lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

National Poetry Day 2015 – the photos!

National Poetry Day is over – I miss all the excitement of getting everything ready, but as I have loads of projects to throw myself into, I’m not totally bereft of poetic excitement in my life.

The films of fourteen people whose lives contain light reading poems about light went down very well, and I wrote two blogs about the process, one for Young Writer and one for The Guardian. Many thanks are due to the poets who gave their poems to read, the readers who read brilliantly and to Peter, who did many of the filmings himself as they had to be done after working all day.

Here’s a picture of me, after spending all day NPD Thursday in Waterstone’s, in front of the Big Screen in Millennium Square, Bristol, where the films were shown every half hour on the half hour. If you are passing through in the next year, Big Screen Bristol have requested to ability to show them in small chunks through the year, so you may catch one!


This is a rough assembly of all the films in one chunk – uploading all of them to YouTube was impossible as one file, so I assembled them all on YouTube myself – however the quality isn’t as wonderful as the actual film, and lacks all the bits in between and polish that Peter edited in!

And what fun we had at Waterstone’s on Thursday morning, when I was joined by author/poet and workshop leader Bernie Howley (thanks, Bernie!) to do a workshop with Cabot Primary School.

This is just after we set up – the bays on one side of Waterstones decked in poems about light, sent by generous poets, on beams of bunting:


The boards all ready, waiting for Cabot Primary School, Bristol, to arrive!


Here is me when they have all arrived…


And the young people, me and Bernie deep in writing mode!


Here are some of the wonderful lines of poetry they wrote:

“how fragile he dances through the frost”

“wandering dizzily in the glass evening”

“lonely night will wish for a rocket”

“in frantic fear and lightning I write music”

“who forgets the cool, jewelled earth”

Well done, Cabot Primary School.

Thanks are also due to Waterstones, who not only made a fabulous display of my book…


…but were very welcoming and accommodating, allowing us to use the space as we needed, and also bringing us teas and coffees, despite being in the middle of a massive refurbishment and the making of a CAFÉ, yes, you heard me, a new café, how brilliant is that.

On Saturday I was joined by lovely poet Philip Waddell. Phil had only been back from Rwanda a week – on the day after he arrived he phoned to let me know his intentions of coming down from Oxford to help on the day. That’s what I call dedication to poetry! This is Phil:


And this is our first brilliant poet, who arrived at 9am to write a poem!



More photos of the day:



We finish one bay full of poems written at the event:


And Peter starts hanging another:






Lola waiting and watching everything going on, patiently…



Mary Ann, Phil’s wife, taking a photo of proud poets!


Oooh, the line of poems is growing!


And still more poets arrive…


Searching in the boxes…


Oooh, goosebump poem…


He’s turned the corner…




Yes! We filled the bay!


One of the poems sent by a professional poet (in this case the most wonderful Colin West) to help send the bunting round the store:


Poems written on the day:


Well… there are a lot of photos, but these will give you an idea!

Thank you to all the poets who sent poems for the bunting, to Bernie Howley and Phil and Mary Ann Waddell for help on the day, the staff at Waterstones, Broadmead , Bristol, to the people of Bristol who came to write, and to Peter, who spent a lot of time helping with various aspects of the whole kit and caboodle!

Now I’m thinking about next year…


All photos and material copyright Liz Brownlee

Please do not reproduce anywhere.


  1. Alison

    Terrific, Liz! Well done. Thank you for all your hard work and fascinating updates! Very best wishes, Alison


  2. Well done on this. Looks like you had an amazing day all round!


    • Thank you Al, had a brilliant time. Catching up now with all the things I didn’t do while doing that!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks wonderful, Liz. I was blown away by those lines by the Cabot Primary School pupils!


    • Thanks, Susan! the magnetic poetry is a real inspirer – children don’t have to worry about spelling and can choose words they wouldn’t normally think of without worry. It’s fabulous.


  4. This is truly wonderful work to engage young minds and follow their creativity. some of their words are just beautiful. Love Lola and your book looks great sitting right there on the shelves.


    • Children are amazingly creative – we just need to make sure they don’t lose it in the harsh regime that is schooling at the minute.

      I was very happy they put it in such a great position. They used to sell my book and have taken another to sell so that is good.

      Lola sends you a lick!


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