|The irrepressible Charles Waters!|
So a year and a half ago, Charles Waters and I embarked upon a poetic journey -- a book about race and racism with the working title It's Not Black and White.
That title got scrapped by the marketing department in favor of CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship. (Share the excitement - pre-order your copy today!)
Those marketing folks are smart, aren't they? We feel so fortunate to have worked with Carolrhoda/Lerner Books on this project... our editor Carol Hinz is a superhero! And wow, Sean Qualls and Selina Alko did such a lovely job with the illustrations... but you know what is most exciting?
And because the book contains a whole lot of yes-it-actually-happened content, we thought it might be fun to share a "2 Truths and a Lie" challenge with you today. You can find mine over at Charles' Poetry Time blog, and I will share about Charles here at Live Your Poem. (Fun fact: Charles and I have yet to meet in person! But that meeting is coming... we will be presenting together at both AASL and NCTE conferences in November.)
But first: Behold, the cover (which went through so so many versions before it finally landed here)!
|available January 1, 2018!|
Mrs. Vandenberg wants us to write poems?
Finally, an easy project. Words fly off my pen
onto the paper, like writing is my superpower.
The rest of the time, my words are a curse. I open my mouth,
and people run away. Now I’m stuck with Irene?
She hardly says anything. Plus she’s white.
Her stringy, dishwater blond hair waves
back and forth as she stutter-steps toward me.
My stomach bottoms out. “Hello,” I say. “Hi,” she says.
I surprise myself by smiling at her—she smells like
a mix of perfume and detergent. We stare at our sneakers
before I ask, “So, what do you want to
write about?” She shrugs. I say, “How about our shoes, hair?
Then we can write about school and church?”
She takes a deep breath. “Okay.”
I match it. “Let’s start there.”
- Charles Waters
And now, 2 truths and a lie with Charles! Answers below.
1. Charles had "friends" disrespect him in front of other people for no other reason than to show off at his expense.
2. Charles is obsessed with rap music.
3. Charles had a Grandma who understood him, supported him and didn't judge his choices.
2. Lie - "While I listened to rap growing up, L.L. Cool J., Rob Base, PM Dawn, Salt and Pepa, D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and Public Enemy to name a few, I listened more to top 40 pop songs on the radio."
3.True - "My grandmother Victoria (Vickie) had my back. She passed away in 1997. I miss her. She was a most excellent human being."
Thanks so much for reading!