Hi, fellow poets. I always wanted to become a writer but I had to write lots of stories and poems before my first book, The Howen, was published by Penguin. After that I wrote Creeper, a scary story about two children, a dog and a boatload of monkeys and their adventures on the marsh. That was a very long time ago and the books sometimes pop up on the internet second hand. Since then I have concentrated on poetry, but I have now written another children’s novel, called The Comic Café, and it’s been fun writing a story again.
Over the years, I’ve had lots of poems published in all sorts of poetry books. My most recent collections are It’s Not My Fault (with Steven Withrow) and an anthology called Is This a Poem, all about those poems that you’re not really sure ARE poems. Other books include: The Penguin in Lost Property (animal poems with Jan Dean); What Are We Fighting For? (poems about war with Brian Moses); I Wish I Had a Pirate Hat (poems for younger children); A Million Brilliant Poems (part one) for which I’ve been lucky to be able to choose some of my very favourite poems from some of my favourite poets; Olympic Poems – 100% Unofficial, with Brian Moses – to celebrate the Olympic Games; What Rhymes With Sneeze – an anthology of rhyming poems and Off By Heart – poems to memorise, with helpful memorising tips in the back. To buy these, (or to find out more) click on the titles and you’ll be taken to the Book Depository.
My last solo collection was called Beware! Low Flying Rabbits (Macmillan). We had a rabbit once that escaped into my dad’s shed. The rabbit then built an aeroplane from bits of old wood and a washing machine engine and took off down the garden path. It gave my tortoise quite a turn as the rabbit zoomed overhead! Anyway, that’s what gave me the inspiration for that book. Unfortunately it’s now out of print. But you can sometimes find copies on the internet.
I live in Brighton and France (but not at the same time). And I’m always very busy writing stories and poems, visiting schools to read and talk about my poems and stories, playing music in folk clubs and looking after The Poetry Zone. Maybe I’ll be visiting your school soon?