Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is author of several poetry books for children including Forest Has a Song (Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award), With My Hands (NCTE/CLA Notable Book in the Language Arts), Read! Read! Read! (NCTE Poetry Notable), Write! Write! Write! (NCTE/CLA Notable Book in the Language Arts). In addition, she is author of picture books Every Day Birds (Junior Library Guild Selection), Dreaming of You (Kirkus starred review), That Missing Feeling (“A sweet beginner’s guide to keeping calm – Kirkus), poems in many anthologies, and popular classroom blogs The Poem Farm and Sharing Our Notebooks. Her next book is If This Bird Had Pockets: A Poem in Your Pocket Day Celebration (March 2022).
Having studied and worked at the Teachers College Writing Project at Columbia University, Amy has taught both fourth (2020-2021) and fifth (1993-1998) grades and is author of the Heinemann professional book Poems Are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres and co-author, with Lucy Calkins and Stephanie Parsons, of Poetry: Big Thoughts in Small Packages. For 22 years, she has led teacher writing workshops and has taught demonstration lessons throughout the United States. When meeting with students, she ties her writing experience to her knowledge of writing instruction, making clear that we can all find ideas everywhere, and through work, we can grow them. Amy shares the idea, “We are doing the same thing as writers…I’m just a little older, but we can both learn from each other as we make marks together..
You can find Amy in her old Western New York farmhouse with her husband, and occasionally one of their three young adult children. They share their lives with two dogs, four cats, a handful of chickens, and tens of thousands of bees.