At its Pegasus Awards last Wednesday evening in Chicago, the Poetry Foundation named Jack Prelutsky the first winner of its Children's Poet Laureate Award. Prelutsky will serve as an advisor to the Foundation on children's literature, and will give two major public readings. The award, which has a two-year tenure and comes with a $25,000 prize, aims to raise awareness that children are poetry's first audience. A recent Foundation study concluded that a lifelong love for poetry is most likely to result if cultivated early in childhood.
"Writers don't write to win awards, but it's nice every once in a while to be recognized," said Prelutsky, who hopes to bring children's poetry to a wider audience. "If word gets out, who knows, maybe I'll be on with Conan or Oprah talking about kids poetry."