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Latest News

Updated 20th February 2022


New Book: What is a Bong Tree? Articles and Talks 1976-2021

Thanks to the huge help, expertise and hard work from my old friend and colleague John Richmond, we’ve pulled together a selection of my talks and articles. Here’s what John says about the book on the cover:

“What is a Bong Tree? brings together a big selection of Michael Rosen’s writings and talks over five decades. They are about the centrality of literature, including children’s literature, in the lives of all of us; about the power of poetry to inspire, console and entertain; and about the need to argue and campaign for these liberating forces in the face of ignorant and reductionist actions by successive governments in the United Kingdom, which have narrowed and impoverished children’s experience of literature by pressing it into the service of a regime dominated by tests and examinations. The pieces here refer frequently to Michael’s childhood and upbringing, and offer a generous tribute to his parents, Connie and Harold Rosen, and their influence on him and his subsequent work. Tonally, the pieces carry Michael’s trademark: they’re witty and insouciant; they carry serious ideas unseriously. Parents, teachers, librarians, academics, in fact anyone concerned with the nurture and education of children, and with the place of culture – in its widest sense – in our society, will find much pleasure and practical encouragement here.”

It’s available now!

What is a Bong Tree?

Find out more…

 


Health News

Since my last News update, I’ve been given a clean bill of health from ‘Thoracic’ (my chest) and ‘Neurology’ (my brain). I won’t go into too much detail, you’ll be pleased to know, but in short, the blood clots in my lungs and the ‘bleeds’ in my brain have all gone.

The fun bit was when they tested my ‘cognitive functioning’ at the brain hospital. They asked me if I knew who was the Prime Minister and how old I was when I left school. I had to play a kind of tangram game – which I couldn’t do – but then I found out afterwards that they weren’t testing me to see if I could do the puzzle but whether I could concentrate on it. I could!

At the end of the day, I had a case conference and the consultant sat me down and asked me if I would like to see my brain. I said, yes and they then put up cross sections of my brain. So strange! I sat there staring at what looked like slices through a cauliflower while I sat there wondering what I was thinking when they took that ‘shot’ of the insides of my brain.

The consultant said it was OK but it did look like the brain of someone who had had altitude sickness. (I’m not sure what he meant by that. I just took it as meaning, not too bad, all things considered.)

 


Performances

I’ve been doing more zoom performances for schools and occasional live shows too. It was very nice to be asked to do the live show at the Old Vic again. And they’ve asked me to do it yet again next year. As I’ve said before, this is very special for me because when I was a child and a teenager I was taken by my parents to the Old Vic to see Shakespeare plays and I think my parents fell in love going to the Old Vic together in the 1930s! They saw Lawrence Olivier and John Gielgud on that stage and I saw Judi Dench. And I stand on that same stage. Wow!

Old Vic Performance

One of my previous performances at the Old Vic

 


J.M.Barrie Lifetime Achievement Award

This was announced in May 2021 but the official award ceremony was delayed until Autumn 2021 because of Covid. Even so, it still had to be done on zoom and here it is. I am very honoured and proud to receive this recognition. For me, there is no higher honour than for your peers to give you an award. Thank you so much, Action for Arts!

Here’s the film:

 


History Works

It’s been great working again with Professor Helen Weinstein and History Works in Cambridge. Helen is hugely active in the fields of local history, history in the community, Holocaust Education and refugee support. She is inspirational and tireless so it was great to write some more poems, song lyrics and texts for school students for theatre, dance and graphic design in relation to this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.

History Works

Find out more at:

creatingmycambridge.com/events/2022/01/10/michael-rosen-poetry-events

 


Holocaust Education

I was very honoured to have been asked to give presentations for the Association of Jewish Refugees – one for their conference in London and the other for the Vision Schools Scotland Award. You can read more about the Vision Schools Scotland Award here.

Vision Aware

 


Radio

I’ve had a nice time appearing on programmes like Radio 3’s ‘The Verb’ presented by Ian McMillan, Radio 4’s ‘Loose Ends’ presented by Clive Andersen and Arthur Smith. I’ve also interviewed some great guests on Radio 4’s ‘Word of Mouth’. Remember, the BBC has a huge archive of our past programmes on the BBC Sounds website. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone interested in how we use language – ideal for Sixth Formers and anyone studying language-use.

The Verb

 

Loose Ends

 

Word of Mouth

 


Profile

Thanks very much to Keren David for this article about me in the Jewish Chronicle:

www.thejc.com/life-and-culture/all/rosens-recovery-1.522851

Jewish Chronicle


 

Imagine Children’s Festival

I performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, on February 20th, along with Arjil Manuelpillai, as part of the Imagine Children’s Festival. Here are a few pictures of the event courtesy of the Southbank Centre.

Imagine Children's Festival

 

Imagine Children's Festival

 

Imagine Children's Festival

 

Imagine Children's Festival

 


Previous News

NOVEMBER 2021


Michael Rosen’s Sticky McStickstick: The Friend Who Helped Me Walk Again

My latest book is out on November 4.

It tells the story of how I learned to stand up and walk following my illness in 2020 – thanks to the wonderful staff at the St Pancras Rehabilitation Hospital and my faithful stick, Sticky McStickstick!

Here’s a write-up at The Guardian that is a good introduction to the book.

