Term 3 poet in residence

Jean Sprackland

What makes a poem suitable for children? By Jean Sprackland
4 Dec 2009 - 05:02 PM

I've been thinking recently about the tradition of writing poetry specially for children. There's no doubt that there are some marvellous children's poets around - some of the very best are to be found in the Children's Archive here on this site, including Valerie Bloom, James Berry, Kit Wright, Allan Ahlberg, Jackie Kay, and the late, great Charles Causley. Causley had an unusual talent for writing complex, demanding poems which appeal to children without ever patronising them. His poems are full of warmth and conscience and ambiguity and strangeness.

3 comments latest by Tilly
Places that shape us By Jean Sprackland
15 Nov 2009 - 07:40 PM

Two weeks ago today, I moved a van-load of my belongings from the small coastal town where I've lived for 20 years to London. I live between the two now, shuttling back and forth on the West Coast Main Line, trusting I can learn to feel at home in two places at once.

1 comment latest by Stuart
Poetry workshops By Jean Sprackland
2 Nov 2009 - 05:55 PM

I've just about recovered from a busy week tutoring a lively and intense residential course at the Arvon Foundation's Yorkshire house, Lumb Bank, with a group of poets interested in leading writing workshops. This groundbreaking course was organised by the Poetry School, and we spent the week taking it in turns to run demonstration workshops and discussing the many issues involved in this kind of teaching.

9 comments latest by Lucian
It's not a proper poem unless it rhymes By Jean Sprackland
18 Oct 2009 - 02:48 PM

This term I've started a new job at Manchester Metropolitan University, teaching poetry to undergraduate and postgraduate students. My first-year students and I have been looking at rhyme, and it's been very interesting for me to go back to the most basic questions: what is rhyme, and what is it for?

23 comments latest by Lucian
Prizes for poets By Jean Sprackland
4 Oct 2009 - 08:57 PM

Hello and welcome! I'll be here throughout this term, blogging about some of the things I'm doing between now and Christmas. The coming week is dominated by the Forward Poetry Prizes, which will be announced this Wednesday evening.

12 comments latest by Jean

Poet in residence archive

Search for a poem or a poet:

My Archive

Create lists of your favourite poems and poets and share them with friends.

Browse all poets by name

View all poets

Browse all poems by title

View all poems

Glossary of poetic terms

View full glossary
Poet In Residence Archive

You are welcome to explore our archive of past residencies and read some of the lively and varied discussions you'll find there.

This part of the Archive is full of poems chosen specially for children. Click here to meet old favourites and make new discoveries.