lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

A Rocketful of Space Poems














Today I received my copy of this book, published by Francis Lincoln –  space poems collected by John Foster, and illustrated by Korky Paul.

This book has quite a history – it was first commissioned in 2004, but publishing was put back year by year – in the end I didn’t think it would get published at all, but here it is – thirteen years later!

In fact, I changed the poem at one point as it was on a postcard, and as postcards went out of fashion somewhat, and Facebook statuses came in – I made it a Facebook status.

I am immensely pleased to have a poem illustrated by Korky Paul, in fact when I first started writing it was my ambition. Now I not only have a poem illustrated by him, but a super-duper double page colour spread! I can cross that off the bucket list now!

John Foster is a great editor, and it’s a super book – available here: A Rocketful of Space Poems.


Young People Who Write Poetry


Are you a young person who writes poetry?

Do you know any young people who write poetry?

If so, the Poetry Library has alerted me to the fact that The Curlew, a nature writing magazine, has a section for writings by under 16s in each issue.

It’s a beautiful magazine, beautifully illustrated in black and white.

Why not have a go?

Good luck!

Book Announcement – Yippee!

THRILLED to be able to show you the gorgeous cover of my new animal shape poem book, written with lovely Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens.

This has been a labour of love; shape poems are hard, it’s tricky to get the words in the right place and the shape of the animals exactly right when using letters and words and sentences. But it’s also been fun!

It’s hardback! (This is very exciting to a poet.) With colour! (Even more exciting!)

And it is for everyone – anyone from 8 to 88 and over can enjoy these poems shaped into the animals they are about.

It will be out on March 22nd 2018 – from Bloomsbury.



You can pre-order it here.

National Poetry Day Competition – win some fab books, including mine!

Yes – World Book Day, in partnership with National Poetry Day (this year on 28th September), are giving away an impressive pack of stupendous poetry!

This is what you could win:

This is the sister anthology to the award-winning  A Poem for Every Night of the Year, Macmillan, illustrated by Zanna Goldhawk, which is also edited by the lovely Allie Esiri. I’m in this one! It will be out on the 7th September.










Overheard in a Tower Block, Otter-Barry Books, illustrated by Kate Milner, is by award-winning Joseph Coelho – and is described as “a powerful and moving poetic narrative about growing up in the city.” It is wonderful.










This book by the extraordinary Michael Rosen – Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots, Bloomsbury, illustrated by David Tazzyman, was shortlisted for the CLPE 2017.










This next book, capturing the emotional highs and lows of childhood, is by Ieva Flamingo (Ieva Samauska), illustrated by Vivianna Maria Staņislavska – it’s out on July 27th from Emma Press.










And the last book on offer is MINE – written with Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan, published by Macmillan, illustrated by Steph Says Hello. It is a timeline of extraordinary women and girls, of which Sue Hardy-Dawson says: “Most of all though this is an empowering collection dealing with humour and sensitivity with all the girls and women you should have heard of, as well as those little known and unsung heroines – be they match girls, authors, sportswomen, scientists, artists, teachers, suffragettes or queens.”










To enter this fantastic competition, email with the subject World Book Day NPD competition. The winner will be selected at random after the closing date of 31st August 2017.

You’ll also receive a pack of posters created for National Poetry Day by poet and artist Sophie Herxheimer. Visit the National Poetry Day website for more inspiration including free downloadable resources.

Hope you win!

Reviews for Reaching the Stars

Two great new reviews have arrived for the book I have written with Jan Dean and Michaela MorganReaching the Stars, poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls.

The first is in the fabulous magazine Carousel: “published 3 times a year (Carousel) is a magazine which aims to inform its readers about the world of children’s books. The contents of each issue include new books, signed reviews ranging from babies to young adults and covering fiction, poetry and information…”

It’s a lovely magazine, and arrives in a white envelope decorated with a selection of gorgeous stamps – none of which have yet, for me, been franked – perhaps even the post office finds them too beautiful, I can’t even bear to recycle the envelopes!

