lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

Y is for Jane Yolen and Bernard Young!

This is a temporary list for April 2018. The series will be permanently on display as an A-Z list at


Bernard Young

Bernard Young is an experienced professional poet and performer who leads writing workshops for children and adults. Bernard’s poems have been broadcast on local and national radio and feature in numerous anthologies of poetry for young readers. His speciality is primary school age. Here is a link to his new book, What are you Like? And here is a link to his website.

Here is one of Bernard’s fab poems:




Dear Teacher,
my body’s arrived
it sits at a table
a pen in its hand
as if it is able
to think and to act
perhaps write down the answer
to the question you’ve asked

but don’t let that fool you.

My mind is elsewhere.
My thoughts far away.

So apologies, teacher,
I’m not here today.


© Bernard Young


© Jason Semple

Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen, often called the “Hans Christian Andersen of America” had her 365th and 366th books published on March 6, 2018; A Bear Sat On My Porch Today (picture book in rhyme illustrated by Rilla Alexander) and Mapping the Bones (Holocaust novel in which one of the two main characters – they are twins – is a young poet and so some of his poems and partial poems are in the novel.) And yes – there was a big celebration for their publications. The majority of Jane’s books are poetry collections of her own poems (both for children and adults), anthologies of poems she has edited (for children and for adults), or picture books in poetry form (both rhymed and free verse.) She has won many, many awards. One of them set her good coat on fire.

Jane’s website is here.

(I’m very sorry to say I do not have an explanation of how an award resulted in a conflagration of Jane’s good coat, or film of it happening, but somehow I like the fact this is a mystery!)


Here is one of Jane’s wonderful poems:


Fat Is Not A Fairy Tale


I am thinking of a fairy tale,

Cinder Elephant,

Sleeping Tubby,

Snow Weight,

where the princess is not

anorexic, wasp-waisted,

flinging herself down the stairs.


I am thinking of a fairy tale,

Hansel and Great


Bounty and the Beast,

Where the beauty

has a pillowed breast,

and fingers plump as sausage.


I am thinking of a fairy tale

that is not yet written,

for a teller not yet born,

for a listener not yet conceived,

for a world not yet won,

where everything round is good:

the sun, wheels, cookies, and the princess.


© Jane Yolen (First published in the anthology Such A Pretty Face, ed. by Lee Martindale, Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc.; 1st MM Publishing Ed edition (June 8, 2000.)

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter



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