Saturday, November 28, 2009

Poetry Party... NCTE

One of the sessions we attended at NCTE was called, "Poetry Party:  Celebrating 2009 NCTE Poetry Award Recipient Lee Bennett Hopkins."  They served sparkling cider, cookies, and amazing readings at this celebration.  Each of the attendees received a copy of Dear One: A Tribute to Lee Bennett Hopkins, a compilation of poetry by some of Lee's friends... whom he calls "Dear Ones." 
     Some of our favorite poets read their poetry in tribute to Mr. Hopkins... Jane Yolen, Georgia Heard, J. Patrick Lewis, Kristin O'Connell George, Heidi Mordhordst, Walter Dean Myers, Eileen Spinelli, Ralph Fletcher, Bobbi Katz, John Grandits, Janet Wong... the words, the poetry, the language, the laughter, the passion... it was an amazing tribute to man who has touched the lives of poets (young and old) with his brilliance and dedication of collecting poetry for children.  Walter Dean Myers said of Mr. Hopkins, "Good people in the field hold you feet to the fire!"  Isn't it the truth?  Ralph Fletcher said that Mr. Myers, "Embodies a life of living with passion."  Passion.  What's yours?

      In the back of the book we received, there is a wonderful quote by Lee Bennett Hopkins:  Poetry and I fit together.  I can't imagine being without it... It is the food and drink, it is all the seasons, it is the stuff of all existence.  It was so evident by the poets who read their words to their dear friend that he, indeed, has touched their lives.  It was one amazing tribute of words after another... story after story... poem after poem!  And Mr. Hopkins relished in each and every poem and story.

     This session was a reminder to me of the power of poetry and the extraordinary role it plays in the lives of our students... and how just a word, or two, or three can change a life!  
     What's your favorite Lee Bennett Hopkins' collection?  Here are a few of mine...



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