Poets that Changed Me

As a young woman on the cusp of learning who she really is, Rupi and Amanda have both guided me on that journey. Some people say words have the power to change you, and I agree. Rupi and Amanda both write beautiful poetry meant to inspire and strengthen women to become better versions of ourselves. Their poetry is unique and beautiful and they both touch my heart.

Written By: Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur self-published her debut, Milk and Honey. The book has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide since its re-release. From poems of love and heartbreak, to poems of womanhood and self care, Rupi Kaur sheds light on vital topics for women today. Kaur’s poetry is straightforward without the hassle of agonizing over every complicated word and line. In an article with Rolling Stone magazine, she stated: “I’ve realized, it’s not the exact content that people connect with…People will understand and they’ll feel it because it all just goes back to the human emotion. Sadness looks the same across all cultures, races, and communities. So does happiness and joy.”

 

 

 

 

Written By: Amanda Lovelace

Amanda Lovelace‘s poetry is brutally honest. Her debut novel, The Princess Saves Herself in This One, is a collection of poetry filled with the truth of her pain, her subtle strength, and her quiet resilience. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One is filled with fire and anger. Both books incorporate women power within them as well as the # MeToo movement. All the books in her series, Women are Some Kind of Magic, take the most recognized female characters-princesses, witches, and mermaids-and retell the narratives to make them empowered.

 

 

 

 

Both Rupi and Amanda capture hearts by weaving beautiful tales with their words. While both women are all about the women empowerment movement, they are both still quite unique and different. Their differences are what makes them great. They both evoke such powerful feelings inside their readers, that my heart either feels heavy reading their poems or light from reading their poems. Overall, the poems all interconnect and weave an incredible tale of the power within women.

 

Picture Credits: Emily the Book Addict

 

 

 

April Poet Birthdays

April is National Poetry Month.  

Here are a few famous poets who have April birthdays: 

 

Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou Quote

Poet, singer, author and civil rights activist Dr.Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928.  Angelou received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2010.

The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Poems

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth Quote

English poet William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770.  Wordsworth helped to launch the “Romantic Age” of English literature.

Poems by William Wordsworth.  A selection edited by Edward Dowden.

Poems by William Wordsworth. A selection edited by Edward Dowden

 

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney

Irish born playwright, poet and author Seamus Heaney was born on April 13, 1939.  Heaney won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Station Island by Seamus Heaney

Station Island by Seamus Heaney

 

 

Etheridge Knight

Etheridge Knight

American Poet Etheridge Knight was born on April 18, 1931.

The Essential Etheridge Knight by Etheridge Knight

The Essential Etheridge Knight

 

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Playwright and Poet William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564.

No Fear Shakespeare Sonnets

William Shakespeare Sonnets

 

Robert Penn Warren

Robert Penn Warren

Poet, novelist and literary critic Robert Penn Warren was born on April 24, 1905. Warren won Pulitzer prizes for his poetry and for his fiction writing.  

The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren

The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren P

 

Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser Quote

American Poet Ted Kooser was born April 25,1939.

House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser

House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser

 

Do you share an April birthday with one of these poets?  We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

April is National Poetry Month

National Poetry month began in 1996.  Today it is considered “the largest literary celebration in the world” according to the Academy of American Poets website.

Here are a few ideas of how to celebrate National Poetry month:

  • Consider joining the Academy of American Poets “Poem a Day digital series.”    During the week, new and unpublished poems by current poets will arrive in your email.  On weekends  you will find classic poetry. This is a free service.
  • Check out the Academy of American Poets youtube channel.  The channel offers many poems to choose from.  Most of them are read by the authors themselves.   
  • Consider reading a poem a day each day for the month of April.  There are some great authors to help you get started.  

Where the Sidewalk Ends 

by Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk EndsSilverstein opens this childhood classic with an invitation. “If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hop-er, a prayer-er, a magic bean buyer..If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire for we have some flax-golden tales to spin.  Come in! Come in”

The book is a collection of Silverstein’s poetry and drawings.

It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles

By Jack Prelutsky

Jack Prelutsky

This is a hilarious collection of Prelutsky’s poetry that children will love.  Filled with stories, puns, jokes, and tales of animals and make believe, this will soon become a childhood favorite.

Feel the Beat: Dance poems that zing from salsa to swing

By Marilyn Singer

Feel The Beat

This is a collection of poetry about dance.  There is an audio CD included that features the poet reading to the music for each dance mentioned.

Modern Day Poets:

Many times people think of poetry as being something old fashioned or dead.  Here are three modern day poets who will get you excited to read poetry again.  

