Celebrating World Book Day at Greenfield Primary

Teachers from Greenfield Primary in fancy dress

I had a brilliant time at Greenfield Primary in Hyde celebrating World Book Day. It’s always great to see teachers and kids dressed up as their favourite book characters. We kicked off, as I usually do, with a performance to the whole school. There was plenty of enthusiastic participation from pupils and staff in the hall. Through the day I did eight class workshops. Each class, from Early Years to Year 6, produced a class poem (with guitar accompaniment) of excellent standard. Subjects covered included football, their school, friendships and music.

Thank you to Mrs Stokes who was inspired to write a little verse about my visit:

Bernard Young, Bernard Young,
We really loved the songs you’ve sung.
Thank you for travelling all this way
To Greenfield Primary School today.

If you want to buy a copy of my new book…

Please use the contact form on the books page to order copies of ‘What Are You Like?“. The book was published on 23 February 2018 by Orange Socks Press.

Over 80 tried and tested poems that Bernard regularly uses in primary schools for poetry performances and workshops. Collected together from four books and several anthologies, together with some previously unpublished. Funny, catchy, uplifting, foot tapping, hand clapping, in lots of verse forms and lengths. Something for everyone.

ISBN 978-1-9999173-0-2   Price £5.99 (+£1.80 P&P UK)

Curie, Pankhurst and Wonderwoman in Hull


I was thrilled to be invited back to spend 3 days in Thoresby Primary School last week. It is the second time I have been part of their Kaleidoscope festival. Once again pupils and staff gave a hundred percent and we produced class poems about Marie Curie, Emmeline Pankhurst, Fairtrade, India… and all sorts of heroes.

During this fortnight of exciting activities, the aim is to promote cultural awareness and confront equal opportunities issues in a positive way with a ‘celebration of diversity’. This year’s theme was heroes and people who have made a difference. Thoresby are prolific on social media, so I am including a few of their many tweets to give a flavour of the work produced.

I also spent a day in Stepney Primary School. The teacher who booked me remembered me doing a performance of my poem Orange Socks in a previous school. It is several years since I performed there last. I received a very warm welcome. I gave a performance to the whole school and then led workshops for KS2. They are taking part in a poetry slam shortly, and these workshops were to help get them started. I am sure they will do well. Break a leg!

Thanks again to both schools for a great time and such creative energy.

National Poetry Day 2016 is Thursday 6 October


National Poetry Day is one of the two busiest times of the year for me, the other being World Book Day. I’m just giving you advanced notice of the date since it doesn’t allow for much planning time after you return from summer holidays.

If you are interested in having a poet visit your school, please have a look at the sort of things I do in the schools visits section. If that interests you, please contact me to check availability and price.

Another View


This place is full of scenery.
There’s not a shop in sight.
I need to buy a burger.
There’s nothing here I like.

There’s nothing here I like.
It’s all hills and trees and lakes
and oldies who love hiking.
I need to phone my mates.

I need to phone my mates
and tell them what I’m going through.
I have to trek for hours
just to admire a view.

‘Just admire that view,’
is all my dad can say.
He’s driving me round the bend.
I’ve got to get away.

I’ve got to get away
from fresh air and greenery.
I need noise and traffic.
This place is full of scenery!

A Literary Evening on 18th August in Barmouth (with Cake!)

Literary Evening advert Aber House Cafe

Barmouth is turning into quite the cultural hotspot, that I’m happy to be a part of. Not only am I on the bill at the Open Day of St Johns Hall Gallery on 20th August, and running two poetry workshops there on 18th August, but now I’m also performing in the evening of 18th August at the Aber House Café.

The event at Aber House Café will start at 7pm on Monday 18th August and is free, with the option of buying the usual café fare of drinks and cakes. I’ll be joining another Barmouth-based writer, Mary Howell, who will read extracts from her book Murielle’s Angel  – a novel set on the Way of St James, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

I’m compiling a ‘set list’ mix of old and new poems to perform, some humorous, others thought provoking, and I’m looking forward to meeting a new audience.

I’m reliably informed that there will be Viennese Delights and the very special Tarta Santiago to tempt you (if the literary delights alone are not enough!). So if you’re in the vicinity of Barmouth on 18th August, I do hope you’ll join us.

Address: Aber House, Barmouth, Gwynedd LL42 1DS Map

A cake from the Aber House website

Trick or Treat? Halloween Poems for Kids

Children love it when the evenings are dark and Halloween is upon us. It’s a great opportunity for creative themed pictures, stories and poems in the classroom.

Here’s one of mine, from Wanted Alive (to buy a copy of this book please look at the books page on this site).

A Witch Must Have a Cat

Friendly Witch DrawingA witch must have a cat

So I cast a spell
But I got a rat
I mixed a potion
Out flew a bat

I wasn’t very happy about that
A witch must have a cat

I went to the pet shop
They locked me out
They said, “You’re the sort of customer
We can do without.”

I wasn’t very happy about that
A witch must have a cat

So I’m knocking on doors
I’m looking for a suitable cat

If you’re the owner
I’ll pay well
But there’ll be trouble
If you won’t sell

I won’t be very happy about that
A witch must have a cat

Yes I’m knocking on doors
I’ll be knocking on yours

A witch must have a cat

Other Links

Here are some other resources that KS1 and KS2 teachers may find useful:

The Owl by Alfred, Lord Tennyson