The Big Amazing Poetry Book


Gaby Morgan has selected a rich range of poetry from ‘52 Brilliant Poets‘ to be read across fifty-two weeks in The Big Amazing Poetry Book. What’s more, the selected poets are contemporary writers from the 20th and 21st centuries. They demonstrate a diverse and compelling range of subjects, styles and structures.

Therefore, we’ve the fresh voice of Kate Wakeling, CLiPPA winner, with her Word Hoard, for example, where she explains how we might select ‘words that stir the spirit/ and tingle on the tongue‘ for our own word hoard. Meanwhile, we’ve Gareth Owen, with The Commentator, a commentary on a backyard football game curtailed by Mrs Spence. Can Markey manoeuvre through Mr Spence and Rover too? What about Bird, where the poet describes the fluttering ‘about [his]heart/ Like a bird caught in a snare’? Could it be ‘the girl on the fourteen bus’?

Further selected poets include Valerie Bloom, Jenny Joseph, Clare Bevan and Liz Brownlee. In fact there’s a cacophony of words and wonder, observations and feelings. What’s more this superb collection of poetry is illustrated by former children’s laureate Chris Riddell, who brings a keen eye to the considerations and experiences described here.

Bookwagon suggests The Big Amazing Poetry Book is an essential inclusion in every reader’s experience. It’s a rich resource for schools, but also a superb gift title, a book to be read together at home and then delved into and explored alone.

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The Big Amazing Poetry Book

52 Weeks of Poetry from 52 Brilliant Poets

Chosen by Gaby Morgan and illustrated by Chris Riddell

(Pan Macmillan)

Bookwagon loves the compilations of poetry created by former children’s laureate, Chris Riddell. However, with The Big Amazing Poetry Book, it’s his illustrations that flourish to celebrate the selected poetry.
Gaby Morgan has selected works from fifty-two contemporary poets to share across the weeks of the year. Thereafter, after Christmas we might explore works by Matt Goodfellow, whom we know from titles such as Let’s Chase Stars Together. The selections here include a call to seek ‘Messages’. Thereafter, ‘look closely and you’ll find them/ everywhere// in fields of patterned grasses/ drafted by the hare// embroidered by the bluebells/ through a wood/… 
Then again, we linger over selected works from CLiPPA winner, Zaro Weil. For example, Hide and Seek‘ where the writer suggests that she’s ‘decided to play a game with quiet‘. She sought it in the woods, but ‘instead/ a cacophony of forest-crackle/ a hullabaloo of beast-babble‘. What would she find at the sea? Or even, what about within herself?
The range and wealth of poetry is inspirational and astounding. Altogether, Bookwagon suggests that The Big Amazing Poetry Book is an essential title for readers and schools, for sharing aloud and reading alone.


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