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Posted in Introduction

Welcome to Poetry Roundabout!

Hello! I’m Liz Brownlee, National Poetry Day Ambassador! What’s on the poetry roundabout? There are quickie poetry writing ideas for children, teachers, parents and librarians, crafty poetry projects, all types of poems including funny poems, empathy poems, and of course, poem videos. Use the menus or search for them on the right. There are also interviews with poets, poetry book reviews and poetry competitions. Thank you so much to @mrs_darl teacher for the window to pop us in, and @chriswhitepoet for my little cartoon me and Lola! Welcome!

Posted in Poetry News

Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Met University- the Wonders of the Wind

‘Blow Wind Blow’ a celebration. For librarians, teachers, parents and children – Thursday 29th July, 2021.  7pm.

‘Blow Wind Blow’ is a poetic and visual introduction to the many wonders of wind, the third in the ‘Wild Wanderers’ series for younger readers.  Join poet Dom Conlon and illustrator Anastasia Izlesou for this celebration, hosted by the Manchester Children’s Book Festival and the Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Met University.  Dom and Anastasia will be in conversation with CLPE’s Charlotte Hacking and Plymouth Grove Primary teacher Sarah Thompson, to discuss how this beautiful book can have an impact in classrooms. 

Children also welcome; there will be a reading of the book and we will also be sharing some creative responses from Plymouth Grove pupils, who have been working with the book.  And we will be laying down a summer writing/drawing challenge for children to respond from home.  To join this free online event please register on Eventbrite.

Posted in Poetry News

CLiPPA Shortlist Announced Today!

HUGE congratulations to all the CLiPPA (CLPE) shortlisted poets, who were announced today!

The fabulous books are:

Slam! You’re Gonna Wanna Hear This, chosen by Nikita Gill, Macmillan

Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann, Penguin

Big Green Crocodile Rhymes to Say and Play, by Jane Newberry, illustrated by Carolina Rabei, Otter-Barry Books

On the Move, Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake, Walker Books

…and my favourite, because it’s by my poet friend (and because it’s stupendous):

A Bright Burst of Colour, Matt Goodfellow, illustrated by Aleksei Bitskoff, Bloomsbury Education.

Congratulations to all the shortlisters, and good luck for 11th October at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, when the winner is announced!

Posted in Young Poet Laureate

Apply to be Coventry Young Poet Laureate!

As part of the BBC Contains Strong Language Festival Coventry 2021, Coventry Libraries and Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 are recruiting for this exciting role:

  • Coventry Young Poet Laureate – 13 years or older and under 18 years old on 31 August 2021.

The Coventry Young Poet Laureate is an honorary post appointed by Coventry Library Service and the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. The post will be run until 5 October 2023 at which date a new Young Poet Laureate will be appointed. Applicants must be able to work in English but having knowledge of other languages is welcomed.

When applying you will be asked to upload short poems, one of which should be about Coventry and a short statement about your interest in the post and what you think you can bring to the role. The deadline for applications is Monday 19 July 2021 at 12:00 BST

Posted in Being Me, Poems About Thoughts, Worries and Feelings

What To Do With Worries

All children worry about all manner of things – some children more than others. They may have a store of big and little worries that they carry around, which just gets bigger if not attended to. One day a little worry added to the top may cause them to have what seems to be an out-of-proportion reaction. Talking about worries, writing them down, solving the ones that can be solved and recognising the ones that cannot, and putting them to one side can help. Here’s a little poem about worries, read by Sophia.

Posted in Being Me, Poems About Thoughts, Worries and Feelings

Being Me, Out Today!

Being Me, Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, by me, Matt Goodfellow and Laura Mucha, wonderfully Illustrated by Victoria Jane Wheeler, and published by Otter Barry Books.

The launch for this book of mental health poems was last night – what a lovely event it was.

Mental health problems among primary children are at an all-time high – and no wonder with all the pressures they have nowadays on top of all the thoughts, feelings and worries youngsters experience anyway.

We have attempted to cover a wide range of issues, poems to reassure, poems to find yourself in, poems hoping to start thought processes that might lead to asking for help, poems to open discussions between guardians, teachers, parents and youngsters.

Very much looking forward to sharing this book!

Posted in Shaping the World, 40 Historical Heroes in Verse

Come the Launch of Shaping the World!

