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
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.