Thursday, April 1, 2010

Langston Hughes kicks off our Tribute To Queer (GLBTQ) Teen Poetry! Just one offering in a whole Kidlitosphere of Poetry Celebrations!

I swear to the Lord
I still can't see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.

- Langston Hughes*

Langston Hughes

To Celebrate National Poetry Month here in the U.S.A., I'll be sharing 7 days of poems by and for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Teens.

And there are lots of other great celebrations of poetry across the world of Children's Literature Bloggers (the Kidlitosphere.)

Here are some I'm really excited about:

Greg Pincus of GottaBook is running his second annual "30 Poets 30 Days" Celebration, with original poems never before seen from luminaries like George Ella Lyon, Walter Dean Myers, Jacqueline Woodson, and Greg himself. It should be amazing.

Tricia Stohr-Hunt of The Miss Rumphius Effect will run a new season of her "Poetry Makers" feature, where she'll be interviewing 30 Children's poets (starting off with Mary Ann Hoberman, Children's Poet Laureate, U.S.A.!)

There's even a Write-An-Original-Poem-A-Day Challenge (dreamed up by Irene Latham) where a bunch of bloggers are not only going write an original poem a day for every day of April, but they'll be posting them on their blogs! Check out the poetry of Susan Taylor Brown, Mary Lee Hahn, Andromeda Jazmon, Irene Latham, Jone MacCulloch, Elizabeth Moore and April Halprin Wayland.

There's celebrations of Poems about Teaching, a Poetry book give-away, a Poetry Potluck (original poems matched with recipes), a game of Poetry Tag (refereed by Sylvia Vardell, and with players like Joyce Sidman and Lee Bennet Hopkins), and even a student poetry postcard project with an accompanying post of new student poem every day.

So enjoy, and who knows? Maybe you'll be inspired to write a poem or two - or 30 - yourself!


*This amazing poem is featured on pg. 3 of "Claudette Colvin: Twice toward Justice" by Phillip Hoose (the true story of a Black teenage girl, who nine months before Rosa Parks, refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. But instead of becoming a rallying figure, Claudette was shunned as a bad role model by many within her own community. Undaunted, a year later she again risked her life as one of four plaintiffs in the landmark busing case Browder v. Gayle.) This book won a 2010 Newbery Medal Honor as one of the 5 best children's novels of 2009, and was the winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

My thanks to Laura Evans, who's put together a whole list of great National Poetry Month events, for compiling and cheerleading the kidlitosphere to assemble all these great tributes and celebrations of poetry!


Tricia said...

I love this poem. Through history you can see how it applied to groups and how they could tick their names off the list when some degree of freedom, recognition, and inclusion came there way.

I wonder when we'll be able to say the same for the GLBTQ community. Here's hoping it happens in my lifetime and yours.

Anonymous said...

I love this poem too. Amazing what is said in just 15 words.

tanita✿davis said...

This is one of those verses that just grabs you by the heart, doesn't it?

God haste the day when it means everyone.

Sarah Laurenson said...

What an awesome start to the poetry week! Beautifully said in so few words. My wife and I can't agree more shackled as we are to the few states that recognize our marriage.

Laura said...

You are absolutely welcome, Lee. I'm in awe of the folks who make up Kidlitosphere Central. Without all their talent our KidLit Celebration of National Poetry Month wouldn't be possible. Thanks for being a such a wonderful part of this group!

Laura Evans
all things poetry