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Ambassadors

We’re proud to announce the 2017 line up of National Poetry Day Ambassadors, a crack corps of inspiring poets who take poetry to new and young audiences – in schools, in bookshops, in libraries, in public squares – all year round.

Each one of them has contributed a new poem on the 2017 theme of freedom to a special National Poetry Day collection to be published by Macmillan. In the meantime, take a look at the 2016 Ambassadors’ poems on the 2016 theme of Messages, which were published with Macmillan in our NPD 2016 eBook.

 

  • Remi Graves

    Remi Graves is a poet and drummer living in London. She runs workshops in schools and libraries, and loves working with young people across the city who want to share their stories. She is Elmo’s biggest fan.

  • Chrissie Gittins

    Chrissie Gittins writes poetry for children and adults, short stories and plays. She has been visiting schools as a poet for over 20 years and is an experienced teacher. She has written five children’s poetry collections. Now You See Me, Now You… and I Don’t Want an Avocado for an Uncle were shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award. Both these, and her third collection The Humpback’s Wail, are Choices for the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf. Her new and collected poems Stars in Jars is a Scottish Poetry Library recommendation. Her latest collection – Adder, Bluebell, Lobster – is nominated for the North Somerset Teacher’s Book Award. Chrissie’s poems have been widely anthologized and animated for Rhyme Rocket and Poetry Pie on Cbeebies TV. She was a finalist in the Manchester Children’s Literature Prize and she won the Belmont Poetry Prize. You can hear Chrissie reading her children’s poems on the Poetry Archive. She has also read at festivals including Hay, Edinburgh, Wigtown, West Cork, and in the Children’s Room of the Poets House in New York.


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  • Victoria Adukwei Bulley

    Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a British-born Ghanaian poet and writer. A former Barbican Young Poet, her work has been commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts, in addition to being featured on BBC Radio 4. She was shortlisted for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize 2016, and is one of ten poets on the acclaimed UK mentorship programme, The Complete Works. Her debut pamphlet, Girl B, edited by Kwame Dawes, forms part of the 2017 New-Generation African Poets series. She is the director of MOTHER TONGUES, a intergenerational poetry, translation and film project supported by Arts Council England and Autograph ABP.

  • Michaela Morgan

    Michaela Morgan is a poet and writer. She has a collection of shiny awards and shortlistings including the BBC Blue Peter Book award. Sadly, she has lost her Blue Peter badge. Hundreds of her poems are scattered in anthologies in UK and internationally. Her latest big poetic production is Alice in Poetry (Macmillan, 2016, edited by Michaela Morgan). This is an anthology of poems featuring her and many of the poetry ambassadors, providing poetic response to Alice in Wonderland. She regularly visits schools and runs workshops.


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  • Sophie McKeand

     Sophie McKeand won the Out-Spoken award for Innovation in Poetry in 2015 and is now the Young People’s Laureate for Wales. She believes that: “Every time someone new picks up a pen and starts writing a poem a tiny revolution occurs. This shift is as groundbreaking as any great declaration signed by the leaders of the world, it is a metamorphosis of seismic proportions.”

    She’s published her poetry as pamphlets, a CD and a vinyl recording. Her work has been described as “breathing, shape-shifting poems, not completed thoughts: image after image drawing the reader closer to understanding”.

    She’s based in Wales, but performs and delivers workshops across the UK.


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  • Sophie Herxheimer

    Sophie Herxheimer is the National Poetry Day artist, responsible for all the gorgeous images we use to promote poetry on the day. She’s also a fine poet and a terrific inspirer of poetry and art in others.

    Sophie trained in painting at Camberwell and Chelsea. She’s held residencies for LIFT, Southbank Centre and Transport for London. Exhibitions include The Whitworth, The Poetry Library and The National Portrait Gallery. She has illustrated five fairy tale collections; made several artists books; created a 300 metre tablecloth to run the length of Southwark Bridge, featuring hand printed food stories from a thousand Londoners; narrated an episode of The Food Programme from Margate; made a life size concrete poem in the shape of Mrs Beeton; and a pie big enough for seven drama students to jump out of on the lawn of an old peoples’ home.

    Recent publications include The Listening Forest and The New Concrete.  Sophie teaches and collaborates extensively.

    You can follow Sophie on Twitter.


