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 NesbittAs 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.
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
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.