About James Carter

An award-winning children’s poet, guitarist and writer-in-schools, James Carter lives with his family in Oxfordshire. He travels throughout the UK and abroad with his guitar (called Keith) to schools, libraries and festivals.

It was when lecturing at Reading University that James began to write and publish children’s poetry. He says, ‘Poetry gives me so much freedom as a writer – I like to say a lot in a little! And with children’s poetry, there’s the extra playfulness and musicality. I love words and daydreaming – and what do you get when you put them together? Poems!’ Over the last twelve years, James has visited over 1,000 schools – giving lively poetry and guitar performances as well as workshops, INSET sessions and Gifted & Talent Creative Writing Days. James has written six creative writing books for teachers, including Let’s Do Poetry In Primary Schools!. His popular children’s collections include Hey Little Bug!, for younger readers, and Time-Travelling Underpants and Journey to the Centre of My Brain, for 7–12-year-olds.

Jacqueline Wilson has called his poems ‘imaginative and innovative’. Though he strongly believes in the value of reading poems to children, James considers himself not a performance poet, but primarily a page poet. He can spend up to three months on each poem, crafting the musical language.

With each collection, James writes in a number of voices – from gentle and playful to comic and quirky to quiet and reflective, and he seeks to give his reader a real range of poems – from rhymes to free verse to haikus to kennings to conversation and list poems. James is also known for his shape poems – from aliens to woolly mammoths to ghosts to garden sheds! As he says, ‘it’s the wannabe artist in me drawing and doodling with words rather than lines.’ James also composes and records guitar and piano music – and there are eight instrumental tracks that feature here as stings between the selections of poems.

His writing tips for children include ‘write at home – just for you, and write what you want to write’, as well as ‘read everything from poems to novels to non-fiction – and do a bit every day if you can, as you’ll just get better and better!’

This recording was made on 28 August and 10 December 2012 at Attic Attack, Bristol and was produced by Richard Carrington.

Selected bibliography

Grr!: Dinos, Dragons and Other Beastie Creatures (...

How To Turn Your Teacher Purple! And Other Sizzling...

Time-Travelling Underpants (Macmillan, 2007)

Hey Little Bug! Poems for Little Creatures (Frances...

Greetings Earthlings!: Space Poems (Macmillan, 2007)

Journey to the Centre of My Brain (Macmillan Children...

Recordings

James Carter

James Carter Reading from his Poems

1Introduction

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2Guitar 01

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3The Moon Speaks

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4Saturn

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5What Stars Are

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6I'm the Boss of the Universe

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7TheReallyReallyReallyTrulyTrueTruthAboutTeddyBears

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8World of Weird

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9Guitar 02

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10This Is Where...?

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11How to Turn Your Teacher Purple

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12Is Your Teacher an Alien?

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13They...

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14What Did You Do at School Today?

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15An Ode to My Brain

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16Guitar 03

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17If...

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18How to Build a Dragon

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19Lullaby for a Woolly Mammoth

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20Talking Teeth

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21Hop it, or, Footy Boy Finds T-Rex

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22Guitar 04

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23Crayon Poem

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24What Can You Do With a Football?

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25Bye Bye Ladybird

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26Bug Hug

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27Bubbles

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28What Am I?

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29Pirate Pete

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30Splish Splash Splosh

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31What on Earth

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32Where Did We Go?

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33Guitar 05

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34Journey to the Centre of My Brain

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35The Wolf Outside

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36Gorilla Gazing

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37Tree

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38The Trespasser

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39Hungry Haiku

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40Field Mouse Sleeping

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41Guitar 06

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42Five Little Haikus, or, Spot the Fairytales

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43Fuss Fuss Fuss, or, The Goldilocks Rap

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44Shh!, or, Wilfred, the Boy Who Read

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45The Cat

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47Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?

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48Angelness

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49Love You More

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50Go, Poem

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51Guitar 08

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46Guitar 07

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