Jack Prelutsky

b. 1940
Jack PrelutskyRandom House
Jack Prelutsky is a creator of inventive poems for children and adults alike. He served as the Poetry Foundation’s Children’s Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2008. Prelutsky grew up in the Bronx, and when he was young he studied classical music; though he gave up pursuing a career as an opera singer to concentrate on writing, he continues to sing.

In a Scholastic.com interview, when asked where his ideas come from, Prelutsky said, “Everywhere! Everything I see or hear can become a poem. Several toys in my studio have turned into poems. I remember things that happened when I was a kid [. . .] Or I write about things I like or don’t like. I love spaghetti and wrote a poem about it.” Fabulous creatures and people inhabit his poems: the umbrellaphant, Uggs, and, in Scranimals (2002), banacondas, broccolions, and “the detested radishark.”

He has written more than 40 children’s books, often working with well-known illustrators such as Garth Williams, Arnold Lobel, and Marilyn Hafner. Prelutsky has also edited collections of poetry for children, including The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury (1999).

Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington state with his wife, Carolyn; they have no children, but they do have pets.

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POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

LIFE SPAN 1940–

Jack Prelutsky

Biography

Jack Prelutsky is a creator of inventive poems for children and adults alike. He served as the Poetry Foundation’s Children’s Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2008. Prelutsky grew up in the Bronx, and when he was young he studied classical music; though he gave up pursuing a career as an opera singer to concentrate on writing, he continues to sing.

In a Scholastic.com interview, when asked where his ideas come from, Prelutsky said, . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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