Thursday, October 30, 2014

Poetry Heroes

Today is Halloween, and my students are filled with excited anticipating all the delicious treats they'll receive tonight. I'm filled with anticipation too, but I'll have to wait a few more weeks for my special treat because I'm going to NCTE for the first time ever! 

I'm especially looking forward to attending many of the poetry sessions.  Some of my favorite poetry heroes will be there, and I can't wait to see them.  After years of reading their books and blogs, getting to know some of them online, and following their careers, it will be a thrill to meet them in person. Here are just a few of the poets I'm hoping to meet.

Ralph Fletcher
I have heard Ralph speak twice.  The first time was over twenty years ago, after his first book of poetry Water Planet was published, and again about three years ago at a conference in Virginia. I love the conversational voice in his poetry.

Joseph Bruchac
I had the pleasure of interviewing him fifteen years ago for a magazine article. I love his stories and poems reflecting Native American traditions.

Jacqueline Woodson
I've been a fan of her books since I read Locomotion. I just finished brown girl dreaming and loved every word!

Naomi Shihab Nye
Love, love, love her work!

Most of all, I'm looking forward to meeting our own Poetry Friday folks.

Sylvia Vardell
Author of many wonderful resources for teachers including: The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists and co-compiler of the popular Poetry Friday Anthology series.  I never miss one of her Poetry for Children posts because they are always filled with ideas and resources for poets, children, and teachers.

Janet Wong
She is an expert in finding just the right voice for each of her poems.  I have most of her books, but  my favorite is her first collection Good Luck Gold.   Many of my students love Behind the Wheel , and it's a great mentor text for encouraging boys to write their own poems.  Janet is also the co-complier of the popular Poetry Friday Anthology series.

Laura Purdie Salas
I "met" Laura online about ten years ago. I've followed her poetry career since then.  I'm so proud of her success, and it couldn't happen to a nicer, more generous person! She is an amazing poet who blends nonfiction and poetry in the most brilliant ways. If you haven't read a  A Leaf Can Be and Water Can Be , you must add them to your wish list.  I'm pre-ordering her next book in the series, A Rock Can Be which is due to be published March 2015.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
I'm drawn to the gentleness and sense of wonder in Amy's poems.  Her blog The Poem Farm is a fantastic resource for teachers and students. Her first collection of poetry Forest Has a Song is one of my student's favorites.

Irene Latham
Irene is a versatile writer of two novels, collections of  poetry for adults and a wonderful new collection for children, Dear Wandering Wildebeest. Her poems are filled surprising imagery sure to delight readers young and old!
If you know of other poets attending NCTE, I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment. I don't want to miss the chance to attend their sessions.  I'm also looking forward to meeting many of my online teacher friends too, so if you'll be there I'd love to know. I'll be on the lookout for you!

The lovely Linda is hosting Poetry Friday over at Teacher Dance.

Happy Halloween!


  1. Hi Linda, It's both great and sad to see all this because I'm not going this year. I went last year for my first time, & it was marvelous. I wish you the best time ever! What a super list of poets to meet and enjoy and hear. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Linda, Yes, it is a wonderful group of poets attending. I'm very excited to see them and hear them speak. I'm sorry you're not able to go this year. I would love to meet you in person. It's very expensive so this will probably be a one-time event for me.

  2. Hi, Linda. NCTE is in my back-yard -- or, at least, within driving distance this year. I'm hoping to get there. Thanks for posting these highlights!

    1. Hi Laura, Let me know if you decide to go. I would love to see you again!

  3. Have a great time at NCTE, Linda. What a great roster this year. :)

    1. Thank you, Jama. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I've always wanted to go, but never for one reason or another never made it there. I'm sure it will be wonderful!

  4. Aw, thanks, Linda! It will be wonderful to see you there. It was so exciting for me to meet Ralph Fletcher a couple of years ago (I think at NCTE) and have him sign my well-worn POETRY MATTERS!

    1. Laura, I have many books by each of the poets, and it's hard to decide which one to have signed. I have limited suitcase space, and I'm sure I'll purchase a lot of new books while I'm there!

  5. *Swoon* so many heroes under one roof! What an amazing opportunity, Linda. Enjoy! And Happy Halloween! =)