Monday, November 1, 2010

Lee Bennett Hopkins: WHY POETRY?

Lee Bennett Hopkins

This week at Wild Rose Reader, I’ll be featuring award-winning poet and anthologist extraordinaire (drum roll, please) Lee Bennett Hopkins—Mr. Poetry Man himself!
I’ll be posting my interview with Lee tomorrow. I encourage readers to ask Lee their own questions anytime during this week. I’ll be posting Lee’s responses to your questions next week.

(Note: You may email your questions to me (edotdrabikatyahoodotcom)—or you may leave your questions for Lee in any of the posts I write about him.)

Today, I’m just posting Lee’s poetic answer to a question he’s so often asked and links to reviews that I’ve written of some of the wonderful children’s poetry books that he has published over the years. I thought by doing this I'd help whet your Lee-terary appetites. Please come back tomorrow for my interview with Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Why Poetry?
Lee: I have been asked this question so many countless times that years ago I decided to write a poem to answer it:

by Lee Bennett Hopkins

(Reprinted by permission of Curtis-Brown, Ltd.)

Why poetry?
Why sunsets?
Why trees?
Why birds?
Why seas?
Why you?
Why me?
Why friends?
Why families?
Why laugh?
Why cry?
Why hello?
Why good-bye?
Why poetry?

That’s why!

Wild Rose Reader Poetry Book Reviews

Poetry Book Review: Incredible Inventions Compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Book Review: Sky Magic Compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Valentine Hearts: Poetry & A Picture Book in Verse

Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees

More School Poems: Review of School Supplies

Words…Wonderful Words, Words, Words

More Poetry for Christmas

Poetry for Hanukkah


NOTE: Along with fellow kidlit bloggers Sylvia Vardell and Tricia Stohr-Hunt, I’ll be participating in a poet/blogger session at the NCTE Annual Convention in Orlando in November. Sylvia, Tricia, and I will be featuring the poet members of the panel (Lee Bennett Hopkins, Jame Richards, Pat Mora, and Marilyn Singer) at our blogs this week and next week and inviting reader participation.

Session Title: Poets and Bloggers Unite: Using Technology to Connect Kids, Teachers, and Poetry
Date: November 19th
Session/Time: A.09—9:30 am to 10:45 am
Format: Panel

Meet Marilyn Singer at The Miss Rumphius Effect
Featuring Pat Mora and NCTE at poetry for Children


Anonymous said...

Lucky you! That NCTE panel sounds wonderful!

I'm looking forward to a week with Lee (on your blog - too bad it's not in person, because Lee's lovely!)

Elaine Magliaro said...


I met Lee at NCTE last year. He is indeed a lovely man--and he has a wicked sense of humor, which is something I truly appreciate!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Wonderful beginning, Elaine. Fun to see all those reviews of Lee's works pile up!

Elaine Magliaro said...


Lee has published so many poetry books and done so much to spread his passion for the genre for so many years that I found it difficult deciding where to begin my week featuring him at Wild Rose Reader.

Toby Speed said...

It's going to be so much fun participating in this panel long-distance through your column and those of your panel-mates, Elaine. Last night I reread one of Lee's old anthologies - April, Bubbles, Chocolate - that he signed for me back in 1994 when I met him at a conference.

I'm wondering how he knows when he has an anthology idea of rich enough potential to work. What decisions does he make when widening or narrowing the lens of focus? Does he choose the poems first and adjust the theme, or come up with the theme and then look for suitable poems?

I guess that's more than one question. Looking forward to the rest of the week.