lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!


I love writing shape poems – I’m so lucky, they seem to come to my brain while I’m writing the poem, so I can accommodate certain words or letters to appear in the right place to work as a picture. That’s what happened with ‘Hippobotamus’.

This puzzle was made and painted for me by Holly Jo Beck – the other side has another hippo poem – one that appears in my new book,  Animal Magic.

A youngster enjoying making the puzzle.

The puzzle is part of my ten day poetry exhibition – featured in the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol as part of  The Bristol Poetry Festival 2009. This was generously supported by quite a few charities*,  and I had a lot of fun making and designing the whole exhibition. Thirteen poet friends were represented in the exhibition poems, and nine poets turned up to help man it over the ten days – Philip Waddell was a super-hero-helper, turning up before and helping set up, and staying after to help clear up!

These two little boys made the puzzle together, then the older one read it to the younger. Over the ten days, all age groups enjoyed it, from 3 to 93, our oldest visitor! We had timed races to see who could make it the fastest and break the world record – about 90 seconds!

More information to come about other parts of the exhibition!

* The exhibition was Arts Council Lottery funded, and supported by several charities including The Follett Trust, Macmillan Children’s Books, Poetry Can, Philip and Tracey Education and The Poetry Society.


  1. This is a wonderful idea, and a great way not only to help kids get into poetry, art, and puzzles, but to help them see the connections between those things as well.


  2. This is so adorable, such a great way to get kids interested in language!


    • Thank you! I’m lucky in that I can see things in pictures, so shape poems sometimes just occur to me!


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