Paul B. Janeczko

Paul B. Janeczko didn’t always plan to be a poetry anthologist. “I started out as a kid in New Jersey who had two major goals in life,” he says. “To survive one more year of delivering newspapers without being mauled by Ike, the one-eyed, slobbering cur that lurked in the forsythia bushes at the top of the hill, and to become more than a weak-hitting, thirdstring catcher on our sorry Little League team.”
Though Paul B. Janeczko says he failed to achieve either goal, he did reach college in one piece, and that’s when he discovered his love of poetry. After teaching high school English for twenty-two years, he became a visiting poet, and has since worked with young writers in schools from Maine to Alaska as well as abroad. He has also edited twenty poetry anthologies for young readers, many of which have been named Best Books of the Year by the American Library Association. Paul’s acclaimed collaboration with artist Chris Raschka, “A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems”, was both a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year and a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year. Unlike “A Poke in the I”, in which Paul focuses on only one form of poetry, its sequel, “A Kick in the Head”, presents lively examples of twenty-nine poetic forms, demonstrating not only the (sometimes bendable) rules of poetry but also the spirit that brings these forms so wonderfully to life. In “Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing”, Paul reveals yet another of his talents – an affinity for codes and ciphers that he shares with young readers in a lively and informative handbook sure to inspire budding secret agents. Poet, anthologist, and secret-code specialist Paul B. Janeczko now lives in Maine with his wife and daughter.