Every year since 2012 I have taken part in a blog challenge which can be rather gruelling… a post a day throughout April, discounting Sundays. Each day the theme is illustrated by a succeeding letter of the alphabet, starting, of course, with A.
Every year I have done Amazing Animals as my theme – this year is going to be different. To chime with the arrival of my latest book, Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, written with Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan, the posts will be about extraordinary women and girls.
Jan and Michaela will be writing some of the posts as guest bloggers – they are both feisty and interesting women, I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to say – and seeing you all here during the challenge!
Good luck to all the other A-Zers!
It being World Poetry Day, it’s probably a good idea if I post a post a poem – so here it is – At the Match with my earwig!
At the Match
They didn’t like my earwig,
the reason I don’t know,
but they chanted when I took him,
earwig go, earwig go, earwig go!
Reaching the Stars by Jan Dean, me, and Michaela Morgan, cover art by Steph Says Hello.
We have had our first review by Andrea Reece from Lovereading4kids – and it’s a lovely one! Thank you, Andrea!
New poems by three of our brightest and liveliest poets are gathered together in this anthology which celebrates women and girls, lots of them. The lives of the really famous – Malala, Frida Kahlo, Amy Johnson, Hillary Rodham Clinton – are discussed, the roles of women in fairy tales debated, and the achievements of women whose names we’ll never learn acknowledged too. The poem styles are as varied as the book’s subjects, and there are poems to make you laugh, to make you angry, to make you think. It’s a sparkling collection, inspiring and empowering. Buy copies for all the young people in your life. ~ Andrea Reece
I was asked by the charity VOICES (which provides peer support and recovery programmes specifically for women who are experiencing or have experienced Domestic Abuse) to read from Reaching the Stars at the International Women’s Day celebrations at Bath Spa University.
Here I am – with my faithful Medical Assistance Dog, Lola, by my side:
It was a fabulous venue, and I’d like to say thank you to my friends, Ursula for inviting me, Meg for taking some great photos for me, and Kathy for driving me there!
Please note the poems held between my knees. It takes years to learn this technique and carry it off successfully. I can give lessons if required!
On Saturday, I was at the International Women’s Day event hosted by Bristol Women’s Voice at the M Shed in Bristol – by the beautiful harbour in the city centre – here’s the view out of the window:
I was there selling copies of Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, pub. Macmillan, which I wrote with Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan.
We were situated next to SeeItFromHer, an organisation that focuses on giving a platform to women and girls in isolated or marginalised communities, or those who feel oppressed, to have a voice through photography, and we enjoyed the photos very much – having done photography at film school.
One of the poems in our book, by Michaela Morgan, is about the matchgirls, who went on a march in 1888 to strike against the abysmal working conditions they were forced to work in. One of the women who came to our stall was the great, great granddaughter of the woman who organised the march – if anyone out there knows who this is, please get in touch as we’d love to hear from her – my brain was addled and I didn’t take any contact details. My contact details are at the end of this post.
As usual at events I took along my giant animal poem jigsaw, and while their parents looked at the book, their children could puzzle! It’s always very popular:
And here is Lola, patiently waiting on her blanket!
If you are a school who would like to employ Jan (south U.K) , Michaela (Midlands) or myself (Bristol and west) to read and/or do workshops based on this book, get in touch! lizpoet @ gmail.com
Snow leopards live high in the mountain ranges of central and southern Asia in the winter, and even higher in the summer.
Their coats are extremely warm, and at rest they wrap their 1 metre-long tails around themselves to keep out the chill.
They are the most beautiful of big cats; there is no record of one attacking a human being.
These wonderful animals live on a species of blue sheep called bharal, and wild goats called ibex.
Sadly this food is becoming scarce, as these animals are also illegally hunted by humans. To sustain themselves they have to take domestic animals which brings them into conflict with farmers.
They are also killed for their bones which go into Chinese medicine, and for their fur.
They are listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List, as there are only an estimated 4,000 left in the wild, and in many areas they are now extinct.
If you like this poem, perhaps you’d like my book, Animal Magic, that contains facts and poems about endangered animals.
Poem © Liz Brownlee