Poetry Prompts with Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho to return - with special guests

Published on: 04 September 2023

Poetry Prompts will return with a bang as seven famous faces join Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho to get writing.

Chris Smith and Joseph Coelho filming Poetry Prompts together

Photo: Daniel Mellor

Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho has revealed that Poetry Prompts will be returning on 11 September after a summer break - and this time, a raft of famous faces will be joining him to get writing.

Poetry Prompts is a weekly video series published on the BookTrust website encouraging everyone to get involved with reading, writing and performing poetry in all its forms.

Each video is accompanied by a free downloadable resource created in collaboration with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), making it easy for schools to get involved during registration or another point during the school day.

Joseph has now confirmed the the special guests who will be joining him for the new term, with further names to be announced at a later date.

MC Grammar with Joseph Coelho

Photo: Daniel Mellor

  • Shini Somara, engineer and author of Engineers Making a Difference, will join Joseph on 11 September to write a mesostic poem
  • David AthertonGreat British Bake Off winner and author of My First Baking Book, will join Joseph on 18 September to serve up some food-based poetry
  • Chris Smith, Super Ghost co-author and former BBC Radio 1 presenter, will appear on the 25 September Poetry Prompts video with some DJ-style superhero-themed poems
  • MC Grammar, rapping teacher and Wonder Raps star, will be freestyling some verse on 2 October
  • Nicola Davies, a poet highly commended at the 2023 CLiPPA Awards, will share poetry from the heart on 9 October
  • Konya Kanneh-Mason, a classical musician, will mix piano with poetry on 16 October
  • Jenny Graham, an endurance cyclist and the fastest woman to cycle around the world, will join Joseph on 23 October to talk about using your passions to inspire poetry

"Poetry Prompts is my invitation to the nation, young and old, to become poets," Joseph said.

"We turn to poetry at weddings, funerals and births because it goes beyond mere words and translates the soul. But there is baggage associated with poetry that I want everyone to put down – to allow everyone to reclaim the birth right of poet.

"So often I've met children and adults scared to put pen to paper, terrified of 'getting it wrong' – this has repercussions in all aspects of life. I want to show everyone that poetry is for them, that we can enjoy the rules and break the rules."

Joseph will also be releasing a book to accompany the series, Poetry Prompts: All Sorts of Ways To Start a Poem, full of tips, tricks and guides to encourage children to write and perform their own creations.

The first Poetry Prompts video of the new series will go live here on 11 September at 7.30am.

Find out more about Poetry Prompts

Find out more about the Waterstones Children's Laureate

Waterstones Children's Laureate: Joseph Coelho

Poet Joseph Coelho is the Waterstones Children's Laureate for 2022-24.

The role of Children's Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children's books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. Find out what Joseph's been up to.

Find out more