Friday, November 4, 2016

Thank You, Authors, and a Poem to Ponder

With this blog post, I begin an annual Teaching Authors series we call Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving. This year, we decided to focus on our favorite authors.

Of course, I couldn't pick just one. As Election Day approaches, I'm grateful for people who stick their necks out, contribute their time and energy, and work to make the world a better place. (Note that I'm speaking for myself here and not necessarily for any other Teaching Authors.)

Children's book authors are generous people. Our own April is a co-founder of Authors & Illustrators for Children, an organization of more than 1200 children’s book creators committed to vote, campaign, and speak out for candidates who will create a safe, healthy, and inspired future for children everywhere.

Are you Facebook friends with authors? Read their posts to find out how they are involved. Christine Taylor-Butler, Marilyn Nelson, Ilsa Bick, and our own Bobbi offer their thoughtful analyses of news articles based on fact, not opinion. Carol Munro volunteers at a polling station. Shana Corey and Kendra Levin work to Get Out The Vote.

In "Election Reflections & Caring for Your Creative Heart," Cynthia Leitich Smith writes about participating in the election "in a way that preserves, reflects and/or affirms your creative life." Deborah Underwood and Jacqueline Woodson offer encouragement to those of us who are overwhelmed by the negativity in this campaign.

These are just the authors whose posts I've noticed in the past few days. I know there are many others who care and give and help. Feel free to add their names in the comments if you want to recognize their contributions.

Here's an excerpt from a powerful Election Day poem, "Let America Be America Again" by Langston Hughes.
O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
If you haven't already done so, please vote!

Rosi H. is our winner in the 2017 Children's Writer's and Illustrators Book Giveaway. Congratulations, Rosi!

Be sure to enter our current Book Giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Toby by Hazel Mitchell and a swag bag filled with all sorts of Toby goodies.

Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is at Laura Purdie Salas's Writing the World for Kids. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken


Linda Mitchell said...

Fantastic post! Thank you.....that Langston Hughes! How perfert for today.

Linda B said...

Thanks JoAnn. I am hopeful for the outcome of the election, but it has been a stressful time all year. I continue to be amazed at the onslaught of attacks.

Jane @ said...

This election season has been just heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing some words of hope and optimism.

Bobbi Miller said...

Ah, thank you for the shout-out! And, I LOVE the Langston Hughes poem. This was a grand read. Thank YOU!!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Oh, JoAnn! YOU inspire me...your years of activism on behalf of teachers and others...your songs of the people ~ thank you for the names of everyone and for this powerful poem!

Violet N. said...

How nice--to read election thoughts that focus on the positive.

jan godown annino said...

This poem from Mr. Langston Hughes should be engraved on courthouse walls across the Land. Appreciations for sharing, JoAnn.

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

Great post. It's impossible to be indifferent to the events of the world. Dangerous, even. The poem is so true -- we are all America.

laurasalas said...

Thanks, JoAnn--I'm among those who has been overwhelmed with the negativity of the campaign season, though I did post a hopeful poem yesterday. Yippee? Honestly, I will be so glad when it's over. Thanks for sharing this poem--poetry is so healing during hard times.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Perfect, just perfect--and thanks to all who are taking action in the way that fits their writing life's work.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thanks to all for your ongoing efforts & your supportive comments! Today is another good day to Get Out the Vote!