Norwood Avenue’s Young Poets Get Published

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Norwood Avenue Elementary School’s poetry club recently received the support of community members at their first ever published book launch. The book titled, “Apprentice Poets: Norwood Avenue School, Northport Edition,” is comprised of 35 poems from 15 members of the club and was published by Local Gems Press.

Under the guidance of school librarian Linda Trott Dickman and publisher James P. Wagner, the third, fourth and fifth grade students worked during the course of three 8-week sessions and wrote a number of poems which were shared with Dickman and Wagner during his weekly visits. Through his advice and humor, Wagner served as a visiting advisor and helped teach the students about the parts of a book and what it takes to get their poetry published. The artwork for the book cover was even selected to reflect the students and showcased third-grader and club member Paolo Greco’s creation.

“Part of the idea of the Apprentice Poets program was to really introduce the kids to the idea that yes, people are doing this now and you can be one of those people if you buckle down and work with the prompts and exercises,” said Wagner.

More than 70 community members attended the book launch, including Suffolk County Poet Laureate Robert Savino and board member Donna McNaughton. A letter was also read from incoming Suffolk County Poet Laureate Gladys Henderson. Books were sold for 15 dollars at the event with proceeds going towards the district’s Bards Poetry Scholarship.

“It’s wonderful to be recognized by an established publisher and have a person take the children’s poetry as seriously as they do and as seriously as we take our own,” said Dickman. “Our hope is to expand this practice throughout Northport to Suffolk County and beyond.”