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Posted in Introduction

Welcome to Poetry Roundabout!

Poetry Roundabout is the go-to place to find anything and everything about poetry for young people. Poems do not have to be written specifically for young people to be accessible to them; content is however always suitable. This is a place of fun poetry, interesting poetry, lyrical poetry, poems in all different forms and shapes and sizes!  Visit for interviews with the best children’s poets, poetry news, how to write poems, poems of course, and poetry book reviews… and more besides! For teachers, young people’s poets, and poets who are young people!

For the Month of April

I am posting a Z-A of the best children’s poets from the UK and US and some from around the world, too! This will eventually become an A-Z posted at the head of this website. There is more than one poet for each letter of the alphabet so if you are visiting from the A-Z Blog Challenge, keep on scrolling!

COMPETITION!

Read every entry, and see if you can find the FOUR FALSE POETS! Yes, four of the poets do not exist. They are anagrams of other poets in the list. The anagrammed poets have written a poem for their alter-egos. See if you can guess which poets are not real and send your entries to poetryfunfactory @ gmail.com It may not be as easy as you think!

 

 

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

I is for Children’s Poet, Will P. Ideal, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

Will P. Ideal (PhD)

Will P. Ideal (PhD)

Even though it was an honorary award Will is proud to use his doctorate to help promote that wonderful thing that is poetry. He is currently enjoying a residence in the UK, and particularly enjoys writing humorous, to the point poems that he hopes will entertain children and adults alike.

Will is a very private person and usually has no internet presence at all, so I am thrilled he has allowed me to post this. He works by word of mouth alone.

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Here is one of his poems:

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A Poem of few Words

 

Some poems are chatty

Some poems are quiet

Some banquet on words

This one’s on a diet.

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© Will P. Ideal (PhD)

Click on the title of the post to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

J is for Children’s Poet Mike Jenkins, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins is a poet, fiction-writer and blogger for adults and young people who lives in Merthyr Tudful, s. Wales. He’s a retired teacher of English who occasionally conducts creative writing workshops for children and adults. His book of stories and poems in Merthyr dialect ‘Barkin!’ was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year in 2012. His poetry collection for children is Poems for Underage Thinkers illustrated by Catrin Meirion (Pont). Mike’s website is here and Twitter here.

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Here is a poem from the above collection:

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My Gran

 

My Gran feeds the cat

on bits of cheese,

on bits of chocolate biscuit

crumbled up ;

the cat isn’t very pleased.

She calls her ‘Pussy Puss’ –

sometimes she calls the cushion

by the same name.

 

My Gran burns kettles,

burns meals-on-wheels,

has been known to burn

a hole in her dress ;

accuses the Home Help

of stealing her handkerchiefs.

Finds hankies and washes them

dirtier than they were before.

 

My Gran falls through the floor

every morning, needs cups of tea

to bring her round to insanity ;

needs glasses of sherry

to help her forget

that she can’t remember.

Phones the butcher

to phone the doctor.

 

Lays tea at five

and supper at nine,

asks her dead husband

the time of year,

the day of time.

Blocks her bedrrom door

with a bulky bureau

which screams every night

like a ghost.

My Gran likes only one

piece of toast

for tea and breakfast.

 

My Gran plays patience

and cheats ,

drinks only one glass

of sherry a day,

yet two bottles in half a week.

Threatens to have me turned out,

to call the police.

 

She’s mad I think,

or the clocks have stopped.

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© Mike Jenkins (from his poetry collection for children, Poems for Underage Thinkers, Pont.)

Click on the title of the post to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in Poetry Competition

AtoZ Poetry Competition! #AtoZChallenge

Hidden in the A-Z of Best Children’s Poets there are FOUR poets who don’t exist – their names are the anagrams of real poets on the list, each of whom have written a false bio and a poem for their alter-ego! Guess all four and you stand a chance of winning Apes to Zebras, An A-Z of Shape Poems by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens.

At the end of the A-Z send your entries to poetryfunfactory @ gmail.com. Include your name, the answers, email address and U.K. address. The competition closes on 12 May. Judgement is final. The winner will be informed by email and the result posted here.

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

K is for Children’s Poet Jackie Kay #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. Jackie writes for adults as well as children; her children’s titles include Strawgirl (Macmillan) and Red Cherry Red (Bloomsbury), available here, which won the CLiPPA (CLPE Poetry Award).  Alongside books, Jackie has written extensively for stage and television; her play BRINK was performed at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester.  She is also Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.  She made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002 and was awarded an MBE in 2006.  More recently, in March 2016, Jackie Kay was named Scots Makar—the National Poet for Scotland. You can read more about Jackie here.

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This is her moving poem:

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My Face is a Map

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I was born with a map of Australia on my face;
it was beautiful, my mother told me –
there was nobody like me in the whole wide world
who could trace the edges of down under
on the raised and grafted song line of her face.

