One Writer’s Journey

May 17, 2017

New Poet Laureate: Margarita Engle

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:13 am
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The Poetry Foundation has named the next Young People’s Poet Laureate – Margarita Engle. The award is given every two years to someone who has devoted their career to creating “exceptional poetry” for young readers.  The laureate advises the Foundation on matters relating to young people’s lit and may take part in projects to help instill a love of poetry in young readers.

Said foundation President Henry Bienen, “Margarita Engle’s passion, knowledge of nature, and curiosity about the world make her work fascinating to children and adults alike.”

I’ll be the first to admit that my own knowledge of Engle’s work is sketchy at best, but I hope to rectify that.  I’ve already requested three of her books from my local library.  I love the online catalogue!  The two books that I’m sure I’ve already read are The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom (Newbery Honor book) and Hurricane Dancers.  

Personally, I’m already seeing positives from her appointment in new library books being ordered.  Frankly, given our local population, these books should have already been in the stacks and I know that they were at one time.  Thankfully they will be again.  And I will definitely do my part to increase their circulation numbers – which is what keeps them on the shelves.

Other books for young readers be Engle include Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music; The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist; Mountain Dog; When You Wander; Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian, Singing to Cuba and Skywriting: A Novel of Cuba, Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist; and Tropical Secret. 

I know that these books will only remain on the shelves if they circulate but I think we also need to consider that having them on the shelves is essential to increase readership of these and similar books.  Something of a Catch-22, yes?

Hopeful Engle can impact the number of books about Cuba, Central and South America that are available to young readers throughout the country.



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