Kenn Nesbitt Named Children’s Poet Laureate

By Jason Boog Comment

Poet Kenn Nesbitt has been chosen as the next Children’s Poet Laureate. The two-year title includes a $25,000 cash prize.

Poetry Foundation created the post “to raise awareness that children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.” Nesbitt has published a number of books, including The Tighty-Whitey Spider and Revenge of the Lunch Ladies (2007). Here’s more from the release:

During his laureateship, Nesbitt will deliver two major public readings for children and their families, teachers, and librarians. He will also serve as an advisor to the Poetry Foundation on children’s literature, and will likely engage in a variety of projects and events across the country to help instill a love of poetry among the nation’s youngest readers. Born in Berkeley, California, Nesbitt grew up in Fresno and San Diego and majored in computer science at National University in San Diego. He currently lives in Spokane, Washington, with his wife and two children.

J. Patrick Lewis previously held this post. 51-year-old Nesbitt will be the fourth and youngest Children’s Poet Laureate.

You can read an interview with Lewis and Nesbitt at Poetry Foundation.

Inaugural Children’s Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky was in attendance at last night’s Pegasus Awards, held at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. The Poetry Foundation installed the office of the Children’s Poet Laureate in 2006, after its research study, Poetry in America, demonstrated that a lifelong love for poetry is most likely to result if cultivated early in childhood and reinforced thereafter.

Read an interview between previous Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt.