A poet lau­re­ate for the young

Los Angeles Times - - ARTS & BOOKS - By Carolyn Kel­logg Twit­ter: @pa­per­haus

Jacqueline Wood­son is the new “young peo­ple’s poet lau­re­ate,” the Po­etry Foun­da­tion an­nounced last week. In 2014, Woods on won the Na­tional Book Award for young peo­ple’s lit­er­a­ture for her mem­oir-in-verse, “Brown Girl Dream­ing.”

As young peo­ple’s poet lau­re­ate, Wood­son will serve two years ad­vis­ing the Po­etry Foun­da­tion and will en­gage in projects de­signed to in­still a life­long love of po­etry in chil­dren. The poet lau­re­ate­ship comes with an award of $25,000.

Wood­son has pub­lished 10 pic­ture books, eight books for mid­dle graders and10 books for young adults.

At the Los An­ge­les Times Fes­ti­val of Books in April, Wood­son ex­plained her choice to com­bine po­etry and mem­oir in “Brown Girl Dream­ing.”

“With my writ­ing, I try to do stuff I have not done be­fore,” she said. “Each time I sit down, Iwant to have a new ex­pe­ri­ence and, by ex­ten­sion, I want my read­ers to have a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.”

She added: “If you have no road map, you have to cre­ate your own.”

Robert Polito, the Po­etry Foun­da­tion’s pres­i­dent, praised Wood­son’s cre­ativ­ity. “Jacqueline Wood­son is an el­e­gant, dar­ing, and rest­lessly in­no­va­tive writer. So many writ­ers set­tle on a style and a reper­toire of ges­tures and sub­jects, but Wood­son, like her char­ac­ters, is al­ways in mo­tion and al­ways dis­cov­er­ing some­thing fresh,” he said in a news re­lease. “Her gifts, ad­ven­tur­ous­ness and gen­eros­ity, sug­gest she will be a ter­rific young peo­ple’s poet lau­re­ate.”

Marty Umans Pen­guin Group

JACQUELINE Wood­son is praised for cre­ativ­ity.

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