Gaby Morgan is Editorial Director at Macmillan Children’s Books and responsible for their poetry programme. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their poetry publishing for children, she has a lot to celebrate.
In the summer of 1993 Macmillan Children’s Books published two slim anthologies – Doin Mi Ed In – Rap Poems chosen by David Orme and Martin Glynn and ‘Ere We Go! Football Poems chosen by David Orme – launching a poetry list which is still going strong twenty-five years later.
The world has changed enormously in the past quarter century and our poetry list has followed the curve of the earth and the signs of the times! We have published a range of poetry titles for all needs: including big anthologies such as Read Me: A Poem for Every Day of the Year – to celebrate The National Year of Reading in 1998 and The Works: Every Kind of Poem You Will Ever Need for the Literacy Hour chosen by Paul Cookson for a new primary curriculum in 2000. We have compiled collections to echo trends in popular culture like pirates and wizards, and to mark historical events such as the 40th anniversary of the moon landings and the centenary of the start of WWI.
Our collections have commemorated sporting events like the football world cup or the Olympics, and celebrated milestones in our poets’ tremendous careers. More recently we have published collections that hope to demonstrate hope and light in challenging times: poetry about extraordinary women, poetry promoting empathy and tolerance, and great big gift anthologies which celebrate poetry itself.
This autumn we are delighted to publish more of these stunning anthologies, while celebrating 25 years of poetry from Macmillan Children’s Books. She is Fierce chosen by Ana Sampson is a stunning gift book containing 150 bold, brave and beautiful poems by women. From suffragettes to school girls, from spoken word superstars to civil rights activists, from aristocratic ladies to kitchen maids, these are voices that deserve to be heard. Poems to Live Your Life By, chosen and illustrated by Chris Riddell, showcases Chris’ very favourite classic and modern poems about life, death and everything in between, brought to life with his exquisite, intricate artwork in this beautiful anthology.
Poetry is powerful stuff – from nursery rhymes, to song lyrics, to poetry shared on social media to verse novels. We turn to poems to soothe or rally, to praise, to celebrate, to comprehend, to grieve, to shout “I love you” or to pick ourselves up when it seems impossible. Poems can take us on a journey through history and the seasons and festivals and traditions from many different countries, cultures and religions. They teach us about empathy and tolerance: they are words for life.
Macmillan Children’s Books are looking forward to the next 25 years of poetry, and we hope you’ll celebrate this landmark with us throughout 2018
Gaby Morgan is Editorial Director at Macmillan Children’s Books and the proud curator of the Macmillan Children’s poetry list.