{book} a legacy, a man, a company of men, and Ntozake Shange

Day Twenty-Nine: Ellington Was Not a Street Written by Ntozake Shange Illustrated by Kadir Nelson Simon & Schuster for Young Readers [text: 1983] 2004 The narrative of Ellington Was Not a Street comes from Ntozake Shange’s poem “Mood Indigo” (from A Daughter’s Geography, 1983). The poem, excerpted for the picture book, is a reflection of and tribute toContinue reading “{book} a legacy, a man, a company of men, and Ntozake Shange”

{book} brotherhood

Day Twenty-Two: Oh, Brother! By Nikki Grimes  Illustration by Mike Benny Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins 2008 It’s bad enough that Xavier’s new stepbrother, Chris, has moved into Xavier’s room, but now it looks like he’s also trying to steal Mami by being the perfect kid. […] In twenty powerful poems, two strangers learn to become brothers. Nikki GrimesContinue reading “{book} brotherhood”

{book} excused

I had thought to save Excuses, Excuses by Anushka Ravishankar for another time, having already shared two of her picture books this month. It suddenly seems apt as I’ve dropped off the map for the long weekend. I am also going to argue that this provides the opportunity to not only continue to revel in Ravishankar’sContinue reading “{book} excused”

{poetry} gary jackson

“Multiple Man: Guest-Starring Me & You”    by Gary Jackson Every night I sleep on alternate sides of the bed, as if to duplicate sleeping with you. If I’m fast enough, I’m the warmth of my own body beside me, reach out and touch myself. Breach the blue of my bones, breathe in my ownContinue reading “{poetry} gary jackson”

{poetry} 50 plus

Last week, Emily Temple at Flavorwire shared “50 Essential Books of Poetry That Everyone Should Read.” The comments contained the typical protests, druthers, and additionally recommended books. I would like to add a few more exciting books of poetry as well; all of whom are contemporary. * Dien Cai Dau by Yusef Komunyakaa (Wesleyan 1988) “Poetry that precisely conjures imagesContinue reading “{poetry} 50 plus”

{poetry} 02 april

{ Isabelle Arsenault’s illustration of Emily Dickinson for the cover of My Letter to the World (KCP Poetry 2008) } While finishing up a class-discussion on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray today, two of my favorite poets/poems were mentioned: T.S. Eliot’s The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock (one of my absolute favorites) and Emily Dickinson’sContinue reading “{poetry} 02 april”

{poetry} april 2014

– the month I was born I was made for poetry so was a nation – Welcome to National Poetry Month 2014! “Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry andContinue reading “{poetry} april 2014”

{book} open mic

Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins Candlewick, 2013. (ages 12 & up) hardcover, 127pages w/ “About the Contributors.” Library loan. As Mitali Perkins observes in her “Introduction,” “humor has the power to break down barriers and cross borders. Once you’ve shared a laugh with someone, it’s almostContinue reading “{book} open mic”

traveling by gourd to grandma’s house

Day Twenty-Seven: Grandma and the Great Gourd: A Bengali Folktale retold by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, illus. Susy Pilgrim Waters a Neal Porter Book (Roaring Brook Press) 2013 “On her way to visit her daughter on the other side of the jungle, Grandma encounters a hungry fox, bear, and tiger, and although she convinces them to waitContinue reading “traveling by gourd to grandma’s house”