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!
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?
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.
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!
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
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, 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:
And have a look here to see all the other books nominated – stiff competition, from some fabulous writers. Good luck everyone!
Oooh, and now we are featured in the Times Education Supplement:
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
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!
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.