• November 28, 2023

Twelve Poets Created This Ode to Mothers—and Their Kitchens (Listen)

Lesléa Newman is the author of 75 books for readers of all ages, including memories: I carry my mother and I wish my father; the novel in verse, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard; and the kids’ classic Heather has two moms.

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many award-winning verse novels

and picture books. She is a former National Young Poet Laureate and lives in central California.

Marjory Wentworth is a poet, children’s book author and non-fiction author. She teaches at the College of Charleston; She is the former South Carolina poet.

Richard Michelsons The latest collection of poems is More Money Than God. He received the Sydney Taylor Gold Medal 2017 from the Association of Jewish Libraries and the National Jewish Book Award 2018.

Janet WongThe 2021 NCTE Prize for Excellent Poetry for Children is the author of 35 books, including A Suitcase of Seaweed & MORE, a collection of poetry, prose, and calls to write for young people.

Georgia heard is the author of 18 books, including an upcoming collection titled A Field Guide to the Heart. She received an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and travels the world teaching writing and poetry workshops.

Ann Marie Stephens is the author of numerous picture books, including Scuba Dog, Cy Makes a Friend, Arithmechicks Add Up, Arithmechicks Take Away and CATastrophe! and upcoming titles in the Arithmechicks franchise.

Maritza Rivera, a Puerto Rican army veteran poet, is the founder of the Mariposa Poetry Series and author of About You, a collection of poetry “for women and the men who love them”; A Mother’s War written during her son’s two Iraq tours; and twenty-one: blackjack poems.

Reuben Jackson was the curator of the Smithsonian’s Duke Ellington Collection in Washington, DC for over twenty years. He is a poet and writer whose music reviews have appeared in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Jazz Times, and All Things Considered.

Lorna Goodison is one of the most important contemporary poets in the Caribbean. Her second volume of poetry, I Will Be My Mother, received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for America and she was named a poetess in Jamaica in 2017.

Erika Sanchez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. As a poet, writer, and essayist, her first youth novel, I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, is a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Awards finalist.

Deanna Nikaido is the author of two collections of poetry, Vibrating with Silence and Voice Like Water. She is currently working on her first children’s book together with a third collection of poems and is a student of Jin Shin Jyutsu.

Kwame Alexander is the Writer-in-Residence at the American School in London and the Poet-in-Residence for the NPR Morning Edition. He is the author of 35 books and co-creator of a Disney + series based on his Newbery Medal-winning novel The Crossover.

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