Eloise Greenfield Children’s Poetry Advocate Prize
The annual Eloise Greenfield Children’s Poetry Advocate Prize recognizes a librarian, teacher, or bookseller supporting Black-authored children’s poetry in their community.
CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF ELOISE GREENFIELD
Launched in 2023, this prize honors Eloise Greenfield, the author of forty-eight children’s books, including Honey, I Love and Other Poems and The Great Migration. Eloise was a beloved children’s book creator whose pioneering voice, especially for the Black American experience, has made her an inspiration to many generations of readers.
This prize is awarded each year, in partnership with HarperCollins Children’s Books, to a bookseller, educator, or librarian, in recognition of their work supporting Black-authored children’s poetry in their community.
This prize will be announced and celebrated during National Poetry Month each April!
Explore all of Eloise Greenfield’s books in print by downloading the bibliography.
2023 WINNER AND CELEBRATION
WINNER. Tamara Shiloh, the owner of the Multicultural Children’s Bookstore in Richmond, CA, as well as an author and local literacy leader, is the winner of the first annual Eloise Greenfield Children’s Poetry Advocate of the Year Prize. Eloise’s children, Monica and Steven, chose Tamara for her work as an advocate for the reading of new and backlist books of children’s poetry by Black poets. Tamara will receive a $1,000 honorarium from the Children’s Book Council, and HarperCollins will donate a selection of 100 children’s poetry books and other children’s titles to her after-school programs and community reading hours.
JOIN IN! To kick off our celebration, everyone is invited to record themselves reading a favorite poem of Eloise’s, joining Jason Reynolds and his Instagram video and share by using #eloisegreenfieldaward or by tagging the CBC.
IN CONVERSATION. The CBC recorded a 45-minute “In Conversation” video late last month, moderated by Deborah Taylor, a retired Coordinator of School and Student Services for the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and a recipient of the Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. Deborah, Monica Greenfield, and Tamara Shiloh share their thoughts about Eloise Greenfield’s legacy and the power of poetry for children, especially the importance of Black-authored poetry and storytelling. You can watch the video here.
REMEMBRANCES OF MEETING AND WORKING WITH ELOISE GREENFIELD
From Phoebe Yeh, Co-Publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers
“Eloise Greenfield was already a legend when I first had the honor of working with her as her Harper Collins editor. In precise, simple language, Eloise celebrated the lives of African American children, their interests, their joys, their dreams, creativity, imagination, family life, and family history. Her poetry placed African American children first and foremost, forever seen. Of particular note, her poetry anthology, Honey, I Love, first published in 1978, continues to be a children’s book classic for all time.”
From Don Tate, author and illustrator
“A highlight of my career was when I first met Eloise Greenfield at Politics & Prose in DC back in 2017. I had been in awe of this legendary author since my early days in publishing, especially because of her Honey, I Love , which I had several copies of in my personal library. So, needless to say, I was starstruck when I met her. But she was humble, unassuming. For a photo, she even held up a copy of my recently published The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Eerdmans), and I was thrilled. But while I had been a longtime admirer of her work, she has also been quietly supporting me for years. Several times before I was published in the trade, she reached out to my agents about the possibility of my illustrating books she’d written for the educational market. At that time, we weren’t quite able to align the stars to make things work. Finally, she reached out to me through Alazar Press to illustrate her PAR-TAY! Dance of the Veggies. The book paid practically nothing, but I jumped at the opportunity to work and share a byline with this trailblazing author—even if it meant my illustrating a dancing head of cabbage! By this time, Eloise was in her later years. Still, she knew what she wanted in a book and wasn’t afraid to speak up and ask for changes in line with her vision! After the book was published, I saw a video of Eloise performing the story, rapping, and dancing like only she could! Eloise Greenfield was truly an amazing human being.”
From Joe Gulla, GM of Alazar Press
“We were happy to hear about the award for Eloise Greenfield. Although she passed a couple of years ago, she is still frequently on my mind. This year, we have trade paper versions of the Women Who Caught The Babies and Alaina and The Great Play becoming available. We hope that a new audience will be attracted to the lower-cost trade paper versions. I had a wonderful experience making an audio recording at her house one cold December day when we were ready to publish the Women Who Caught The Babies. I enjoy reading about people who suddenly discover the QRC on the back of the Women book and find that they can hear Eloise read her poems. She had poor sight and hearing but just made the recording happen through her strong will. When I was leaving, I saw her CSK Virginia Hamilton Medal on the piano and asked for a picture, so she put on some lipstick and gave me a big smile. She had received it just a few weeks before. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and left to return home.”
MORE AWARDS. Goddard Riverside / CBC Young People’s Book Prize for Social Justice, Notable Social Studies Trade Books, Outstanding Science Trade Books, Best STEM Books, and more collaborations.