A perfect end to the week which included Empathy Day, Laura Mucha performing her poem Get Off!
Why not enter the Forward/emagazine student critics competition, with separate categories for 14-16 year olds, 16-19 year-olds and teachers? Write a critical or creative response to one of the poems on the Forward Prizes for Poetry shortlist 2018.
Details and list of poems here.
How FABULOUS to be able to review a young people’s poetry book written for above primary age.
These poems speak directly in an authentic teenage voice, with humour and insight, giving voice to the complex, anxious, insecure and serious feelings that face all teenagers. And the exciting ones, too! Steven Camden, AKA Polarbear is by reputation (I regret that I have not seen him!) an excellent spoken-word poet, but these poems live on the page as well as they would in the mouth.
Some of the poems are almost unbearably poignant. As I read it I could feel myself going hot and cold with remembered angst; but also sadness at many of the new challenges our young people face nowadays.
It also made me laugh out loud. This book and these poems are well overdue, there is so little that is pertinent and specifically for this age-group. Very much recommended, teachers.
Having recently read all about how the Universe started because I was writing poems about space, I know just how hard it is to condense the journey of our beginnings from extraordinarily complicated and immense and beautiful into a poem so simple and immense and beautiful, but James has done it.
If you have young people, do buy this, it’s wonderful.
I’ve always liked Moira Andrew‘s clarity of expression, and this collection (Poetry Space), illustrated by Anna Popescu, is no exception. She captures moments wonderfully and although this is a collection for young people, addressing many childhood concerns, there are no concessions as to language, and there is much in here for those of us who remember what it’s like to be young! There’s only one thing I don’t like about it and that’s the font – Comic Sans. Here’s a sample poem:
There’s always that shiver –
a catch of breath at the first taste
and a slick of fear… what if?
What if that billowing shadow
is not what it seems, the yellow
a monster’s searching eyes?
And those menacing pumpkins…
what if they were to widen their
and spit out a stream of curses?
There’s always that dread…
what if the undead wrap up
and follow Trick-Treaters home?
Halloween’s an in-between…
ghosts and ghoulies, apples
autumn’s end, winter’s start-up.
© Moira Andrew
Jan Dean’s latest book is Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, pub. Macmillan, written with Liz Brownlee and Michaela Morgan.
Never Such Innocence want to encourage young people to engage with their shared history and heritage, and create their own cultural and artistic legacy to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Together: A UK-German Centenary Project
During this final year of the centenary they are embarking on a youth-centred UK-German creative arts project, inviting schools and educational groups to participate in their project, Together, which provides the opportunity for young people aged 9-16 from the UK and Germany to work in partnership, or independently, to produce poetry, art or songs that are inspired by our shared history: inviting the custodians of the future to draw on the events of the First World War and create messages of hope and unity.
Details here: Never Such Innocence
Livecannon are an ensemble performing poetry (from memory) at theatres, festivals and events throughout the UK; recording poetry for radio and CDs; creating poetry installations and digital projects; publishing poetry; and working with young people to create, explore and enjoy poems.
They are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s children’s poetry competition here.
Wonderful Jane Clarke, poet and picture book author, performs Are We There Yet? My favourite of her rhyming picture books is Stuck in the Mud.
The CliPPA Free Schools Shadowing Scheme is now open, but about to CLOSE!
Register here to take advantage of their free poetry shadowing scheme and use their quality CLiPPA 2018 shortlist planning and resources to inspire your class with poetry.
They have produced teaching sequences and poet performance films for all of the shortlisted books. Choose from the following high quality resources to support you to get your class performing poetry!
The Rainmaker Danced by John Agard. Resources for years 4/5
Overheard in a Tower Block by Joseph Coelho. Resources for years 6/7
Where Zebras Go by Sue Hardy-Dawson. Resources for years 2/3/4
Rising Stars. New Young Voices in Poetry by multiple poets. Resources for years 7/8
Rhythm and Poetry by Karl Nova. Resources for years 4/5
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan. Resources for Upper KS3/KS4
Schools are invited to send videos of children performing from the shortlist to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9am on 7 June. Winning groups will be picked to perform at the Award Ceremony at the National Theatre on 22 June 2018.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? This is a marvellous opportunity – I’ve attended several CLiPPA performances at the award ceremony and they are fabulous!
The competition is open to any writer aged 11-17 on the deadline of midnight (BST) 31 July 2018. Entries must be written in English and it is completely FREE to enter.
More details here:
Celia Warren is an editor and a poet. Her beautifully illustrated book for the RSPB, The RSPB Anthology of Wildlife Poetry, A&C Black, is available here, and her anthology A Time to Speak and a Time to Listen, Schofield & Sims, is available here; a Teacher’s Guide is available to accompany this book. Her worm poem collection, Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles, is available here.
This video was one of a collection used at Arnolfini in Bristol during Bristol Poetry Festival, for a Poetry Exhibition.
Roger Stevens performing Dog Poem – Roger has a new book, The Waggiest Tails (Otter-Barry), written with Brian Moses, out now – actually, the poems are all written by dogs. There is even one by Lola, the dog in this video! Available here.
Do you want to enthuse your pupils with a love of words and give them ways of expressing themselves and extend their vocabulary at the same time as giving them a fabulously entertaining day?
There is one way to do this – invite a poet in to your school to read, perform, excite, enthuse, inspire and do workshops with them!
In the tabs at the top of the site is an A-Z of poets working in schools. Most are working in this country. Have a look! There may be one near you… including me!