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RHYTHM, WORDPLAY, AND CREATIVITY – POETRY FOR LITERACY & LANGUAGE AQUISITION
Newsletter / April 7, 2019

50 MUST-READ POETRY BOOKS FOR KIDS The rhythm, word play, and creativity in poetry books for kids make them the perfect companion to language acquisition and developing literacy skills. I remember as a child stealing poetry books off my mom’s bookshelves and performing the poems, relishing the way the words felt in my mouth. (Included in the list…) Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text (The Day You Begin) and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway. READ MORE…   HOW POETRY CAN HELP KIDS GET TO COLLEGE K’myah is one of the students at Ann Visger Elementary School in River Rouge who participated in InsideOut Literary Arts’ In School Writer-in-Residence Program, in spring 2018. (Photo: Doug Coombe) Students in marginalized communities often struggle to relate to the people and texts they are asked to study; there is power in learning that highly-respected writers — such as Lucille Clifton, Francine J. Harris, Jamaal May and Naomi Shihab Nye — come from similar backgrounds and have used their own, unique…

LUCILLE CLIFTON, DYNAMIC FORCE AND LITERARY TITAN
Newsletter / February 17, 2019

Q&A: HOW GLORY EDIM FOUND HER VOICE IN HER ANTHOLOGY ‘WELL-READ BLACK GIRL’ (Quoting Glory Edim) ‘There’s so much to be said about Lucille Clifton. She is such a dynamic force and literary titan. That poem, for me, spoke to the demand to be seen, to be visible in the work, to be taken seriously and not be compared to anyone else; simply be seen for who you are. I just love the power in her voice. Renée Watson, one of the [anthology] contributors, talks about Lucille’s work about how, being able to be physically seen, Lucille changed her idea of who she was and how she could become a poet…’ READ MORE… 1978 Award Winner by Lucille Clifton 2019 AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR IN PHOTOS Nikki Grimes (One Last Word, Bloomsbury) and Floyd Cooper (contributor, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, Crown). Bestselling authors Sharon Draper (Blended, Atheneum/Dlouhy) (l.) and Renée Watson (Watch Us Rise, Bloomsbury).  READ & SEE MORE… MPLS. WRITERS LOUISE ERDRICH AND MARLON JAMES DISCUSS HIS NEW BOOK, HIS NEXT BOOK AND BEING BLACK IN AMERICA               Not surprisingly, the questions were as thoughtful as the responses. Erdrich…

BLACK WRITERS: ABIDING SPIRIT FOR YOUNG ADULTS AND ON THE SCREEN
Newsletter / December 2, 2018

LITERARY COLLECTIVE: CONSIDERING THE JAMES BALDWINS AND LANGSTON HUGHES’ OF OUR TIMES Young praises poet Lucille Clifton, calling her “an abiding spirit.” Clifton’s 1993 poem “won’t you celebrate with me” resonates with Young. The poem’s title also serves as its first line. The last lines are ‘Come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.’ READ MORE… 1978 SPECIAL RECOGNITION BROOKLYN AUTHOR COMPLIES YA BOOK ABOUT BEING BLACK IN AMERICA ….a star-studded collection of stories by award-winning, bestselling and emerging African-American young adult authors on what it’s like to be a black teen in America: “Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America,” The collection, curated and edited by Zoboi, features stories from 17 beloved YA authors: Tracey Baptiste, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Jay Coles, Lamar Giles, Leah Henderson, Justina Ireland, Varian Johnson, Kekla Magoon, Tochi Onyebuchi, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Liara Tamani, Renee Watson, Rita Williams-Garcia and Zoboi. READ MORE… THESE ARE THE BLACK AUTHORS BARRY JENKINS, TERRY MCMILLIAN AND OTHERS SAY HOLLYWOOD SHOULDN’T IGNORE The list of stories, plays and novels by black writers primed for screen adaptation is vast. Works by Colson Whitehead, Octavia Butler, August Wilson, Richard…

JAMES BALDWIN STORY OF CHILDHOOD ‘LITTLE MAN, LITTLE MAN’ REISSUED
Newsletter / August 26, 2018

A JAMES BALDWIN BOOK, FORGOTTEN AND OVERLOOKED FOR FOUR DECADES, GETS ANOTHER LIFE Some Baldwin fans and scholars hope that with the new edition, “Little Man, Little Man” will rightfully assume its place in the canon of African-American children’s literature, alongside works by Langston Hughes, Julius Lester, Walter Dean Myers and John Steptoe. READ MORE… ____________________________________________________ KADIR NELSON TELLS MEMORABLE STORIES ON VARIETY OF CANVASES “I think it’s a matter of trying to step into the shoes of the subject matter and learning enough about it so I can honestly portray or document the story,” he (Kadir Nelson) said. He doesn’t worry too much about talking over the heads of his young audience. “Children understand visual language from a very early age,” he said. “Before they can talk, that is their form of communication. It’s something we all innately understand.” READ MORE…  ____________________________________________________ IF YOU COULD ADD ONE BOOK TO THE HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Then, the summer before college I read GOOD WOMAN, by Lucille Clifton. It was the first collection of poetry I’d ever read all the way through, and it unlocked a love for a medium that is often poorly taught or avoided altogether. If I could…