Saturdays at the Imaginarium among National Poetry Day 2021 recommendations

The Forward Arts Foundation has just published its annual list of recommended reads for National Poetry Day. The 2021 list features forty-three inspiring new poetry books from twenty-six publishers. The selection is the Foundation’s biggest yet, reflecting the vibrancy of poetry publishing, particularly from small presses which make more appearances on the list than ever before.

I’m absolutely delighted that Saturdays at the Imaginarium has been selected: “an imaginative and highly original collection which asks big questions about how we think about ourselves, each other and the world.”

Here’s the National Poetry Day’s full list of selections of books for adults, book groups, children and young adults, packed with inspiring choices that’s my book budget blown again!): https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/poems/poetry-recommendations

If you missed the trailer for the Imaginarium, here it is –

Saturdays at the Imaginarium longlisted for North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award

The North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award celebrates the very best in children’s literature, so I’m dead chuffed that my poetry collection Saturdays at the Imaginarium has been longlisted in the 2021 awards.

Big congratulations and the very best of luck to all of the brilliant books on the list!

 

 

‘A Poem for Every Spring Day’ anthology

I’m delighted to have a poem, ‘Dancing With Life’, in Allie Esiri’s gorgeous new collection, A Poem for Every Spring Day.

Published by Macmillan, the book features a raft of poems “that will transport you to vivid spring-time scenes , taking you from the first sighting of blossoms through to Easter”. The poems are selected from Macmillan’s bestselling poetry anthologies A Poem for Every Day of the Year and A Poem for Every Night of the Year.

Perfect for reading aloud and sharing with all the family, the spring collection includes poems by William Wordsworth, Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, John Agard, Maya Angelou, Wendy Cope, John Cooper Clark, Carol Ann Duffy – and me!

Grab a copy from Bookshop.org (if you’re buying online, using Bookshop.org is a good way to support local, independent booksellers who receive a share of the profits).

Myths, magic and mayhem: a guest blog for National Share-A-Story Month

This month (May) is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ National Share-A-Story Month – an annual celebration of the power of storytelling and story sharing, aimed at bringing children and stories together.

This year’s theme is ‘myths, magic and mayhem’ and the Federation invited me to write a guest blog exploring how my children’s poetry collection, Saturdays at the Imaginarium, incorporates all three.

Here it is: Welcome to the imagination – where myths, magic and mayhem collide. In it, I ponder things like… what exactly is the imagination? What did Einstein have to say about it? How do the stories we tell ourselves become our own ‘personal myths’? And how might we use our imaginations to tell better stories and create more magic, and less mayhem, in our own and others’ lives?

There’s also a poetry film and a trailer for the book in there too. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Three poems in Poetry Wales

Three of my poems are 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, ‘End Notes’, ‘Seven Men Piled High’ and ‘When It Rains, Do Rain’ appear in issue 56.3, Spring 2021.

In this issue you’ll find poems, features and reviews by the following writers:

Sheenagh Pugh, Hilary Watson, April Yee, Stephen Payne, Philip Gross, Graham Mort, Sascha Aurora Akhtar, Nicholas McGaughey, Matthew Haigh, Shauna Robertson, Harriet Truscott, Tracey Rhys, Zoe Wells, Katherine Stockton, Zoe Brigley, Seán Hewitt, Estelle Price, Fiona Benson, Edward Lee, Daisy Henwood, Kath Osgerby, Archie Capon, Rhys Owain Williams, Phil Jones, Jeanette Burton, Taz Rahman, Sarah Salway, Laura Seymour, Rae Howells, Kristian Evans, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, Joanna Ingham, Rebecca Farmer, Alycia Pirmohamed, Robert Walton, Jeremy Hooker, Amelia Eilersten, Jane Draycott, Judy Brown, Christopher Horton, Juliet Antill, Jennie Farley, Peter Carpenter, Robert Minhinnick, Carl Griffin Valerie Coffin Price and Cyril Jones.

Find out more and order a copy at poetrywales.co.uk (mine came with a free cuppa – check out the pic above!).

Children’s poetry in translation: a guest blog for The Children’s Poetry Summit

I was happy to be asked to contribute a guest blog to The Children’s Poetry Summit this month, as it gave me a great excuse to share something I’ve been getting very excited about – discovering children’s poetry from all over the world, written in a variety of languages!

Huge thanks to the wonderful magazine Modern Poetry in Translation for the inspiration, and for showcasing some brilliant children’s poets from Holland, Poland, Mexico and more.

Here’s the blog: Shauna Darling Robertson: Children’s Poetry in Translation. I hope you enjoy it.

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’!