The Poetry Foundation has named Jacqueline Woodson its Young People’s Poet Laureate for 2015–2016.
The role of the young people’s poet laureate is to raise awareness that young people have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them. The $25,000 laureate title is given to a living writer in recognition of a career devoted to writing exceptional poetry for young readers.
Read our Newsmaker interview with Woodson from the March 2015 issue of American Libraries. Woodson will also be appearing at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco on June 28.
Woodson was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of more than 30 books for children and young adults, including From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun (1995), which was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and won a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award; Miracle’s Boys (2000), which won the 2001 Coretta Scott King Award and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Hush (2002), a National Book Award finalist; Locomotion (2003), also a National Book Award finalist; Coming on Home Soon (2004), a Caldecott Honor Book and a Booklist Editors’ Choice; and Behind You (2004), included in the New York Public Library’s list of best Books of the Teen Age. Three of Woodson’s books have been named Newbery Honor Books: Show Way (2005), Feathers (2007), and After Tupac & D Foster (2008). Her recent books include the young adult novel Beneath a Meth Moon (2012) and Brown Girl Dreaming (2014), a novel in verse about Woodson’s family and segregation in the South, which won a National Book Award and was named a Newbery Honor Book.