Summer Children's Literature Institute

Make Way

July 25-28, 2019
Boston, Massachusetts

So I will write my poem, but I will leave room for the world.
I will write my poem tenderly and simply, but
      I will leave room for the wind combing the grass,
for the feather falling out of the grouse's fan-tail,
      and fluttering down, like a song.

— Mary Oliver,
"Work" in The Leaf and the Cloud

Mary Oliver's words capture the unassuming and liberating possibilities of our Institute theme, Make Way. We make our way every day, wandering along paths familiar and unknown, alone or with companions, new and old. We travel with stories in our hearts, sketches in our hands, and poems on our lips. We revel in small moments of insight, and we sing to the world of surprises.

Make Way rejoices in the quotidian. It invites us to encounter the unexpected. It charges us to find humility in how much we have yet to notice. Make Way summons us to lead—and to follow. It reminds us that, in order to Make Way, we might need to get out of the way.

In our work with or on behalf of young people, we commit to making way for them. We hear their cries against injustice. We trust that they'll find better ways than those we've taken. We burden them with creating the humanity of peace and equality we have been unable to achieve.

Make Way beckons Institute participants to reflect on their work as makers and wayfinders. What innovations in form or subject do they risk? From picturebooks to graphic novels, memoirs to fictions, informational books to narrative poetry, how do they usher in change? What do they bring? What chances do they take?

Art copyright © 2018 by Grace Lin. Art courtesy of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Art copyright © 2018 by Grace Lin. Art courtesy of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

In Gratitude

Many thanks to Grace Lin for allowing us to use her art to interpret the Institute theme. Make Way For Dumplings: 20 Years of the Art of Grace Lin will be on exhibit in the Trustman Art Gallery, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA for the month of July 2019.




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