Milk and Honey

By Rupi Kur

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur originally self published “Milk and Honey.”  The book had  a huge following and made it to the New York Times best seller list.  Kaur’s poetry talks about pain and how to navigate through life’s toughest moments. This is available as a digital download ebook through OverDrive

Stags Leap

By Sharon Olds

Stags Leap by Sharon Olds

This is a collection of poetry that was written during Olds’ divorce.  In her poems, she tackles issues such as the loss of love, sorrow and finding herself. Olds won the T.S. Elliot award for poetry for this book.   

The Surrender Tree : Poems of Cuba’s struggle for freedom

By Margarita Engle

The Surrender Tree by Margaritta Engle

 

Engle was awarded the  Newbery Honor Award for this book.  This book is a collection of poetry that  chronicles the struggles that Cuba has faced and the country’s continuing fight for freedom.

Do you have a favorite poem or a favorite poet?  We would love to hear in the comments below.

Happy Reading 🙂

Want or Need a Book We Don’t Have?

Both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library have hundreds of books combined. Though our collection is quite extensive and filled with every kind of book, there’s no possible way to have every single book in the world ever published. So thankfully we have a service called Inter-library loan.

Our ILL service gives our members access to a much wider range of materials than normally possible.

 

WHO CAN USE OUR ILL SERVICE?

Any patron in good standing who has a membership that includes borrowing privileges.

 

WHAT CAN BE BORROWED?

Books, audio-books, movies, seasons, etc.

 

WHAT’S THE COST?

If we can get the item from within our state, there isn’t a charge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occasionally, we won’t be able to find an item and in this case any item received from out of state will carry a postage charge that depends on the material’s size and its weight. You are able to specify whether you’d like to avoid charges at the time of your request.

 

BEFORE PLACING A REQUEST:

If the desired material is part of our Library’s current collection, we will not borrow it from another library.

However, if we have a title in Large Print and you would like it to be in regular print, we are able to borrow the title that way. As well as wishing for a title that is in regular print in large print.

If the material is less than six months old, many libraries will not lend it out. In many cases, we will add the material to our collection request.

*A collection request is a database we keep for any books that you wish for the library to purchase that is newer than six months old. We may or may not purchase the material depending on a vary of reasons.

Many ILL’s will take 7-14 business days to arrive, if you need the material sooner than that, it may be wise to consider another alternative.

 

CHECKING OUT YOUR ILL:

When your loan has arrived, you will receive a notification from your preferred method (normally a phone call).

If you do receive a material from out of state, a charge will be placed on your account with an explanation.

Just like any other item within our collection, you will be responsible to return your item.

Late fees may apply.

 

AM I ABLE TO RENEW?

Occasionally, a library will allow a renewal. If you are in need of a renewal, please contact the Aurora Library or the Dillsboro Library before the date your item is due.

We can give up to a week renewal while waiting for a reply back from the current lending library.

 

RETURNING MY ILL:

Because the materials are owned by other Libraries, it is important to return the materials in a timely manner. The due dates are generally determined by the lending library and can be as long as a month or as short as two weeks. Any fines/fees due to the material being returned late will be determined by the lending library and will be charged to you.

 

If you know exactly what item you would like, you are more than welcome to fill out our form on our website or come in or call either branch to request an ILL today!

 

If you request a DVD, the DVD will not count towards our DVD limit.  This is the same for TV shows, as well.

Example: You request Lady Bird, and we receive the DVD from another library. You can still also check out two other DVD’s from our library.

 

 

National Great Poetry Reading Day

Saturday, April 28 is National Great Poetry Reading Day!

How can you celebrate?

For starters, you can visit one of the branches of the Aurora Public Library District and check out volumes of poetry by great poets, like John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Rupi Kaur, William Wordsworth, Sylvia Plath, Alfred Tennyson, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein, and Maya Angelou, among many others. If you just want to browse the poetry section to see what you can find, start in section 808.1. You’ll be able to browse titles at your leisure and take ones that speak to you. Or, if you’d rather, you can visit the Indiana Digital Download Center and browse our digital poetry selections, too.

One major way that poetry differs from novels or nonfiction is that poetry begs to be read out loud. The only way to appreciate the cadence of the words on the page is to read them out loud and listen. On National Great Poetry Reading Day, gather some friends and family around and read your favorite poems aloud. Or record yourself reading your favorite poem and upload it to social media with #NationalGreatPoetryReadingDay. By following the hashtag, you’ll be able to see other poetry connoisseurs celebrating the day in their own way as well.