I was connected to the upside-down people,
to those who loved the bush and the kangaroo.
I could never smile or frown or weep
in case my special map fell off my face.
My face was pulled tight, so that nobody got lost.

I held my head steady and I held my head high.
When people gaped and gawped and gawked
I thought they were trying to find Alice Springs,
to work out where they wanted to go, where they’d been.
And when somebody stared for a very long time

I would simply ask if they’d been down under:
the hardest human heart melts when it sees a koala bear.
My words were slower than other children’s
because my map was stitched to my mouth:
every time I managed a whole sentence

I imagined a small boat floating out of Sydney harbour.
Yesterday there was talk of peeling my map off,
changing my face, so that it looks like others;
my mother said I should have a long think,
and that maybe life would be easier…

I am thinking now, staring hard into the mirror.
I trace the hard edges of the world in my face.
I know the hard stares of some people.
Without my map, will I be the same person?
Will I know where I am, where I have been?

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© Jackie Kay (From Red Cherry Red, Bloomsbury, winner of the 2008 CLiPPA award)

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment! Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

K is for Children’s Poet Mike Kavanagh, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Mike Kavanagh

Michael Kavanagh was born in Toronto in 1971 and studied at Queen’s University in Canada, and University of Glasgow. He lives near Oxford, with his wife and four children. His poems have appeared in anthologies such as Read Me At School (Macmillan), and Michael Rosen’s A-Z, The Best Poetry from Agard to Zephaniah (Puffin). He founded and edited a children’s poetry magazine called The Scrumbler which has since stopped publishing.

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The Scrumbler was a wonderful magazine – I’m hoping for a revival! Here is one of Mike’s poems:

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Potions

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For warm summer weather
mix Dandelion and Heather.

For everlasting sweets
mix Wisteria and beets.

For exploring a forest path
mix bark and rotten leaf.

For days off school, playing in snow
mix Hawthorn and Sloe.

For winter days to pass
mix Night Shade and frosted grass.

To disappear without a trace
mix Old Man’s Beard and Mace.

To get your own room
mix Rose and Lemon Balm.

For late nights, TV, staying up
mix Daffodil and Buttercup.

If you plan to run away
mix sedge and hay.

If you’re ready to come back home
mix Snowdrop and Teasel comb.

To sit and be your very own age
mix Forget-me-nots and Sage.

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© Mike Kavanagh

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

K is for Children’s Author and Poet Alan Katz, #AtoZ Challenge, #ZtoA

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Alan Katz

Alan Katz is a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for The Rosie O’Donnell Show and other talk shows, animated series including PBS’s new Pinkalicious, Nickelodeon series and specials, and game shows. He has also created hundreds of comic books, trading card sets, web series, and other special projects for kids. He has written more than 35 books for young readers, including his newest picture book, an ode to dads and kids illustrated by Chris Robertson, called If I Didn’t Have You. His poetry collections include OOPS! and        Poems I Wrote When No One Was Looking (both Margaret K. McElderry Books, illustrated by Edward Koren). His website is here.

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Here is one of Alan’s funny poems from OOPS!

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Contraction Dissatisfaction

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It wasn’t isn’t.

It isn’t wasn’t.

It can’t be shouldn’t.

It shouldn’t be doesn’t.

It mustn’t be wouldn’t.

It wouldn’t be mustn’t.

It mayn’t be mightn’t.

It mightn’t be mayn’t.

I’m skipping this homework.

To go out and playn’t.

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© Alan Katz

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

L is for American Children’s poet B. J. Lee, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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B. J. Lee

B. J. Lee lives in Florida. Her poems appear in anthologies, including Construction People (ed. Lee Bennett Hopkins), The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry and The Poetry of US (ed. J. Patrick Lewis), One Minute Till Bedtime, illustrated by Christoph Niemann (ed. Kenn Nesbitt), available here in the US and here in the UK, and many others. Her debut picture book is coming soon.Here are B. J.’s  Website and Poetry blog

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This is her lovely poem and photo illustration, first published by Renée LaTulippe on her website, No Water River.

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© B. J. Lee

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

L is for American Children’s Poet J. Patrick Lewis, #AtoZ Challenge #ZtoA

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J. Patrick Lewis 

After a wild and rugged youth as a bronco rider, lobster fisherman, opera singer, confidential police informant,  Economics professor, and Russian spy—he has been to Moscow thirteen times (shhh!)—J. Patrick Lewis is now  in the Federal Witness Protection Program in XXXX, Ohio, USA with XXXX, his wife, and two vicious K-9 guard  toy poodles. Please do not ask to see his secret tattoos. His alter ego, J. Patrick Lewis poet, has published 110 children’s picture and poetry books to date with Knopf, Atheneum, Dial, Harcourt,  Little, Brown, National Geographic, Creative Editions, Chronicle, Scholastic, and others. The Poetry Foundation named him the third U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate (2011-2013). Recent books include the series Let’s Celebrate Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Halloween,  and Everything is a Poem: The Best of J. Patrick Lewis. His website is  here.

