Arnold Adoff

Bronx, New York / United States
Arnold Adoff
Bronx, New York / United States

Biography

Arnold Adoff (born July 16, 1935, in Bronx, New York) is an American children's writer. In 1988, the National Council of Teachers of English gave Adoff the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. He has said, "I will always try to turn sights and sounds into words. I will always try to shape words into my singing poems."
Adoff grew up in the South Bronx, the son of immigrants from a town near the Polish-Russian border. He enrolled in the Columbia University School of Pharmacy but transferred to City College of New York, where he received a B.A. in history and literature. He married Virginia Hamilton in 1960 and they lived in Europe briefly before moving back to New York City. Adoff taught social studies in Harlem and the Upper West Side of New York. Adoff and Hamilton eventually moved to Yellow Springs, Ohio, where Adoff still lives.
"I began writing for kids because I wanted to effect a change in American society. I continue in that spirit. By the time we reach adulthood, we are closed and set in our attitudes. The chances of a poet reaching us are very slim. But I can open a child's imagination, develop his appetite for poetry, and more importantly, show him that poetry is a natural part of everyday life. We all need someone to point out that the emperor is wearing no clothes. That's the poet's job." --Arnold Adoff
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