Eloise Greenfield is the author of our recent release: Thinker:My Puppy Poet and Me
Buy Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me
Happy birthday to the wonderful Eloise Greenfield! To celebrate her birthday, we wanted to look back on her life, and all the things she has achieved to date.
Eloise’s story begins on May 17, 1929 in Parmele, North Carolina. She was born into a family that were at the time struggling to make ends meet, causing Eloise’s father to go to Washington DC to ‘make a way’ for his family, only three-months after her birth. Soon enough the family joined him in Washington DC. At nine Eloise settled into Langston Terrace, which Eloise describes with warmth as a ‘growing-up place, a good growing-up place’ with a community that ‘wrapped itself around us, put itself between us and the hard knocks, to cushion the blows’. Perhaps this was the best place that Eloise could have found herself in – she was surrounded by the love and sense of family that underpins all her writing.
As an adult Eloise began working as a clerk typist at the US Patent Office, a job which involved ‘typing basically the same letter every day’. Boredom set in, and with it came an experimentation with writing, which led to Eloise sending out three stories. All three were rejected, and Eloise vowed to give up writing forever. Luckily this didn’t stick, and Eloise returned to writing five or six years later, after spending time honing her craft and studying what it takes to become a good writer. We’re very happy that this wasn’t the end of Eloise’s writing career.
Today Eloise’s achievements are numerous. She’s won many awards, including, the Carter G. Woodson Book Award from the National Council for the Social Studies (1974), the Foundation for Children’s Literature Hope S. Dean Award, the 1997 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, the 1990 Recognition for Merit Award from the George G. Stone Centre for Children’s Books, and of course she was the 2018 recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.
She also married and has two children and four grandchildren. Eloise has achieved an extraordinary life and has carved out a fantastic writing career for herself, some of which stems from her motivation to provide books which would represent all children, including her own. Now her writing has been widely praised for the positive portrayal of African-American people, and the representation that she brings to children’s books. It has been wonderful working with her on Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me, and we wish her the happiest of birthdays.
- Read Eloise Greenfield given lifetime achievement award
- Check out Eloise Greenfield explain how Thinker began
- Read this lovely review of Thinker by Patricia Nosell
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