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CHARLOTTE ZOLOTOW

Posted by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Lee Bennett Hopkins
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on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 in My Journal

Although I knew Charlotte for many years, the first book I did with her was the anthology MORNING, NOON, AND NIGHTTIME, TOO, published with Harper in l980.

I adored her -- not only as being a brilliant editor but a good friend.

At lunch one afternoon, and we had many, many lunches together, I mentioned how sad that her books of poetry were out of print, especially RIVER WINDING (T. Y. Crowell, l970) which first appeared in l970 under the Abelard-Schuman imprint. RIVER... had etherial two-color paintings by Kazue Mizumura which perfectly reflected Charlotte's beautiful poetry.ALL THAT SUNLIGHT (Harper, l967) was also gone.

"These poems plus a bunch of others I keep in a box," she told me. "They're so unorganized. I could never do anything with them."

This was back in the l980's. I was doing a lot of work with Harcourt with the wondrous late-editor Anna Bier. I had an idea to bring back some classic poetry by putting them in new editions. I had just convinced Myra Cohn Livingston to put together a collection of her out-of-print works which Anna published titled A SONG I SANG TO YOU (Harcourt, l980), illustratred by Margo Tomes

"Let me talk to Anna," I told Charlotte.

I soon got Anna and Charlotte together. Both were excited over the project yet Charlotte, being ultra-busy with her own editorial work at Harper could not begin to take on a collection.

"I'll do it for you," I said.

After Charlotte delivered the box to me I wondered what I was thinking.

I worked what seemed forever going through scraps and pages of poetry.

It ended up being EVERYTHING GLISTENS AND EVERYTHING SINGS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (Harcourt, l987), also illustrated by Margot Tomes, a volume containing seventy-two poems.

I treasured - will also treasure -- Charlotte's Dedication to the book":

To Anna Bier

and Lee Bennett Hopkins

with affection and gratitude.

I cannot say more except to quote her:

from

MISSING YOU

Now I walk

along the bank

the water's very blue

and I walking by the waves

missing you.

and...

from

GOOD NIGHT

We turn out the lights

and the color is gone..

Only with closed eyes

can you see now.

The colors will forever be there.


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charles Wednesday, 20 November 2013

It's like Fort Knox to get into your website. It's worth it.

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