Read about Poetry for NPM.

It’s April again, so it’s National Poetry Month. There are many ways to celebrate and if reading about poetry – and the poets who write them – is one of the things you’d like to do, here are some books at the library to help you get started:

1. How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson

2. What Poets are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life by Gary Soto

3. Open the Door: How to Excite Young People about Poetry edited by Dorothea Lasky, Dominic Luxford, and Jesse Nathan

Also, if you’d rather read fiction with characters that are poets:

1. The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt

2. The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan

3. My Name is Phillis Wheatley : A Story of Slavery and Freedom by Afua Cooper


Keeping Track of What I Read: March

1. Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland by Bill Willingham (Graphic novel).

2. “Leave the Bodies Be,” by Ashley C. Ford (Creative nonfiction).

3. On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee (Novel/audiobook).

4. This Little Hamster by Kass Reich (Picture book).

5. Never Ever by Jo Empson (Picture book).

6. “The Boy Who Lived Forever” by Lev Grossman (Online article).

7. “Mendi Lewis Obadike on Toi Derricotte” (Essay chapter).

8. Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora (Picture book).

9. Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett (Picture book).

10. Fables, Volume 2: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham (Graphic novel).

11. A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka (Picture book).

12. The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems (Picture book).

13. Rrralph by Lois Ehlert (Picture book).

14. “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature” by Christopher Myers (Online article).

15. “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” by Walter Dean Myers (Online article).

16. After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson (Audiobook).

17. Dig, Dogs, Dig: A Construction Tail by James Horvath (Picture book).

18. Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton (Picture book).

19. “A Tale for the Time Being vs. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” from The Morning News Tournament of Books judged by Mat Johnson (Online article).

20. Mara by Brian Wood and Ming Doyle (Graphic novel).

21. “Anyway: Angie” by Daniel José Older (Short story).

22. Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty (Picture book).

23. “When the Monster Saves You,” by Ashley C. Ford (Creative nonfiction).

24. Fables, Volume 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham (Graphic novel).


Highly Textured Writer: Ashley C. Ford

high•ly tex•tured writ•er: A person whose work is to write books, poems, or stories and has curly or kinky hair.

Welcome Ashley C. Ford to Librarian Dreams.

1. What is your signature hairstyle and how do you achieve it?
My signature hairstyle is a small-medium afro with a headband. Honestly, I love it because it’s so easy. I’m not a girl who has patience to spend a lot of time on her hair, so I like to keep it simple and sweet. Every once in a while I’ll do a twistout or add some bright barrettes.

2. Which books could give insight on you as a person? Why?
I think you could read Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and Towelhead by Alicia Erian and you’d know the entirety of my heart. All three of those books took me to a place emotionally that revealed the next part of my emotional journey. They all helped me be better.


3. Do you have any fond memories of being at the library? 
For many years, the library was the only place I could go and feel absolutely safe. Not just physically safe, but emotionally safe. The librarians were sweet to me and charmed by my love for and understanding of books that were well above my age. It was safe to be excited about words. And I was always excited about words. My favorite memories of the library are of me making a stack of books in the the Teen section and trying to see how many I could finish in a day. I would read until they kicked me out. Lovingly, of course.


4. I read in an interview that your father sends you hand-written letters. Did that inspire you to become a writer?
My father’s letters are beautiful, and they’ve meant a lot to me, but he is a visual artist more than anything else. Before I could even read his letters, I was enamored with the cards he drew for me. They were all covered with gorgeous hand-drawn flowers, animals, butterflies, and light. So much light. I’d always been told my father was an artist and a dreamer, and I couldn’t draw, but I could do something similar with words. That was certainly an inspiration. The need to put beauty in the world is something I come by honestly.


Want to know more about Ashley C. Ford? You can follow her on Twitter or visit her website.



Late Woman

What…so there’s like a week left of March and now I’m posting something about Women’s History Month? Super tardy for the party. Anyhoo, here are a few titles I ran across that might be interesting to read, if I had time to read them. Perhaps you have more time?

1. Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture by Gaiutra Bahadur.

2. Bad Girls : Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves, & Other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple.

3. American Cocktail: A “Colored Girl” in the World by Anita Reynolds.

4. Diary of Charlotte Forten : A Free Black Girl Before the Civil War by Charlotte Forten.

5. Bird of Paradise : How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda.

6. Outlawed in Pakistan (DVD) by Habiba Nosheen, Hilke Schellmann, and PBS.

7.  I Love a Broad Margin to My Life by Maxing Hong Kingston.