Friday, September 20, 2013
Poetry & Me: Being Selected as a Cybils Poetry Judge
Monday was a very exciting day for me. The official announcement about Cybils judges posted. I am very pleased and proud to be named as a round one judge for the poetry category. I've been watching the Cybils from the sidelines for several years. This year I thought why not? The worst that could happen would be I don't get selected. But I did and I'm so excited about this opportunity to work with fabulous people, read great poetry books, and promote poetry in general.
I started writing poetry when I was about 12 and continued on through high school. I had a great freshman English teacher who made us write poetry and stories. He introduced me to acrostic poems and haiku. My favorite poets in high school were Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Edgar Lee Masters.
In college, I majored in English Literature and as such read a lot of poetry. It wasn't until I took a children's literature course that I discovered the joys of poetry written for children. One of my favorite poems from that class was "Click Beetle" by Mary Ann Hoberman.
In graduate school, I continued to enjoy children's poetry and also discovered verse novels (or novels in verse). Love that Dog and Out of the Dust are still my favorites in that format.
As a youth services librarian, I love reading, reviewing, and recommending children's poetry to my patrons. In addition, I use poetry in my preschool storytimes and my outreach visits to local schools (especially during National Poetry Month). I've had special poetry storytimes and programs for all ages. I've even turned quite a few nursery rhymes and poems (many by Jack Prelutsky...I guess he lends himself to flannel boards well) into felt sets for my flannel board.
As a Round One judge, I look forward to doing what I always do (reading, reviewing, and recommending children's poetry) but with the end result having a larger impact on other librarians, bloggers, poets, and readers.
Nominations open October 1st. Please nominate your favorite poetry book of 2013! And don't forget about the other Cybils categories: Book Apps, Easy Readers/Short Chapter Books, Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction, Young Adult Speculative Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphics, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Nonfiction, Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction.
Visit the Cybils website for more information.