On Wednesday morning, #ALA Annual Conference 2021 began with an amazing opening speaker session with Amanda Gorman and Loren Long. They were interviewed by “rock star” (to quote Gorman) Carla Hayden. Really, all three of these speakers are ROCK STARS! Gorman introduced us to her new book, CHANGE SINGS, which will be available in the fall. She has been working on the poem for over 3.5 years and wanted it to come out as close after the Inauguration as possible (before she even knew that she would be the Inaugural Poet).
Gorman and Long discussed the transformation of her poem into a children’s book. As Gorman explained, poems are “divisible by units of sound, and children’s books are divisible by units of scene.” In thinking about turning the poem into a book, she had to think about “page turns,” and she wanted to give the huge topic of CHANGE texture, light, color, and vibrancy. Viewers were given a treat and got to see some of Long’s beautiful illustrations as well as hear Amanda read the first few pages of CHANGE SINGS.
It was magical to hear Gorman and Long talk about their process and to see that they are both clearly in awe of each other…as I am in awe of both of them!
If you missed the live presentation, you can go back and watch through the ALA conference page as many of the live sessions are being recorded and will be available to watch after the live presentation.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.