A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
Image Source- Photo by Helen Teague
Juan Felipe Herrera has been named as the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States in an announced appointment by James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. Herrera’s term will take place from 2015 to 2016. (GalleyCat)
A poet of Chicano descent, the 66-year-old has spent just about his whole life on the West Coast. Born to a family of migrant farmworkers, Herrera bounced from tent to trailer for much of his youth in Southern California, eventually studying at UCLA and Stanford.
Herrera will succeed current Poet Laureate Charles Wright. Herrera is the poet who wrote “Border-Crosser With A Lamborghini Dream” and “187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border,” among many other poems. (NYT)
The laureate position involves crafting poetry projects and broadening the audience for poetry. The 2013-2014 poet laureate, Natasha Trethewey, launched a series of reports from locations nationwide for a PBS NewsHour poetry series to explore societal issues. (HuffPost / AP)
Dating back to the 1300’s in Italy where the first poet laureates were named, over a dozen countries continue the poet laureate tradition today. The first U.S. poet laureate was Joseph Auslander. Ten U.S. states also name their own poets laureate.
Our friends at ReadWorks sent a reminder that April is National Poetry Month. Inspire a love of poetry and improve your students’ reading comprehension with our collection of poems at different levels for K – 12th grade.
Each poem, or pair of poems, comes with an evidence-based question set that can help move your students to comprehension. Like all ReadWorks curriculum, they are based on the highest-quality research on reading comprehension.
Please consider moving within all grade area specifications—don’t feel confined to stay just within your grade area. ReadWorks has chosen so many great poems that transcend grades and ages.
Have fun with poetry!
This weekend’s quote is a poem by Longfellow, especially pertinent during the last days of this turbulent semester:
The heights by great (folks) reached and kept
Were not obtained by sudden flight;
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore,…
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,
We may discern-unseen before-
A path to higher destinies!