Thursday, June 4, 2015

Young People's Poet Laureate Jacqueline Woodson and Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Writer Jacqueline Woodson Named Young People's Poet Laureate

Jacqueline Woodson, last fall's National Book Award winner for young people's literature, has a new honor as young people's poet laureate. The Chicago-based Poetry Foundation announced Wednesday that Woodson has been given the title "in recognition of a career devoted to writing exceptional poetry for young readers."

The 52-year-old New York City writer receives a $25,000 cash prize, and will advise the foundation on poetry projects. Woodson was cited by National Book Award judges in November for "Brown Girl Dreaming," an autobiographical novel in verse. Her other works include "Miracle's Boys" and "Each Kindness."
"Brown Girl Dreaming," winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, is a memoir written through poems. Such a format was unheard of prior to Woodson's work. But for Woodson, poetry seemed to be the best format to tell the story. "Memory doesn't come as a straight narrative," she said about why she didn’t choose prose. "It comes in small moments with all this white space."  
She has been credited with being daring and innovative about writing young adult literature well before other authors caught on.
with a Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp with Oat Pecan Crumb Topping
Cook's notes: Old-Fashioned Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp has a generous crumbly oat topping to complement the tangy filling. The recipe is best served warm with ice cream.
  • 4 cups strawberries, washed, cut in half, tops removed
  • 5 cups diced rhubarb, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TB. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 
  • the juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • optional 1 TB. orange liqueur
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats 
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • dash nutmeg
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chopped rhubarb and halved strawberries in a mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon juice, orange zest, and  orange liqueur. Toss well to combine. Pour fruit into a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Add flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt to a food processor. Pulse to combine, until mixture becomes grainy and can be pressed together. Add rolled oats and nuts. Pulse 1 or 2 times just until incorporated. Add a dash of nutmeg.
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees until fruit is bubbling and the topping has lightly browned, about 30 - 40 minutes.

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