Young People’s Poetry Day Combines Poetry and Science

Children’s author, Joyce Sidman, c Poetry Foundation

“What Do the Trees Know?
What do the trees know?
To bend when all the wild winds blow.
Roots are deep and time is slow.
All we grasp we must let go.

What do the trees know?
Buds can weather ice and snow.
Dark gives way to sunlight’s glow.
Strength and stillness help us grow.”

© Joyce Sidman, Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold [a free read if you have Amazon Unlimited]



The Poetry Foundation will open its doors to the youngest poetry lovers for Young People’s Poetry Day on Saturday, April 20, 10:00 AM–1:00 PM with the theme “Poetry and Science.” This annual free event features a reading by acclaimed poet and children’s author Joyce Sidman, animal odes with the Field Museum, a poetry scavenger hunt, fun crafts, writing activities, and refreshments in one of the only buildings in the world dedicated to poetry.

“Poetry and science are a natural fit, especially for young children who are already so curious and excited to learn.” says Katherine Litwin, Poetry Foundation library director. “We are celebrating that curiosity this year by providing an environment where budding poets and scientists can experiment with language.”

Special guest Joyce Sidman is the author of sixteen books of poetry for children, including Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, a 2011 Newberry Honor Book. Her most recent book, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, was named one of the New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2018; it details the life of Maria Sibylla Merian, the 17th century artist who uncovered the mysteries of metamorphosis in butterflies.

“Why read children poems about worms and beetles?” asks Sidman. “Because we—and the children we care about—need the space to pause, stretch out our arms, and touch the world. In handling its lovely mysteries, we learn from them and about ourselves.”

Please note, this event is open only to children and their accompanying caregivers

Young People’s Poetry Day: Poetry & Science
Saturday, April 20, 2019
10:00 AM–1:00 PM
Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60654

This feature is courtesy of The Poetry Foundation.


JOYCE SIDMAN “is known for her fresh, inventive poetry for children. Her award-winning books include Dark Emperor (A Newbery Honor Book), Song of the Water Boatman and Red Sings from Treetops (both Caldecott Honor Books), Butterfly Eyes (Cybils Award), and This Is Just to Say (Claudia Lewis Poetry Award). A recent starred review in School Library Journal said, “Sidman’s ear is keen, capturing many voices. Her skill as a poet accessible to young people is unmatched.” Born in Connecticut, Joyce now lives in Minnesota. Her Amazon page is HERE.

Joyce’s website includes free classroom guides for teachers. She says, “My mission is to foster poetry and science in the classroom.”


About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.
Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation,  Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.


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