Friday, May 13, 2011

Children's Poet Laureate: Gum Chewing, Bubble Blowing, J. Patrick Lewis

The Man Himself
I'll join the crowd and offer up a message of congratulations to J. Patrick Lewis, our nation's new Children's Poet Laureate!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such exciting news for those of us who love his work. Pat is the author of one of my favorite riddles:

Her hair's
The stairs. 

The answer to the riddle is Rapunzel, of course (taken from Pat's book Spot the Plot.) If you're wondering at all why he's now the Children's Poet Laureate, just try writing a riddle - or any poem - with only four words, using that many tools from the poet's toolbox: rhyme, meter, humor, compression.....that's not just four words, folks, that's four syllables!

I'm going to link two pages here: Both are from past posts to The Drift Record, and both are about Pat.

The first, posted last December, was written when Pat was named  the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English.

The second, from October 2009, was in response to Pat's invention of a new poetry form he calls the "zeno." I gave it my best effort with some original zenos of my own. 

These posts (both have links to other bloggers' interviews of and reflections about Pat, remind me that a Poet Laureate needs to be not only a good poet, but an inspiration to other poets. I wish him all the best with this new position he takes on - the honor is well-deserved, and I'm sure the responsibilities will be generously carried out, with more than a few laughs along the way. 

Poetry Friday is being hosted by the Jama Rattigan over at her delicious blog, Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup. Head over there to see what other people are posting (I bet more than a few are focused on J. Patrick Lewis!!) 


  1. Adding congratulations to J. Patrick Lewis! Thanks for celebrating with this great post and the links, Julie.

  2. Love JPL's work! I was thrilled to see him named Children's Poet Laureate.