SW Writer ProfileBack
Moira Andrew was born and educated in Scotland, she now lives and works in Cornwall. She is a former head teacher, college lecturer and part time tutor in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan, and an author of numerous books for primary teachers, including Language in Colour and Paint a Poem (Belair/Folens). Her poetry for children has been published by OUP, Nelson, Scholastic, Macmillan, Collins etc. Her poetry for an adult audience includes Light the Blue Touch Paper (Iron Press, 1986 & 1989), Fresh out of Dragonflies (Headlock Press, 1995), This Year, Next Year (Marvin Katz Press, 2004) and Firebird (Indigo Dreams, 2011). Her latest collection for children is Wish a Wish. Visit Moira's website for more information.
Literature Works caught up with Moira to talk about her latest collection.
Can you tell us a bit about Wish a Wish?
Wish a Wish is a collection of poems written for children around 8-12, although many can be appreciated by older readers. The poems are an eclectic mixture of true narrative and the fabulous, of the serious and not so serious. They were written over a period of years, from the 80s through to 2011. Sue Sims, my editor, selected the poems from a ‘bumper bundle’, not knowing whether they had been written years ago or fairly recently. The selection came as a complete surprise to me – but I’m very happy with the result. The book is illustrated – very sympathetically – by the well-known illustrator, Anna Popescu. Wes Magee says of Wish a Wish, "… its tone is true, its touch light."
Who are your favourite children’s poets?
There are so many good poets writing for children that it’s difficult to know where to start! From Charles Causley to John Rice, Brian Patten and Roger McGough to Irene Rawnsley, Gerda Mayer and Judith Nicholls … and many many more. It’s important to say that these people are poets, not simply ‘children’s poets’.
What are you working on and how is it going?
I’m working on two projects at the moment, a new adult collection, Man-in-the Moon, although it’s not yet with a publisher. However, IDP will be publishing five of these poems in their magazine ‘Sarasvasti’. My other new – and very exciting – project, commissioned by Poetry Space, is to edit Through the Eyes of a Child, an anthology by poets who were children in WW2, hence the title. We are still actively seeking such poets.
You’ve been working quite closely with Poetry Space, can you tell me a bit about them?
Poetry Space is based in Bristol. Its founder, Sue Sims, (herself an excellent poet) has a passion for poetry and for nurturing new poets. Poetry Space provides an online platform for contemporary poetry through its quarterly Showcase and high quality collections and anthologies. Poetry Space is also running a competition (opening shortly) to be judged by Martyn Crucefix. In addition, Poetry Space hosts an online Young Person’s Page. (*See www.poetryspace.co.uk)
Thank you Moira!