Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emerita Sojourner Kincaid Rolle has received national recognition for her illustrated children’s book, “Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem,” according to the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture.
In commemoration of Black History Month, the School Library Journal has published a list of “15 Nonfiction and Fiction Titles for Young Readers About Slavery in the United States,” which highlights the significance of Ms. Rolle’s book.
Additional authors on the list include Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones, Newbery Award winner Renée Watson and Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens.
The SLJ noted that its recommended titles “cover some of the experiences lived by the enslaved in this country from 1619 (the first slave ship) to 1865 (Juneteenth)” and can offer a “nuanced presentation of major historical events of Black history.”
Ms. Rolle’s writing is praised for its “lyrical feel that evokes a range of emotions, from sadness for the realities of the many hardships still faced right after emancipation, to the hope and resilience of newfound freedom.”
“Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem” was illustrated by Alex Bostic, the renowned artist who created the 2022 Edmonia Lewis Commemorative Forever stamp for the USPS Black Heritage Series.
The book has received national acclaim from Kirkus Reviews, PBS, Publisher’s Weekly, and Booklist, where it received a starred review and Editor’s Choice designation. It is available at Barnes and Noble and through Rolle’s website, sojournerkincaidrolle.com.
Sojourner Kincaid Rolle served as Santa Barbara Poet Laureate from 2015 to 17 and was succeeded by Enid Osborn, Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Emma Trelles. The search for the city’s next poet laureate is currently under way.email: email@example.com