Tag Archives: National Poetry Day

GUEST POST: Every day is a Poetry Day with Joshua Seigal

Today is National Poetry Day, the annual mass celebration that encourages everyone to enjoy, discover and share poetry. This year’s theme is Vision and with activities centred on encouraging young and old to See it Like a Poet and #ShareAPoem, there’s bound to be a plethora of creativity and imagination coming to life everywhere!

Today, award-winning children’s poet Joshua Seigal, who can often be found visiting and performing in schools, libraries and theatres around the country sharing his poetry shows, joins us on the blog with a guest post about why every day can be a poetry day!

Welcome to the blog Joshua!

Every Day Is Poetry Day – Joshua Seigal

“It is great that we are given a day every year to celebrate the joys of poetry, but it is important not to forget that every day can be a poetry day!

Poetry is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to express themselves and get creative, and it can be embedded right across the curriculum in all kinds of interesting ways. For geography, why not write a poem from the perspective of a river or volcano? And in maths, you could try describing yourself using numbers, shapes or mathematical equations. Try to add a little bit of poetry to everything you do, a bit like adding spice to your cooking.

Perhaps you have studied poetry for exams, and have decided that it is not for you. It is important to remember that poetry is not supposed merely to be analysed, like we do in exams; it provides us with a chance to engage with ourselves and society, as well as the joys of language, in a way that is meaningful to us. To write poetry is to play with words, and we can use those words in incredibly powerful ways.

So how might one go about doing this? I always offer the following piece of advice when I visit schools: write about something you are interested in, that means something to you. If you’re interested in football, write about football. If you’re interested in butterflies, write about them. That way your poem will have heart and soul. It might also be a good idea to write in the style that you normally speak. That way your poem will come from deep inside, from the place that truly belongs to you.

Also, try to seek out poems on topics and in styles that speak to you. Simply saying “I don’t like poetry” is, when you think about it, as senseless as saying that you don’t like music or movies. A lot of people do say that they don’t like poetry; I even called my first book I Don’t Like Poetry! But remember that, just like songs or movies, poetry comes in all kinds of styles, and you can pick something you like! Nowadays you don’t even have to read poetry, if you don’t want to; you can watch it on Youtube.

Poetry is for life, not just National Poetry Day! There is no right or wrong way to write it, and there is no right or wrong way to consume it. There are as many different poems out there as there are people. Try to find something you connect with, and have fun!”

Find out more about Joshua on his website www.joshuaseigal.co.uk. and visit National Poetry Day to see how you can get involved in celebrations!

New review: Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex

Just in time for National Poetry Day, I’m delighted to be reviewing the fantastic book, Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex, author and illustrator of many picture books and novels.

orange

We all know nothing rhymes with orange. But how does that make Orange feel? Well, left out! When a parade of fruit gets together to sing a song about how wonderful they are – and the song happens to rhyme – Orange can’t help but feel like it’s impossible for him to ever fit in.   

As soon as I read about this book I knew I’d love it – and I do!  It’s a wonderful parable of how in order to fit in, we sometimes need a bit of help and for that to happen others need to make space and maybe adjust a little.

orange 2

It starts as an amusing poem celebrating the wonderful and varied fruit, but as Orange gets more downhearted and desperate to fit it, the rhymes get a little more ridiculous.  As Drew Daywalt said (author of The Day the Crayons Quit) “any picture book that can work in Friedrich Nietzsche and lycanthropic pears is a winner”.

orange 1

Even Orange can’t work out what’s going on, asking questions throughout, creating an emotional commentary alongside the fruit parade poem.  Finally, it’s a very intuitive Apple who realises certain fruit are “feeling rotten because they’ve been forgotten” and works out just how to help Orange fit in.  I won’t spoil it, but it’s genius in its childlike simplicity!

orange 4

The illustrations are a combination of photographs, text and drawing, bringing to life a vibrant cast of characters – the fruit we know and love. Young and old alike will enjoy this fruity tale, a good book to read aloud creating instant empathy. Original and with a great message celebrating difference, Nothing Rhymes with Orange is a wonderful book to help celebrate National Poetry Day!

Find out more at www.adamrex.com

With thanks to Abrams and Chronicle for sending me this book to review.