Introducing Joshua Seigal, children’s poet!
Joshua Seigal is an award-winning poet, performer and educator. He has worked in hundreds of schools, nurseries, libraries, theatres and festivals around the country, and his poems have been published in numerous anthologies. Joshua writes for adults as well as children, regularly standing up at comedy, spoken word and variety nights. Michael Rosen described Joshua’s poems in I Don’t Like Poetry as magic!
Name three things on your Christmas list this year! Hmm, interesting. I don’t really have Christmas lists. I was brought up Jewish so we didn’t really do Christmas. Nowadays I decide what to get people on the spur of the moment. Usually it’s edible (or drinkable).
Christmas is a time of family traditions – what are your best (or worst!) family traditions? The annual family argument is quite traditional, isn’t it? Another good one involves dressing my dog up as Santa. He is a Lhasa Apso and is very fluffy, so he has a beard just like Santa.
(I don’t think you can beat a dog Santa lookalike!)
What is your favourite story to read at Christmas? Talking Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah.
If you could have Christmas dinner with anyone (alive today or person from history) who would it be? Donald Trump. Just joking! It would have to be my family. But not Uncle Nigel. Uncle Nigel is not invited.
(Poor Uncle Nigel!!)
You write amazing poetry for children! If you were to write a festive Christmas poem for children what would it be about? Thank you very much! I wrote one recently about a kid who falls in love with the fairy on top of the Christmas tree. It might also be fun to write one about the ten worst things to find in a Christmas stocking.
I Don’t Like Poetry is described as helping even the most reluctant poem reader enjoy it more. Did you enjoy poetry as a child and how did you get into writing poems? I liked it a bit, I would say. I enjoyed writing rhyming poems as a child, and as a teenager I wrote some awful, self-indulgent, pseudo-intellectual stuff. But I was never very into reading poetry. I started to read more poems in order to become a better writer. I also found writing poetry, and engaging in intricate word play, was a good way of keeping the black dog of depression at bay.
Reader’s question from Adam aged 10, Great Walstead School: you write lots of funny and silly poems. Where do you get your ideas from and do you laugh while you’re writing them? Great question. I get ideas from lots of places, but the most important ingredients are within me: my five senses, and my imagination. I do sometimes laugh when I write them; when that happens I know it is going to be a good poem!
Turkey or goose? Neither. A nut roast for me.
Real or fake tree? Real.
Mince pies or Christmas pudding? I hate both! Bah, humbug!
Stockings – end of the bed or over the fireplace? On my legs.
Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? Christmas Eve.
Thank you for taking the time to participate! Have a very Happy Christmas!