My friend Hope, recently won the Coretta Scott King Honor award for her book Keeping the Night Watch. An incredible follow up of her first book, The Way A Door Closes, for which she won the Coretta Scott King New Talent Award, (and many other awards I can't all list here.) Needles to say, Hope is a master at what she does. Both books are a series of powerful poems that tell the tale of a family trying to stay together after the father leaves. The second book deals with the same family trying to accept the father back into their lives after he decides to come home. Not only is Hope an amazing writer and an amazing poet, but then she decides to illustrate her next book, Mother Poems, herself. (This beautiful book is coming out on march 31st.) And illustrate she did. On a recent visit to NY, she showed me her master piece. The ripped paper collages are wonderful, expressive, and full of emotion. I am in awe. Hope Anita Smith is full of surprises and definitely one to watch!