I am pinching myself today. I just got my shipment of Here We Go, Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong’s latest Poetry Friday project. These two amazing women have been gathering poets in anthologies for years. I met them a few years ago at NCTE at the Children’s Literature Lunch. They handed me the Poetry Friday anthology for Science. This is how they are. Their goal is to get poetry in the hands of teachers who will pass them on to children.
At NCTE 2016, I saw Sylvia and Janet in a hotel restaurant. They were eating breakfast. I just walked right on up. This time they handed me You Just Wait. We took a picture with my class’s mascot, Jack. Before we said good-bye, I said, “I want to write a poem for you.”
“Well,” exclaimed Janet, “It just so happens we need one more poem for our next book coming out before the inauguration.”
“In this book, we want to empower the voices of girls. Do you think you could write a poem from the point of view of a young girl who wants to do something she’s been told she can’t do?”
“Of course I can!” I didn’t really say that. I said, “I’d like to try.”
I had no idea my poem would be next to poets like Naomi Shihab Nye and Carole Boston Weatherford. I’ve long admired Poetry Friday contributors such as Michelle Heindenrich Barnes, Kate Coombs, and Robyn Hood Black.
I absolutely love the format they have used for this book! The subtitle is “A Poetry Friday Power Book.” Included are 12 powerplay prewriting activities, 12 anchor poems, 24 new poems to join them together,12 power2you writing prompts, and 12 resource lists for young writers and activists. The poems work together to create a story of community, bias, acceptance, and activism. Each “Power Pack” can be used by an individual writer or by a teacher with her class.
Please join me in celebrating this new book by leaving a comment. Janet and Sylvia sent me 5 extra copies to give away. Leave a comment by Friday, Jan. 27th to be entered into a random drawing for a free copy.