Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Reading - Poetry!


          Tabatha Yeatts is our wonderful host this Poetry Friday at The Opposite of Indifference. Thank you Tabatha!


             I’ve read a few posts that are asking others to share their plans for summer reading, and I have stacks of choices waiting for me.  There are the YA books, the adult books, the picture books and the mysteries I’ll take to the beach, along with some e-books downloaded on my IPad.  There is a stack of children’s poetry books waiting.  I am looking forward to several days of non-stop reading as much as possible. 
            Today I’d like to recommend the anthology The Place My Words Are Looking For : What Poets Say About and Through Their Work, selected by Paul B. Janeczko and published in 1990.  It is a favorite of mine that I’ve used for several years with my middle school students, although I believe that, selected carefully, it could be used for a variety of ages.  



            The format is that a poem is shared, then the poet writes a brief essay, either about the poem or about poetry in general, specifically the writing of poetry.  Thirty-nine poets are included, a marvelous resource for teachers, and a terrific and satisfying read for adults, especially those who write for children.    
            Janeczko also edited Poetspeak, an earlier anthology that I’ve also used, with a similar format but for older students—middle school and up.  He writes on his website:  When I started collecting for young readers, I decided that they needed a book like Poetspeak, in which poets speak through their poems but also through short essays. He says also that it is just about his most best-selling anthology.  In print for over 15 years, it recently went into its 23rd printing!  It includes poets like Naomi Shihab Nye, Gary Soto, Gwendolyn Brooks, Myra Cohn Livingston, J. Patrick Lewis, X.J. Kennedy, Cynthia Rylant and a favorite of mine, Karla Kuskin. 
         In this anthology, I first discovered Karla Kuskin’s poem, Thoughts That Were Put Into Words, a favorite goodbye poem of mine that I’ve shared over and over with students at the end of the year.  You may know this poem; I cannot find a site on the web that shares it, so I hope you can find an anthology that has it, or you might already own one. 
         You can find parts of the book on Google Books here.  One of the poems is by poet, Robert Currie, titled Poem  It begins

    If
I write
     a

      n
      a
      r
      r
      o
      w

   poem                                                                
          
         I hope you find and enjoy this older anthology, and put it on your 'summer reading list'.  It’s filled with great advice for young poets along with wonderful poems.

38 comments:

  1. Oh, Linda! I love this one too! I remember sharing it when I taught fifth grade 15 years ago...and here it still sits happily on the shelf, full of goodness. Thank you for bringing it to the forefront of my mind - I think I'll pull it down. :) Happy PF!

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    1. Thanks Amy! It is a delight, with so much to share with students. Your writing on your blog with your poems is rather like what these poets write in the book, don't you think?

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  2. Hm, it looks like POETSPEAK is out of print. Boo! But I've put the other on my list. I love this concept for an anthology. It's always so fascinating to hear the thought process behind the poem. I'm an anthology junkie, so thank you for sharing this, Linda!

    And you're right - this is what Amy gives us on her marvelous blog three times a week!

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    1. Thank you Renee! I hope you enjoy it! I did look up Poetspeak on Amazon (unless you ignore it entirely) & it looks as if used ones are available from various booksellers. It is worth it, too!

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  3. Thanks for the recommendation, Linda! I have been stockpiling books for the long car rides that we have coming up soon.

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    1. It is quite an accessible book, Tabatha. I bet you can have fun with it reading aloud too.

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  4. Thanks for this recommendation, Linda. I am interested in the other books in your pile as well.

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    1. Today is my last day of work, Deborah, so maybe I will do a post next week, although there are so many I would love to read... Thanks!

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  5. Love this anthology, Linda. This reminds me of Seeing the Blue Between - another Janeczko anthology worth having in ones classroom.

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    1. All of Janeczki's work is wonderful, I agree, Tara. Thanks!

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  6. Linda, I love Janeczko's POETRY FROM A TO Z. I think that's the title! I recommend it all the time for teaching. Great exercises for all ages. Happy summer reading to you!

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    1. Just as I said to Tara, Irene. Janeczko's work is just wonderful, and helpful, and ever interesting! Thanks!

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    2. Irene and Linda,
      I have this one! I use it every year. The pages are wearing out. I do the ABC's of poetry every National Poetry Month and this book helps a lot. I love Janeczko's easy-going tone. My students can relate.

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    3. So now, thank you both for this recommendation! I found a copy in our school library, brought it home today!

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  7. Yay summer! Yay summer reading! Thank you for the two new wonderful additions to my summer reading list.

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    1. You are so welcome, Michelle. I hope you love them as much as I have!

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  8. Thanks for sharing this book. I'll have to find myself a copy. I went to the google site and read the rest of the narrow poem. So fun. And then I found Write About A Radish! Love it.

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    1. I'd love to own more of Kuskin's books, too. I have a few older ones and cherish them, Doraine! Thanks!

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  9. I haven't seen either book and they both sound like great choices, great resources to have on hand. I always like to read the backstories related to poems.

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    1. Both have been mainstays for my teaching, Jama. I hope you'll be able to find one or both! Thanks!

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  10. My collection of poetry books is overflowing, but this gem is not there, so I must add it. Thanks for all your wonderful book suggestions. I can't keep up with you!

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    1. Thanks Margaret-hope you'll be able to find and enjoy it!

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  11. I have several of Paul Janeczko's books in my classroom. This one looks good!

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    1. For your older students, you may like the older one Ruth, but this one meets criteria for a range of ages. Thanks!

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  12. Eve Merriam is another treasured favorite poet. I just found an autographed book of hers on my shelf at school and decided to bring it home to live with my autographed Poets Laureate (even though she never was one, officially).

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    1. What a wonderful thing to have the autograph, too, Mary Lee. Yes, Eve Merriam is another special poet to look to for inspiration! Thanks for the reminder!

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  13. Hi, Linda. I've enjoyed Janeczko's anthologies of poetry for children. I'll have to check this one out. (Yes to Eve Merriam! It's raining here today, which always makes me think of her sound-poem "Weather".)

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    1. I do have a number of them, and if you read the above, now I'll have the A to Z to read & enjoy. Thanks Laura.

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  14. I have this and must put it on the "to read carefully" list soon thanks to Linda's recommendation! I also like the poet bios in NCTE's A Jar of Tiny Stars and its sequel Another Jar of Tiny Stars! And I agree with what Linda said about Amy's poem "bios" each week!! Very helpful and interesting. Like when Renee was giving us insight into her March Madness poem creations!
    Janet F.

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    1. Thanks Janet, so many marvelous people for us to look to for emulating, aren't there? Thanks for the recommendation of A Jar of Tiny Stars. I think I've heard of it, but really don't know. I'll look for it!

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  15. I enjoy Janeczko's work very much. I am going to look this anthology up and add it to my reading list. Perfect recommendation. Thank you! =)

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  16. I love books like that, Linda. It's always fantastic to get inside a writer or poet's head!

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    1. Thanks Stacey! I love all Janeczco's anthologies. He shares so many good things!

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  17. Thanks Linda,
    I will add that to my wish list. He has so many wonderful books.

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    1. I hope you like it as much as I do, Liz! Thanks!

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  18. Thanks for sharing this book, Linda. It sounds like a gem.

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    1. It is very good, with so much to share with students, Joyce! Thanks!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!