‘No Unauthorised Vehicles’: children’s poem for National Poetry Day

The lovely Liz Brownlee, poet and editor of the website Poetryroundabout.com, has posted a children’s poem of mine on the theme of ‘freedom’ for National Poetry Day 2017.

The poem’s called ‘No Unauthorised Vehicles’ and it was inspired by a sign I saw nailed to a gate while out walking. You can read in online over at Poetryroundabout.com where there are lots more children’s poems all about freedom.

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Poem in The Gardeners Rest poetry snug

Now that’s what I call a top pub! The Gardeners Rest in Sheffield is run by its customers as a community project. It supports vulnerable adults and people with learning difficulties by providing employment opportunities. It stages regular arts and music events. And it has a poetry snug! I’m honoured to have a poem, Sleeping with a Bearded Man, on its walls.

The Gardeners Rest poetry snug

‘Dancing with Life’ in A Poem for Every Day of the Year

Holy guacamole with extra-hot salsa on the side, I’m between the covers with Bob Dylan! And Spike Milligan. And Roald Dahl and Oscar Wilde. Byron, Keats, Shelley, Auden, Lennon & McCartney, Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, Rudyard Kipling and many more.

Forgive the exuberance but I’m crazy proud and excited to have a poem in this gorgeous anthology, nuzzling alongside a long list of literary heroes and heroines. A deep bow of gratitude to editor Allie Esiri.

Here’s the official, more sensible, blurb:

A Poem For Every Day of the Year is a magnificent collection of 366 poems compiled by Allie Esiri, one to share on every day of the year. These poems are funny, thoughtful, inspiring, humbling, informative, quiet, loud, small, epic, peaceful, energetic, upbeat, motivating, and empowering!

Perfect for reading aloud and sharing with all the family, it is bursting at the seams with familiar favourites and exciting new discoveries. T.S.Eliot, John Betjeman, Lewis Carroll, William Shakespeare and Christina Rossetti sit alongside Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy, and Kate Tempest. This soul-enhancing book will keep you company for every day of your life.

Grab a copy here or in your local bookshop.

If you’re in the London area, there’s a launch event at the National Theatre on 10th November 2017.

“An inspiring evening of readings of some of the magical and humorous poems in this journey through history and human experience. Read by four actors including Joanna Lumley, Stephen Mangan and Simon Russell Beale. Chris Riddell (political cartoonist for The Observer, award-winning author and illustrator, and Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2015-2017) will be live drawing this event.”

Details and tickets here.

‘Blueprints for a Minefield’ reviewed by Jenny Danes for Sphinx

Jenny Danes has written a lovely review of my chapbook, Blueprints for a Minefield, for Sphinx Reviews.

“This debut pamphlet signals the arrival of a lively, playful and remarkably distinctive poetic voice – but more than that, it’s a book of surprises.”

Read the full review over at Sphinx.

Many thanks to Jenny, whose excellent debut chapbook, Gaps, was also reviewed for Sphinx recently by Elisabeth Sennitt-Clough. Have a read here.