You could try your hand at writing your own poetry, too! If you want to follow the exact rules to write specific types of poetry, like haiku, sonnet, or limerick, we have titles with examples and instructions. But one of the best things about poetry is that, as you’re writing, you can decide how you want your idea to appear on the paper. Free verse is exactly that; free! You can choose to write your poem however you want.

Tell us how you’re going to celebrate National Great Poetry Reading Day! I’m going to see if I can find my old stuff from college from that poetry class I took.

Happy Reading!

Shakespeare Day!

To celebrate, or not to celebrate? That is the question, but the answer is: Of course! April 23 is National Shakespeare Day!

Baptized on April 26, 1564, William Shakespeare is widely considered to be the greatest writer of the English language, having works ranging from plays to poems, as well as being an actor himself. He was born in raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Not much is known about his early life except at the age of eighteen, he married the much-older Anne Hathaway and had three children with her. He traveled to London sometime between 1585 and 1592 and became a successful writer, actor, and part-owner of a playing company, Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later the King’s Men. He retired to Stratford around 1613, around the age of 49, where he died three years later.

Little else is known about Shakespeare, except that he wrote and produced 37 plays during his time in London, ranging from comedies, including Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, to historical dramas, like Richard III, Henry IV, V, and VI, to tragedies, such as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Titus Andronicus. He also wrote 154 sonnets as well as narrative poetry. Shakespeare set the bar that many other writers would follow, influencing generations of writers still today. If you’re interested in learning more about William Shakespeare, follow this link to books in our collection about his life.

So, how can the Aurora Public Library District help you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? Well, you can check out DVDs based on his plays and life, as well as modern retellings of his classic plays. I think it is important to read Shakespeare, but I think it is even more important to watch Shakespeare to really understand him. There is nothing quite like watching words on the page come to life before your eyes, in period costumes with facial expressions and vocal intonations to help you to really grasp the play.

You can also check out copies of his plays and poems to read for yourself, if you’d like to let the words wash over you and give yourself time to process what takes place in each scene, or what each poem is really trying to say. There are physical copies as well as digital copies through the Indiana Digital Download Center. The Aurora Public Library District has a collection of No Fear Shakespeare titles, which puts the original text side-by-side with modern-day language in order to make it easier to understand. This will definitely come in handy if you want more depth to the play.

I am continually amazed at how relevant the themes of the plays are to today, even though Shakespeare’s time was almost 500 years ago. The language might seem archaic, but if you dig deeper until you find the meaning behind the prose, you’ll be surprised, too. Shakespeare was a genius at capturing humans, from their words to the words they weren’t speaking, but that their body language, facial expressions, and tones would show. If you ever get the chance to see one of Shakespeare’s plays in person, I highly recommend that you take it.

How will you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? I think I’ll reread my favorite play, Hamlet, and then watch The Lion King, which is what the Disney movie is based off of. Pretty cool, huh?

Happy Reading!

Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?

Kids of all ages (and adults) are fascinated with dinosaurs! That’s why I was so excited to see a new book of children’s poetry by David Elliott. In the Past is a large format picture book with a short dinosaur poem on each double-page spread; it’s perfect for sharing in one sitting or for reading in small bits.

In the Past by David Elliott

This latest book by Elliott only takes a slight turn from his previous books of poetry featuring animals in different habitats. Those of you who have attended our children’s programs in the past know that I love to share poems. It’s more than just a personal preference; there is firm research that shows poetry is a great way for kids to develop early literacy skills. Poems provide great examples of rhyme, rhythm and figurative language and also encourage us to look at the world around us in creative ways.

In the Sea by David Elliott    In the Wild by David Elliott

Pick up a David Elliott book to share with your family this April for National Poetry Month. For older readers, you might want to try Elliott’s book Bull, a novel written in verse that explores the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. You can find Bull in the teen area at the Aurora Public Library or on OverDrive.

On the Farm by David Elliott   Bull by David Elliott

Young People’s Poet Laureate

What is a Poet Laureate? Did you know we have 2 in the United States? Poet Laureates are designated by nations or groups and are frequently expected to compose poems for special occasions. The Librarian of the United States Congress designates a poet annually to work toward increasing our nation’s appreciation of poetry. This position is currently filled by Tracy K. Smith.

The Poetry Foundation, since 2006, has selected a Young People’s (or Children’s) Poet Laureate for two-year terms. The chosen poet works on a variety of projects to help instill a lifelong love of poetry among the nation’s developing readers.

