See, Classes Make You Smart

I have been doing some research in the wondrous land of poetry.  I wish I could say it was some whim, some flippant desire to reconnect with my pre-grad school love of poetry but, alas, I’m taking a class.  That phrase just made me want to write this whole post in rhyme, good thing I don’t have the time.

Right. . . so.

For real, though.  The class has been focusing on poetry from children (say…infant to middle school?) and it makes me think where, or even what, is YA poetry?  Writers like Helen Frost, Jacqueline Woodson, Lindsay Lee Johnson, Virgina Euwer Wolff, and Ralph Fletcher have built themselves a little bridge between YA literature and poetry. (I am also adding Stephanie Hemphill thanks to little commenting Emily!)  They have created novels that are YA narratives told through poetry.  Niffty huh.  These types of books are an engaging way to get young readers familiar with poetry.  It may be as simple as just looking at a different way to articulate ideas on a page or a further look into the construction of form.  Frost, for example, uses sestinas and sonnets in her book “Keesha’s House”.

And while this is cool and all…I do wonder if there is a place for YA books of poetry that are more similar to adult poetry books, a collection of poems that does not rely on a cohesive narrative.  But then, what would that even look like?  Isn’t the agnstyness we associate with YA books found all over adult poetry?  Maybe it is more the ease of accessibility to the meaning of the poem that would bring it closer to the YA realm.

The point is, watch out for my upcoming YA poetry collection and buy it so that I can be the creator or the next beloved sector of YA.

You can consider that little diddy at the beginning a freeby.

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Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 1:14 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Betsy Franco edited Falling Hard (Candlewick, 2008), a collection of love poems by teenagers. I haven’t read it, but the poem on the back cover cracks me up. I wonder if non-narrative YA poetry publishing tends to favor YA authorship?

  2. K, is ‘Your Own, Sylvia’–I would link it, but they don’t let me put a link in the comments–on your syllabus? It is a YA verse novel about Sylvia Plath, and we read it when I took poetry and I feel like you would like it…

    • OH, did I mention that there is no syllabus…god bless this hippy dippy crap!

      Oh. Man. Sylvia makes me heart hurt in such a lovely way! That book is now awaiting a ‘Kristin’ sticky note at the library!

  3. I also found Henry Rollins’ “Solipsist” today! It is easily accessible, yet interestingly unconventional poetry, and still has the YA controversial issues thing going on!


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