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Chrissie Gittins

b. UNKNOWN


Chrissie Gittins knows just what words can do: she makes them dance, sing, sit still for a moment and then leap across the page with joy! - Ian McMillan

Wasp on the Tube

Chrissie Gittins

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Dawn Meets The Queen

Chrissie Gittins

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River Torridge

Chrissie Gittins

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Harry the Hamster

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The Tale of Dotty Cuddletum

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About Chrissie Gittins

Chrissie Gittins' poetry for children is rich and varied in both form and subject; her three collections are bursting with everything from limericks to list poems, shape-poems to songs, and manage to be silly, scary, funny, sad and exciting all at the same time, often within the same poem.

The poems play with language, exploring the way we speak and shout, sing and write, and how the world all around is translated through words. She invokes the magic of new and unknown words by repeating them or listing them to a rhythm; 'main mast, mizzen mast, fore mast, shot lockers, bowsprit, gripe'.

She uses call-and-response to ask unusual questions; 'When is a boy not a boy? When he’s a plank of wood'. These surreal observations are often approached through double-meanings, special words and images to create and enrich a world in which – 'the stars wear sparkly socks', a solar-power fairy skims over our gardens as we lie asleep, and spent time is stored in lost property at Euston and Paddington. She is a writer who truly understands the inner world of a child’s imagination, replete with secret friends, talismans and the special hideaways and magical places of childhood – the tent made under the bedclothes with a torch, the hiding-place in the supermarket, the garage – and she knows how to speak to this world through her poems.

Chrissie Gittins has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes for her short fiction and poetry, both for adults and children, and her work has appeared on television and the radio. Both her first and second collections for children, Now You See Me, Now You... and I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle were shortlisted for a CLPE Poetry Award (in 2003 and 2007 respectively), and were both selected as a Poetry Book Society Choice for the Children's Poetry Bookshelf (2006 and 2010), an accolade also awarded to her third collection for children published in 2010, The Humpback’s Wail.

Chrissie Gittins was born in Lancashire and lives in London.

Selected bibliography

Michael Rosen's A-Z, Puffin, 2009

I'll Dress One Night as You, Salt, 2009

Family Connections, Salt, 2007

Armature, Arc Publications, 2003

Chrissie Gittins Reading from Her Poems, The Poetry...

The Humpback's Wail, Rabbit Hole Publications, 2010

I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle, Rabbit Hole...

Now You See Me, Now You..., Rabbit Hole Publications,...

Prizes

2010 Poetry Book Society Choice Poetry Book Society Choice for the Children's Poetry Bookshop, for The <i>Humpback's Wail</i>, 2010

2009 Arts Council Writers' Award 2009 Arts Council Writers' Award

2007 CLPE Award (shortlisted) 2007 CLPE Award (shortlisted) for <i>I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle</i>

2007 Authors Foundation Award 2007 Authors Foundation Award

2006 Poetry Book Society Choice 2006 Poetry Book Society Choice for the Children's Poetry Bookshelf, for <i>I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle</i>

2005 Arts Council Writers Award 2005 Arts Council Writers Award

2003 CLPE Award (shortlisted) 2003 CLPE Award (shortlisted) for <i>Now You See Me, Now You...</i>

2002 Belmont Poetry Prize (for individual children's poems) 2002 Belmont Poetry Prize (for individual children's poems) for 'The Powder Monkey'

2002 Royal Literary Fund Award 2002 Royal Literary Fund Award

2001 Society of Authors Award 2001 Society of Authors Award

Recordings

Chrissie Gittins Reading from Her Poems

1High-Chair

2Sam, Sam, Quite Contrary

3The Tale of Dotty Cuddletum

4The Well-Travelled Tortoise

5Now You See Me, Now You...

6Death in the Poetry Library

7The Noodle-Eater

8Harry the Hamster

9The Powder Monkey

10I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle

11When is a boy not a boy?

12River Torridge

13Three

14The Night Flight of the Pterodactyl

15The Solar-Powered Fairy

16Tin Lid

17World Secrets

18Limpet

19A Memory of Snow

20The Pencil Stub

21Storing Time

22The Humpback's Wail

23Summer Pudding

24The Best Hiding Place in the World

25My Friend Bob

26Night Sky in the Clun Valley

27The Return of the Wild Man of Orford

28Dawn Meets the Queen

29I Can't Fix Everything

30The Fragrant Pirate

31Iris Upsidaisy

32My Dad's More Embarrassing Than Your Dad

33Wasp on the Tube

34The 'I'm Not Tired' Dance

35Lou's Pyjama Uniform

36What Does Poetry Do?

37Government Health Warning

A tour of the Archive with Sherrie Talgeri

Poetry is life with line-breaks – a personal matter – and I hope that this six poem mixtape I’ve chosen will...

Featured Guided Tours


Books & cds by Chrissie Gittins