The Emma Press has been awarded a grant from Grants for the Arts, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, to conduct a 15-date national poetry tour for children.
The Myths and Monsters tour will include poetry readings, interactive storytelling and poetry-writing workshops aimed at children aged 9-12, featuring thirteen poets including Joseph Coelho (shortlisted for the 2015 CLPE Poetry Award), Kate Wakeling (writer-in-residence with Aurora Orchestra) and Andrew Wynn Owen (recent winner in the Society of Authors’ Eric Gregory Awards).
Emma Wright, founder of the Emma Press, said: ‘We are thrilled that the Arts Council is supporting this tour and helping us to share the joys of poetry with children across the country. We hope that our events inspire children with a sense of ownership of both language and stories, and that we contribute to their ongoing enjoyment of literature.
The Myths and Monsters tour begins this month at Tales on Moon Lane Festival, run by Tales on Moon Lane bookshop in partnership with Dulwich Picture Gallery, and will visit Penzance Literary Festival, Bags of Books children’s bookshop in Lewes, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the Village Storytelling Centre in Glasgow, Loogabarooga Festival in Loughborough, Lakeside Arts Centre in Nottingham, and community libraries in Slough, Woodley, Wokingham and Birmingham.
Wright added: ‘We want to use the tour to draw attention to the importance of poetry for children of all ages: it’s a terrible shame how poetry seems to drift from being a ubiquitous delight for younger children, present in nearly all picture books, into something you just read at school. As Chrissie Gittins has pointed out in the Bookseller and the Guardian, this is reflected in the often paltry children’s poetry book sections in bookshops, with the implication being that there is no demand for it. We hope to challenge this perception and demonstrate during the tour both how vital poetry is for children and how much they enjoy it.’
The tour follows the publication of the Emma Press’s first children’s book, Falling Out of the Sky: Poems about Myths and Monsters, edited by Rachel Piercey (Newdigate Prize, 2008) and Emma Wright.
Full details of the tour can be found on the Tour page.