Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Real, Live Poets

When most middle grade kids think of poets, they picture...
someone like this. (That's Percy Bysshe Shelley, btw--a pretty cool dude, though he probably doesn't look very exciting to tweens.)

That's why, when I was a middle grade teacher, I loved introducing students to the work of living poets. I once had a class read an entire collection by Billy Collins, and guess what? They loved it! They couldn't believe that poetry could be funny and of-the-moment and conversational. Their idea of poetry had always been something to the tune of, "Art thou a flower, o thou flower?" Or assorted other odes to nature. Not knocking a good ode to nature, but other subjects have been covered since the Romantic period.

And wouldn't you know it? Smack Dabber Irene Latham is a real, live poet! And she's amazing! And she does school visits! She once visited my classroom and dazzled the kids. They hung on her every word. If nothing else, I can confidently say that my students are fully aware that poetry is alive and well.
I'd encourage parents and teachers to make plans now to book a real, live poet such as Irene for a school visit next year.

Happy Poetry Month!

Ginger Rue is the author of the Aleca Zamm series from Aladdin and the Tig Ripley series from Sleeping Bear.






2 comments:

  1. Irene's poetry is amazing and very kid-friendly. Thanks for highlighting one of our own!

    ReplyDelete