Are you a teacher? Do you have a class you’d like to introduce to female and male historical heroes – via shape poems?

Are you free at 9:30 am on the 22nd of April?

Are you a shape poem fan?

If so. come and find out how penicillin was discovered (by being messy!), why Shakespeare is so loved, who invented the first sliced loaf of bread, or the system known as the Socratic method still used to solve crime today, and hear why Rosa Parks refused to leave her seat on that bus!

There are 20 female and 20 male heroes in the book, and many of the poems will be read by their authors – me, Matt Goodfellow, Roger Stevens, John Dougherty, Sue Hardy-Dawson, Jan Dean, Cheryl Moskowitz, Chitra Soundar, Dom Conlon, Shauna Darling Robertson, Kate Wakeling, Laura Mucha, Myles McLeod, Suzy Levinson, and Penny Kent – all hosted by Gaby Morgan, Editorial Director at Macmillan Children’s Books

At the same time as the readings, you will also see the wonderful shape poems themselves!

Opportunities to ask the poets questions included, FREE!

In fact the whole event is free, get your tickets here:

Posted in Shaping the World, 40 Historical Heroes in Verse

Shaping the World – Out Today!

Yes, today is the day this book arrives in the shops!

I can’t thank the poets who sent poems and shapes and ideas for shapes enough – or Gaby Morgan at Macmillan who is always so brilliantly helpful.

I’m really pleased with the resulting book – it has a fabulous, shiny cover, and 40 hero poems inside, twenty women and twenty men who helped shape the world, in a variety of voices and all the poems are shaped to represent the people, an aspect of their lives or life’s work.

Here’s an example from the book – Penny Kent’s fabulous poem about Ravi Shankar. Each poem has a mini-biography alongside the shape:

Shaping the World is available at all good bookstores of course!

Posted in Poetry Review

James Carter: Weird, Wild and Wonderful

Published by Otter-Barry Books

This is a book of James’ most popular and most requested poems (along with a few new ones), and you can certainly see why they are requested over and over!

It contains the cream of James’ ability to write charmingly pitched-perfect poems on any subject under the sun (or the moon), in the dark (or light), about the big (or little), and it covers deeply important subjects such as how to paint an elephant or play air guitar.

Excellent stuff, beautifully illustrated by Neal Layton. Recommended.

Here’s one of my favourites:

Posted in Poetry Review

Shauna Darling Robertson: Saturdays at the Imaginarium

Troika, Cover art by Jude Wisdom

Step out of your daily grind and into Shauna’s imaginarium – where humdrum is injected with colour, feelings and emotions with clarity, and empathy is just how and where you need it to be. You know those somethings you catch out of the corner of your eye but which disappear when you try to look them in the face? Here they are pinned down and given names.

This book is brimful of fantastical reality, a universe of exploration into worlds of words; words that float and sink and climb and swing, beckon, entice, challenge and sing. Exciting words, gentling words, lit along their paths with Shauna’s delightful sense of humour.

This is a fantastic work in every conceivable way, and what is more inside its covers I have found what is in my opinion THE PERFECT POEM (below) – but you can count on finding your own perfect poem there, too.

Published by Troika and beautifully illustrated by Jude Wisdom, this is definitely a winner for the classroom and home – HIGHLY recommended!

The Dreamcatcher

The old man gave me

this weird looking thing.

A stringy, beady

feathery thing.

A dreamcatcher, he whispered.

Yeah, whatever.

Still, I did as he said,

hung it over my bed

and that very night

I caught my first one

brim-filled

with treasures –

gold, silver, rubies, rings.

Nice and all,

but I’m not what you’d call

huge on jewels

so I held out for another

and sure enough, on night two

I was blessed with adventures –

castles and dragons,

galloping stallions, damsels

in varying degrees of distress.

Come night three, I confess

I was hooked

and from that moment on

I spent most of my days

killing time till day’s end

and then sinking to sleep

and waking at dawn to check my net

for a freshly-snared dream.

Six months in, I’m now the proud owner

of five-hundred-and-fifty-eight.

Some creepy, some soothing

some crazy, some straight.

But lately my dreams feel hemmed in,

suspended up there

in my stringy, beady, feathery thing

so I’ve hatched a plan for their urgent release

and tonight’s the night I’ll let my dreams fly.

Thing is, I’m thinking I might go with them.

So please keep this quiet.

Goodnight

and goodbye.