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Poetry Archive: Chrissie Gittins Reading from her Poems

Chrissie Gittins

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The Poetry Archive

October 2012


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About this title

Chrissie Gittins' poetry for children is rich and varied inboth form and subject; her three collections are bursting with everything from limericks to list poems, shape-poems to songs, and manage to be silly, scary, funny, sad and exciting all at the same time, often within the same poem.The poems play with language, exploring the way we speak and shout, sing and write, and how the world all around is translated through words. She invokes the magic of new and unknown words by repeating them or listingthem to a rhythm; ‘main mast, mizzen mast, fore mast, shot lockers, bowsprit, gripe'. She uses call-and-response to ask unusual questions; ‘When is a boy not aboy? When he's a plank of wood'. These surreal observations are often approached through double-meanings, special words and images to create and enrich a world in which - ‘the stars wear sparkly socks', a solar-power fairy skims over our gardens as we lie asleep, and spent time is stored inlost property at Euston and Paddington. She is a writer who trulyunderstands the inner world of a child's imagination, replete with secretfriends, talismans and the special hideaways and magical places ofchildhood - the tent made under the bed clothes with a torch, the hiding place in the supermarket, the garage - and she knows how to speak to this world through her poems.

Chrissie Gittins has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes for hershort fiction and poetry, both for adults and children, and her work has appeared on television and the radio. Both her first and second collections for children, Now You See Me, Now You... and I Don't Want an Avocado foran Uncle were shortlisted for a CLPE Poetry Award (in 2003 and 2006 respectively), and were both selected as a Poetry Book Society Choice for the Children's Poetry Bookshelf (2006 and 2010), an accolade also awarded to her third collection for children published in 2010, The Humpback's Wail.

Chrissie Gittins was born in Lancashire and lives in London.

1. High-chair 0.43
2. Sam, Sam, Quite Contrary 0.48
3. The Tale of Dotty Cuddletum 1.09
4. The Well-Travelled Tortoise 1.38
5. Now You See Me, Now You...1.32
6. Death in the Poetry Library 1.16
7. The Noodle Eater 0.38
8. Harry the Hamster 1.16
9. The Powder Monkey 1.44
10. I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle 1.11
11. When is a boy not a boy? 1.27
12. River Torridge 1.12
13. Three 0.30
14. The Night Flight of the Pterodactyl 1.01
15. The Solar-Powered Fairy 1.05
16. Tin Lid 0.57
17. World Secrets 1.32
18. Limpet 1.03
19. A Memory of Snow 1.10
20. The Pencil Stub 1.05
21. Storing Time 1.08
22. The Humpback's Wail 0.53
23. Summer Pudding 0.38
24. The Best Hiding Place in the World 1.08
25. My Friend Bob 1.00
26. Night Sky in the Clun Valley 0.37
27. The Return of theWildman of Orford 1.43
28. Dawn Meets the Queen 1.08
29. I Can't Fix Everything 1.18
30. The Fragrant Pirate 1.03
31. Iris Upsidaisy 1.04
32. My Dad's More Embarrassing than Your Dad 1.09
33. Wasp on the Tube 0.59
34. The ‘I'm Not Tired' Dance 0.56
35. Lou's Pyjama Uniform 1.24
36. What Does Poetry Do? 0.35
37. Government Health Warning 1.44

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