lizbrownlee – poet

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Poets Write Where They Can… The Video!


Many years ago, poet Roger Stevens invited other children’s poets to take part in a poetry retreat in Shropshire. I wasn’t a new poet at the time, I was fairly well published, but I didn’t know many other children’s poets at all. I was rather shy of meeting them. But I decided to go – and that was the single best career decision I’ve ever made.

We had a marvellous time. Reading poems to each other, our own, and other people’s. Giving each other workshops – shopping, eating, clearing up together. Drinking wine and singing, with the more musical playing their guitars. Talking children’s poetry business – and how to raise its profile.

We have met every year since. We have kept the group small, because it works – occasionally new blood is invited in the form of a young poet, as many of us are getting older.

One of my contributions was the arranging of filming of us poets reading poems – enabled by my film editor husband, Peter, without whom none of it would be possible. One retreat we met in Bristol and did many readings all around – the films were then available for each poet’s website.

One of the best outcomes from this was getting some video of the marvellous Gerard Benson, who was a member until his death in 2014 – he died at home while we were on a retreat, reading his wonderful poems.

The above video is one we did for fun – we all wrote verses, the poets who could make it to Bristol read the verses, and it was a lovely and unexpectedly sunny day for the filming.

Taking part were: Me (of course!), Gerard Benson, Catherine Benson, Jane Clarke, Sue Hardy-Dawson, Andrea Shavick, Roger Stevens and Phil Waddell.

Thanks are due to Michaela Morgan, Jan Dean and Graham Denton who also wrote some of the words, Eleanor Farjeon on whose poem form it is loosely based, and Bristol City Museum and Blackwell’s who kindly let us film (with prior permission, of course) in their premises!


  1. What a lovely pot pourri
    of poets rhyming wild and free!
    You do it ‘everywhere’, you said –
    tonight I’ll check beneath my bed.


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