Poets are the curators of history and the medium of their expression is boundless. Let’s play a game. Pick your favorite literary journal. Look at their masthead. Count how many people of color there are, how many women, how many queer people, how many people with disabilities.
For the first time ever, a picture book won the 2016 Newbery Medal for “the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year.” Also for the first time, a Hispanic writer took home the award—Brooklyn’s Matt de la Peña, author of Last Stop of Market Street. Illustrated by Christian Robinson, it’s the story of an African-American boy and his grandmother finding beauty in their surroundings as they ride a bus through a gritty cityscape.