Saturday, April 25, 2009

Poet Laureate Presents...

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of Children’s Poet Laureate Presents, a video podcast series featuring the nation’s Children’s Poet Laureate, Mary Ann Hoberman, reading from her own work and from classic children’s poetry collections. Holding a book in her lap, Hoberman addresses the camera as she reads, creating a close and friendly connection with children and parents in an atmosphere similar to that of story time at a library.

“Inspired by some of the terrific literary video series out there for kids, Children’s Poet Laureate Presents brings Mary Ann, and her delightful reading style, into homes and classrooms, and encourages children to read more poetry,” said Anne Halsey, media director for the Poetry Foundation. “The videos are in no way meant to substitute for the invaluable act of a parent or librarian reading to children, but rather are intended to allow as many children as possible to get to know Mary Ann as their Poet Laureate.”

The first three releases in the series include Hoberman reading from William Jay Smith’s Laughing Time, The Collected Nonsense of Edward Lear, and her collection I Like Old Clothes. To encourage young children to memorize poetry, Hoberman ends every video with a short verse of hers: “Every day take time to start / to learn a little poem by heart.”

“Above all in this series, I want to convey the joy of poetry—reading it, reciting it, sharing it with others,” Hoberman said. “I hope that the fun I had in making these videos is contagious and that they inspire their audience, young and old alike, to ‘learn a little poem by heart.’”

The videos are available on the website of the Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org, and on iTunes. For more information on Mary Ann Hoberman and children’s poetry, visit www.poetryfoundation.org/programs/children.html.

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