Why do you write poetry?
Poetry is fun and I like fun. I like messing around with words and playing with ideas on paper and writing jokes and silly rhymes – and if you put all those things together sometimes they make poems which people enjoy.
Do you write anything other than poetry?
I write loads of different things – LOADS. I write stories and fact books and big long books for grown ups (which are really good, by the way) and then bits and bobs like play scripts and comedy sketches. In the past I’ve written funny greetings cards, radio gags and quizzes.
Do you write for adults?
I do indeedy. I have three memoirs about my days as a village school teacher in the wild and woolly Yorkshire Dales back in the 1980s. They are full of amazing true stories about the crazy things that children used to do in those days. For example, the first book in the series, ALL TEACHERS GREAT AND SMALL features a donkey wheel, an Egyptian mummy, a ghost boy, killer caterpillars and a flying octopus.
What other books have you written?
For children I’ve written some funny fact books including:
How to Spot a Hadrosaur in a Bus Queue (a book of interesting and funny lists) and The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff (a collection of amusing facts about silly people, animals, inventions, names and more). I’ve written just one poetry book, Razzle Dazzle, which is full of wacky wordplay.
Who is the most unusual person that has inspired you to write a poem?
Aha, that’s probably the Rev W.A. Spooner. He was a very brainy prof-type who worked at Oxford University 100 years ago. He’s famous because he used to muddle up his words in comical ways – for example he once said to a student, “You have hissed my mystery lecture!” when he meant to say, “You have missed my history lecture.” Whoops. And he’s supposed to have said, “Our Lord is a shoving leopard…” (loving shepherd). Yikes. I wrote a silly poem about him called The Rev Spooner’s Shopping List.
How do you write your poems?
I keep playing around with an idea until it works – this involves lots of scribbling and crossing out (yes, I write poems on paper first). Saying it aloud is very important.
Are you writing anything at the moment?
Yes! I have nearly finished a funny novel called Prankenstein all about a boy called Soapy who tracks down a hairy prank-playing monster with his friends – then something really extraordinary happens. I’m VERY excited about this book (it will be published in Sept 2014).
Do you visit schools?
I do lots of school visits. I tell incredible stories to all ages, I run interactive poetry workshops and I tell children about all the different kinds of books I write and what it’s like to be an author (brilliant). And I really go to town on getting children to read for pleasure because I think that is SO important. And I take a special painting along too.
Have you been on the TV or radio?
I’ve been on TV twice. Once I was on the game show Bullseye (a darts quiz) where sadly my team was beaten by two Elvis Impersonators. I’ve also been interviewed by Alan Titchmarsh which is probably quite impressive to retired grannies and ex-gardeners.
What has been your most memorable day?
I once rescued a kid who was hanging off a cliff. I was on holiday on this little island and this boy was making strange noises. I looked up and noticed that he was, well, hanging off a cliff. Everyone else there on the beach just stared but I, being Poetman, raced to the cliff, climbed up and helped him down. He was quivering like a jelly.
Tell us a poem
I was really sad when Looby died,
My favourite pet of all;
We buried her at the back of the house,
Next to the garden wall.
I was really sad when Looby died,
That giraffe was part of my soul;
But not as sad as dad was:
Took him two years to dig the hole.
What advice would you give to young poets?
Read a lot of poems. Read a lot of books. Read of a lot of anything. That will give you ideas, help you to understand language and make you cleverer. Simple.
Thank you. Meanwhile, check out my website at www.andyseed.com where you’ll find more poems and even some pictures.