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The Children’s Bookshow and The Joy of Poetry

20 November 2020 Share

Over the last few weeks the team at The Children’s Bookshow have been thinking a lot about the joy of poetry. 

This is what they say:

“One of the Directors, Siân Williams, has been pulling poetry collections down from her shelves and revisiting all of the marvellous poets we have worked with over the years, and some with whom we hope to work in the near future.  Throughout November we are focusing on a different poet every week, giving you an overview of their life and work as well as some videos of them reading and performing their poetry.

We’ve announced three poets of the week – John Agard, Michael Rosen and Grace Nichols - with Kit Wright and Kwame Alexander to follow.

Please enjoy the videos" 

The Children’s Bookshow can be found at




So far, the following poets have been the Children’s Book Show Poet of the week 

Week 1

John Agard is one of the most thrilling, arresting and spellbinding readers you’ll hear, breathing passion and energy into each of his poems when he speaks them aloud. Born in Guyana in the Caribbean, John moved to Britain in the 1970s. He has written lots about what it was like to leave home and the history of the Caribbean, as well as telling stories of his childhood and the myths and legends of Guyana. His latest collection of poetry The Rainmaker Danced was shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2018.  

Week 2

Michael Rosen wrote his first poems when he was twelve, and he has been writing ever since. He loves words, and especially loves talking to children and adults about how we can play with them. He may have got that from his father, who loved to sing songs in different languages and recite bits of poetry or plays – especially Shakespeare. Michael’s parents and his brother all loved jokes, stories and songs, and many of his poems are about his family life as a young boy.

Michael’s first book for children was Mind Your Own Business, a collection of poetry that was illustrated by Quentin Blake. Since then, he has published many more poetry collections, picture books and anthologies, and has become one of our best-known and best-loved authors. In 2007, Michael became the fifth Children’s Laureate (2007-2009).

Michael’s most recent book of poetry is called On the Move, Poems about Migration illustrated by Quentin Blake.

“Poetry is the sound of words in your ears, it’s the look of poets in motion and that can be you. Make your poems sing, whisper, shout and float. Let the words make the rhythm and give the viewers a buzz to see you.” 

Week 3

Grace Nichols - Award-winning poet Grace Nichols was born in Guyana and grew up in a small country village on the coast. She studied at the University of Guyana and worked as a teacher and journalist before moving to the UK in 1977. Grace’s poetry is full of imagination and surprise, warmth and wit. She writes about what it was like for her growing up, as well as how it feels to be far away from home. Grace writes poems for adults and children, and has won lots of prizes and awards. She lives in the UK with her partner, the poet John Agard. 

“Poetry can lift you out of where you are - it takes you out of the ordinary and gives you an extraordinary feeling of joy or even sorrow. It makes you cry, it makes you laugh, it makes you smile, it makes you shake your head in wonder.”