WIN the POETRY BOOKS Recommended for National Poetry Day!!!

Enter this competition to win a set of these wonderful new poetry books, all recommended for National Poetry Day:

Happy Poems by Roger McGough draws together a fantastic collection of upbeat poetry from the very best classic and contemporary poets; Apes to Zebras contains shape poems by favourite children’s poets Roger Stevens, Liz Brownlee and Sue Hardy-Dawson, certain to entrance young readers; Rachel Rooney’s new collection A Kid in My Class features stunning illustrations by former UK Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, and every type of kid will find themselves in its pages; The Same Inside is a collection to encourage empathy, with poems covering friendship and togetherness, difference, tolerance, bullying, by Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens; while The Song of the Dodo by Hilda Offen is a vibrant and accessible collection full of funny, thoughtful and surprising poems.

Plus, the prize package will also contain Poetry for a Change, the first ever National Poetry Day anthology. It features new poems by the National Poetry Day Ambassadors, Deborah Alma, Liz Brownlee, John Canfield, Joseph Coelho, Sally Crabtree, Jan Dean, Marjori Lotfi Gill, Chrissie Gittins, Matt Goodfellow, Remi Graves, Sophie Herxheimer, Michaela Morgan, Brian Moses, Cheryl Moskowitz, Abigail Parry, Rachel Piercey, Rachel Rooney, Joshua Seigal, Roger Stevens, Jon Stone, and Kate Wakeling. Each poet has chosen a favourite poem to share too, so you’ll also find classics as well as suggestions for further reading (and writing), making this a collection to enjoy all year round.

To enter email poetryday@forwardartsfoundation.org with the subject Poetry for a Change World Book Day NPD competition. The deadline is 14th September 2018.

Once Upon a Star: A Poetic Journey Through Space, by James Carter

 

Once Upon a Star, a poetic journey through space, by James Carter, illustrated graphically and wonderfully by Mar Hernández, is published by Caterpillar Books, and is available here.

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.

Wish a Wish, Poems by Moira Andrew

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:

 

Halloween

 

There’s always that shiver –

a catch of breath at the first taste

……of frost

and a slick of fear… what if?

 

What if that billowing shadow

is not what it seems, the yellow

……street light

a monster’s searching eyes?

 

And those menacing pumpkins…

what if they were to widen  their

……toothy grins

and spit out a stream of curses?

 

There’s always that dread…

what if the undead wrap up

……in darkness

and follow Trick-Treaters home?

 

Halloween’s an in-between…

ghosts and ghoulies, apples

……silver coins,

autumn’s end, winter’s start-up.

 

© Moira Andrew

Last Week to Enter Never Such Innocence Poetry (and art and songs) Competition

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

Two More Days to Enter Your School in the Marvellous CLPE Shadowing Scheme!

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 poetry@clpe.org.uk 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!

Yuck and Yum by Joshua Seigal and Neal Zetter

 

A feast of funny food poems, accompanied by some really very dodgy laugh-out-loud facts, except for the ones that are clearly true, such as 99.4% of children say they would prefer Brussel sprouts to chocolate if they had to choose one or the other for a snack.

These are read-out-loud poems, and having heard the one reproduced below performed by Neal, extremely effective and great fun.

.

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

 

What’s the longest fruit you’ve seen?

Found in milkshake, yoghurt and ice cream

When they’re on my plate I lick it clean

A tremendous taste

Too good to waste

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

.

You’ll slip upon their slimy skin

So put the peel into the bin

What word doesn’t stop after it begins?

Simply unending

I’m always bending my

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

.

You can mash them

You can squash them

You can squish them

You can gulp them

You can fry them

You can spread them

You can pound them

You can pulp them

When I ask what food you’ve had today

I’m hoping that you’re going to say

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

.

Monkeys eat them at the zoo

They’re yellow and black not orange and blue

Ideal in soup or in a stew

They’re versatile

Shaped like a smile

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

.

Buy them by the kilo, pound or bunch

Stick them in your sandwich box for lunch

They’re the ideal snack when it comes to the crunch

Travelling all the way from Jamaica

What fruit’s got a name that’s a record breaker?

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

.

Before you get some from the store

Shout out this poem’s title once more

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

.

