Homeschooled author Camille S. Campbell has always had a passion for writing. She is a talented poet, too, as you may remember from reading “Camille’s Poetry Corner” in Homeschooling Teen. Camille is currently seventeen years old and in her junior year of high school. Recently, she published a book for children about famous women poets!
Camille’s colorful book, Her Poems – Women Poets Who Changed the World, profiles six trailblazing women poets: Amanda Gorman, Joy Harjo, Mary Oliver, Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, and Sappho.
Her Poems is written in a lively and engaging style that reads like free verse poetry, and it is beautifully illustrated with detailed backgrounds on every page. After introducing the six poets, Campbell describes how to write your own poems using techniques that each of the poets used. Learn how to write a haiku, inaugural poem, shape poem, ode, and more!
This fun and educational book even includes a Junior Poet Certificate to be awarded to the student after completing the activities. At the end of Her Poems, there is a reference section listing additional poems, books and websites that can be explored.
As homeschoolers, we love how Her Poems can be used to supplement a creative writing course for young writers. It also coincides with other topics such as literature, history, civics, and women’s studies. Moreover, the book is a perfect resource for National Poetry Month in April.
Her Poems – Women Poets Who Changed the World wonderfully celebrates the power of poetry as a means of expressing ideas, thoughts and feelings, while reminding us of the integral role that women poets have played in various cultures, both past and present.
A creative masterpiece, Her Poems will surely inspire in children a lifetime love of reading and writing poetry! Although best suited for ages 6-12, we can personally attest to the fact that this book will be enjoyed by poetry lovers of any age, even teens. 🙂
Camille answers some “behind-the-scenes” questions about her book, homeschooling, and more in this exclusive interview!
What inspired you to write a book about women poets?
After delving into a topic that has always intrigued me–inspiring women throughout history– an idea came to my mind. What if I write a book about women poets? There are various books about trailblazing women in different areas, but not poetry, which is something that I wanted to change with my book. When finishing writing about the women poets, I realized that I wanted to turn the book into something that could be used by both teachers and parents to teach poetry to children. That’s when the idea of creating poetry activities was added to the book. I hope to inspire a generation of upcoming poets.
How did you choose which women poets to include – was it difficult to narrow them down to just six?
Though it was difficult to pick just six, I felt like each one was very distinct and had something different to add to the book. I also included poetry resources in the end of the book that feature more poems by women that readers can enjoy.
Can you tell a little about the process of creating this book from start to finish?
Initially, I wrote the text of the entire book without any graphics. As I was beginning to plan the layout and graphic design for the book, I came up with activities related to each female poet. I made a 40 page plan of how each page should look and then executed it using a variety of online resources. This is my first picture book and one of the first graphic design projects I have done, so there was a learning process throughout designing and completing the book.
The poetry activities are a nice touch – are they based on things that had you done yourself?
All the poetry activities in the book are based on my favorite types of poems that are both fun to write and not too difficult. In one extracurricular class, I had a writing assignment where I wrote a poem in the shape of a fish. I was so proud of this shape poem that I wanted to continue writing poetry. It’s amazing how doing that activity sparked my love of poetry. I hope that the activities in my book Her Poems will also spark a love of poetry in children who are just starting to write.
How has being homeschooled helped or hindered you when it comes to writing and publishing?
Being homeschooled has helped me greatly when it has come to my writing and publishing. It provided a flexible schedule that is useful for both writing and publishing. My inspiring mom has always encouraged me to pursue my passions. Though I take my AP/CLEP exams for early college credit, I also have a great amount of time for creative freedom and individual academic exploration of areas that intrigue me.
What are the biggest challenges or obstacles you ran into in getting this book published?
It was difficult to plan the entire layout and ensure that the format was perfect so no text or images would be cut off. It took a great deal of work to ensure that the book looked professional, not only in text, but also in the illustrations. However, the process of creating my first picture book was also very fun and exciting!
Are you already working on any future projects?
Yes, I’m working on another picture book, editing the third book of the Wishner Prophecy series and writing a new young adult book, all projects which I am excited to share with the world.
Thank you so much, Camille, for doing this interview!
Camille’s work has been internationally recognized by organizations including Scholastic Arts and Writing, Penguin Random House (Get Underlined Contest), Stanford, Lune Sparks, New Mexico Kids Magazine, Bow Seat Ocean Awareness, and Time Together Publishing. In her spare time, you can find Camille painting on silk, playing guitar, and writing her blog at camillescampbell.com.