“Ballet slippers and saxophones:” #Lee Bennett Hopkins

Kwame Alexander
When I was 2 my mom read me poems by #NikkiGiovanni & #LeeBennettHopkins. So cool that #TheCrossover has won the LBHopkins Poetry award!”

By Jan Godown Annino

If there is a King of Children’s Poetry in the U. S.
he is Lee Bennett Hopkins (the Queen would be
Jane Yolen.)

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Center Stage, Florida Artists' Hall of Fame  c. 2017 Stephanie Salkin, all rights reserved

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Center Stage, Florida Artists’ Hall of Fame
c. 2017 Stephanie Salkin, all rights reserved

LBH is a world-wide record holder in poetry.
And as young poets can attest, for 25 years
he has become the leader in establishing poetry awards
that lift up the art of poem-making and poem-reading,
to the highest levels.

This poet – and novelist- is also a long time leader in championing diversity of characters and themes in children’s books.

I can not say LBH chose Florida for retirement,
because so many projects are popping
for him. During a small dinner in his honor
with his lifetime partner Charles Egita, at
Paramount Grill, LBH talked of
juggling 60 poets’ work. That is because
in addition to writing his own heartfelt poems,
LBH a supreme anthologist of poetry for children.

So among tempting aromas, I selected
tofu scramble in his honor last week,
the night before
he took the stage with rock stars
Don Felder (The Eagles) ,
Billy Dean and Jim Stafford,
to be inducted
into the Florida Artists’ Hall of Fame.

Move over Ray Charles,
Tennessee Williams,
Zora Neale Hurston
and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who proceeded
LBH as honorees in the Artists’ Hall of Fame.

Much has already been written and
will be written
about this honor.

Enjoy Robyn Hood Black piece on LBH,
and futurewise, look for a Michelle Henderich Barnes’
report on the Florida
Convening Culture Conference that was
wrapped around the awards event. (Stick with the link to MB
above, for a cuter than candy pix of LBH!)

But let me just say that I felt as if
I was a
mermaid swimming sweetly on Sanibel sands,
among sandcastles made of syllables
and sounds ripe for poem-making,
as a result of being with LBH & his posse.

So now,
I’m back to writing, reading,
critiquing & visiting schools.
(It’s Dr. Seuss week!)

I close with big appreciations to
Secretary of State Ken Detzner and
his posse including Sandy Shaughnessy,
for bestowing the honor, which was
championed by many, including
poets Stephanie Salkin & Jude Mandell

A VIDEO TO NOTE
I do expect to return here with more on
LBH and the award. But first,
visit with this great video record
of the ceremony, which I enjoyed
straight-through as I couldn’t be in the
Gainesville audience,
scooting home for scheduled events.
Hint: when you have time, stick with this
Florida Channel memory for the poetic line,
we need ballet slippers and saxophones.”
Did you hear the crowd’s applause?

. . .
WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED
I am still focused on the continued
hate speech in this country.
For my Poetry Friday piece this week, I will again
highlight the resistance anthem, WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
But I am happy to provide links on Friday to some
poetry blogs keyed to an exciting March poetry
commemoration,
which I very much look forward to reading.

………..

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April 17, 2015 Poetry Friday post

So much to ponder this glorious day. But before pondering,

Poetry Friday today is hosted by

my pal with the perfect name,

haiku wrangler Robyn Hood Black, at her blog, Life on the Deckle Edge.

 

Days of Remembrance.

The White Rose resistance of teens against Hitler is on my mind

these days of Remembrance April 16-19.

And I have no book of poems for younger students on The Holocaust

to recommend. (Later in the post the poems from Terezin are mentioned.)

 

Bully Poems for the youngest?

An illustrated collection of poems about bullies, for the youngest

readers could be a start, if anyone knows such a collection. If not,

perhaps Poetry Friday should originate one. I would imagine subjects

of the poems would be bully-animals in the wild or at home,

top-cat, top-dog pets who scratch and bite the other family feline &

canine members. Perhaps.

Our bully is Ginger, who will not tolerate any other animals.

 

When the puppy visited

by Jan Godown Annino

Old Ginger cat arches at the door

stares down the

visiting

shivering

pup

hisses

glares

scares

him back out the door

©JanGodownAnnino

 

Remembrance References.

I hope any educator researching for their classroom can

look at award-winning former teacher Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s

HITLER’S YOUTH. This non-fiction 170-page photo-illustrated reference

not only documents what you would expect from the title, but also those

brave German non-Jewish teens who paid with their lives, by creating an underground in Hamburg and other locations.

 

 

images-1

Artwork & poems of the children and young people

held in the Czech concentration camp

called Terezin are presented with important contextual essays of the

history of the enclave in I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERFLY. It is for

teachers and older students and very ably illuminated at this school site.

 

It’s National Library Week.

I was able to hug not one, not two, but three favorite librarians recently

at the WordofSouth celebration of books and music. Where, I am proud to say

our StoryFort’s offerings including the sharing of student art submitted to our

regional Holocaust Resource Education Council.My hubby & I attended
other gre8t events, which I will cover here on another day.

unnamed-1

Appreciate your family, your friends & your one & only life, this day & every day.