Lee Bennett Hopkins died yesterday. Hopkins’ husband, Charles Egita, announced Lee’s passing.
My facebook and twitter feed blew up. I kept it together. I had meetings to go to and deadlines to meet but I was drawn back to the Facebook memorials. The memories being shared.
I’m a slow writer. I read. I think. I read. I take notes. I write. I revise. I read some more. For the last day, I have been thinking of Lee. Thats what I called him. And he called me “Dear One”
And I discovered that is what he called everyone. He made us all feel special.
I didn’t see him much in the last few years. Did he attend ALA a few years back and we sat and had a drink in the lobby of some hotel and talked of the old Bank Street days?
My chest is tight, tears well in my eyes. And I read some more.
What is an obituary? It is a commandment that attention must be paid. To this person, to this life.(I just wiped my eyes and blew my nose) Breathe.
From Nikki Grimes with permission to share:
“Too many hard hits for one week. Now, Lee Bennett Hopkins.
The hard news hit,
a thought bomb
obliterating all reason,
for a moment:
Lee is gone.
Gone as in for always.
Give me a moment, please.
Give yourselves a moment, too.
What is an anthologist?
It is a person who selects writings, usually in the same literary form, by various authors.
A dream field trip would be to the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, as they hold Lee’s collection of poetry books and his papers.
I am sure the word “prolific” will be attached to his name and work. That has an almost pejorative connotation. From his website, “There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not reading poetry or working on a poem of my own.”
Much better. A crazy quilt of book covers screen-shotted from Amazon.
For an extensive biography read this one on his website.
The last word from my teacher, mentor, and friend
Lee Bennett Hopkins: