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An open letter for National Poetry Month

dear poet

Dear Mr. Silverstein, dear Ms. Goose, dear Mr. Prelutsky, dear Dr. Seuss, dear Mr. Hughes, and dear Ms. Frost, I’m writing to confess that I’ve sometimes lost whatever connects me to a chapbook or a slam though a big fan of poetry I am. Iamb! It’s just that the volume of volumes of plot can […]

Five questions for Roxane Orgill

roxane orgill

Art Kane’s spectacular 1958 photograph of fifty-seven jazz greats, Harlem 1958, was the inspiration for Roxane Orgill’s poetry collection Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph (Candlewick, 6–9 years), illustrated by Francis Vallejo. With equal measure warmth and humor, confidence and awe, Orgill’s poems capture a thrilling moment in music history. 1. You mention […]

From the Editor – April 2015

The Academy of American Poets chose wisely back in 1996 when they designated April as National Poetry Month. A book of poetry is the perfect choice for outdoor reading in spring. You can open to one page and put your hands back in your pockets to warm while you read. You can pay attention to […]

Versatile verse

wardlaw_won ton and chopstick

National Poetry Month (better known as April) celebrates a form that can be used in myriad ways to explore any topic imaginable. Here are two collections of poems with themes in common, and two books that use poetry to help tell a larger story. A kitty named Won Ton makes his second appearance in Lee […]

Review of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation

lauer_please excuse this poem

Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Lynn Melnick High School   Viking   289 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01479-8   $16.99   g “Most poets begin writing poetry in secret.” Poet Carolyn Forché opens her introduction to this anthology of contemporary American poetry with a shout-out to young or burgeoning […]

Notable novels in verse

grimes_words with wings

After highlighting a variety of poetry picture books in the April issue of Notes from the Horn Book and March issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book, we wanted to feature some of the notable novels in verse from the last year before National Poetry Month 2014 comes to a close. Intermediate After Gabby’s […]

April is National Poetry Month

mcphail_my mother goose

Preschool-perfect nursery rhymes, a potpourri of new-reader-friendly seasonal verse, a presidential history lesson in rhyme, and a picture book biography about a famous poet — these new books offer unique avenues for celebrating National Poetry Month. Editor and illustrator David McPhail’s My Mother Goose: A Collection of Favorite Rhymes is an affable collection of sixty-three […]

The Poetry App review

poetry app menu

The Poetry App (Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation, 2012) may not be specifically geared toward kids, but I think it has a lot to offer younger users. First and foremost, the app presents over one hundred classic poems from sixteen of the world’s greatest poets — including W. H. Auden, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, […]

The New Kid on the Block app review

new kid on the block cover

National Poetry Month is upon us, and this week’s app review comes from renowned children’s poet Jack Prelutsky. The New Kid on the Block (Wanderful Interactive Storybooks, 2013), an interactive poetry app based on Prelutsky’s book of the same name (HarperCollins, 1984), features eighteen poems, a cast of strangely delightful characters, and exuberant animations. From […]

Melissa Sweet on Firefly July

Melissa Sweet

In the March/April 2014 Horn Book Magazine, Mag assistant editor Cynthia Ritter asked Melissa Sweet about her creative process when illustrating Firefly July. Read the starred review here. Cynthia K. Ritter: Your visual interpretations of the seasonal poems in this collection are a mix of literal and symbolic. What was your artistic process like when […]