The following review was written by the wonderful Brian Moses:

The next review I have only seen via tweet, it was featured in the #IBW2017 #bestnewkidsbooks2017 – fabulous! (Support your independent bookshop! We go for Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, not only because its name is truly delicious, but because Mr B and his staff are wonderfully well-read and knowledgeable and will come up with an exciting, varied and mouth-watering pile of books for you to read if given your interests or books you have enjoyed before.)


So, if you have been overcome with a burning desire to read Reaching the Stars, the link is below, please press on the book!

The Children’s Poetry Summit

Yesterday I travelled (with Lola) to London to the Children’s Poetry Summit – here’s the welcoming sign on the door, helpfully pointed out by wonderful children’s poet and author, Michaela Morgan:

You may be wondering what the Children’s Poetry Summit is.

The summit is run by Chris Holifield, who is the former Poetry Book Society director, and who is now the role director of  the T S Eliot Prize for the T S Eliot Foundation.

It’s a network of people and organisations that are interested in, or who work with, children’s poetry. We are children’s poets (of course!) but also publishers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and organisations such as The Forward Arts Foundation, Poetry Society, CLPE etc.

There are about three meetings a year and those who are able to gather, exchange information and ideas – about how to raise the profile of children’s poetry generally, support and promote the writing of poetry by children, and create opportunities to do all of the above through various outlets such as schools, teacher training colleges and literature organisations.

It’s fun meeting other people who are as excited by and enthusiastic about children’s poetry as I am.

If you are interested in children’s poetry, enjoy reading it, write it or have children who write it, are a teacher or anyone else that likes to keep in touch with what is going on in the children’s poetry world, then follow us on Twitter – @kidspoetsummit

Come and see our beautiful page with artwork by the wonderful Chris Riddell!

COMING SOON! We also have a Children’s Poetry Summit Blog in the digital pipeline – there you will be able to read all about children’s poetry from any number of angles!

More info here as soon as the blog is running. It promises to be another exciting place to gather children’s poetry information.



Reaching the Stars long listed for an award!

Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, Pub. Macmillan, written by me, Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan, has been long listed for a North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award, in the poetry section.

I’d like to thank them very much – have a look at the following link to read the review:

North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards Review

And have a look here to see all the other books nominated – stiff competition, from some fabulous writers. Good luck everyone!

North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards Nomination Lists

Oooh, and now we are featured in the Times Education Supplement:

A-Z Challenge Reflections #AtoZ Blog Challenge


This year I did many of the posts before, leaving about a third to do during the challenge. And some of my posts were written by the other two authors of my newest book, my guest bloggers – poets Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan.

I found this year very hard. Having one list to refer to and go down to find blogs to visit was SO much easier – particularly as when you have read them, the links changed colour, so you could track your progress and make sure you didn’t revisit if you didn’t want to.

Yes – some people wimped out, yes, some people were just there to advertise, but it was still much easier. When the links were dead it was quick enough to just go on to the next blog.

One list, one page to go to, what bliss.

I cannot post on many blogger blogs. This meant I was entirely shut out of posting my links on the proper A-Z Challenge page, as it is one of the ones I can’t comment on.

So I posted on TheBlogChatter and on the A-Z Facebook page. This meant posting in two places every morning – my blog was posted at one minute past midnight as usual, but of course I didn’t always want to stay up that late, so then the post was linked much later than normal the next morning. Very irritating. And time consuming, as the pages required different methods.

I suspect the same problems cropped up on the official page as I found – there were far fewer blogs than normal taking part, so finding only WordPress blogs which I could be sure to post on was hard work.  Not only that, my memory is not brilliant and I found it hard remembering which I had posted on and seen and which I hadn’t.

I had far fewer visitors to my blog than in the past, partly because of this problem and partly because there just weren’t as many people taking part.

