Friday, December 3, 2010

Poetry Friday: Congratulations to J. Patrick Lewis

J. Patrick Lewis, Poet

A few days ago, I read that J. Patrick Lewis was named the recipient of this year's Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English (this news came via Elaine Magliaro and her informative blog, Wild Rose Reader - Elaine also has a wonderful interview with Pat from 2008.) And a few weeks ago, I got a copy of Pat's book of poetry for adults, Gulls Hold Up the Sky: Poems 1983-2010. Today, I just want to say hooray to Pat, and huge congratulations!

Pat joins poets like Richard Wilbur and X.J. Kennedy who see no problem straddling the fence between the two worlds of writing for children and writing for adults. Talent, a love of language, an observant eye, a sense of humor (which is often a sense of non-sense), and a willingness to work hard. No matter who the audience is, that's what it takes to produce the poetry, and Pat has these qualities.

For Poetry Friday, a silly and wonderful poem from this new book of his (though many are serious, and I thought I should share one of those, no - I can't resist the silly ones): 

Crime and Punishment 

Student, mad, 
Runs amok --
Murders two,
Worse luck. 
What then? 
Long discussion --
Guilt, more guilt
(It's Russian.)

Pat Lewis, Bubble-Gum Blower!
Today's Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Tricia (thanks, Tricia!) over at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Head over there to see what people have posted!


  1. Julie -- what a great poem. So funny! I also love poets who write for children and adults. Scratch that. They write for human beings. The poem will know who its audience is.

  2. What a great photo! I was very excited by this too. Our children are carrying around THE UNDERWEAR SALESMAN lately... I have never read JPL's poetry for adults. Thank you for the heads up. A.

  3. So fun! I haven't read this poem yet, though I'm in the middle of Gulls Hold Up the Sky and am loving it. Pat is such a worthy recipient of this award--one of my all-time favorite poets!