28 September 2006

Prelutsky the Children's Poet Laureate

A few years back, the American poetry world was abuzz'd with news that a reader (and unsuccessful submitter) had left Poetry magazine a large bequest. I believe the poetic term for the amount was "jillions." The previously threadbare organization set up the Poetry Foundation to manage that money and find worthy ways to spend it promoting poetry in America.

Earlier this month, the foundation announced that every two years it would confer the title of "Children’s Poet Laureate: Consultant in Children’s Poetry to the Poetry Foundation" on a writer as recognition for "a career devoted to writing exceptional poetry for the young child." The honor comes with a $25,000 award, or approximately $24,950 more than most poets ever earn from their work.

That announcement having gotten some headlines, at least in the children's lit world, the foundation has now announced the first awardee: Jack Prelutsky. And it's set up several nice webpages discussing Prelutsky's style and career, with many examples and a downloadable interview.

Here's one taste of Prelutsky's oeuvre:

Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.
How does this end?

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