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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 […]

Marilyn’s great speech

nelson_carver a life in poems

Here’s a link to the speech Marilyn Nelson gave when she won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Carver in 2001. The awards were given in Burlington, Vermont that October, a very fraught time, as you will recall. I remember that Marilyn’s son, then a student at McGill in Montreal, missed the ceremony as he […]

The 2016 Zena Sutherland Lecture with Marilyn Nelson

You should totally come to this. Marilyn Nelson gave one of the best speeches I ever heard on the occasion of her winning the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 2001 for Carver. I hope I see you in Chicago on May 6th.

Review of Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

orgill_jazz day

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill; 
illus. by Francis Vallejo Intermediate    Candlewick    54 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-6954-6    $18.99    g On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians, famous and emerging, gathered together in front of a brownstone in Harlem for a group photo shoot. The resulting photograph has become iconic, a single […]

National Poetry Month 2016

poetry_bulion_random body parts

Bulion, Leslie  Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse Gr. K–3     48 pp.     Peachtree Illustrated by Mike Lowery. Various poetic forms take readers on a funny and quirky tour of human anatomy, starting with the stomach and ending with complaints from some often-ignored organs such as the gallbladder. Sidebars contain more straightforward scientific information; […]

Review of When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons

fogliano_when green becomes tomatoes

When Green Becomes 
Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano; 
illus. by Julie Morstad Primary, Intermediate   Porter/Roaring Brook   56 pp. 3/16   978-1-59643-852-1   $18.99 This collection of nearly fifty seasonal poems begins and ends on “march 20” with a blue bird on a flowering tree branch. The poem is the same each time, too: “from […]

Review of What Are You Glad About? 
What Are You Mad About?: Poems for When a Person 
Needs a Poem

viorst_what are you glad about

What Are You Glad About? 
What Are You Mad About?: Poems for When a Person 
Needs a Poem by Judith Viorst; illus. by Lee White Primary, Intermediate   Dlouhy/Atheneum   102 pp. 2/16   978-1-4814-2355-7   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-2355-1   $10.99 Viorst’s most famous book is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and this […]

Review of Amazing Places

hopkins_amazing places

Amazing Places selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins; illus. by Chris Soentpiet and 
Christy Hale Primary, Intermediate   Lee & Low   40 pp. 10/15   978-1-60060-653-3   $18.95 The amazing places mentioned in the title of this poetry collection are all in the United States, with their locations marked on a map on the endpapers. The specificity of the […]

How the Grinch stole the show

Grinch stole Christmas

Every classroom teacher has a special tradition that gets pulled out each holiday season. In devising my own tradition, I fell back on what I know: Dr. Seuss. I spent my senior year of college becoming a Seuss-ologist (a term coined by my now-fiancé) while working on a research project that explored the language use […]

Review of My Seneca Village

nelson_my seneca village

 My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson Middle School, High School   Namelos   88 pp. 11/15   978-1-60898-196-0   $21.95 Paper ed. 978-1-60898-197-7   $11.95 e-book ed. 978-1-60898-198-4   $9.95 Seneca Village in Manhattan was founded in 1825 by free African Americans; by 1857 it had been razed to make way for the construction of Central Park. In forty-one poems Nelson […]