Sharing books about the lives of poets and how they came to write poetry can be interesting and inspiring to young readers, particularly those who want to write poetry themselves. The Academy of American Poets also offers a massive web site with a comprehensive directory of American poets and there are several resource books contain biographical sketches about a variety of poets who write for young people including: Pauses: Autobiographical Reflections of 101 Creators of Children’s Books by Lee Bennett Hopkins (HarperCollins, 1995), Jeffrey and Vicky Copeland’s Speaking of Poets I and II: Interviews with Poets Who Write for Children and Young Adults (Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 1993; 1995), and my own Poetry People; A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets (Vardell, Libraries Unlimited, 2007). In addition, the list below includes more titles of poet autobiographical and biographical works in a variety of formats.
The list begins:
Bober, Natalie S. 1991. A Restless Spirit: The Story of Robert Frost. New York: Henry Holt.
Brown, Monica. 2011. Pablo Neruda. Ill. by Julie Paschkis. New York: Henry Holt.
Bryant, Jen. 2008. A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams. New York: Eerdmans.
Burleigh, Robert. 2004. Langston’s Train Ride. Ill. by Leonard Jenkins. New York: Scholastic.
Christensen, Bonnie. 2001. Woody Guthrie: Poet of the People. New York: Knopf.
For more details, get your copy of The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists.
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