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Here is one of his lovely poems;

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How the Yellow Jacket

Lost her Shyness

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The King of England

Once was stung

Upon his royal bottom,

And you could hear

A yellow jacket

Yell, “Oh, boy, I got ‘im!”

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And that is how

The yellow jacket

Finally lost her shyness,

And how the English

Came to call the King

“His Royal Highness!”

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© J. Patrick Lewis

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

L is for American Children’s Poet Renée LaTulippe, #AtoZChallenge, #ZtoA

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Renée LaTulippe

Renée M. LaTulippe’s poems have been widely published in anthologies for children, including School People, illustrated by Ellen Shi, One Minute Till Bedtime, illustrated by Christoph Niemann, and National Geographic’s forthcoming The Poetry of US . She has also co-authored nine early readers. Renée earned her BFA in acting/directing from Marymount Manhattan College and her MA in English Education from New York University. She teaches The Lyrical Language Lab, an online course for children’s writers. She lives by the sea in Italy. Renée’s brilliant website is here. Her excellent poetry blog with many resources is here.

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Here is one of her poems, a wonderful pantoum:

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HAPPY: pantoum for a perfect day

 

What manifestation of happy is this?

Striding outside where grass greens my feet,

dragonflies dart in snapdragony bliss—

Morning and I promenade down the street.

 

Striding outside, where grass greens my feet,

I greet swooping bluebirds out bluing the sky.

Morning and I promenade down the street:

we’re fluff of a milkweed, as soft as a sigh!

 

I greet swooping bluebirds, out bluing the sky…

“Tick tock!” whisper shadows as Sun pulls them long.

Like fluff of a milkweed, as soft as a sigh,

afternoon falls to the whippoorwill’s song.

 

“Tick tock!” whisper shadows as Sun pulls them long.

Dragonflies dart in snapdragony bliss.

An afternoon falls to the whippoorwill’s song—

what manifestation of happy is this!

 

© Renée M. LaTulippe 2015

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

L is for Children’s Poet Alistair Lane, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Alistair Lane

Alistair Lane is an emerging poet, writer, and performer, who writes for both children and adults, and an active member of the “DIY Poets” collective. His work can be found online, in local zines, on post-it notes on vending machines, performed at friends’ weddings, written in the sand on beaches, and has even graced the good buses of Guernsey. He blogs occasionally here, and was nominated as “Funniest Blogger” in the 2016 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.

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Here is one of his poems:

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The Snail In My Garden

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There’s a snail in my garden

Hiding in its shell

I’m not sure where it’s been

It’s sometimes hard to tell

 

There’s one thing though that troubles me

And causes me some doubt.

The answer to this question:

Is it in or out?

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© Alistair Lane

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in Poetry Competition

AtoZ Poetry Competition! #AtoZChallenge

Hidden in the A-Z of Best Children’s Poets there are FOUR poets who don’t exist – their names are the anagrams of real poets on the list, each of whom have written a false bio and a poem for their alter-ego! Guess all four and you stand a chance of winning Apes to Zebras, An A-Z of Shape Poems by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens.

At the end of the A-Z send your entries to poetryfunfactory @ gmail.com. Include your name, the answers, email address and U.K. address. The competition closes on 12 May. Judgement is final. The winner will be informed by email and the result posted here.

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

M is for Children’s Poet Laura Mucha, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Laura Mucha

Laura Mucha worked as a face painter, studied flying trapeze, philosophy and psychology, and swam in Antarctica before becoming a lawyer. Now she spends most of her time playing with words. Her poetry has been published in books, magazines and newspapers around the world, and she’s performed on BBC Radio, at festivals and in schools. In 2016, she won the Caterpillar Poetry Prize. You can read and listen to Laura’s poetry here.

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This is one of Laura’s great poems:

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DEAR UGLY SISTERS 
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Bread has been baked, veggies are chopped,
salt in the pan – kitchen’s been mopped,
skirts have been washed, hoovered the floor,
took out the bins – polished the door,
cleared up the bathroom, cleaned up the sink,
washed all your socks – still really stink,
ironed the laundry, folded the sheets,
serviced the car – here’s the receipt,
dog for a walk, cat to the vet,
married a wonderful prince that I met,
leaving tonight, so good luck with the chores,
I’m dropping my apron and keys by the door.
FROM
CINDERELLA
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.© Laura Mucha
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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

M is for Children’s Poet Cheryl Moskowitz, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Cheryl Moskowitz

Cheryl Moskowitz writes for adults and children. She loves going in to schools to get pupils, teachers and parents writing their own poems! Her poems for children have appeared in recent anthologies, Is This a Poem? illustrated by Spike Gerrell (Bloomsbury, ed. Roger Stevens) Wonderland: Alice in Poetry, illustrations by Tenniel, (Macmillan, ed. Michaela Morgan) and Watchers of the Skies, illustrated by Emma Wright (The Emma Press, eds. Rachel Piercey & Emma Wright). Her popular collection of poems about home, school and everything in between, Can It Be About Me?, illustrated by Ros Asquith, is published by Janetta Otter-Barry Books. Her website is here.

