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Jun 25, 2014
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9 years of service
One of PACYA’s primary goals is to track and promote the new poetry titles published each year. Brave volunteers Sylvia Vardell, Diane Mayr, Rebecca Davis, and Lee Bennett Hopkins (with help from Steven Withrow) took on the challenge of creating as comprehensive a list of poetry titles as we could make: all books of poetry published for young people ages 0-18 in English in 2011. We even tried to include books from outside the United States, adding some titles published in Canada and the UK. If we missed any, we welcome further recommendations.

We viewed “poetry” as collections of poems by individual poets, poetry anthologies, Mother Goose, and novels-in-verse, and we used cataloging and publishing data to confirm our category. But we did not include rhyming picture books or books reprinted or republished in 2011. There were also many wonderful works ABOUT poetry (a Pablo Neruda biography, for example) or BY poets (such as Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman) that were wonderful, but not categorized as poetry, per se.

***Please CLICK HERE to access a free PDF of the annotated list.***

Below you will find an engaging introduction by Sylvia Vardell, along with a selection of thoughts about particular titles from PACYA members and volunteers.

INTRODUCTION: Ten Trends in Poetry for Young People in 2011

By Sylvia Vardell

In examining the nearly one hundred books of poetry published for young people in 2011, I’ve found there’s quite a variety in style, tone, content, and format available. In fact, I noticed ten mini-trends (if two or three books constitute a trend) that are worth exploring: animals, humor, music, culture, novels-in-verse, stories-in-poems, emerging new voices, poetic innovation, ebooks, and book poetry. Some feature tried-and-true “formulas” for creating appealing poetry for young people (using the connecting theme of “animals,” for example), and others venture into brand new territory (such as creating poems using only the letters from a single word, as in Bob Raczka’s Lemonade). Once again, the variety and quality offer an intriguing snapshot of the state of poetry for young people today.


The topic of animals has almost instant appeal to young readers, and several collections utilized this approach, including:

Leslie Bulion’s At the Sea Floor Caf
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