One of our goals is to introduce you to (or reacquaint you with) poets whose work is enjoyed by kids or teens. We start with the winners of the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children before moving on to other poets, past and present.



(American, b. 1935)


    I want a poem to sprout roses and spit bullets; this is the ideal combination, and it is a tough tightrope that takes the kind of control that comes only with years of work.” – Arnold Adoff, from L.B. Hopkins’s Pass the Poetry, Please!

It is a great honor to share with you a wide-ranging new interview with Arnold Adoff—a renowned poet, and an anthologist of African American literature who has published more than forty books for young people, including the seminal Black Is Brown Is Tan, which was the first children’s book to portray an interracial family. He is the recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1988 for the body of his work, and he lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He was married to the late Virginia Hamilton, the celebrated American novelist. They have two grown children: Leigh Hamilton (Adoff), an operatic soprano, and Jaime Adoff, a poet and novelist. His latest publication is Roots and Blues: A Celebration (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011). To learn more, please visit www.arnoldadoff.com.

To download a free PDF of the full interview with Arnold Adoff, as well as two of his poems, please click: Lines of Force: A Conversation with Arnold Adoff

2 thoughts on “FEATURED POET: Arnold Adoff

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