Guest Post: Tabatha Yeatts Presents William Stanley Braithwaite

Tabatha Yeatts is a young adult author who also has written dozens of articles for magazines and newspapers from Cricket to Logic Puzzles and The Christian Science Monitor.

She grew up in Blacksburg, Va., and went to University of Mary Washington (undergraduate) and University of Iowa (graduate school) and also lived in Georgia.  Her current home is Maryland, where she lives with her husband, three children, and four pets. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  She blogs at Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference where she hosts Poetry Friday. She loves the intersection of poetry with other media streams and videos.

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
–Albert Einstein

Poetry can be a powerful force for inspiring children’s imaginations, especially if we give them multiple ways to experience it.

Here are ten ways I’ve shared on The Opposite of Indifference:

* Creating poetry hunts
* Holding March Madness Poetry Tournaments
* “Discovering” poems in books such as The Great Gatsby
* Picking favorite poems for fictional characters
* Making Artist Trading Cards (which can have favorite poems on them)
* Crafting poetry pictures with Tagxedo
* Putting together poetry Storybirds
* Playing poetry games
* Reading poems for two voices
* Finding intersections between poetry and other things

Another way to get kids involved on a new level with poetry is to let them make poetry videos. I’m sharing a poetry video today that was primarily made by my 10-year-old daughter. I found the poem and the photos, and she put it all together. The poem is Rhapsody by Harlem Renaissance poet William Stanley Braithwaite (1878–1962). In addition to the video, we have an audio reading of it by Katherine Rekkas.

Video: Rhapsody by William Stanley Braithwaite

Audio Reading: Rhapsody by William Stanley Braithwaite

Thanks, Tabatha, for sharing this poem with us in its many forms.

Poet William Stanley Braithwaite

About the Poet:

Poet William Stanley Braithwaite was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was from the West Indies, his maternal grandmother was a slave in North Carolina, and his mother may have been the daughter of the property owner. When he was young, Braithwaite was educated at home by his father. However, his father died in 1886, and Braithwaite did not finish his schooling. By the time he was 12, he was working to help support his family. He took jobs as an errand boy and then as an apprentice at a publishing company, where he learned typesetting and discovered his love of poetry.

During his lifetime, Braithwaite edited a number of influential poetry anthologies. He founded a publishing company and became a professor of creative writing at Atlanta University, authoring a biography of the Brontë family and several collections of poems. His admiration for the English Romantic poets John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth influenced his own poetic style.

Braithwaite and his wife had seven children. After he retired from Atlanta University, he moved to Harlem in 1945. Braithwaite died in 1962.

Since Tabatha Yeatts is a local writer, this is another stop on The Literary Road Trip.


  1. Those are great ideas! I’ll have to remember them for the next time The Girl is in the poetry mood. 🙂

  2. What great ideas…I’ve sent myself a link to share with some teachers tomorrow!!

  3. Great post today! I love her ideas on getting kids involved in poetry. I think if I had that as a kid I would have a much better appreciation of poetr today.

  4. Love her ideas for ways to get kids interested in poetry! I’ll be featuring some kids poetry books tomorrow as part of Kid Konnection.


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