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 A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

D is for Children’s Author and Poet John Dougherty, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA


John Dougherty

John Dougherty is probably best known as the writer of around 30 books for children, (including the STINKBOMB & KETCHUP FACE series) but he has also been writing poems and songs since his teens. His first poetry collection, Dinosaurs & Dinner-Ladies, illustrated by Tom Morgan-Jones, was published in 2016, and the following year, his performance to an audience of 1,700 at the Hay Festival was live-streamed to 900 primary schools in Wales. John’s website is here.


Here is a poem from John (written when he was 18!)


Note to an English Teacher
A poem
Is like a hamster
(Unless it is a long poem
In which case
It is like a large hamster)
And lively
(Unless it is a dull poem
In which case
It is like a sleepy hamster).
A poem has no fur
But it has a life
A life of its own
Given it by the poet
(Who is to the poem
As God to a hamster)
And as a hamster 
Does what a hamster 
Was made for
So a poem
Does what it
Was written for.
Perhaps, though,
The most striking resemblance
Is that you can take a poem
As you dissect a hamster
To see how it works
But, once you have done so, you find
On putting it back together
That, like a hamster in the same situation
It does not work
Half as well
As it used to.
© John Dougherty
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