Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
Without Lee Bennett Hopkins and his books, I don’t think I’d be writing poetry for children today. When I first got the tiniest of inklings that I might like to dip a toe into the waters of poetry, Lee’s beautiful anthologies were some of the first books I found. In them, I found superlative examples of poetry written for kids. I discovered more poets to explore. I rethought my definition of what poetry for children could include. Having poems in two Lee Bennett Hopkins anthologies are two of the highlights of my children’s writing career! There is nobody doing more to advocate for children’s poetry at a personal, institutional, and societal level than Lee. And…it’s his birthday on Friday! (How absolutely fitting that his birthday is during National Poetry Month–I don’t think it would have the nerve to be in any other month!)
I’m sharing a poem I wrote in honor of Lee almost 10 years ago, when he was the recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children and Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell put together a lovely little anthology to honor him. You can see other posts related to Lee’s work here.
Happy birthday, Lee! Thank you for all you do!
And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Robyn at Artsy Letters! I bet you’ll come across some other tributes to Lee in this week’s Poetry Friday offerings. Thank you to Robyn, Linda Kulp Trout, and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, who all had hands in creating this online celebration of Lee and his work!