The gallery at Camden Council's wonderful Basil Spence designed Swiss Cottage library was the venue for a fabulous evening of children's poetry earlier this month. Four poets, all published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books who hosted the evening, came along to entertain a packed house of children and adults. We organised the event with Frances Lincoln and Camden Libraries as part of our partnership work.
Wes Magee opened the evening reading poems from his new collection Here Come the Creatures!. Wes immediately had the audience joining in - a spirited version of The Boneyard Rap was particularly enjoyed. Kathy Henderson was next on stage and read from her collection The Dragon with a Big Nose. This is Kathy's debut poetry collection but her poems proved immediately popular with the audience, who enthusiastically clickety-clacked a backing for her poem Look at the Train!
The inimitable Grace Nichols followed, reading from her collection Cosmic Disco. Listening to Grace makes each audience member feel that they are the only person in the room. At this event, she took her listeners on a tour of the universe, ending with the superb Lady Winter's Rap.
Star performance poet John Hegley brought the evening to a raucous close with renditions of poems from his new book I am a Poetato, hamsters, guillemots and an orange parrot that resembles a carrot, were all given the Hegley treatment.
Any children in the audience who were inspired to go home and write their own poems can enter the Camden half term poetry competition which was announced by Councillor Tulip Siddiq, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities in Camden council.
Entrants must be under the age of 12 and live in the London Borough of Camden. Entry is free and the prize is a collection of signed poetry books by the poets who appeared at the event. Entries must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or handed into any Camden library by Sunday 3 November.
Take a look at the Chatterbooks poetry activity pack which can be used to explore poetry in Chatterbooks children's reading groups or in primary schools.