Margarita Engle has held this position since 2017. Previously this position was filled by Jack Prelutsky, Mary Ann Hoberman, J.Patrick Lewis, Kenn Nesbitt, and Jacqueline Woodson.

I love this excerpt from her poem “Tula”, found in the book The Lightning Dreamer.

Books are door-shaped 

portals

carrying me

across oceans

and centuries,

helping me feel

less alone.

Engle may be best known for her novels in verse, especially those focusing on different aspects of Cuban history. If that doesn’t grab your attention, I will tell you that you need to give these books a try! Engle has a true gift for highlighting episodes in history that are not well-known.

The Firefly Letters by Margarita Engle   The Lightning Dreamer by Margarita Engle

The Poet Slave of Cuba by Margarita Engle   The Surrender Tree by Margarita Engle

We also have some books for younger kids that feature poems by Engle.

Orangutanka by Margarita Engle  Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle

Bravo: Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle

I am very excited about Bravo: Poems About Amazing Hispanics, our newest addition by Engle. This book is located in our juvenile biography area and is perfect for families and classrooms!

Diversity is a huge focus in children’s literature and there was so much in this book that was new to me!

You can read more of Engle’s poetry on the Poetry Foundation’s web page.

Take the Poetry Challenge!

As National Poetry Month comes to a close, I have a challenge for you. Try to read at least one poem. Some of you will claim to not like poetry, to not understand it, to not know what to choose. These excuses may be true, but it can be fun to stretch yourself a bit. I have some great suggestions to help you get started. Poetry can be very personal. It may bring out strong emotions – including laughter and joy. My suggestions are just suggestions; you may have to pull some books off the shelves before you find one you will enjoy.

If you’re still with me, you may have decided to give it a try. Ask yourself if you want to try something traditional or more modern? Do you want a narrative poem or a shorter work that just evokes a scene or a moment? You may want to take a large collection of poems and just thumb through to find one that seems interesting. We have poetry collections by many well-known poets: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, James Whitcomb Riley and many more. You could also try a collection of selected poems by many different poets. Caroline Kennedy edited a book of her mother’s favorite poems that is great to browse through.

kennedy

You may want to try a more recent poet such as Maya Angelou or Billy Collins. As you read, keep in mind that poetry often challenges us to see the world in different ways or from alternate perspectives.

angelou  

We have a very nice set of short biographies of some well-known poets. Included in the books are some of the poet’s best known poems. Perhaps knowing something about the person will help you connect with the poetry. Poets in the series are Walt Whitman, E.E. Cummings, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare.

walt whitman

If you want something short and sweet, and you are a nature-lover, pick up The Cuckoo’s Haiku, featuring beautiful watercolor bird illustrations by Stan Fellows.

haiku

Here are some other books to get you started. Be sure to also check out the selections from the Indiana Digital Download Center. There is a featured collection on the main menu for National Poetry Month.

bicycles blanco

borrowed names  simic

dogs   heaney

kumin   teen

plath   kay ryan

 

April is National Poetry Month

April is a month I look forward to each year – not just for the springtime weather, but also for the chance to highlight some of the Library’s wonderful poetry books. This post will just cover books of poems for kids, and I’ll highlight Adult and Teen poetry in another post.

sidewalk    light

If you ask kids about their favorite poetry, they will almost always talk about the great Shel Silverstein. His books like Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic are truly amazing, but Silverstein is just a beginning point. Here are some more great suggestions for kids of all ages.

Jack Prelutsky’s collections of poems are almost as funny as those of Shel Silverstein. You might want to begin with Something Big Has Been Here or It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles.

big    pigs

A shorter collection by Prelutsky that I highly recommend for older kids who can understand a more subtle form of humor is Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems. In addition to writing original poetry, Prelutsky has edited numerous collections that contain poems by lots of writers. He was also selected in 2006 by the Poetry Foundation to serve a two year term as the first Children’s Poet Laureate.

stardines

I also love the poetry books of Douglas Florian. He typically publishes short collections of poems that are all on the same theme. April would be a wonderful time to share Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings. Kids are guaranteed to love Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings, and I am a big fan of Poetrees.

poem runs     dino

poetrees

For kids who love nature, I recommend the poetry books of Joyce Sidman. Start with Songs of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems and then move on to Ubiquitous and Dark Emperor and other Poems of the Night. All of these books contain both poems and informational text.

boatman

Don’t just read poetry this month. Try your hand at writing some; it would be a great family activity. Don’t know how to get started? We have books to help you!

pizza     read a rhyme

writing