Celebrating poetry with Macmillan Children's

Macmillan Children's Poetry is celebrating 25 years of publishing history. In this blog, Gaby Morgan, editorial director at Macmillan Children's Books and the proud curator of the Macmillan Children's poetry list, talks about the passion for poetry that drives the list.

"In the summer of 1993 Macmillan Children's Books published two slim anthologies - Doin Mi Ed In - Rap Poems chosen by David Orme and Martin Glynn and 'Ere We Go! Football Poems chosen by David Orme - launching a poetry list which is still going strong and winning prizes twenty-five years later.

The world has changed enormously in the past quarter century and our poetry list has followed the curve of the earth and the signs of the times. We have published a range of poetry titles for all needs, including landmark anthologies such as Read Me: A Poem for Every Day of the Year - to celebrate The National Year of Reading in 1998 - and The Works: Every Kind of Poem You Will Ever Need for the Literacy Hour chosen by Paul Cookson for a new primary curriculum in 2000. If you are looking for poems about popular subjects like pirates and wizards, or to reflect upon historical events such as the 50th anniversary of the moon landings and the centenary of the end of WWI, turn to our varied collections.

Entice your pupils into the world of poetry with our verses about sporting events like the football world cup and the Olympics, or delve deeper to demonstrate hope and light in challenging times with poetry about extraordinary women, poetry promoting empathy and tolerance, poetry that celebrates our history and heritage and great big gift anthologies that celebrate poetry itself. Why not share a daily poem with your class from A Poem For Every Day of the Year, a beautiful anthology which includes a short introduction to each poem, giving extra areas for thought and discussion in the classroom.

This autumn we are publishing two stunning gift books. She is Fierce contains 150 bold, brave and beautiful poems by women, chosen by Ana Sampson. From suffragettes to schoolgirls, spoken word superstars to civil rights activists and aristocratic ladies to kitchen maids, these are voices that deserve to be heard. And Poems to Live Your Life By is a beautiful anthology chosen and illustrated by Chris Riddell, showcasing Chris' very favourite classic and modern poems about life, death and everything in between, and brought to life with his exquisite, intricate artwork.

We publish with an emphasis on the importance of spoken language as we know that children need to hear and respond to a range of different verse, vocabulary and language. We recognise the role poetry plays in this and how the right poem can inspire, comfort or entertain the reader of all ages.

Poetry is powerful stuff - from nursery rhymes to song lyrics, from poetry shared on social media to verse novels, we turn to poems to soothe, to rally, to praise, to celebrate, to comprehend, to grieve, to shout “I love you” or to pick ourselves up when it seems impossible. Poems can take us on a journey through history, seasons, festivals and introduce us to traditions from many different countries, cultures and religions. They teach us about empathy and tolerance; they are words for life.

Macmillan Children's Books are looking forward to the next 25 years of poetry, and we hope you'll celebrate this landmark with us throughout 2018."

Gaby Morgan is editorial director at Macmillan Children's Books.

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