Saturday, 31 December 2011

Swimming With Trout

New Year Resolutions 2012

Hi there! Well, this blog has been going over a year now – and we’re all still here, although the rate of new entries has slowed down a bit! I’m intending a bit of a shake up soon. (Watch this space.)

Have a wonderful 2012. May you swim with trout. Meantime - here are a few of our new year resolutions. Have you made any this year? –
Roger Stevens

My New Year Resolution Number 1: Not to make New Year's Resolutions. Only disappointment and a sense of failure comes with them. Number 2: To follow my own good advice re not making Resolutions. - Michaela Morgan

1: To be dafter – daft and wonky both make good poems.  (Don’t let my family see this – they already think my daft and wonky are off the scale.) 2: To be more awake when I’m doing ordinary things. Then I’ll squeeze all the juice out of everyday experiences, enjoy them more and have more material for writing. That’s a double whammy! - Jan Dean

I never remember to carry out my resolutions. This year I made a resolution
to carry out my resolution when I made a resolution. And decided NOT to make a resolution so I didn’t have to carry it out. Then I remembered - I wanted to carry a notebook at all times to write all the ideas I forget when I don’t have a notebook
to note them down in. So I've made a resolution to carry out my resolution to carry out my notebook, and thus carry out my resolution and carry out a notebook for the first time ever, after all.
If I remember. - Liz Brownlee

I resolve not to complain at the drop of a hat.
I resolve not to drop my hat. Bernard Young

1: To spend more time searching for the ends of rainbows.
2: To swim with trout so they're not as jealous of dolphins. 
3: To get rid of some of my old books so the house doesn't explode
- Sue Hardy-Dawson

1: To write a poem in tiny words on each finger nail.
2: To buy a magnifying glass.
3: To learn each poem by heart.
4: To cut my nails.
5: To see how many finger-nail poems I can remember.
6: To stop being so silly.
The End. - Celia Warren

This Year… Be Kind to Animals

Agree with aardvarks
Be nice to bees
Cook for caterpillars
Dance with dolphins
Entertain elephants
Frolic with frogs
Giggle with gorillas
Holiday with hippos
Inspire iguanas
Joke with jackals
Kiss koalas
Lunch with llamas
Motivate moose
Natter to numbats
Organise owls
Play with platypi
Queue with quail
Read to rabbits
Snuggle with snakes
Tickle terrapins
Understand unicorns
Value vultures
Wave at whales
eXercise with oXen
Yodel with yaks
and let zizzing zebras zzzzzzzzzz
-Jane Clarke

And finally, for the grown-ups...

Not get drunk
Not be rude
Not eat chocolate
Or other nice food
Cut down on drugs
Fags and caffeine
But wait until   
- Andrea Shavick.

Monday, 19 December 2011

A Poem Is Not Just For Christmas

A poem is not just for Christmas
A poem is for life
It’s for a child, a mum or dad
A husband or a wife

It’s for the changing seasons
For the many, for the few
But this poem is for Christmas
This poem is just for you

Roger Stevens

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone. And a happy new year. From all the secret poets.

Monday, 5 December 2011

That Poetry Time of Year

by Roger Stevens

Why not give poetry books for Christmas this year? There have been some great poetry books for children published in the last twelve months. Here are a few of my favourites. Why not share yours? Let’s spread the word!

Hear Here (Hands Up Books) by Trevor Parsons. It’s his first collection of poems and great fun. (See the review by the Undercover Poet). Also from Hands Up Books I’d recommend Ian Bland and Philip Waddells’ new collection Go to the Head. Laughs a plenty here – as in Philip’s…

A mischievous phantom called Clarence
Loved making a sudden appearance
He thought the trick cool
Till a humourless ghoul
Reported him to his transparents

When there’s so much doom and gloom in the publishing world – wonderful small presses like Hands Up Books need all our support. Check it out here -

Other poetry books published this year included The Language of Cat (Frances Lincoln) by Rachel Rooney, a stand out collection that should be on everyone’s shelves, as should Pie Corbetts’ beautifully written Evidence of Dragons (Macmillan). I’d also recommend Best of Enemies, Best of Friends (Wayland) Brian Moses’ anthology for older children and teenagers.

For younger readers I'd recommend Hey Little Bug (Frances Lincoln) by James Carter. A lovely book, and great for reading aloud.

And finally – for poetry lovers everywhere, for children, for grandma and grandad, or for the bird lovers in your life – Celia Warren’s magnificent RSBP Anthology of Wildlife Poetry (A&C Black).

Oh, and I nearly forgot. You could also give that very special person one of my books as a present. A Million Billion Poems (Part One) (A&C Black) – an anthology of all my favourite poets – Does Your Face Fit (A&C Black) – an anthology for teenagers – or my latest solo collection Beware! Low Flying Rabbits (Macmillan).

So – what poetry books will you be buying for friends, brothers, sisters, children, parents or grandparents this Christmas? Do let us know.