Contemporary American poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge has released a new collection of poems titled Hello, the Roses. This Beijing-born poet was awarded the American Book Award in 1980 and 1984, the Asian American Literary Award in 1998 and 2004, and the PEN West Award in 1990. ...
Book Genre: Poetry
I LOVE new takes on fairytales and Anne Sexton's Transformations does just that. Some of these are more powerful than others I thought her "Rapunzel" was amazing but her "Rumpelstiltskin" fell flat for me.
Kim Addonizio writes really gritty and personal poems. Great use of language and rhythm. While I found her Jimmy and Rita to be a bit too too, this one was right up my alley. Particularly strong in the second section. "Last Gifts" brought tears to my eyes.
This novel in verse explores gender identity through the eyes of various folks on all parts of the spectrum. Brendan never felt like a super masculine guy, but he hasn't always wanted to be a girl, either. Angel, who Brendan meets at a center for GLBT teens, befriends Brendan and introduces him...
Sonia Sanchez is a national treasure, as a poet and as an activist who never ignores the humanity of anyone on any side of a struggle. Her work speaks to huge issues of struggle, oppression, justice and love. But she does so in such human terms that we see how they can never be divorced from the...
Well known author Jane Yolen has teamed up with fellow author Rebecca Kai Dotlich and illustrator Matt Mahurin to create this unique poetry book for children. The poems are all based on well-known fairy tales but they have a twist. Each poem is written from the viewpoint of a...
I think Spirit Level is the first entire book of poetry I've read since I was in high school (a long time ago). I'll venture to read a poem from time to time, but rarely more than that. It seems to me that I don't have the patience with poetry to understand the meaning in the poems....
This compilation of poetry spans two decades and covers a wide range of topics and styles. I know Erdrich as a novelist whose novels are written in a poetic, sometimes elliptical fashion, which made her poetry seem familiar. My favorite section was the last, a section of short...
This novel in verse follows three teens--Conner, Tony, and Vanessa--as they meet and go through treatment after attempting suicide. Each is in residential facility Aspen Springs for different reasons, and they connect in different ways. As the poems, told from each of their voices, reveal their...
The collection kicks off with a quote from Louis Armstrong. When asked to define jazz he reportedly responded, "If you have to ask, you'll never know." The poets represented provide a taste; vamping, swinging, and sharing sounds of tributes to musicians and singers who did...
Some of these were totally brilliant, others were merely good but what a great collection, I hope to see another book of poetry from Papageorgiou in the future!
This 2-CD audio collection of Black writers reading from their work was both a joy and education for me. The compilation covers over a century of writing, ranging from the late nineteenth century scholar W.E.B. DuBois to contemporary twenty-first spoken word poets Saul Williams and Tracie Morris...
Sharon Creech has hit on many of the reasons why poetry has been so elusive to me in this novel! Jack, the main character, writes the story as a series of poetic journal entries he is required to write at school. Some are based on poems that are read in class (which are highlighted...
I'll admit--I picked up this book just seeing Mary Oliver's name, and not the title (and somehow missing the dog on the cover). When I got around to looking at it again, and saw that it was all poems about dogs, it made me even happier. Oliver has a way of getting to the heart of human nature,...
Steve Abbott was a leading figure in the 1980s poetry scene, creating publications and organizing a community of poets including my personal favorites Judy Grahn and Robert Gluck. His passion for writing, building a community, and search for love meant he was not always present for his daughter...
This is a very light rhyming story with many new vocabulary words and pairings that serve to increase phonologic awareness.
The illustrations are very similar to those of the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" series. These similarities help the children connect the two texts to...
In this rhyming story, a little boy ties a doughnut to his belt. This doughnut starts an immense parade of creatures and people who all follow him through town. He has no idea that there is anyone following him, and when he suddenly stops, everyone comes crashing down on top of one...
This is a beautifully written rhyming story about children who go to the library with their teacher and learn about all of the many kinds of books there are to read. The librarian shows the children that the world comes alive through books and that the library is a great place to get them...
This rhyming story is about a giraffe who discovers that he can dance when he finds the right music, even after everyone else has told him that he can't. It is a beautiful way of reminding all of us that we are all capable of doing things if we find the right setting and love in our hearts...
This is a longer rhyming book full of information about dinosaurs--the many different types and what makes them unique.
The colors and images are beautiful with many shapes to discuss.
This book is a silly rhyme about the many varied people and creatures in our world. Some of the text is nonsensical, but that adds to the point that the author is trying to make: no matter what, everyone deserves to be loved...even if they wear pineapple shoes. :)
The colors are...
A beautiful rhyming poem about the sea--rife with rich vocabulary and mention of some of the many animals who inhabit our oceans.
The images are large and colorful and the text is minimal--a great resource for storytime!
Newman describes this book as an historical novel in verse. In the introduction, she talks about being scheduled as a speaker for Gay Awareness Week at the University of Wyoming in October, 1998, just days after the brutal attack on Matthew Shepard in Laramie. Newman decided to attend the event...
Before the advent of electricity, winter was a dire time of darkness and deprivation. Some cultures developed elaborate rituals to encourage the return of the sun and arrival of spring. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a relic of those times, a medieval solstice story set...
In Sandow Birk’s Dante’s Inferno, Birk’s starkly beautiful drawings show a street kid Dante carrying his skateboard through hell, following after a Virgil who often looks like a street bum in his robes. Together they negotiate a Los Angeles-like hell of tattered alleyways, ATMs,...
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