Imagine

When Juan Felipe Herrera was very young, he picked flowers, helped his mama feed the chickens, slept under the starry sky, and learned to say goodbye to his amiguitos each time his migrant family moved on. When he grew up, Juan Felipe Herrera became a poet. His breathtaking poem “Imagine” and Lauren Castillo’s evocative illustrations will speak to every reader and dreamer searching for this place in life.

Pablo Neruda

Once there was a little boy named Neftalí who loved wild things wildly and quiet things quietly. From the moment he could talk, he surrounded himself with words. Neftalí discovered the magic between the pages of books. When he was sixteen, he began publishing his poems as Pablo Neruda. Pablo wrote poems about the things he loved—things made by his friends in the café, things found at the marketplace, and things he saw in nature. He wrote about the people of Chile and their stories of struggle. Because above all things and above all words, Pablo Neruda loved people.

Amrica Is Her Name

amricaSet in the Pilsen barrio of Chicago, this children’s picture book gives a heartwarming message of hope. The heroine, Amrica, is a primary school student who is unhappy in school until a poet visits the class and inspires the students to express themselves creatively-in Spanish or English. Amrica Is Her Name emphasizes the power of individual creativity in overcoming a difficult environment and establishing self-worth and identity through the young girl Amrica’s desire and determination to be a writer. This story deals realistically with the problems in urban neighborhoods and has an upbeat theme: you can succeed in spite of the odds against you. Carlos Vzquez’s inspired four-color illustrations give a vivid sense of the barrio, as well as the beauty and strength of the young girl Amrica.Luis J. Rodrguez grew up in Watts and East L.A. His bestselling memoir about gang life, Always Running (now available in paperback in both English and Spanish from Touchstone Books), won the Carl Sandburg Award. His Poems Across the Pavement (Ta Chucha Press) won the Poetry Center Book Award from San Francisco State University, and his poetry collection, The Concrete River was awarded the 1991 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Poetry. Mr. Rodrguez has worked extensively with gang members to guide them in positive directions, and he is frequently featured as a keynote speaker or guest poet at national conferences and cultural centers. Rodrguez explores the Chicano experience with an unrelenting, socially conscious eye that moved Larry Weintraub of the Chicago Sun-Times to call him a poet “we need to hear.”Illustrator Carlos Vzquez was born in Mexico, studied physics and art, and now teaches in adult education programs in New York City.This book is also available in a Spanish language edition as La llaman Amrica translated by Tino Villanueva. 1-880684-41-1

Rumi: Whirling Dervish

Born in Afghanistan in the thirteenth century, Rumi settled in Turkey and became a great mystical poet. Although he began his adult life as a highly respected scholar, he found his true calling after being mentored by a holy man, Shamsuddin. From “Shams,” he learned to listen for the sacred sound of God within himself. When his creative spirit was awakened, he recited more than 50,000 rhymed couplets. He also wrote about the love that resides in the soul of everyone regardless of religion or background. He founded the order of the whirling dervishes who believed their spinning dances put them in touch with God and brought peace and love into the world. Although Rumi died 800 years ago, his poems are more widely read now than ever before. To honor the 800th anniversary of his birth, the United Nations declared 2007 The Year of Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi.

Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets: The Mad, the Bad, and the Dangerous

Meet the rebellious young poets who brought about a literary revolution. Rock stars may think they invented sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but the Romantic poets truly created the mold. In the early 1800s, poetry could land a person in jail. Those who tried to change the world through their poems risked notoriety—or courted it. Among the most subversive were a group of young writers known as the Romantics: Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Cole-ridge, William Wordsworth, and John Keats. These rebels believed poetry should express strong feelings in ordinary language, and their words changed literature forever.