It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Lee Bennett Hopkins. Not only did he 'discover' me but he has discovered, worked with and promoted most of the children's poets we all know and love today.
Please click over and read author, teacher and blogger extraordinaire Cynthia Leitich Smith's fab interview of Lee on Cynsations. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:
What advice do you have for those interested in writing poetry for young readers?
My advice to writers who want to write poetry is to study the past. Look at the NCTE Poetry Award winners' work. Study it. These are among the giants in the field of poetry. They epitomize the brilliance of wordplay--the genius of light verse in the hands of masters like David McCord and X. J. Kennedy, the passionate works by Eve Merriam, Myra Cohn Livingston, and Nikki Grimes. The craft of Valerie Worth, etc.
If you could change one aspect of publishing, what would it be?
It would be to have more editors who know the craft of poetry...who would be willing to take chances with new poets, to get away from the hangup that exists that every book should be thematic.
A book of poetry should be a book of poetry...about many different topics...about what the poet must say...feel...hear inside one's self.
Have a great Monday and as Lee says, "Happy Poetry-ing".