© Neal Zetter

.

My favourite poem by Joshua Seigal is By Royal Appointment. I’m pretty sure she does like a certain dark brown spread for toast. Who doesn’t?

.

Yuck and Yum, a Feast of Funny Food Poems by Joshua Seigal and Neal Zetter, Troika, is available here.

 

 

 

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018 is now open for entries and will be judged by Caroline Bird and Daljit Nagra.

The competition is open to any writer aged 11-17. Entries must be written in English and it is completely FREE to enter. For any queries on how to enter this year’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award please contact The Poetry Society or call 020 7420 9880

 

 

Poetry Mad Libs for Children from National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life

What a fabulous idea!

Mad libs are fun word games that allow you and your children to create silly stories or poems by filling in the gaps on a template, while also learning about different types of words (nouns, adjectives, verbs and more).

Go to the Literacy Trust’s page HERE to see and download the mad libs version of the popular poem The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear to create your own twist on a classic! The original is included too.

Follow Literacy Trust on Twitter

Sea Poems Competition

Poems and Pictures Ltd would like 8 line poems on the subject of the sea. For ages 7-14 yrs.

A selection of the poems will be published in a national poetry book and exhibited at a chosen venue in the UK.

Judges will be looking for imagination, expression and interpretation of the topics.

Details here.

Prometheus Unplugged by Alan Murphy

 

Alan Murphy originally trained as a fine artist, but now describes himself as a ‘wacky rhymester’. He  lives in Ireland and has given many public readings at the Electric Picnic, the West Cork Literary Festival, the Mountains To Sea Festival, Poetry Now, Ireland’s Children’s Book Festival (2010, 2011 and 2012), Waterford Writers Weekend, Lismore’s Immrama festival and Phizzfest.

Prometheus Unplugged was published in 2014, but poetry books written for older teenagers are few and far between.

In children’s poetry I’ve never read anything quite like this before and suspect for this reason alone it will appeal to teenagers from 14 on.

Music is the theme… and the poems, from those incorporating thinly-disguised, heavy metal hero Ozzie Osborne or Greek Gods in a stadium in an Elysium field to cows fed up with cud watching rooks, parrots and robins at the hottest thicket in town are hip hopping with energy and surrealism.

It’s a beautifully produced book with Alan’s own artwork the perfect foil – which perhaps explains why its a bit pricey for a teenage budget at £11. However – there is much to enjoy for those of older than that!

It’s available here.

Here’s a taster:

.

MOBIUS AND HIS BAND

.

The coolest cats in the land?

Mathematicians you understand,

And the hippest of all

At the geometry ball

Was Mobius and his band.

.

Those dudes sure had real flair,

Their sum was not a square

And they did insist

That you dance the twist

To their looped groove wild and rare!

.

© Alan Murphy

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize – for a Children’s Poem by an Adult

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is for a single unpublished poem written by an adult for children. Anyone can enter the competition, from anywhere in the world, as long as the poem is original.

Chrissie Gittins will judge The 2018 Caterpillar Poetry Prize.

The winning poem will feature in the summer 2018 issue of The Caterpillar and the author receives £1,000.

Live Canon Children’s Poetry Competition

Children! School teachers!  Live Canon have a Children’s Poetry Competition for young people aged 5-18 – the deadline is January 21st, 2018.

Entries are judged in four categories by school year: years 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-13.

Poems can be entered by individuals, or by schools.

100 winning poems will be published in their 2018 children’s anthology and all contributors will receive a complimentary copy. The winner in each age category will receive a £50 book token. There’s also a prize for the school who send the best set of entries.

Details here: Live Canon Poetry Competition

 

 

 

 

Scottish Poetry Library – Poetry for Peanuts!

Go to the Scottish Poetry Library for a laid-back family poetry hour on the first Wednesday of every month – for children under 5 and their grownups. Next date: 6 December 2017 – 10:30am – 11:30am

Picture books & poetry books to explore, beanbags & soft toys, tea, coffee, milk & water available, and there are baby change facilities.

The suggested donation per family is £2 to cover refreshments and well-chewed books!

Can’t make it for Peanuts sessions? Go to enjoy their family corner another day!