Meet the authors and shape poems in ‘Shaping the World’ – book launch 22 April

Have you ever wondered how antibiotics were discovered, when the first woman went to space, why people love Shakespeare, or who invented sliced bread?

Shaping the World is a brand new gift anthology containing forty incredible shape poems in the shape of world shapers! Learn about about Amelia Earhart in a poem shaped like a plane, Maya Angelou in a poem shaped like a bird or Francis Drake in a poem shaped like a ship. Each poem is paired with a biography, quote and fascinating fact.

Join us for the Zoom launch on 22 April, 9.30-10.30am

Come and hear the poets in Shaping World read their own poems, and see the amazing shapes made out of the poems’ words! Poets include Dom Conlon, Jan Dean, John Dougherty, Matt Goodfellow, Sue Hardy-Dawson, Shauna Darling Roberston, Roger Stevens, Myles McLeod, Cheryl Moskowitz, Laura Mucha, Chitra Soundar, Kate Wakeling, and Liz Brownlee, hosted by Myles McLeod and Macmillan’s wonderful Gaby Morgan.

The event is free. Book your place now at www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-the-authors-and-shape-poems-in-shaping-the-world-book-launch

HOURS Writers Poetry Shots on SoundCloud 5-8 April

HOURS Writers are a Bristol-born workshop group. We’re releasing daily ‘shots’ of convenient and flavoursome poetry on Monday April 5th to Thursday April 8th as part of Bristol’s Lyra Poetry Festival.

Listen in any time at soundcloud.com/hours-writers

Follow HOURS on Twitter @HoursWriters

 

Song lyric on Roger Stevens’ new album ‘Rescued by Orcas’

Rescued By Orcas, the new album from poet, author and musician Roger Stevens is now out in the oceans of the world.

I’m thrilled to have written the lyrics for one of the tracks, ‘Friendly Fire’. It’s been on my bucket list for a while to pen some lyrics for a song that’d be recorded by an artist I enjoy and admire, so – tick!

The lyrics were adapted from a poem in my first poetry chapbook Blueprints for Minefield. ‘Friendly Fire’ tells the story of a couple who’ve always avoided conflict and so too much has been left unsaid and their relationship is on the rocks.

Rescued By Orcas features eleven new songs, all recorded in France (vocals and guitar) with contributions (in England) by Charlotte Glasson (sax, clarinet, flute, violin), Ray Knight (harmonica), Andy Melrose (mandolin), Ali Gavan (drums and bass) and Karen Moses (backing vocals).

There’s quite a mixture of songs, about the state of the world, musings on the hopelessness of life and three love songs. In Roger’s inimitable style, the tracks move between being witty and playful, and observationally pin-sharp, politically astute and emotionally honest. There’s a breadth of musical influences – folk, jazz, blues, 60s/70s London – and the warmth and presence of the recording are wonderful too, it feels like you’re in an intimate venue with a bunch of (musically talented) friends sharing one of those evenings you won’t forget in a hurry.

Snap up a copy here: www.rogerstevensshop.com/product/rescued-by-orcas

The Imaginarium is open for business – here’s the trailer!

Saturdays at the Imaginarium, my new collection of poems for children, illustrated by Jude Wisdom, is here!

Here’s an extract from the blurb –

“Inventive, provocative and highly original, this is a book that asks big questions about how we see ourselves and each other as well as our place in the world. It invites children of all ages to explore the incredible potential of their own imagination.”

Here’s the trailer… If it whets your appetite, you can find out more on my publisher’s website www.troikabooks.com/saturdays-at-the-imaginarium

I also have a new website for my children’s writing (‘poetry & young minds’) over at www.shaunadarlingrobertson.com which includes a blog of ‘Imaginarium extras’!

‘The Poetry Guerrilla’ on National Poetry Day website

National Poetry Day 2020 will take place on 1st October and this year’s theme is ‘Vision’.

The National Poetry Day website has curated a selection of poems and poetry books for everyone to read share, featuring “some of the best contemporary poetry available in the UK”.

I’m thrilled to have a poem included, ‘The Poetry Guerrilla’, which you can find at nationalpoetryday.co.uk/poems/poems

The poem’s taken from my forthcoming collection for children, Saturdays at the Imaginarium, published by Troika at the end of September.

Fringe Arts Bath Festival: Response to RISE

This should’ve been a participative live performance, but sadly the coronavirus pandemic intervened. So instead it’s online…

Response to Rise, is a cultural and arts engagement with the ecological catastrophe of our times, a poetic response to Rise: From one island to another, a poetry film produced by campaigning organization 350.org.

