lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

Cheltenham Literary Festival

Image © Gaby Morgan, Macmillan

On Wednesday 9th October Matt Goodfellow and I were performing together for the first time, at Cheltenham Literary Festival, in the Sunday Times Garden Theatre.

This isn’t a dedicated children’s literary festival, like Bath, and the green room was quite a lot larger as it also hosts people who write for adults. The photo above, taken by our lovely editor, and super-poetry-champion, Gaby Morgan, is a small corner. Sadly I didn’t recognise anyone else in it as I never recognise faces, and the only person I knew well-enough at the festival to recognise (wonderful children’s author, Candy Gourlay) was performing in the same tent just before us, and was signing books as we were ushered in for sound checks etc.

Me – and Matt… during the sound check and light in your eyes check!

We used poems from The Same Inside, Poems about Empathy and Friendship, and Be the Change, Poems To Help You Save the World,  about why it’s important to be a glitter quitter, and showing how to save 50,000 trees each Christmas. We’ve written both books together with our poet friend, Roger Stevens.

I don’t think it will be the last time we will perform together as it was GREAT FUN, and brilliant having someone else on stage with you – it can be a bit daunting facing 500 faces alone!

Here’s to next time.

 

 

Truth Poem for National Poetry Day – The Refugee

Poem by Liz Brownlee, read by Liz Brownlee, thank you to Chris Riddell for the illustration.

Poems from a Green and Blue Planet

I was sent this beautiful gif which features a verse from my poem, Snow Fox, by Hachette books. Poems From Green and Blue Planet is out tomorrow in a book shop near you, on #NationalPoetryDay!

I hope you are all going to share a poem with someone, any poem, or a truth poem (the theme of this year’s National Poetry Day) tomorrow!

Be the Change – Global Climate Action Day

This is a scheduled post. Today is Global Climate Action Day – and I will be taking action by marching in Bristol with our young people to protest the government’s inaction, and all governments’ inaction on this issue.

On the subject of sustainability, Be the Change has arrived, in the form of my, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens‘ new book of climate crisis poems. Young children are hearing a lot of doom and gloom, real doom and gloom of course, and many feel powerless. Each poem has a little ‘you can help’ tip underneath, small, real steps to help the planet, which are achievable by any young person. (I love the  cover, by Anneka Sandher, thank you, Anneka!)

So – here is the ultimate poem in this collection. Humans already have the ability to fight climate crisis. All that is missing is our own interaction, our own action, our own coming together, our own cooperation, our own will. It only takes everyone doing something, every government liaising with every other government, to arrange a way to save us all. Will it happen? Perhaps it relies on every person asking their own government to do something.  At the minute, we can only hope. 

 

Snow

 

Swirling slowly

in lilting flight,

as cold as stars,

the soundless white

 

of drifting feathers

spreading wings,

to sing the songs

that snowflakes sing,

 

of how small gifts

of peace and light

can change the world

in just one night.

 

© Liz Brownlee

Lola, my Literary Assistance Dog…

I hear that there are new dogs on the scene, imposters, claiming to be the first literary dogs. Well, I can assure you that LOLA is the MOST literary dog. Here she is reading children’s poetry as a mere puppy.

This is her, totally exhausted after perusing my Chambers Thesaurus. It’s tiring, being a literary dog.

Editing takes up a great deal of time, of course. Might as well do it somewhere comfortable.

Supporting libraries, something she passionately believes in.

The inevitable celebrity get-togethers with friends…

And of course, visits to literary festivals. Here she is enjoying a private session with Philip Ardagh, who read to her from one of his wonderful children’s books. He is one of her heroes, as you can see.

I’m sure you’ll agree that Lola can definitely be termed THE literary dog! (I particularly like the heart shape in the shadow in the above picture! Lola and I LOVE books!)

Be the Change!

I was so excited to get the cover artwork yesterday for my new book with Macmillan, produced with my lovely writing companions, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens.

This is a book I’ve wanted to write for a long time – poems about sustainability, all aspects of climate crisis, with facts and ‘You Can Help’ information, so youngsters can turn any anxieties they have about all the bad news they are hearing outward into productive strategies to help the planet; with plenty of discussion springboards for teachers.

It is a gorgeous cover and we don’t know who illustrated it yet, but will thank them as soon as we do!

If it looks like the book for you, it is out on the 5th of September.

Reaching the Stars up with the Stars at the RSC

Last weekend I was with some poet friends in Stratford Upon Avon. On Saturday evening we went to see Taming of the Shrew, with women in all the men’s roles. Not my favourite Shakespeare play, but transformed into THE best Shakespeare I’ve seen at the RSC or anywhere, do go and see it if you can! Revelatory, nuanced, hilarious.

Which made it all the more wonderful that Bernard Young spotted Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, by me, Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan, in the RSC shop.

We are all thrilled.

Bristol Hand Made Book Fair

We went to the Hand Made Book Fair in Bristol at the Arnolfini and found Ed Boxall there. So we had a photo opportunity. Ed seemed really pleased to see me but I think you can tell by the picture he was actually really pleased to see Lola.

 

National Poetry Day Ambassador Badges Have Arrived!

I’m thrilled to be a National Poetry Ambassador,  I love thinking up ways to promote children’s poetry, it being so important in so many ways.

National  Poetry Day this year, on October 3rd, has the theme of TRUTH.

Now I have to think up ways to use these wonderful badges – the blue ones have a white cat on, the green ones have a red bird, and the yellow ones have a blue and white dog.

Give me your IDEAS in the comments!

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Other content from Liz:

Children’s Poets’ Climate Change Blog: Be the Change

Everything to do with Children’s Poetry – Poetry Roundabout Blog

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

AtoZ Challenge; Z is for Zaro Weil

Zaro Weil lives in an old farm on a little hill in southern France, and her poetry for children has appeared in many anthologies. She has written several books including a book of children’s poetry, Mud, Moon and Me, published by Orchard Books, UK and Houghton Mifflin, USA, which can be bought here. Her book Firecrackers, Troika, illustrated by Jo Riddellcan be bought here, and her lovely new book, Cherry Moon is just out and available here! Zaro’s website is here.

Zaro has sent this wonderful poem for the poetry feast:

.

HIDE AND SEEK

I decided to play a game with quiet

hide and seek

my turn

I slipped into the woods

looking for quiet

instead

a cacophony of forest-crackle

a hullabaloo of beast-babel

sprang towards me while

a tweedledum of pandemonium

circled above

it was a free-for-all

and even the sun

jangled copper

between the leaves

so much for the forest

I went to the sea

searching for quiet

but the waves trumpeted

a rumbling ruckus

a crash of crinkle-crests while

squarking gulls sky-dived into

wind-trembled sea and

tiny sea things zig-zagged

underfoot as a medley of

fat green seaweed

slapped the sand

non-stop non-stop

so much for the sea

but then I turned

and quiet tagged me

I stopped

forest stopped

sea stopped

I found quiet

it must have been hiding

the whole time

inside my words

inside of me

.

© Zaro Weil

If you would like to blog hop to another A-Z Challenge post please follow this link.

Children’s Poets’ Climate Change Blog: Be the Change

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit