Poetry Prompts is back!

‘Poetry Prompts’ is Joseph Coelho’s flagship project as the prestigious Waterstones Children’s Laureate

It's an epic celebration of the power of poetry in all its forms. Through the campaign, Joseph aims to break down the fear often associated with reading and writing and show why poems are for everyone, alongside the joy that writing, reading and performing poetry can bring to our lives.

“Poetry Prompts is my invitation to the nation, young and old, to become poets. 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.”

Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho smiling outside next to a mirrored building - photo by Vicki CouchmanFrom National Poetry Day onwards, Joseph will share a weekly ‘Poetry Prompt’ video to inspire the nation, young and old, to write poems and to become poets. Each video will see him exploring a different subject or technique – such as similes, onomatopoeia and figurative language – and showing how this can be brought to life in fun and engaging ways through poetry.

The bite sized video series – each lasting under ten minutes – will be shared on this page each Monday morning, and below you can download a beautiful poster, designed by Joelle Avelino, to use on a display board and pin the poems created by the prompts throughout the year.

Check out the next prompt here on 17 June with accompanying resources in collaboration with Centre of Literacy Primary Education.

Download the poster

Poetry Prompts 77 - Monday 10 June

Join Waterstones Children's Laureate 2022-2024 Joseph Coelho for the 77th week of Poetry Prompts!

Join Waterstones Children's Laureate 2022-2024 Joseph Coelho for week 77 of his Poetry Prompts series! This week he's looking at kennings - two-word expressions that describe something by naming its qualities.

Download the resource

For kids

Wondering what Poetry Prompts is all about? Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho is here to explain what you can expect... and how you will be able to start writing poems (from creepy ones to rhyming ones to ones that get you thinking about sounds!)

We can't wait to hear what poems you'll come up with - as Joseph says, this is YOUR chance to become a poet!

For grown-ups

Wondering how you can fit the Poetry Prompts into your school day, and how they could help your students get to grips with poetic techniques like rhyme and onomatopoeia?

Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho is here to share some tips.

Tips and Advice


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