Poetry for Children & Teens: About

To provide and preserve a comprehensive collection of poetry written and published for children and teens, birth through age 20, from 1960 on.


The Western Washington Univeristy Libraries' Children and Teen Poetry Collection includes materials written and published for children and teens, birth through age 20, from 1960 on. The primary scope of this collection is poetry published in the United States, with additional international items as warranted and desired. Collection subdivisions include: print, media, recordings (spoken word), online (web sites), and rare items. Primarily a circulating collection, valuable resources will be housed in the WWU Special Collections. The Children’s Poetry Collection is part of an overarching strategy within the Western Libraries to build and support our stragtegic collections and core resources.

While most publishing houses publish poetry as part of their children’s and teen divisions, and most libraries collect poetry, it is startling to note that there is no comprehensive, university-based collection in the United States with a focus on poetry for children and teens. Why not us? Why not here?

We imagine bringing poets to Bellingham, hosting inter-generational writing events, providing research grants for visiting scholars, and collaborating with existing poetry organizations, both locally and nationally. Western hosts an annual children’s literature conference that brings award winning authors and illustrators to campus. Now in its eleventh year, the conference has established Western Washington University and Bellingham as a locus for children’s and young adult literature. Educators, artists, students, librarians, writers, and scholars, attend the annual conference and it is in this spirit that we envision the Poetry Collection.

The Poetry Collection Co-Directors:

Nancy Johnson, English Department Faculty and Director of the WWU Children’s Literature Conference
Contact: nancy.johnson@wwu.edu

Sylvia Tag, Education Librarian and Curator of the Children’s/YA Literature Collection
Contact: sylvia.tag@wwu.edu

Poetry Collection Advisory Board

Meredith Attar, 3rd Grade Teacher, Roosevelt Elementary, BSD

Bruce Beasley, Poet & English Faculty, WWU

Tamar Clarke, Teen Services Librarian, Whatcom County Library System

Mary Cornish, Fairhaven College, WWU

Tracy Coskie, Elementary Education Faculty, WWU

Deb Currier, Theatre Arts Faculty, WWU

Karen Dade, Associate Dean, Woodring College of Education, WWU

Katherine Freimund, Director of Whatcom Literacy Council, B'ham, WA

Ralph Hayden, Librarian, Parkview Elementary, BSD

Carol Janson, Art Faculty, WWU

Elizabeth Joffrion, Director of Heritage Resources, WWU

Judy Kleinberg, Poet, Bellingham, WA

Oliver de la Paz, English, WWU

Paul Piper, Special Collections Librarian, WWU

Darilyn Sigel, Librarian, Whatcom Middle School, BSD

Cyndie Shepard, Director of Compass to Campus, WWU

Tina Storer, K-12 STUDY CANADA Education and Curriculum Specialist, WWU

Rosemary Vohs, Woodring College of Education, WWU