National Poetry Day’s artist, the poet Sophie Herxheimer, has come up with a great activity here to inspire a poem about Freedom, by using some very odd rules – invented by mathematicians and poets together. It works with anyone, of any age. Oulipo is addictive: be warned!
A Poem for Every Night of the Year, edited by Allie Esiri, is a beautiful collection of 366 poems, from familiar favourites and exciting contemporary voices, one to share on every night of the year. The collection will take you on a journey through history and the seasons and festivals and traditions from many different countries, cultures and religions.
Brian Moses has been entertaining and inspiring children and teachers since 1988. His percussion-filled school visits are legendary. Lost Magic: The Very Best of Brian Moses is a collection of his 100 favourite and most popular poems including ‘The Ssssnake Hotel’, ‘Walking with my Iguana’ and ‘Lost Magic’.
100 Brilliant Poems for Children chosen by Paul Cookson is a gorgeous pick-and-mix of a book packed with long-term favourites, song lyrics and brand-new delights. There are some handy hints and starting points for reading, writing and performing at the back.
Alice Poetry celebrates the poems of Lewis Carroll. This beautiful collection features many contemporary poems from editor Michaela Morgan and a host of popular poets, including Roger McGough, John Agard, Grace Nichols, and Rachel Rooney, each one putting their own spin on these classic texts.
A beautiful hardback edition of Charles Causley’s Collected Poems for Children with a foreword by Roger McGough and illustrated with line art by John Lawrence. This Macmillan Classics edition is truly a special gift to treasure.
Matt Goodfellow’s acclaimed debut collection, Carry Me Away, is a beautifully crafted set of poems that blend humour, intrigue and a love of the natural world.
How to…put on a Poetry Reading
Need advice on holding a poetry reading? Just download this invaluable toolkit by Andrew Parkes
The Poetry Takeover
What happens when a school becomes a seed bed for poetry? With Forward Books of Poetry as the seed packets? In 2014/15, the poet Kate Clanchy of Oxford Spires Academy decided to find out, by encouraging students throughout the school to raid the Forward Book of Poetry 2015 for inspiration for work of their own. The result is documented here in an anthology that is also a treasure trove of teaching ideas.
For a flavour, here’s a testimonial from Shukria Rezaei, who wrote a sequence of responses to works in the book – and won the 2015 Forward Young Responses prize
I am a sixth form student at Oxford Spires Academy but I was educated until I was 14 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. When I came here it was a big shock to me: I want to be an A student, but because of my English I get Bs and Cs. I am from the Hazara people in Afghanistan. Poems are very important to my people. I love to read and write poetry. I especially liked the Kevin Powers poems because of the way he wrote about war. My poems are also about war, and leaving my country. I always want to write about my heritage, even though it makes me shy. Winning the Forward Young Responses Competition made me very proud. Now I will take AS Creative Writing next year and I believe I can get an A.