June 20, 2013

Children's Poets Laureates

Most of us think of THE Poet Laureate as the one that represents our country. For the U.S., that is Natasha Trethewey who was recently appointed to serve a second term as U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
But many U.S. states and cities have also been designating laureates on a local level.

I'm pleased that there have also been more appointments for children’s poets laureate. Here are three recent appointments.

Children’s Poet Laureate for Wales named at National Urdd Eisteddfod" from Wales Online
“Former Urdd Eisteddfod chair Aneirin Karadog has been named as Wales’ next Children’s Poet Laureate. Mr. Karadog said, ‘The role involves working with young people during their formative years, when the imagination is so alive.... One of the appealing factors is a chance to re-light my own imagination through theirs.’”

"UK’s first black children’s laureate: new history curriculum could alienate pupils” from The Guardian (UK)
“Ted Hughes, then poet laureate, and his friend and fellow author Michael Morpurgo devised the laureateship—first awarded in 1999 to illustrator Quentin Blake—to mark a lifetime’s contribution to children’s literature and highlight the importance of children’s books. Previous children’s laureates include Jacqueline Wilson, Anne Fine, Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne and Morpurgo.... Blackman is the eighth children’s laureate, inheriting the role from the Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson.”

From The Los Angeles Times "Poetry Foundation names Kenn Nesbitt its children’s poet laureate
“The Poetry Foundation announced Tuesday that Revenge of the Lunch Ladies author Kenn Nesbitt will be its next children’s poet laureate, a position the foundation created in 2006 to recognize that ‘children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience.’... This honor is not related to the U.S. poet laureate, who is named by the Library of Congress. Nor is it connected to regional poets laureate, such as Eloise Klein Healy in Los Angeles or Juan Felipe Herrera, California’s poet laureate. Nesbitt succeeds J. Patrick Lewis as the fourth poet to hold the position. His numerous books for children—all of them full of child-appropriate silliness—include The Tighty-Whitey Spider, My Hippo Has the Hiccups, and My Foot Fell Asleep. In an interview with outgoing laureate Lewis, Nesbitt listed influences including Lewis Carroll, MAD magazine, and ‘that greatest of all children’s poets, Anonymous.’”

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