As March draws to a close, the MCBD Team would like to remind everyone that April is National Poetry Month!
This on and offline celebration that takes place in April honors all-things-poetry. This event was introduced in 1996 and is organized by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States
Once again, MCBD CoHost, Svenja from Colours of Us, has a robust list of 40 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children! “More poignant than prose, poems go straight to the soul. They fuel children’s imagination, promote literacy, and are a great way to express emotions.”
Rebekah from RebekahGienapp.com (who is also a long-time MCBD Cohost!) reveals that, even if parents and educators have children’s books on their shelves, chances are that very few of them are poetry. Browse her list of 11 Diverse Poetry Books for Kids HERE.
We can’t conclude this list without mentioning two shining stars in the world of diversity and poetry.
The world fell in love with a young and elegant poet named Amanda Gorman during the 2021 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony on January 20, 2021. At the age of 22, Gorman has already made her mark in the world of poetry by focusing on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate. She published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
—from “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman, 2021 Inaugural Poet
Another notable and inspirational poet, author, and thought leader is Maya Angelou. Born April 4, 1928, Angelou was known as an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. We can only dream of what it was like to be in the presence of her dignity and grace. Angelou passed away May 28, 2014, but the power of her work is still felt even today.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Bring your National Poetry Month to life! Poets.org has excellent resources for parents and teachers who would like to incorporate a National Poetry Month celebration.
Keep Calm and Read On!
Rebecca “Becky” Flansburg is an author, freelance writer, and project manager for the non-profit online children’s literacy initiative, Multicultural Children’s Book Day/ #ReadYourWorld. Join the celebration! Our 9th annual celebration will take place on January 28, 2022. For more information, visit Multicultural Children’s Book Day on the web.