April 14, 2017
By Gillian Schneider, a teacher at Neuqua Valley High School and the recipient of the 2016 Penguin Random House Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry.
Sitting at the NCTE secondary luncheon in November 2015, I found an application for the Penguin Random House Literacy Awards, including the Maya Angelou Poetry Award. I did not have a concrete idea of what I might propose, but by spring, I decided that I would make every effort to come up with something to support poetry awareness. I asked colleagues to read my application and suggest changes, and I asked students to help me with letters of support and haiku. The grant idea for “So You Want Me to Love Poetry? YES!” began as an appeal to students to stop saying “No” to poetry and start saying “Yes!” Once I submitted all of the required elements, I distracted myself. (more…)
June 15, 2016
The Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards, which annually present $112,000 in scholarships to fifty-six New York City public high school seniors for original poetry, fiction & drama, memoir, graphic novel, and spoken word poetry compositions, were held on June 7. Since 1994, more than two million dollars have been awarded to students and their schools by Random House, and now Penguin Random House, through this awards competition. In this twenty-third year for the competition, more than 1,300 entries were received from a number of diverse public high schools throughout the city’s five boroughs. (more…)
September 19, 2014
“Here on the pulse of this new day.
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
And into your brother’s face,
And say simply
With hope –
– Maya Angelou, from “On the Pulse of Morning”
September 12th, 2014, The Riverside Church, New York
On a nearly perfect late summer day in Morningside Heights there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but there were plenty of rainbows beneath the domed ceiling of The Riverside Church to celebrate the life of Dr. Maya Angelou. This magnificent Church, with its rich history and commitment to justice, with its limestone pillars and Flemish stained glass, was filled with joy – and some great hats – as The Brown Sisters from Portland Oregon opened the program with an amazing “Amazing Grace.” (more…)