lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

C is for Children’s Poets James Carter, Jane Clarke, Justin Coe, Mandy Coe, Andrew Collett, Dom Conlon, Pie Corbett, Paul Cookson, and Cynthia Cotten, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

Cynthia Cotten

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Cynthia Cotten

Cynthia Cotten has been writing fiction and poetry for young people for more than 30 years.  She has published several critically-praised picture books, including Snow Ponies, This Is The Stable, and The Book Boat’s In, and has poems included in numerous collections, including America at War, Jumping Off  the Library Shelves, illustrated by Jane Manning, here in the US, here in the UK, and World Make Way, here in the US, here in the UK, all edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins.  She lives in Lockport, New York (not far from Niagara Falls), in a house on the banks of the historic Erie Canal. Her website is here.

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Here is one of Cynthia’s poems:

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MY CARD

This may look

like a plain,

pocket-sized

piece of plastic

but it’s really a

super-card.

More powerful than

the smartest phone,

more powerful than

a tv remote,

more powerful than

a hundred apps,

my library card

unlocks the world

and more

with a single

scan.

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© Cynthia Cotten All rights reserved (originally published in Jumping Off Library Shelves—poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins—Wordsong, 2015)

Paul Cookson

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Paul Cookson

Paul has worked as a poet for nearly thirty years and visited around 4000 schools, libraries, festivals, front rooms. He has written and edited over 60 titles – including the best selling The Works  – and has sold over a million books. He is the Poet in Residence for The National Football Museum, Slade’s Poet Laureate, Writer in Residence for Sing Together and Chant Productions. And he is a National Poetry Day Ambassador. Everton Football Club commissioned a poem for their season ticket campaign and the Everton Home poem which can be found online and has been played on the big screens at Goodison Park. His latest collection – The Very Best Of (Macmillan) is out now and contains many of his signature poems – including the favourite, Let No-one Steal Your Dreams – alongside other favourites and new pieces. Paul’s website is here and his Twitter here.
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And here is Paul’s fab favourite poem:
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LET NO-ONE STEAL YOUR DREAMS

Let no-one steal your dreams

Let no-one tear apart

The burning of ambition

That fires the drive inside your heart

 

Let no-one steal your dreams

Let no-one tell you that you can’t

Let no-one hold you back

Let no-one tell you that you won’t

 

Set your sights and keep them fixed

Set your sights on high

Let no-one steal your dreams

Your only limit is the sky

 

Let no-one steal your dreams

Follow your heart

Follow your soul

For only when you follow them

Will you feel truly whole

 

Set your sights and keep them fixed

Set your sights on high

Let no-one steal your dreams

Your only limit is the sky

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© Paul Cookson

 

Pie Corbett

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Pie Corbett

Pie Corbett is an English educational trainer, writer, author, anthologiser and poet who has written over two hundred books. He is now best known for creating Talk for Writing which is a teaching programme that supports children as storytellers and writers. He has supported children’s writing and children’s poets as well as the education of primary children for many years. His main collection is called Evidence of Dragons, illustrated by Chris Riddell and Peter Bailey, published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

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Here is one of Pie’s fabulous poems:

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In the Land of Possibility

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In the land of possibility,

there is a swan’s final feather;

a fragment of the moon’s crust;

the final echo of a rainbow’s cry;

the gleam from a conker

when the shell cracks open;

a silence that was trapped after sleep takes over;

the secret of how clouds travel;

the stillness in an opal’s centre;

a spider’s web that has snared

a bee from the hives at the edge of the lake;

a thief’s subtle grin as he sneaks into a house;

the moment when two ideas clash together;

the sudden grating of a car’s brakes

juddering to a terrible halt;

a whip of sea spray gathering

in the wind on an ocean wide;

flames curling their sulphurous tongues;

snowflakes settling on pine trees

and a gobstopper made of honey.

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©  Pie Corbett 2017

Dom Conlon

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Dom Conlon

Dom Conlon launched onto the children’s poetry scene with Astro Poetica, illustrated by Jools Wilson, a collection of poems inspired by space and praised by Nicola Davies, Jon Culshaw, George Szirtes and many more. Since then he has been published in magazines and anthologies whilst performing and teaching in schools and libraries around the North West. He’s a regular guest on BBC Radio Lancashire where his poetry covers everything from the universe to grief. Dom’s work can be read here.

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Here is one of Dom’s great poems:

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Red Bike
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Where is my red bike?
The rag bone man took it to sell for his supper.

Who bought its shine?
The rain took that to polish its tears .

Who bought its bell?
Time took that to mark out its years.

Who bought its tyres?
The wind took those to carry its clouds.

Who bought its seat?
The mountain took that to help the sky rest.

Who bought its chain?
The river took that to pull all its fish.Who bought its journeys?
I kept those for when you no longer visit.
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© Dom Conlon

Andrew Collett

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Andrew Collett

Andrew Collet started writing in c1979  as a choirboy, in a bus shelter, waiting to return home from Newcastle Cathedral. He became a teacher;  then over ten years visited hundred of schools and festivals as a children’s performance poet. He remains published in over a hundred anthologies and his fiction and poetry have been included in the Oxford Reading Tree, Oxford Literacy Web and many other schemes. He also had five collections of his own work published. His material has  been broadcast and used by exam boards across the world. Andrew has more recently been forced to take a step back from writing. However, he still loves to party with the poets. Three of Andrew’s can be found in the ever popular The Works, Ed. Paul Cookson, Macmillan.