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Here is one of Cheryl’s poems from Can it be About Me?:

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Imagine your life was like a book you could make crossings out and adding to. There might be some things you’d change but certain things you’d decide to leave exactly as they are.
 
FRIENDS
 
Think of all the people you have known,
and the ones you haven’t met yet.
Think of the parties, the sleepovers,
the games, the conversations.
Think of the walks and the talks
and all the silly arguments.
Think of all the times you’ve felt happy
and all the times you’ve felt sad.
Think of all the things you’d like to do
and all the things you’ve done.
 
If you had it to do all over again
Would I still be your best friend?
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© Cheryl Moskowitz
Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

M is for Children’s Poet and Performer Brian Moses, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Brian Moses

Brian Moses has been a professional children’s poet since 1988. He has over 200 books published including volumes of his own poetry such as A Cat Called Elvis and Lost Magic: The Very Best of Brian Moses (both Macmillan and illustrated by Chris Garbutt), anthologies such as The Secret Lives of Teachers and Aliens Stole My Underpants (both Macmillan) as well as picture books. Over 1 million copies of Brian’s poetry books have now been sold by Macmillan. His poem ‘Walking With My Iguana’ is one of the most listened to poems on the Poetry Archive. Brian has visited well over 3,000 schools to run writing workshops and perform his own poetry and percussion shows in the UK and abroad; CBBC once commissioned him to write a poem for the Queen’s 80th birthday! His website is here, blog is here, and Twitter is here.

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Brian is a kind and indefatigable supporter of children’s poets and poetry. Here is one of his fab poems:

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All The Things You Can Say to Places in the UK

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Always say ‘Ta’ to Leamington Spa,

say ‘Have a nice day’ to Whitley Bay.

You can shout ‘What’s new?’ or even ‘Howdo’

to inhabitants of Looe or Crew.

You can tell the whole story in Tobermory,

say ‘Hi’ to Rye and ‘Right on’ to Brighton,

or call out ‘Let’s go’ to Plymouth Ho.

Talk through your dreams in Milton Keynes,

say ‘It’s all for the best’ in Haverfordwest.

Always say ‘yes’ when you visit Skegness

but only say ‘No’ in Llandudno.

Don’t tell a lie to the Island of Skye

or say ‘It smells’ in Tunbridge Wells.

Don’t talk rude if you’re down in Bude

or start to get gabby in Waltham Abbey.

Don’t ever plead in Berwick on Tweed

or say ‘You look ill’ to Burgess Hill.

You could lose your voice and talk with your hands

when you take a trip to Camber Sands,

but whatever you say just won’t impress

the inhabitants of Shoeburyness.

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© Brian Moses

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

M is for Children’s Poet and Author Michaela Morgan, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Michaela Morgan

Michaela has had over 140 titles published including poetry, picture books, junior novels and non-fiction. She is a regular visitor to schools, has been shortlisted for the BBC Blue Peter Award (twice), and has won a UKRA (now UKLA) award, and many others. Her 2016 poetry book Wonderland: Alice in Poetry, illustrations by Tenniel, was shortlisted for the prestigious CLiPPA Award for poetry and her 2017 collection Reaching the Stars: Poems About Extraordinary Women and Girls co-authored with Jan Dean and Liz Brownlee has just won the North Somerset Teachers’ Award.  She is about to release a newly updated and extended third edition of How To Teach Poetry: Writing Workshops, in which she stresses the importance of poetry across the curriculum.

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Michaela is great fun – here is one of her great more serious poems from Reaching the Stars:

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Malala

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A girl with a book.

A girl with a book.

That’s what has scared them –

A girl, with a book.

 

They get onto the bus.

They call out my name.

They aim. And they fire.

A shot to the brain.

 

Because a girl with a book,

A girl with a voice,

A girl with a brain,

A girl with a choice,

A girl with a plan

To have rights, like a man.

That’s what they’re scared of

One girl, with a book.

 

A girl who has words.

A girl with a pen.

A girl to be heard

With support of her friends

Who want to live free –

That’s what they fear

a girl just like me.

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© Michaela Morgan

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter