Michael J. Rosen is the creator of a wide variety of more than 150 books for both adults and young readers. A poet, fiction- and non-fiction writer, humorist, illustrator, and editor.
Rosen’s many children’s books, such as Chanukah Lights, a poetic collaboration with pop-up master Robert Sabuda (Candlewick); the middle-grade novel, The Tale of Rescue (Candlewick); and Elijah’s Angel (Harcourt), have received many distinguished citations, among them, the Sydney Taylor
Book Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries, the National Jewish Book Award, the inaugural Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance Once Upon a World Book Award for the best children’s book that promotes diversity and tolerance, and the Ohioana Library Career Citation in children’s literature. Fifteen of his books such as Dog People and Horse People (Artisan), Home (HarperCollins), and The Greatest Table (Harcourt), were created with the generosity of hundreds of the country’s best-known illustrators, photographers, authors, and cartoonists as creative philanthropy. Their profits benefitted the Share Our Strength’s work to end childhood hunger and a granting program he created, The Company of Animals Fund, that awarded over $375,000 to 100 animal welfare organizations.
For over 45 years, ever since working as a counselor, youth-services director, and teacher at local community centers, Michael has been engaged with young children, their parents, and teachers. He has taught poetry and other forms of creative expression to adults and youth at literature conferences, colleges, libraries, and many nontraditional learning environments. As a visiting author, in-service speaker, and workshop leader, he has traveled to well over 700 schools and conferences around the nation.
Recent books include The Horse’s Haiku (Candlewick), which follows volumes of his haiku devoted to birds, cats, and dogs; Outrageous Animal Adaptations (Twenty-first Century Books/Lerner); Reel Time (Creative Education), a six-volume introduction to fishing; and a book of goofy story problems solved in a humorous but math-based manner, Mind-Boggling Numbers (Millbrook/Lerner).
His poetry for adults has been collected in four volumes: A Drink at the Mirage (Princeton University Press), Traveling in Notions: The Stories of Gordon Penn (University of S. Carolina Press), Telling Things (Harcourt Brace), and the most recent, Every Species of Hope: Georgics, Haiku, and Other Poems (Ohio State University Press).
He lives on a 50-acres in the foothills of Appalachia, east of Columbus where he served for nearly 20 years as literary director of The Thurber House, a cultural center in James’s restored boyhood home. During his tenure, Rosen edited four volumes of James Thurber’s work, and began the first of three humor biennials, Mirth of a Nation (HarperCollins). He is currently creating a monograph on James Thurber’s art that will accompany a six-month-long exhibition of original works at the Columbus Museum of Art.