In the film two young women poets, one from the Marshall Islands and one from Greenland, connect their realities of rising sea levels and melting glaciers. Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna use their poetry to showcase the linkages between their homelands in the face of climate change. The film offers a glimpse of how large, and yet so small and interdependent our world is.

In July 2019, Bath Writers and Artists watched the video and were so moved by it that we screened it again, this time following it with readings of our own poems written as response – honouring, celebrating, echoing the indigenous poets. We created a kind of poetic ceremony, an experiment that we wanted to share more widely as part of Fringe Arts Bath.

Watch the original film and our response at www.fringeartsbath.co.uk/rise 

Curated by Peter Reason working with Bath Writers and Artists and other local poets.

 

First children’s poetry collection, ‘Saturdays at the Imaginarium’, will be published by Troika this July

The secret’s out… thankfully, because it’s been killing me sitting on this one!

I’m thrilled, tickled and cock-a-hoop to confirm that my first full poetry collection for children will be published by Troika in July 2020.

Saturdays at the Imaginarium will celebrate creative thinking, champion curiosity and revel in the pleasure of looking at things ever so slightly slant.

With enormous thanks to the wonderful team at Troika who are an absolute delight to work with: Martin West, Roy Johnson and the awesome artist Jude Wisdom who I’m honoured to say is illustrating our book.

Here’s a flyer with a sneak preview of what’s in store….

 

 

Three poems in Poetry Wales

I’m delighted to have three poems published in the latest issue of Poetry Wales, edited by Jonathan Edwards. Founded in 1965, Poetry Wales publishes internationally respected contemporary poetry, features and reviews in its tri-annual print and digital magazine.

The poems, ‘Forecast’, ‘Open Letter to Big Daddy’ and ‘When My Dead Mother Made Me Meatballs’ appear in issue 55.2 winter 2019/20.

In this issue:

Features: Gillian Clarke, ‘The Highest Wind in the World’ – on tree planting and creativity; Paul Henry ‘Music and Light’ – an interview; Arjunan Manuelpillai, ‘How to Make a Poetry Ashram’ – on poetry libraries; David Greenslade, ‘Imagined/Invited’ – a poem/collage collaboration; Wendy Pratt, ‘The Hare and the Witch: Transforming Grief into Poetry’

Reviews: Kate Noakes on Zoe Brigley and Jeremy Hooker; David Clarke on Fran Lock and Emily Cotterill; Anna Lewis on Eleanor Rees and David Clarke; Steve Whitaker on Ben Ray and Alan Perry

Poems: Gillian Clarke, Osi Rhys Osmond, Stephen Knight, Vicky Morris, Jessica Mookherjee, Marvin Thompson, Liz Lefroy, Emily Blewitt, clare e. potter, Patrick Jones, Phil Jones, Arjunan Manuelpillai, Di Slaney, Matthew Jarvis, Rhea Seren Phillips, David Rees Davies, Joe Dunthorne, Matthew Caley, David Clarke, Emily Cotterill, Shauna Robertson, Christopher Meredith, Emma Simon, Wendy Pratt, Neetha Kunaratnam, Rhian Edwards, Linda Saunders, John Freeman.

Find out more at poetrywales.co.uk

Interview on Roger Stevens’ The Poetry Zone

Since 1998, The Poetry Zone webzine – created by renowned children’s poet Roger Stevens – has published around 30,000 poems by children and teenagers, poets and other adults, and is widely used by teachers as a fun way of teaching poetry in schools.

In ‘Poets Talk’ the site features interviews with “some of our (and hopefully your) favourite poets”.

I’m chuffed to be one of them – many thanks to Roger for inviting me aboard. The interview was really interesting to do, as it invites poets to reflect on why and how they write, how long it takes to create a poem, how their experiences of poetry at school inspired them (or not) and what advice they’d give to young poets.

Here’s the links: Poets TalkShauna Darling Robertson

 

Poem in Raceme magazine

I’m delighted to have a poem published in the latest issue of Raceme magazine.

Raceme is a Bristol-based literary magazine published twice a year, and edited by Matthew Barton with co-editors David Briggs and Dominic Fisher.

The poem, ‘Baking, and Aleppo’ appears in the autumn/winter 2019 issue alongside poems, reviews and articles by David Clarke, Czeslaw Milosz, Raymond Antrobus, Deborah Harvey, Katrina Naomi, Katy Evans Bush and more.

Find out more at www.racemepoetry.com