© Image by Caroline Forbes

Kit Wright - Children's Poems

(b. 1944)

"I think so highly of poetry that I've dedicated my life to it. It's the most important thing to me." - Kit Wright

Share this page

Share this page Bookmark and Share


These poems come from a special recording for the Poetry Archive:

! Missing Player !
To listen to the Archive's recordings, software called Adobe Flash Player (version 10) needs to be installed on your computer and you need to enable JavaScript in your browser settings.

Adobe Flash Player can be downloaded, free of charge, here.

Select bibliography

  • Cat Among the Pigeons, Viking Kestrel 1987
  • One of Your Legs is Both the Same: A Poem, Turret 1987 - out of print
  • Short Afternoons, Hutchinson 1989 - out of print
  • Hoping It Might Be So: Poems 1974-2000, Leviathan 2000; Faber 2008
  • The Magic Box: Poems for Children Pan Macmillan, 2009
  • Kit Wright Reading from his Poems for Children The Poetry Archive 2012
Kit Wright (b. 1944) is the author of more than twenty-five books, for both adults and children, and the winner of awards including an Arts Council Writers' Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award and (jointly) the Heinemann Award. After a scholarship to Oxford, he worked as a lecturer in Canada, then returned to England and a position in the Poetry Society. He is currently a full-time writer.

Kit has made a selection from new recordings made especially for a Poetry Archive CD of thirty-three his children's poems, which shows the range of his accomplishments in this often overlooked type of poem. From the imaginative and dreamlike images of 'The Sea in the Trees', to the comedy and relish of sounds in 'Watch your French' and 'Heads or Tails', Kit Wright's poems always demonstrate an impeccable ear, a genuine sense of invention and play, and a deft touch with rhythm that ensures there is always another surprise in store for the listener. It is rare to find poems that so faithfully reward a child's joy in sound, the 'rightness' of rhyme, and gleeful pleasure in the comical and absurd. His language concertedly, carefully and accurately inhabits a wide variety of feelings, creatures and characters, while seeming to completely assume and display their attributes, and it is greatly to the credit of his writing that in his hands this enormously difficult feat seems perfectly natural and effortless. The poet Anthony Wilson has said that Wright "can be funny, serious and moving, and sometimes all three in the space of a single poem", and this holds true for his writing for children as well. The restraint of strong emotion in 'In Memory of a Beautiful Jeweller' makes it all the more clearly felt over the course of the poem, and highlights the poet's deeply humane and sympathetic temperament. This sense of personality warms the writing and comes through no matter which of their colourful and various subjects the poems are tackling.

In these readings Kit Wright relishes the sound and rhythm of his poems to great effect, at times coming close to song. His joyful, funny and touching performances make the perfect introduction of the possibilities of poetry to a young audience new to the delights of stories and rhyme.

This recording was made in November 2011 at The Audio Workshop, London and was produced by Richard Carrington.

Kit Wright - Children's Poems's Favourite Poetry Sayings:

"I like what vamped me / In my youth: / Tune, argument, / Colour, truth." - Kit Wright (from 'Poetry')


1977 Alice Hunt Bartlett Award The Bear Looked Over the Mountain

1978 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award

1985 Arts Council Writers' Award

1990 Heinemann Award Short Afternoons

1995 Hawthornden Fellowship

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
Historic recordings Hear famous voices from poetry's past.

View all historic recordings
Support The Poetry Archive The Poetry Archive depends on donations from public bodies and private individuals. Find out how you can contribute to the work of the Archive.