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Paula's Poetry Page

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Poet Study: Douglas Florian - Interesting Facts

mugdouglasflorian.gif
Picture taken from HarperTeacher.com

Some Interesting Facts About Douglas Florian:
  • Douglas was born and still lives in New York with his family.
  • His dad was an artist and his home was like an art museum with paintings, drawings, and sculptures all around. 
  • He studied art at Queens College and the School of Visual Arts in New York.
  • Florian began ilustrating books in 1977  and he wrote and illustrated his first book A BIRD CAN FLY in 1980. 
  • Douglas was an artist before he was a writer.  It took him about ten years before he found that "poetry was his niche."
  • He began writing poetry after he bought a book of poems called Oh That's Ridiculous, edited by William Cole.  The poems in the book were so funny that he began writing his own poems.  He wrote over 300 poems that summer. 
  • He won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and received an ALA Notable Children's Book Award for BEAST FEAST.
  • Florian states, "I love to write and I love to paint, but for some reason I hate to do them both the same day or even the same week. Perhaps writing occupies one part of the brain and painting another; each requires a different way of thinking and seeing."  
  • Douglas has three children that he uses more as a springboard for his poems.  He figures that if his children don't think something is funny or well done, how can he expect someone else's children to.
  • He states that he doesn't choose his subjects, his subjects choose him.  "Whatever tickles my fancy or bangs my funny bone I approach with vim, vigor, or vice versa."

According to Douglas Florian...

  • You have to write a lot before you get really good at it. 
  • There is only one rule to follow when writing poetry: There are no rules!
  • "Poetry is not black and white.  It is more like the gray and purple area that connects all the things we live in."
  • Always study your subject.  Get your hands on as many books about your subject as possible. 
  • His favorite book is always the one he has just finished.  
  • The advice that Douglas would give to a would-be children's author is: "The harder I work, the luckier I get."  So get down to work, but try to have fun!
  • "Remember, in poetry, the only rule is the POETRY RULES!

  

Links to Douglas Florian web sites:

http://www.storybookart.com/meet_dflorian.html

http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/florian.htm

http://www.harperchildrens.com/teacher/catalog/author_xml.asp?authorID=16495

http://www.bookpage.com/0204bp/douglas_florian.html

http://www.douglasflorian.com/Artist's%20Statementdf.html

 

Sources for Bibliographic Information:

Book:

Janeczko, Paul B. 2002. SEEING THE BLUE BETWEEN: ADVICE

     AND INSPIRATION FOR YOUNG POETS. Cambridge:

     Candlewick Press. ISBN: 0763608815.

Web Sites:

Douglas Florian. HarperTeacher.com. Available from: http://www.harperchildrens.com/teacher/catalog/author_xml.asp?authorID=16495 Accessed 27 June 2005.

 

Gaines, Luan. Interview With Douglas Florian. Curled Up With A

     Good Kids Book. 2005. Available from:

     http://www.curledupkids.com/intervue/intflori.htm.

     Accessed 27 June 2005.

 

Douglas Florian Poem 1

This web site was created as an assignment for LS 5903 - Section 23 at TWU.
 
Some of the graphics used on this site are courtesy of http://www.graphicgarden.com
'Artwork copyright www.graphicgarden.com
 
Book covers on this site taken from Google Images and Follett Library Resources.