I truly enjoy writing about poets and artists. I’m also an author who is very inspired by PLACE. So of course, as a Jersey girl, one of my favorite books is A River of Words: the Story of William Carlos Williams.
Born in 1883 near Rutherford, New Jersey, Willie’s parents met in Puerto Rico. His father was of English descent and his mother was of French Basque and Dutch Jewish heritage. He was educated in Switzerland and France and at the Horace Mann School in New York City. There’s a lot to know about this well-traveled, well-educated doctor, but it was my challenge to focus on his affinity for words as a child and the well-respected poet he became. Just as he mentored many younger poets, I wanted to celebrate his poetry and his influence on poets-to-be.
There are resources and an interview on my A River of Words book page for your use in the classroom or library.
A River of Words was also the first of my picture books to be illustrated by the amazing Melissa Sweet. She won a Caldecott Honor for her artwork in A River of Words and we celebrated together that July at ALA in Chicago.. You can read more about Melissa and her other books on her website. Melissa will be signing our second book, A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin at the Texas Library Association conference on Friday, April 26th from 10:30 to 11:30 am in the autograph area. Look for her there!