Friday, April 10, 2020

Poetry Friday: A Gift from Jacqueline Woodson

  Amy at The Poem Farm is hosting
this week's roundup of poetic goodness.
Thanks, Amy, for hosting. 
I agree with Amy, "Life is a gift." 
I woke up at four am this morning and that's an improvement over my one and two am wake ups of late. After a quick FB post, I settled in for my favorite new tradition (thinking that I only had until 7:30 PT) of listening to Jacqueline Woodson's Live Facebook reading from Thursday of Brown Girl Dreaming.

I pulled my copy of the book off the shelf on Wednesday and while flipping through it, I stopped and read the words of "sometimes, no words are needed." I was hopeful that Jacqueline would read this poem, but she skips pages sometimes. I opened the book occasionally as I listened to Thursday's broadcast, just to be sure she hadn't passed up this poem.

Jacqueline read "down the road" and then she flipped forward a few pages and I panicked, "Oh no, she's going to skip the poem I've been waiting for!"  

But she flipped back again, gave us the page number (p. 131), and shared the poem I'd been waiting to hear.

I have cherished the sharing of Brown Girl Dreaming on Facebook this week by Jacqueline Woodson. I love her description of the book shared in Thursday's reading: "...a memoir...a story of my coming of age as a writer, as a person who believes in the greater good, who believes in social responsibility, who believes in being an ally, who believes that there is a way in which we can and must take care of each other so that we can all walk safely through the world."

If you've missed listening in this week, I've just discovered that you can catch all five days here until Monday morning. Next week Jason Reynolds will be reading from his book, Look Both Ways. I am grateful to the writers and musicians and artists who are sharing freely with us during this time of pandemic. They keep the fear away and fill me with hope for a better world. 


  1. Those 'words' from her are what we need, aren't they? I will try to look these up, Ramona. I just finished Look Both Ways, will see about listening to him, too. Thanks! Hope all is going okay with you!

  2. What a gift from Jacqueline Woodson and so many other writers and artists. I love her description "that there is a way in which we can and must take care of each other so that we can all walk safely through the world."

  3. The generosity of authors is touching (and helpful as we teach online)!

  4. I love reading about a person I love listening to a book I love by an author I love. Thank you, Ramona. I am so glad Jacqueline read the poem you were waiting for. (We should chat in the middle of the night when we are both up!) All health to you and yours. xx

  5. Hearing that Jacqueline Woodson (and Jason Reynolds!) are lending their words to comfort makes me want to go back on Facebook...well, only a little. I'm glad she read the poem you were wishing of my favorites from that beautiful book. Be well. :)

  6. The writers, musicians, and artists are also our great heroes of this time ... and I love Brown Girl Dreaming. Have often used it as a mentor text for memoir.

    Happy Easter :) - Fran