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Janecszko, Paul B., selector

 The Place My Words are Looking For

 Selection of poems and the recollections of 39 poets.  Sometimes they talk about the specific poem, sometimes they talk about poetic constructions and sounds, and sometimes they talk about poetry in general. There are other poems besides the ones on which the poets comment.  One thing I like about this book is that the poets portray themselves as everyday people, which is a great way to show kids that they can be poets, too.  The poems and vignettes are very short so they are perfect for using as an introduction to a lesson.


The world of a poet

 Naomi Shihab Nye, p. 7

J. Patrick Lewis, p. 13

Michael Patrick Hearn, p. 15

Steven Kroll, p. 23

X.J. Kennedy, p. 36

Jim Daniels, p. 45 (got into poetry because of a speech defect)

Margaret Hillert, p. 52

Ronald Wallace, p. 55 (seventh grade, a vomit story, and Emily Dickinson)

Gwendolyn Brooks, p. 62

Eve Merriam, p. 65 (also includes sounds of poetry)

Julia Cunningham, p. 75

Felice Holman, p. 79

Russell Hoban, p. 98 (favorite poets)

Paul Fleishman, p. 102

Joanne Ryder, p. 105

A.R. Ammons, p. 107

Cynthia Rylant, p. 109

Ree Young, p. 113

Patricia Hubbell, p. 115

Valerie Worth, p. 122

Maxine Kumin, p. 125

Mark Vinz, p. 128

Charlotte Pomerantz, p. 135

Karla Kuskin, p. 137



The sounds of poetry


Lillian Morrison, p. 10

Bobbi Katz, p. 29 (metaphorical, i.e. rhyming is compared to tennis)

Nancy Willard, p. 32 (Emily Dickinson, memorizing poetry)

William Cole, p. 39 (also mentions several poets)

Robert Currie, p. 140


Explanation of Specific Poems


Jack Prelutsky p. 18, “The Underwater Wibbles,” p.17

(I would ask my class if he made up his explanation.  I think it’s a kind of a poem.  I would at least ask about the difference between a poem and prose based on his explanation.)

Phyllis Janowitz, p. 21; “There Was a Man,” p. 20

Myra Cohn Livingston, p. 27; “We Could Be Friends,” p. 26

William Stafford, p. 59; “One Time,” p. 58

Paul Zimmer, p. 71; “Yellow Sonnet,” p. 70

Christine E. Hemp, p. 81; “White on White,” p. 80

Gary Soto, p. 85; “Black Hair,” p. 83

Paul B. Janeczko, p. 90; “Bingo,” p. 88

John Updike (!), p. 119; “Icebox,” p. 118

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At this time, I am not posting any materials that I have not personally reviewed, but I can always use more ideas for my notebook.