I love how Lee talks about poetry itself being my mentor. When I first started reading children’s poetry, I found five poets whose works totally turned me upside down: Lee Bennett Hopkins, Rebecca Kai Dotlich (whom I first read in Lee’s anthologies), Joyce Sidman, Barbara Juster Esbensen (whose talk at a kidlit conference inspired me to take a look at children’s poetry in the first place), and J. Patrick Lewis. Sigh. Learning–or at least trying to learn–from the absolute best is certainly a treat and more fun than going to school. (Though I would have loved to have been a student of Myra Cohn Livingston!)
" Located across the street from the University of Arkansas, this school has won a state-best 24 titles in 10 sports since 1996. The Purple Bulldogs’ girls’ gymnastics team has won eight straight state championships, and the girls’ soccer team took four straight from 1998 to 2001, plus one in 2010. Since 1996 the boys’ basketball team has made five appearances in the state semifinals and went to the title game in March. Fayetteville has also won four state championships in indoor track, which is not a recognized sport in the state."