Janeczko

April 17. Arnold Adoff / Jaime Adoff

April 18. Joan Bransfield Graham
April 19. Bobbi Katz
April 20. Kristine O’Connell George
April 21. Jorge Argueta
April 22. Carole Boston Weatherford
April 23. Betsy Franco

April 24. Lisa Westberg Peters / Laura Purdie Salas

April 25. Calef Brown
April 26. Marilyn Nelson

April 27. Helen Frost / Sara Holbrook

April 28. Douglas Florian
April 29. Mary Ann Hoberman
April 30. Pat Mora
As you can see, this is a spectacular lineup. There is something here for everyone who loves to read and/or write poetry. This new series, called Poetry Makers, will surely surprise, amuse and inspire you.

In addition to big happenings here, other poetry lovers in the kidlitosphere are launching projects as well. Here's a hint of what they'll be offering.
  • Greg K. at GottaBook is celebrating the first annual 30 Poets/30 Days, where every day in April he'll be posting a previously unpublished poem by a different poet!!
  • Sylvia Vardell at Poetry For Children will be reviewing a new children's poetry book every day;
  • Anastasia Suen at her new Pencil Talk blog will be collecting school poems written by children throughout April and posting one every day.
  • Poetry Friday will still be going strong.
  • I'm sure there will be other celebrations. Please send me your plans for April and I'll be happy to add them to this post and the reminder that will go up on the 31st of March.
I hope you will join us in celebrating national poetry month.


  1. I can't wait, Tricia. That's a fantastic list and a can't imagine how that group wouldn't surprise and amuse and inspire.

  2. This is going to be great!

  3. This is fabulous! I can't wait for this. I need some poetry inspiration for first grade and this will surely do the trick.

  4. *hee!* You just couldn't wait to spill 'til April, huh? This looks awesome. Wow, Tricia.

  5. Holy crap!

    You are such a goddess!

    Thank you.

  6. So many of my very favorite poets are in your lineup. I can't wait to read their days, and I'm excited about being introduced to a few unfamiliar names, too.

    (And I'm thrilled to be part of it!)

    Thanks, Tricia. I'm going to be out of town so much of April that I couldn't take on a big poetry project like this. I'm so glad you (and others) are!

  7. You are inspired and inspiring. I am thrilled with the lineup and I know that my own Poetry Project with my students will be enriched by this. Many thanks for such great vision (and many thanks to the participating poets)!

  8. Can April get here any faster please??? It is going to be great!!!

  9. Trisha this is going to be fabulous! I can't wait. I am putting this in Diigo to share with teachers.

    I am planning to write and post a haiku a day in April as I have done in the past. Let Poetry rock on!

  10. What a great line-up. I am hosting hte second annual "Write a Poem-Send a Poetcard" and sending out studnet work. I am also challenging myself to 30 days=30 poems at Deowriter.

  11. How fantastic, Tricia! I can't wait to read the interviews.

    At readergirlz we are celebrating poetry month by hosting verse novelist Ellen Hopkins. We'll be discussing Impulse.

    Here's to April!