National Poetry Month is held every April in Canada and the USA to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American and Canadian culture. Schools, literary organizations, communities, businesses and more celebrate National Poetry Month with a plethora of events including poetry readings, festivals, book displays, and workshops. The kidlitosphere is sure to be active with bloggers celebrating the month – and one blog that you definitely don’t want to miss out reading is Sylvia Vardell’s Poetry for Children!
Sylvia is a professor of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University, author of Poetry Aloud Here! Sharing Poetry with Children in the Library (ALA Editions, 2006), Poetry People: A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), and Children’s Literature in Action: A Librarian’s Guide (Libraries Unlimited, 2008). She is co-editor of Bookbird, the journal of international children’s literature, co-editor of the annual review guide Librarians Choices and is also the poetry columnist for the American Library Association’s Book Links magazine.
Our April 2008 PaperTigers’ Poetry issue featured a reprint of Sylvia’s article Pairing Poems Across Cultures (which offered insights on the similarities and differences in poetry from parallel cultures) as well as a reprint of an interview that Cynthia Leitich Smith did with Sylvia in 2007. In 2010 we were thrilled to meet up with Sylvia at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and had a great chat with her.
Last April, to celebrate National Poetry Month, Sylvia played a game of Poetry Tag on her blog. Poets shared original poems, tagged another poet who shared a poem connected with the previous poem, and on and on. It was such a success that it led her and author Janet S. Wong to compile an anthology of 30 e-poems by 30 e-poets called PoetryTagTime. This first ever electronic-only poetry anthology for children has new poems by many top poets writing for young people, and can be purchased for 99 cents here.
For this year’s National Poetry Month celebrations Sylvia says :
I’m sticking with my “tag” theme this year, too, as we pause to promote poetry far and wide. However, this time, I’m featuring reviews of poetry books out this year (2011), connected in that same “tag” fashion, from one to another. Plus, I’ve involved my students enrolled in my graduate course in poetry for children as guest reviewers. Some of them even tried creating digital trailers for their selected books. So, here we go: one review a day for the next 30 days, your mini intro to the latest poetry for young people.
So head on over to Poetry for Children and join in the celebrations!