Fuse #8

Thursday, September 28, 2006

No Surprises Here

Not long ago some colleagues and I were discussing the new Poet Laureate award for an author of children's literature. We tried to think up the perfect person to accept such an honor. Some choices were too silly. Others too obvious. Still others just not quite right. And then we had it. The perfect person to win would HAVE to be Paul Fleischman, yes? I mean, he's a classy choice and a great poet too. We thought we'd solved the Poetry Foundation's woes.

Yeah, not so much. Looks like they went with Jack Prelutsky after all. *yawn* I guess there's always next year. I got nothing against the guy, of course. Just... really? Really really?


At 10:37 AM , Blogger Greg Pincus said...

I guess it depends what the "poet laureate" is supposed to represent. No insult at all to the amazingly talented (and nice!) Paul Fleischman, I just don't think that many kids know him as a poet, depsite the Newbery. If the Laureate is designed to expose a poet to a new audience, that'd be one thing. If it's designed to gain exposure for children's poetry by giving a widely known poet a platform, that's another.

From my point of view, I just wanna be able to write like either of the aforementioned! Oh, and I believe it's a two year position.

At 11:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Paul Fleischman has written outstanding poetry for children--but he has not published as many poetry books as authors like Karla Kuskin and Mary Ann Hoberman. Both of these women have been honored with the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children--and they have both been publishing poetry for about fifty years! These women are masters of meter and rhyme. Their poetry speaks to the feelings and experiences of childhood. Their poems are a delight to share with children--and as an educator who worked as an elementary classroom teacher for more than thirty years and later as a school librarian, I shared poetry by many different authors with my students. Kuskin's and Hoberman's were always among their favorites.


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