Poetry: Resilience Embodied
Poetry is the literary language of resilience and what better month than February to learn about poets who have changed our world - not with just their words, but with the resilience those words embody.
Gwendolyn Brooks was an American poet, author, and teacher. Her work often dealt with the personal celebrations and struggles of ordinary people in her community. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on May 1, 1950, for Annie Allen, making her the first black person to win the Pulitzer Prize.
Exploring the dire poverty of the Great Depression as well as race and gender in the early 20th century, Exquisite tells of Gwendolyn's desire to and practice of writing poetry throughout her life in all circumstances and settings.
Suzanne Slade & Cozbi A. Cabrera
Sibert Honor author Suzanne Slade has written more than 150 children's books. As a mechanical engineer who worked on rockets, many of her titles are about space and women in STEM. Some recent titles include The Universe and You, June Almeida, Virus Detective!, The Woman Who Discovered the First Human Coronavirus, and A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon (NSTA Best STEM Book). Her title, Astronaut Annie, soared to the ISS and was read by astronaut Anne McClain for Story Time From Space.
Cozbi A. Cabrera is the author/illustrator of Me & Mama which won a 2021 Coretta Scott King Honor and a Caldecott Honor. Her star reviewed illustrated titles include Most Loved In All The World by Tonya Cherie Hegamin, Stitchin’ and Pullin’ A Gees Bend Quilt by Patricia McKissack, Thanks A Million by Nikki Grimes and Beauty, Her Basket by Sandra Belton. Cozbi has been a contributing illustrator for various titles including Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change by Michelle Cook (NAACP Image Award).
Five Resilience-Building Habits for Children
Ideas for Making it Real
Share poetry with your child and help her to memorize the one she really likes - it's a simple practice in understanding how someone else has transformed their own story. And much like singing a song, keeping poetry close to the heart helps us to see our experience of the world in a different way. It gives voice to what children feel, but may not yet have the words to describe.
If you are not familiar with poetry or do not have a favorite poet, start at your local library to look for the Poetry for Young People series which includes poets Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Emily Dickenson and Robert Frost.
The Stories Matter
Disclaimer: Most of the books reviewed can be found at your public library or purchased through your local bookstore.
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But, really, VISIT YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY!