Hello! I’m Liz Brownlee, National Poetry Day Ambassador! What’s on the poetry roundabout? We have had a series of funny poems to help give a little laugh to those in isolation, with or without children home from school. There are also empathy poems, poetry videos and of course, crafty poetry projects! On the wider site there are interviews with poets and poetry-writing ideas. 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!
When my children were little, picture books and poems by Colin West were great favourites; along with books by David McKee and Quentin Blake, Colin’s books are the ones I can remember fondly. The words I had fun reading on multiple occasions if not every day, the ones the children laughed at time after time, the pictures they enjoyed poring over.
So it felt surreal when Colin sent me his latest manuscript, Barmy Ballads, to read. Colin is truly masterly at combining fantastic nonsense with his hilarious images, and to sum up, this is what I sent for the back cover – Barmy, brilliant and absurd – Colin West‘s mastery of witty improbabilities in rhyme, combined with the quirky charm of his illustrations, makes this book irresistible.
You can buy it here.
The Open University (OU) has launched Book Chat: Reading with your Child, three short films and supporting materials to help parents, families and carers read books conversationally and creatively to children. Working with Macmillan Children’s Books, the films use a selection of their picture books and a poetry collection to support families with reading to different ages of children.
You may have noticed that the poetry collection is The Same Inside, by me, Roger Stevens and Matt Goodfellow, which we are thrilled to see.
The film above is read by Professor Teresa Cremin, who leads the OU’s Reading for Pleasure programme.
If you are an educator, librarian, parent or other person interested in supporting young people develop the reading habit., there is an OU Webinar you may be interested in viewing. The Book Chat crew, Teresa Cremin, Ben Harris and Richard Charlesworth will be joined by the children’s author Smriti Hall (TBC) and Rumenar Atkar, a mum and primary school librarian. The session will include research and practice insights, strategies to enrich informal book talk at home and school, and book recommendations that get everyone talking. The Webinar takes place Tuesday 20 October, 20:00 – 21:00. and can be found here.
Zaro Weil lives in an old farm on a little hill in southern France, and her poetry for children has appeared in many anthologies. She has written several books including a book of children’s poetry, Mud, Moon and Me, published by Orchard Books, UK and Houghton Mifflin, USA, which can be bought here. Her book Firecrackers, Troika, illustrated by Jo Riddell, can be bought here, and her lovely book, Cherry Moon, is the 2020 CLiPPA Award Winner, and deservedly so, and available here! Zaro’s website is here.
Zaro kindly sent me this wonderful poem from the book a while ago for a poetry feast:
HIDE AND SEEK
I decided to play a game with quiet
hide and seek
I slipped into the woods
looking for quiet
a cacophony of forest-crackle
a hullabaloo of beast-babel
sprang towards me while
a tweedledum of pandemonium
it was a free-for-all
and even the sun
between the leaves
so much for the forest
I went to the sea
searching for quiet
but the waves trumpeted
a rumbling ruckus
a crash of crinkle-crests while
squarking gulls sky-dived into
wind-trembled sea and
tiny sea things zig-zagged
underfoot as a medley of
fat green seaweed
slapped the sand
so much for the sea
but then I turned
and quiet tagged me
I found quiet
it must have been hiding
the whole time
inside my words
inside of me
© Zaro Weil
Congratulations, Zaro and Troika Books!!
I was sent this absolutely wonderful poem by Luke, aged 8, today.
This is fabulous writing, well done, Luke!
How do you view pandas? As chubby cute bears that chomp bamboo all day? Well, prepare to be surprised:
This video was filmed for National Poetry Day 2015 – but is all about VISION as well as light. Bright Spark, written by Michaela Morgan and performed by Eleanor Trapp in John Lewis’ lighting department – thanks to John Lewis, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol!
Here’s a poem for NPD about a narwhal – a type of whale, with a long twisted horn, which is actually a tooth. Scientists think people finding these horns on the seashore may have sparked myths about unicorns! There is a poem video – and a picture poem of it, below, by me, taken from Apes to Zebras.
And here it is in the shape poem book:
This poem is about a leafy sea dragon!
Yay, still National Poetry Day! Here is a poem inspired by the Skylark’s War by Hilary McKay. A vision in the darkness.
The Twitter waves are buzzing today with poems, competitions, videos and poetry fun and so pop in if you can!
Hello again! It is still National Poetry Day – if you haven’t seen the video of the poem I wrote especially for NPD, as I am a National Poetry Day Ambassador – see the entry before this on the home page!
I was also asked to choose a poem to go with mine, and this is the one I picked. The magical The Fallow Deer at the Lonely House, by Thomas Hardy.
Here is the first of my NPD poems – this one was especially written for NPD 2020 on the theme of Vision. It’s called Who Knows, and it is about an owl.
You can find this poem and many more on National Poetry Day’s website which also has downloadable educational resources. Print out all you like and stick them in your window or on your wall. My poem is there! And it’s not too late to share their toolkits, posters and lesson plans. To #ShareAPoem, take a picture for Twitter or Insta, tag #NationalPoetryDay.
Have a lovely National Poetry Day!
Here’s another poem for National Poetry Day, on the theme of visions.
This poem was inspired by the book ‘Skellig’ by David Almond
Yes, it’s tomorrow. Poets everywhere are planning, posting, poeting and preparing for the BIGGEST and BEST poetry party all on one day. You can take part!
National Poetry Day’s website has downloadable educational resources that are amazingly popular. And it’s not too late to share their toolkits, posters and lesson plans. They have cleared permissions on loads of poems on the theme of Vision: print out all you like and stick them in your window or on your wall. One is by me! To #ShareAPoem, take a picture for Twitter or Insta, tag #NationalPoetryDay. They’ll be looking!
Here is my poem for today – it’s called Blackbird. Mainly because it’s about a blackbird.
The day of deliciousness for poets is nigh and getting nigher. National Poetry Day’s theme this year is vision, and I have a few poetry films to share up until the day.
In fact they are all bird poems.
Today it is the Curlew – the curlew is a rare and getting rarer sight, in fact it has just been declared endangered in the UK.
Hope you enjoyed that.
The National Poetry Day website is FULL of poets and poems and lesson plans and posters and general poetic delightfulness if you’d like to visit and find something to see or use on National Poetry Day.
Many of you know I have an assistance dog called Lola. She alerts me because I have sudden and severe low blood sugars with no warning signs – she lets me know before this happens and in time to take glucose and recover with no need for ambulances and unconsciousness! She is a joyful, happy little dog who loves her friends, dogs and humans alike.
She has accompanied me everywhere for 10 years and been a poet mascot, and she has been to all sorts of wonderful places and even met Daniel Radcliffe once!
Sadly she has been very ill recently, and is still in hospital. She has used up her insurance and needs more treatment. This is her story and if you have any pennies they will be very gratefully received.