I’ve been doing it since 2012, seven years, and really this is not a better way on the part of the consumer – although obviously the organisers will have found it less onerous.

I suspect it won’t be any better next year unless some way of having a sign up as in the past is used. I suggest one page for each country. US, UK, India/Asia. Either that or broad subjects – Mixed, Cookery, Poetry, Novel/Author, Religious/Spiritual, and Health. Dividing makes any task easier and seem easier. And the organisers would be able to choose the group they were most interested in to go and see – an incentive if ever I heard of one.

If it’s like this next year I would be very sad, but I’d have to say – not again.

Hello to everyone who visited me and who I visited, lots of interesting blogs to read as usual, congratulations to everyone who finished, and thank you organisers, thank you BlogChatter, thank you the admins of the FB page, and thanks in particular John, for visiting!

If you have enjoyed reading my posts this year, and you’d like to read about more extraordinary women, why not buy the book Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, by me, Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan, pub. Macmillan – link below, press on little book!

Recently nominated by North Somerset Teachers Book Awards!



Z for Zaha Hadid – extraordinary architect, #AtoZ Blog Challenge

Dongdaemun Design Plaza at night, Central Seoul, by Warren Whyte

Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid was a fabulously futuristic architest – one tutor at her architectural school, Professor Koolhaas, described her at her graduation as “a planet in her own orbit’, another as being the most talented pupil he had ever taught, and as ‘having spectacular vision’.

She was born on the 31st October in Iraq in 1950, and died in March 2016 from a heart attack while suffering from bronchitis.

She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to London in 1972,  to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

She was described by the The Guardian as the ‘Queen of the curve’, who ‘liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity’.

And her designs really are spectacular.


Sheikh Zayed Bridge – Abu Dhabi, UAE by Mohannad Khatib


I love this next one – it must be like being inside a womb of flowing, pleated material!

Auditorium of the Heydar Aliyev Center, Azerbaijan, by Khalilov


Zaha Hadid portrait, 2010 © Simone Cecchetti


An amazing woman – and our last A-Z! I hope to see you all next year (and if you have followed, through the year!). Thank you all very much for reading.

If you’d like to read about more extraordinary women, why not buy the book Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, by me, Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan – link below, press on book!

Y is for Malala Yousafzai, #AtoZBlogChallenge

Wikimedia Commons

This entry is by my guest blogger Michaela Morgan,  one of my fellow authors of Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, also by me and Jan Dean, published by Macmillan. This poem and the entry are found in the book.


Malala Yousafzai was born on 2 July 2 1997 in the Swat district in Pakistan. She is known because on the afternoon of 9 October 2012, she was seriously injured after a Taliban gunman attempted to murder her. After extensive medical care Malala eventually recovered.

She has since continued to work for education and rights for girls. On 12 July 2015, her 18th birthday, she opened a school in the near the Syrian border, for Syrian refugees. The school, funded by the Malala Fund, offers education and training to girls aged 14 to 18 years. Malala called on world leaders to invest in “books, not bullets”.

She believes in the power of books to change the world.


On the afternoon of October 9, 2012, Malala boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. A gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired three shots into her head. She survived, recovered, and continues her fight for rights. She is now the youngest ever winner of the Noble Peace Prize.




A girl with a book.

A girl with a book.

That’s what has scared them –

A girl, with a book.


They get onto the bus.

They call out my name.

They aim. And they fire.

A shot to the brain.


Because a girl with a book,

A girl with a voice,

A girl with a brain,

A girl with a choice,

 A girl with a plan

To have rights, like a man.

That’s what they’re scared of

One girl, with a book.


A girl who has words.

A girl with a pen.

A girl to be heard

With support of her friends

Who want to live free –

That’s what they fear

a girl just like me.


© Michaela Morgan




Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls

Image: By DFID – UK Department for International Development (Malala Yousafzai: Education for girls) via Wiki Commons.