April 7 Poet of the Day: Rita Dove

US Poet Laureate Rita Dove is April 7 Poet of the Day.  Read more about this talented poet below.

rita dove 2010

Poets.org: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/rita-dove

Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/rita-dove

Academy of Achievement: http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/dov0bio-1

Poetry Archive: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poet/rita-dove

Biography: http://www.biography.com/people/rita-dove-9278390

Library of Congress Web Guides: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/dove/



Rita Dove, 1952
I love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough
there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs—but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families
with their cooing and bickering
or the heeled bachelorette trying
to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge.
Even the lone executive
who has wandered this far into summer
with his lasered itinerary, briefcase
knocking his knees—even he
has worked for the pleasure of bearing
no more than a scrap of himself
into this hall. He’ll dine out, she’ll sleep late,
they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning
—a little hope, a little whimsy
before the loudspeaker blurts
and we leap up to become
Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.

Reprinted from On the Wing, published by the University of Iowa Press.

Youtube videos: White House Poetry Evening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIT82Oy9U1Y, “Thomas and Beulah”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7duHFUjieME, Big Think Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwdMXj2p1TQ

April 6 Poet of the Day: James Emanuel

James Emanuel is April 6 Poet of the Day.  Read more about this poet, scholar, and activist below.


Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/james-a-emanuel#poet

African American Registry: http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/james-emanuel-poet-afar

Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3431200023.html

WingedWord Blog Post Interview: https://wingedword.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/an-interview-with-james-a-emanuel/

Dan Schneider Interview 5: James Emanuel: http://www.cosmoetica.com/DSI5.htm, Omniversica #2: James Emanuel Poet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjUP53j0d-U

Youtube videos: Joseph Langley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWHWm3iiFZQ, James Emanuel reading his poem “Emmett Till”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnZFPSPugNk, reads three poems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Q3g5vNTQw

Poems from AfroPoets:

” I’m A Jazz Singer, ” She Replied
He dug what she said:
bright jellies, smooth marmalade
spread on warm brown bread.

“Jazz” from drowsy lips
orchids lift to honeybees
floating on long sips.
“Jazz”: quick fingerpops
pancake on a griddle-top
of memories. Stop.
“Jazz”: mysterious
as nutmeg, missing fingers,
gold, Less serious.
“Jazz”: cool bannister.
Don’t need no stair. Ways to climb
when the sax is there.

Written by James Emanuel

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

Day 20 Woman of the Day: Pearl Cleage

Author and Playwright Pearl Cleage is Day 20 Woman of the Day.  A prolific writer of several books and plays including “What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day”, “Flying West” and more.  Read more about this multitalented writer below.


Website: http://www.pearlcleage.net/

NPR: http://www.npr.org/2014/05/01/308619983/playwright-pearl-cleage-opens-up

Black Past.org: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/cleage-pearl-1948

Youtube videos: AARP Black Community Bookclub: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL-F6BrDFRg, reading from her memoir “Things I Should Have Told My Daugher”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnFkhlQJZHg

Happy Birthday Sterling A. Brown!

On this day, in 1901, Sterling Allen Brown was born.  He became a poet, literary critic, editor and more.  I curated some resources about Brown on my April 9 Poet of the Day post.  For more information about him, check out that post.

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