World Poetry Day thrill

Today is not only the first day of Spring, it’s also World Poetry Day. What a great combination!

To mark the beginning of Spring, we had a visit from a Queen Buff-tailed bumblebee, who spent much time in our garden sunbathing, preening and looking for a suitable nest site, as you can hear here:

To mark World Poetry Day, I was invited to discuss poetry on the Radio 2 Arts Show with presenter Eve Pollard and – what a thrill! – the most marvellous Roger McGough.

The Arts Show also commissioned me to write a poem for the occasion, ‘And the winner is …’, which I read live on air. You can read my poem here:

and listen to the poem here:

World Poetry Day is a UNESCO initiative, and the poets they are promoting particularly this year are the Indian Tagore, the Chilean Neruda and Césaire from Martinique.

If you’d like to find out more about any of these poets, then I think a good place to start is with Neruda’s ‘Arte de Pajaros’ (Art of Birds). If your Spanish isn’t tip-top, then try the bilingual edition published by Lynx which has beautiful colour illustrations.

Now that Spring has sprung, the birds in our garden are starting to sing gloriously. Enjoy the poetry of the birdsong where you are!

Anneliese Emmans


Edgbaston High School for Girls

It was with some trepidation that I tried out  my Brummie accent on a hall full of pupils at Edgbaston High School for Girls in Birmingham on Friday morning. My attempt was greeted with howls of laughter. Howls of derision? Howls of recognition? Who knows … But I did have a great day at the school!

After my Buzzing! show (about insect girl power in the garden), I set about putting on poetry workshops for the girls in Years 7, 8 and 9. This was a big responsibility, as the poems they wrote are going to be entered into a House Competition for Science Week!

I don’t envy the teachers judging the competition, as the girls came up with some fantastic poems in a vast range of styles, including rap, haikus, free verse and rhyming couplets …

I could tell you more, but it’s my turn to write a poem for a deadline now! I need to go off  and work on the poem I’ve been commissioned to write for the Radio 2 Arts Show this Friday (19th March). I’ve been invited on the show to discuss World Poetry Day with the great Roger McGough and host, Eve Pollard.

Just time now to thank everyone at Edgbaston High School for Girls for their warm welcome, and especially to Caroline Greenwood for all the work she put in to ensure the day ran so smoothly.

See photos of the day here.

Stop press: I’ve since been invited back to work with the Prep School. Looking forward to that enormously!

Anneliese Emmans