James Whitcomb Riley, who lived from 1859-1916, was known as both the children’s poet and the Hoosier poet. Originally writing in Hoosier (Indiana) dialect for the newspaper the Indianapolis Journal, Riley eventually wrote over 1,000 poems and over half of them in dialect.
I partially credit James Whitcomb Riley with my love of reading. My grandfather gave my mother a book of Riley’s poetry shortly before I was born which she began reading to me from the day I was born. When I was young, my favorite of James Whitcomb Riley’s poems were The Raggedy Man, The Man in the Moon, and Little Orphant Annie (not a typo, that’s part of his Hoosier dialect). I can still recite Little Orphant Annie by heart, actually. When I was still teaching I would turn off the classroom lights on Halloween and recite it for them “…and the goblins’ll getcha if you don’t watch out!”
Okay, this is making me really nostalgic. I think I’m going to go and order “The Best of James Whitcomb Riley” to reread to Daniel..and myself!
The Literary Road Trip is the brainchild of Michelle at GalleySmith. It is a chance for book bloggers to spotlight local authors and their books. I will be spotlighting authors and books from Illinois (my current state of residence) and Indiana (my state of birth).