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  • Joshua Seigal

    Joshua Seigal is an award-winning poet, performer and educator who uses poetry to develop literacy skills and inspire confidence and creativity in communication. He has worked in hundreds of schools, nurseries, libraries, theatres and festivals around the country, and has poems published in numerous anthologies. Joshua’s most recent book is I Don’t Like Poetry published by Bloomsbury.

    Follow Joshua on Twitter.


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  • Matt Goodfellow

    Matt is a poet and primary school teacher from Manchester. His poems have been published in magazines and anthologies worldwide. Matt’s high-energy performances and workshops have delighted, excited and enthused thousands of children (and adults!) in schools, libraries and bookshops across the UK. You can book Matt for your school by contacting him mattgoodfellowpoet (at) hotmail.com

    His most recent publication is Carry Me Away.

    Follow Matt on Twitter.


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  • Deborah Alma

    Deborah is an experienced workshop facilitator and has delivered a range of poetry and creative writing workshops. She works using poetry to help communicate with people with dementia, both for The Courtyard Theatre in Hereford and for Ledbury Poetry Festival. She has been lead writer for Writing West Midlands Writing Squads in Shrewsbury & Ludlow, teaching creative writing to young people. Deborah also wrote and taught the Writing Poetry module at The University of Worcester. She was writer in residence for the NHS conference in 2013 on Mental Health and Wellbeing, was and Poet in Residence at The Hurst, for the Arvon Foundation in 2014.

    Deborah also offers consultations as the Emergency Poet and prescribes poems as cures, offering a mix of the serious, the therapeutic and the theatrical. From their poetry ambulance, Deborah and her assistant Nurse Verse dispense ‘poemcetamols’ and other poetic pills and treatments from the Cold Comfort Pharmacy.

    Follow The Emergency Poet on Facebook and Twitter.


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  • Indigo Williams

    After bursting on to the poetry scene in 2010, Indigo established herself as a poet who commands the stage with gripping presence and powerful poetry. With both substance and passion, her work is emotive and thought provoking. She is the winner of the 2012 New Generation slam and has facilitated workshops across Europe, Bangladesh and Nigeria.

    Indigo is one of 6 leading poets working full-time in a secondary school as part of the pioneering Spoken Word Educators programme in conjunction with Goldsmiths University. She is passionate about using the power of poetry to engage and transform the lives of young people.

    Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Bespoken Word, TEDx Brixton, Glastonbury Festival, Cheltenham Literature Festival and many more. Her poem ‘The Organist’ was commissioned by the Royal Festival Hall and is featured on the BBC Radio 3 page in celebration of the newly restored Royal Festival Hall organ.

    Follow Indigo on Twitter.


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  • Sally Crabtree

    Sally Crabtree is an international performance poet/artist, children’s author and the Poetry Postie. She has been delighting audiences with her deliveries at venues around the country – from small village fetes to large music festivals such as Womad. She has just returned from a visit to China after being awarded an Arts Council grant to create an exciting International project called ‘Communities Communicating’.

    Follow the Poetry Postie on Twitter.


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  • Joseph Coelho

    Joseph Coelho is a performance poet and playwright. He has written plays for companies including: Soho Theatre, Polka Theatre, Theatre Royal York, Oily Cart, The Spark Children’s Festival, Islington Community Theatre, Pied Piper Theatre Company and Pinhole Theatre Company. His plays have received special note from Soho’s Verity Bargate Award and The Bruntwood Playwriting Competition.

    Joseph is writer, performer and co-founder for Word Pepper Theatre Company with author/illustrator/paper-engineer John O’leary. Word Pepper’s debut show The PoetryJoe Show has toured widely up and down the country over the last two years, and was this year joined by their second show Pop-up Flashback in association with Half Moon Theatre and Apples and Snakes.

    Joseph’s poems have been published in several Macmillan anthologies including Green Glass Beads (ed. by Jacqueline Wilson). His debut children’s collection Werewolf Club Rules is published by Frances Lincoln and was shortlisted for The CLPE Poetry Award in 2015. Joseph has been a guest poet on Cbeebies Rhyme Rocket where he was beamed up from The Rhyme Rock to perform his Bug Poem.

    Follow Joe on Twitter.