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Here is one of Andrew’s lovely poems:

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Autumn Leaves

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Around the playground

autumn leaves

parachute down

from half-dressed trees,

silently seeking

hiding places,

with their wrinkled,

yellow faces,

looking for

a rescue boat;

a classroom door;

a child’s coat,

trying to steal

a minute more

until lost for good

on the playground floor.

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© Andrew Collett

 

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Mandy Coe

Mandy Coe is the author of seven books and winner of a number of awards. Her work has featured on BBC radio and television programmes such as CBeebies, Woman’s Hour and Poetry Please. Mandy regularly visits schools through author’s visits and her work on teaching poetry has been published by the TES, Bloomsbury and Cambridge University Press. Her poems can be heard on Talking Poetry, BBC Schools Radio and the Poetry Archive. Her children’s collection, If You Could See Laughter  (Salt 2010) was Highly Commended by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award. Mandy’s website is here

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Here is a poem from Mandy:

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Cancan

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When I dance

my blood runs like a river can,

my feet fly like the birds can,

my heart beats like a drum can.

Because when I dance I can,

can do anything

when I dance.

 

Flying over rooftops

I see my town below me

where everybody knows me,

where all my problems throw me,

where heavy feet can slow me.

But nobody can, can stop me

when I dance.

 

My blood runs a race.

My feet fly in space.

My heart beats the pace.

Because when I dance I can,

can do anything

when I dance.

 

© Mandy Coe (From Michael Rosen’s A-Z, The Best Children’s Poems from Agard to Zephaniah, Puffin)

 

Justin Coe

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Justin Coe

Justin Coe is a poet, writer and spoken word theatre creator, specialising in work for young audiences. He has taken his puckish poetics and heart-felt humour all over the world, including to a sitting room made entirely out of newspaper. He loves visiting schools and libraries, and has worked with young people across all age ranges and key stages since 2000, including a four year stint as a resident poet at a school for pupils with behavioural and emotional difficulties.. He’s the author of  The Dictionary of Dads illustrated by Steve Wells (Otter-Barry Books, published May 2017). His website is here.

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Justin sent several laugh out loud poems, but I liked this clever villanelle:

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The Great Fire of London (A Villanelle)

London burns! A fire on Pudding Lane!
By bucket and axe, we shall beat this blaze
Or see this fair city forever changed

Fariner, a baker, they say’s to blame
People flee their houses and call out, afraid
“London burns! A fire on Pudding Lane!”

With summer drought, wild winds, no cooling rains
These flames too fierce to tame could rage for days
And see this fair city forever changed

Send for the King’s men. The Thames boils with shame
After the disaster of last year’s plague
London burns! A fire on Pudding Lane!

Whole streets melt like they’re made of paper chains
Houses, churches, holy St Paul’s all razed
Now see this fair city forever changed

Call Christopher Wren. Build it up again
Stone by stone until you are all amazed
London burned! A fire on Pudding Lane!
But see this fair city forever changed…

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© Justin Coe

Jane Clarke

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Jane Clarke

Jane Clarke is the author of many poems in anthologies of children’s poetry, and of over 80 books, some them rhyming. Jane’s been an archaeologist (in London) a history teacher (in Wales) and a library assistant (Antwerp International School, Belgium). It was there, at the age of 40, that she started to write for children. Jane loves animals of all shapes and sizes, country walks, and shell and fossil hunts (she has a big collection of fossil sharks teeth). She enjoys making visits to nursery schools and primary schools to share her love of poetry and stories, and lead creative writing workshops. Her latest rhyming book is I Saw Anaconda, illustrated by Emma Dodd. Jane’s website is here, and her FB page here.

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Jane is brilliant, especially with primary audiences. Here is one of her poems:

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Drop in the Ocean

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Sploshing around

in life’s restless sea,

there’s a drop in the ocean,

and that drop is me.

 

Rocked by the waves,

or washed up on the shore,

I’m a minuscule drop,

among zillions more.

 

I’m a drop in the ocean

of life’s restless sea.

But there’d be no ocean

without drops like me.

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© Jane Clarke

James Carter

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James Carter

James Carter is an award-winning children’s poet, non-fiction and educational writer and INSET provider. He is the author of over 16 popular and best-selling poetry titles. James travels all over the UK and abroad with his guitar (that’s Keith) and melodica (that’s Steve) to give very lively poetry/music performances and workshops In the last 16 years he has visited over 1000 Primary / Prep schools and performed at various prestigious festivals including Cheltenham, Hay and Edinburgh.

His latest poetry/non-fiction picture book, Once Upon A Star (Little Tiger Press) was BooksforKeeps’ Book of the Week March 2018 and his collections of children’s poems include The World’s Greatest Space Cadet (Bloomsbury), Zim Zam Zoom! (Otter-Barry Books). James’ website is here.

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Here is a fabulous shape poem of his:

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© James Carter

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