© Image by Caroline Forbes

Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters

(b. 1965)

"The poems are brilliant. I cannot emphasise how much every teenager needs this." - School Librarian

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Recordings

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

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Select bibliography

  • The Barefoot Book of Strange and Spooky Stories, Barefoot Books 1997
  • When I Come to the Dark Country, Abbotsford Publishing 1997
  • The Upside-Down Frown, Hodder 1999 - out of print
  • Sheep Don't Go To School, Bloodaxe 1999
    Buy
  • Poems with Attitude, Hodder 2000
  • Poems about Seasons, Hodder 2000
  • The Unidentified Frying Omelette: an anthology of form poems, Hodder 2000
  • Out of Order (editor), Evans 2001
  • Sadderday and Funday, Hodder 2001 - out of print
  • Plays with Attitude, Hodder 2001
  • Dragon and Mousie, Ylolfa 2002
  • Hubble Bubble (editor), Hodder 2003
  • Ed and the Witchblood (graphic novel), Hodder 2003
  • Monkey's Clever Tale, Childsplay 2003
  • Poems Out Loud - A Poetry CD And Book (editor), Hodder Wayland 2004
  • Crash: A Verse Novel, Hodder 2004
    Buy
  • Ed & The River of the Damned (graphic novel), Hodder 2004
  • Love, Hate & My Best Mate (editor), Hodder 2004
  • The Dog Ate My Bus Pass (with Nick Toczek), Macmillan 2004
    Buy
  • Tiger and the Unwise Man, Childsplay 2004
  • Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters Reading their poems, The Poetry Archive 2006
    Buy
  • Here's a Little Poem (co-editor with Jane Yolen), Walker Books 2006
    Buy
  • Mad, Bad and Dangerously Haddock: the best of Andrew Fusek Peters, Lion Books, 2006
    Buy
  • Spies Unlimited, Oxford University Press 2006
  • Ghosts Unlimited, Oxford University Press 2006
    Buy
  • Poems with Attitude - Uncensored, Wayland, 2008
    Buy
  • Diamonds are for Evil (Skateboard Detectives), Orchard 2008
  • Priceless! (Skateboard Detectives), Orchard 2008
  • The No-No Bird, Frances Lincoln Children's Books 2008
    Buy
  • Much Ado About Clubbing (Plays with Attitude), Evans Brothers Ltd 2008
  • Flip Side (Plays with Attitude), Evans Brothers Ltd 2008
  • Ever Clever Eva (White Wolves: Stories from Different Cultures), A & C Black 2009
Andrew Fusek Peters (b. 1965) and Polly Peters (b. 1965) have written and edited more than 45 books, in many genres including poetry, plays, fiction and graphic novels. As well as visiting hundreds of schools with writing workshops, Andrew has also appeared on television and radio, and Polly has worked extensively in youth and community theatre, following a career as a teacher of English and Drama. They are probably best known for their groundbreaking Poems with Attitude books, the first collections of poetry written specifically for teenagers, and their novel in verse, Crash, which was shortlisted for the North East Book Award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal.

Their poems are grounded in strong opinions and real experience of teenage life, so that the subjects, from bullying and friendship to sex and drugs, can be treated openly and honestly. These are poems about what it is like to be a teenager, not a sweetened version of what adults may feel it ought to be like. (A poem like 'What my Mother Said' demonstrates exactly how useless an adult's advice can be.) The poems run from the painful end of teenage life, with 'Bruises Heal' giving a voice to the pain of bullying, through joyful poems of friendship such as 'Perfect Blend', to poems like 'Recipe for Disaster', where an illicit house party while parents are away is made comical through a wildly extended cookery-book metaphor.

Peer pressure is a recurring theme in these poems. A poem like 'Pressure' acknowledges that it is hard to resist, but the pair of poems 'Slugs and Snails and Puppydog Tails' and 'Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice' both show ways of resisting stereotypes. On the other hand, poems such as 'Good to be a Lad' celebrate a sense of belonging in "The sweet hours / Of being a lad".

Both poets are interested in performance, so that poems can be chanted, sung, rapped or acted out - or simply read. Both are also interested in form, which is seen as part of the performance, ensuring the poem works onstage and on the page. The Guardian's claim that "it is rare and welcome to find a collection that speaks so directly to teenagers" is here reinforced by the poets' practiced, unpatronising delivery, which speaks as directly as the poems do.

Their recording was made on 10 January 2006 at the Audio Workshop, London and was produced by Richard Carrington.

Prizes

2005 Carnegie Medal nomination Crash
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