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  • Rachel Rooney

    Rachel Rooney is a teacher and poet who has two collections of children’s poetry published by Frances Lincoln. The first, The Language of Cat, won the 2012 CLPE Award ( CLiPPA) and the second My Life as a Goldfish was shortlisted for the 2015 CLiPPA. She also has a rhyming picture book A Patch of Black – a tale about nighttime fears published by Macmillan Children’s Books. She goes into schools as a visiting poet, and has performed at Hay Literary Festival, Southbank Centre and for The Children’s Bookshow.


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  • Jan Dean

    Jan Dean writes poems.  Writing poems is wonderfully strange – like playing lucky dip with a barrel full of tigers, raspberry jellies and machine parts. She visits schools where she performs her poetry and then invites the students into her head to play at poem-making. Jan’s head is full of weird stuff. Her latest book – written with Roger Stevens – is ‘The Penguin In Lost Property’ , so Jan is currently taking the Lost Property Office into schools looking for the owners of the ocean, two odd eyeballs and an antler (while the penguin escapes to have a poetry adventure).

    Follow Jan on Twitter.


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  • Liz Brownlee

    Liz lives in the south west of England and visits schools accompanied by her assistance dog Lola. Liz is a poet, children’s poet and film-maker. She has worked extensively with National Poetry Day and her series of film poems for NPD 2015 are available on her YouTube channel.

    Her books include Animal Magic and Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls (written with Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan). The Same Inside and Apes to Zebras, an A-Z of Shape Poems will be published early next year.

    Follow Liz on Twitter.


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  • Roger Stevens

    Roger Stevens founded and runs the award-winning Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on now to make the teaching of poetry fun and rewarding. Since 1998 The Poetry Zone has published around 20,000 poems by young people and had millions of visitors – children and teenagers, real live poets and teachers who use the Poetry Zone as a fun way of teaching poetry in their schools.

    Roger has written 24 book and has poems in over 200 children’s anthologies. He loves to edit anthologies for children too: recent ones include A Million Brilliant Poems (part one) (A&C Black) for which he’s been lucky to be able to choose some of his very favourite poems from some of his favourite poets; What Rhymes With Sneeze (A&C Black) – an anthology of rhyming poems and Off By Heart (A&C Black) – poems to memorise, with helpful memorising tips in the back. With Macmillan Children’s Books, he’s published What Are We Fighting For – war poems with Brian Moses and a book of animal poems written with Jan Dean.

    He lives in Brighton and France and is frequently invited to visit schools to talk about poetry: if you want him to come to your school, get in touch with him via Authors Abroad.

    Follow Roger on Facebook and Twitter.


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  • Paul Cookson

    Paul Cookson has spent twenty five years visiting schools, libraries and literature festivals, performing poems, leading workshops, publishing books and making people laugh – and he still isn’t tired. The Works is his best selling anthology (over 200,000 and counting) and his latest collection of his own favourite poems is Paul Cookson’s Joke Shop. He is the Official Poet in Residence for the National Football Museum in Manchester, Poet Laureate for Slade and has travelled the world to share his work. In 2009 he received a National Reading Hero award.

    A man of many double acts, he is currently working with ex-popstar and ex-Housemartin Stan Cullimore and they travel round to schools with their ukuleles singing silly songs and poems and generally having fun.

    He lives in Retford with his wife, two children, a springer spaniel called Max.

    Follow Paul on Twitter.


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  • Brian Moses

    Brian Moses lives in the small Sussex village of Burwash with his wife Anne, and a loopy labrador called Honey. He has been a professional children’s poet since 1988. To date he has over 200 books published including volumes of his own poetry such as A Cat Called Elvis (Macmillan) and Behind the Staffroom Door (Macmillan), anthologies such as The Secret Lives of Teachers (Macmillan) and Aliens Stole My Underpants (Macmillan) and picture books such as Beetle in the Bathroom (Puffin) and Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe (Puffin). Over 1 million copies of Brian’s poetry books have now been sold by Macmillan. He is also founder & co-director of a national scheme for young writers administered by his booking agency Authors Abroad. Brian’s most recent books are; Spooky Poems (co-written with James Carter), a picture book The Frog Olympics and his childhood memoir Keeping Clear of Paradise Street, all published in 2015.

    Brian also runs writing workshops and performs his own poetry and percussion shows. To date he has given over 3000 performances in schools, libraries, theatres and at festivals throughout the UK and abroad. Find out more about Brian’s work in schools.

    Follow Brian on Twitter.


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