UPDATE 4/14: For another Poetry Month interview with Jane Yolen, you can wander over to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
For Poetry Month, The Miss Rumphius Effect (best blog name ever) has been doing a series of interviews called Poetry Makers. Last week, I was excited to see that she interviewed one of my author-heroines, Jane Yolen.
Jane Yolen is unbelievably prolific. She's published more than 300 books (and I swear that number is growing every day). And she's incredibly versatile. I first got hooked on her fantasy books, especially her retellings of traditional stories like Briar Rose. Then I got pulled into her picture books (like All Those Secrets of the World), her folk tale collections (like Not One Damsel in Distress), and her poetry collections (like the charming new book Here's a Little Poem).
What draws me to Jane Yolen's work is always her strong, brave, and truly capable female characters, her love of the traditional story, her bent toward the whimsical and fantastical, and the *fun* she has painting pictures with language.
What inspires me about Jane Yolen's work is her diversity, her depth, her very nuts-and-bolts, practical, and tireless dedication to sit down and write and write and write.
In The Miss Rumphis Effect interview, you can read some of Jane Yolen's poetry and learn about the new projects she is working on. But here is my favorite question/answer of the whole interview:
What are the things you enjoy most about writing poetry for children/young adults?
Jane: I can help them see the world anew. I can put into words some of the longings, and lingering doubts, some of the puzzles and muzzled moments of their lives. I can give them songs to sing.
She can. And she does. Daily. Thank you, Jane Yolen, and thank you Miss Rumphius Effect!
(Be sure to check out some of the other great in-depth Poetry Makers interviews with children's poets like Adam Rex, Julie Larios, and Joyce Carol Thomas...and stay tuned. There's more to come all month!)