Jacqueline Woodson. Photo: Stefan Tell

"Starting with that call in January to this moment right now in December, my life has been one thing that I’ve never imagined after the next."

 

Hello, Jacqueline Woodson!

The 2018 ALMA laureate Jacqueline Woodson sums up her laureate year, talks about her intensive fall as an ambassador for reading in the US, and reveals that she’s writing a new book.

How's it going some two weeks before christmas?
It’s a bit crazy here - of course. Between all that’s happening with our 'government', my own deadlines and the holiday approaching, my plate is pretty full. Today, I’ve put aside some hours to work on Baldwin For The Arts, the foundation I’m starting with the money I’ve received from ALMA. It’s exciting but again, exhausting!


What have you been doing this fall?
I’ve spent a lot of time on the road in my position as National Ambassador For Young People’s Literature, going mostly into juvenile detention centers and underserved schools. I’ve been talking about the importance of literature and of telling our stories. Up until about two weeks ago, I was gone pretty much 2 - 3 weeks out of the month. It’s SO nice to be home for a while.


Your latest novel, Harbor me, was released in August. What reactions did it get?
It’s on a WHOLE LOT of Best Book Lists! I keep getting emails about it. The same with The Day You Begin which was the picture book released in August illustrated by Rafael López. It’s been getting such amazing reviews. It’s so awesome to put something into the world that really matters to you and then seeing it go off to really matter to the world.  I feel like, starting with that call in January to this moment right now in December, my life has been one thing that I’ve never imagined after the next.

 
What are your plans next?
I am working on an adult book called Red At The Bone, writing a Ted Talk about stories and thinking about a nap!