April is Poetry Month! Poem of the Day: Won’t You Celebrate With Me by Lucille Clifton

April is Poetry Month! Each day this month I will post a poem written by a person of color.  Today’s poem, by Lucille Clifton, comes from the Poetry Foundation.  This link also includes educator’s resources: discussion questions, writing ideas, and teacher tips.

Won’t You Celebrate With Me by Lucille Clifton: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/poem/181377

Happy Birthday Flo-Jo!

On this day in 1959, a glamorous athlete by the name of Delorenz Florence Griffith Joyner is born. She will win three gold medals at the 1988 Summer Olymic and a silver medal in the 1600-meter relay.  She will join the ancestors on September 21, 1998.

Information about this world-class athlete is listed below:


Olympic Medal Record: http://www.olympic.org/florence-griffith-joyner

ESPN Biography: http://www.espn.go.com/classic/biography/s/Griffith_Joyner_Florence.html

Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2MGfxwl3WM

Obituary: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/22/sports/florence-griffith-joyner-38-champion-sprinter-is-dead.html

2014 Arbuthnot Lecture: Andrea Davis Pinkney

The 2014 Arbuthnot Lecturer was Andrea Davis Pinkney,  vice president and editor at large of Scholastic’s Trade Books, will deliver the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. The announcement was made Monday, January 28, 2013 by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 25 – 29, in Seattle.

“We are honored to recognize Andrea Pinkney for her significant contributions to literature for young people provided through a body of work that brings a deeper understanding of African American heritage,” stated 2014 Arbuthnot Committee Chair Susan Moore.

Andrea Davis Pinkney is a New York Times best-selling writer of more than 20 books for children and young adults including picture books, novels and nonfiction. During the course of her career, Pinkney has launched many high-profile publishing and entertainment entities, including Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Publishing’s Jump at the Sun imprint, the first African American children’s book imprint at a major publishing company.

Pinkney’s work includes such award winning titles as “Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down,” illustrated by Brian Pinkney, published by Little, Brown and Company; “Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride,” illustrated by Brian Pinkney, published by Disney/Jump at the Sun Books; “Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters,” illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, published by Harcourt,a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book;and “Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra,” illustrated by Brian Pinkney, published by Hyperion Books for Children, a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

The University of Minnesota was selected as the host site for the 2014 Arbuthnot Lecture. The press release on the host selection can be read here.  A digital exhibit, in conjunction with the 2014 Arbuthnot Lecture, can be accessed here.

The lecture can be viewed on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC5y1RTGEZQ

June 27 Artist of the Day: Max Roach

Max Roach is June 27 Artist of the day. He was a jazz drummer, and married to Abbey Lincoln.  Read about this influential artist here:

AllMusic: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/max-roach-mn0000396372

NPR: http://www.npr.org/artists/15622859/max-roachhttp://www.npr.org/blogs/ablogsupreme/2012/01/10/144900022/max-roach-drums-front-and-centerhttp://www.npr.org/2007/08/16/12862395/remembering-max-roach-rhythmic-innovator

Youtube videos: “Cherokee” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9cUWqkHCQ8, “Freedom Now” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5Dj7HQEasQ


April 30 Poet of the Day: Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks, a prolific and award winning poet is April 30 Poet of the Day, the last “official” day of Poetry month.  Read about this fascinating poet here:

Poets.Org: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/gwendolyn-brookshttps://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poems/45683

Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/gwendolyn-brooks

Modern American Poetry: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/brooks/brooks.htm

Library of Congress Online Resources: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/brooks/

Illinois Poet Laureate: http://www.illinois.gov/poetlaureate/pages/brooks.aspx

Voices from the Gap: http://voices.cla.umn.edu/artistpages/brooks.php

Lesson Plans from ReadWriteThink: http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/many-years-later-responding-1030.html, from Shmoop: http://www.shmoop.com/we-real-cool/http://www.shmoop.com/bean-eaters/, from EDSITEment: http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/impact-poems-line-breaks-enjambment-and-gwendolyn-brooks-we-real-cool

April 29 Poet of the Day: Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones)

Amiri Baraka, formerly known as Leroi Jones, is April 20 Poet of the Day.  He was a prolific writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and music criticism.  Read about him here:

Poets.Org: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/445

Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/amiri-baraka

Modern American Poetry: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/baraka/bio.htm

NPR: http://www.npr.org/2014/01/10/261379770/fresh-air-remembers-activist-poet-amiri-baraka

YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR5pdz2uGFchttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1-2S7baPUU

April 28 Poet of the Day: Nikki Giovanni

April 28 Poet of the day is Nikki Giovanni.  Read about this award winning prolific poet here:

Poets.Org: http://www.nikki-giovanni.com/http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19505

Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/nikki-giovanni

AfroPoets.Net: http://www.afropoets.net/nikkigiovanni.html

Voices From the Gap: http://voices.cla.umn.edu/artistpages/giovanniNikki.php

PBS Interview with Tavis Smiley: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365125112/,earlier interview with Bill Moyers: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/02132009/watch2.html

MSNBC Interview with Melissa Harris-Perry: http://www.msnbc.com/melissa-harris-perry/poet-nikki-giovanni-visits-nerdland

NPR: http://www.npr.org/2013/10/29/241605794/poet-nikki-giovanni-on-the-darker-side-of-her-life

Lesson Plan from ReadWriteThink: http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/childhood-remembrances-life-intersect-271.html?tab=1#tabshttp://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/entering-history-nikki-giovanni-963.html

April 27 Poet of the Day: Cornelius Eady

Cornelius Eady, author of eight poetry books, and co-founder of Cave Canem, a summer workshop/retreat for African American poets, is April 27 Poet of the day.  Read about this fascinating poet here:

NPR: http://www.npr.org/2008/05/05/90184195/a-poets-hardheaded-reflection-on-life

PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/poetryeverywhere/uwm/eady.html

Poets.org: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15244,

Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/cornelius-eady

Cave Canem: http://www.cavecanempoets.org/

Interview about Cave Canem: http://www.pw.org/content/qampa_eady_sees_cave_canem_success


April 26 Poet of the Day: Jayne Cortez

Jayne Cortez is April 26 Poet of the Day.  A poet and performance artist, Jayne was born on May 10, 1934.  Read more about this revolutionary poet here:

Additional resources about Jayne Cortez:

Poets.Org: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/464

Modern American Poetry: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/cortez/poetry.htm

Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/jayne-cortez

West African Research Association: http://www.bu.edu/wara/warc-black-history-2013-cortez/

The Project for Innovative Poetry (PIP) Blog: http://pippoetry.blogspot.com/2013/01/jayne-cortez.html

5 Points Where Poetry Meets Jazz NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/ablogsupreme/2014/04/11/301435058/5-points-where-poetry-meets-jazz

YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-moyZ7Rld2w, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h0qYZTXaiI, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPQcFI1s1qE