Michael Rosen's Sticky McStickstick: The Friend Who Helped Me Walk Again

Sticky McStickstick

Find out more…

 


CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA) 2021

Thanks to the judges and the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education I won the UK’s only prize for a book of poetry for children. I feel very honoured to receive this. I went to Cheltenham Literary Festival to receive it and actually I felt a bit weepy when I went up on stage for the award. Please look at all the shortlisted poetry books for both this year and previous years. All those books are in effect a perfect library for your school.

https://clpe.org.uk/news/michael-rosen-announced-winner-clpe-childrens-poetry-award-clippa-2021

CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA) 2021

 


My Best Teacher Podcast

This is a podcast I did for the Times Educational Supplement:

https://www.tes.com/news/my-best-teacher-podcast-michael-rosen-author-books-history

TES

 


Imperial War Museum

I’ve been doing some work with the Imperial War Museum, helping them make an installation for their new Holocaust and WW2 galleries. A group of writers were commissioned to make an audio installation for one of the regional galleries. Mine was for the Aberystwyth one:

http://www.aberystwyth-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=137866

Imperial War Museum

 


Articles in the Press

An article in the Guardian about my book,  On the Move, Poems About Migration, illustrated by Quentin Blake and published by Walker Books:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/oct/21/why-shouldnt-childrens-writers-talk-of-refugees-persecution-and-genocide

On The Move

 

On the Move: Poems About Migration

Find out more…

 

An interview for the ‘i’:

https://inews.co.uk/culture/books/michael-rosen-covid-nhs-many-different-kinds-of-love-on-the-move-1158330

Michael Rosen

 

And an interview in the Times:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/michael-rosen-on-surviving-47-days-on-a-ventilator-with-covid-nngcb9pxf

The Times

 


Cable Street

On October 4 1936, my parents (then 17 years old) took part in what has come to be known as ‘The Battle of Cable Street’. Every five years, we hold a commemoration of this event which was when local people in London’s East End met up at Gardiner’s Corner to prevent Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists from marching through the streets. My parents (then, Harold Rosen and Connie Isakofsky) were very proud to have been part of it. In turn, I’m always very proud to be part of the commemoration.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/east-end-march-marks-85-years-battle-cable-street

Cable Street

 


The Association of Jewish Refugees Conference

The Association of Jewish Refugees held a conference to talk about the effect of the Holocaust on the generations that come after the people who were directly affected by it. Much respect to the AJR for providing a space for survivors and their descendants and many thanks for asking me to talk about my father’s uncles and aunts who were killed in the Holocaust. I look forward to doing some more work with the AJR.

https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/hundreds-take-part-in-ajr-conference-bridging-gap-of-generations/

AJR

 


Haringey Learning Partnership Library

I love opening libraries! Here’s me at a library in the Haringey Learning Partnership along with David Lammy MP.

https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/michael-rosen-opens-haringey-learning-partnership-library-8312980

Haringey Learning Partnership

 


125th Anniversary of the Birth of British Cinema

It was great to be part of this event, celebrating early days of cinema history. As it happens, this very building was where my father went to college for two years when he was 16!

https://www.westminster.ac.uk/news/westminster-students-take-part-in-celebration-event-to-mark-125th-anniversary-of-the-birth-of-british-cinema

125th anniversary of the birth of British cinema

 


Goldsmiths, University of London

Here’s what’s happening at the University where I teach on the MA in Children’s Literature.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/oct/24/new-university-job-cuts-fuel-rising-outrage-on-campuses

 


Previous News


JULY 2021

The Latest

Since my last News, I’ve been doing what I can to get fitter and stronger. I’m very good at lifting saucepans and walking round the kitchen with them. I can also climb up Muswell Hill which is in…er…Muswell Hill. My son and his family live at the bottom of Muswell Hill. We discuss whether I walk down to see him, or he walks up to see me. Sometimes we put it off till the next day – especially if he’s busy working on our YouTube Channel ‘Kids’ Poems and Stories with Michael Rosen’ – now viewed over 100 million times! Don’t forget we put up new videos every two weeks. At the moment, we’re putting up videos of teacher and poet Jonny Walker talking about how to use the channel for writing poetry.

 

He’s also written a booklet to help teachers with this, Michael Rosen’s Poetry Videos: How To Get Children Writing and Performing Poems Too.

Michael Rosen's Poetry Videos: How To Get Children Writing and Performing Poems Too


I Am Angry

I’m dead chuffed that a new book has come out. As you can see it’s about being angry! I think the pictures by Robert Starling are great. Very funny and full of energy. I hope it’ll give children, parents and teachers a chance to talk about emotions in a warm, fun sort of a way. Find out more…

I Am Angry

 


J.M.Barrie Award

Huge thanks to Action for Children’s Arts for honouring me with the J.M.Barrie Lifetime Achievement Award. Here are the very kind words they have written in their announcement:

“We are delighted to announce that Michael Rosen has been named as the recipient of the 2021 J.M. Barrie Lifetime Achievement Award. This is in recognition of his tremendous work championing the arts for children as well as his achievements as a performer and author.The winner of the award is selected annually by the Trustees of Action for Children’s Arts. Speaking about this year’s choice of Michael Rosen, Chair Vicky Ireland MBE said:

‘This award recognises Michael as a hugely talented and popular writer, and also as an outspoken supporter of Action for Children’s Arts and of all we stand for with regard to so many things – especially the need for creativity and expressive arts in schools. After Michael’s battle with Covid-19 last year, we are lucky to still have him with us, and believe this is a brilliant chance to celebrate his achievements and say thank you for his constant courage in speaking publicly for the sector.’

Michael will be presented with the award in an online ceremony in autumn 2021. He will be joining an illustrious list of previous winners that includes Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE, Sir Philip Pullman CBE, and Stuart and Kadie Kanneh-Mason. The Award is given annually to a children’s arts practitioner or organisation in recognition of a lifetime’s achievement in delighting children.”

 


Many Different Kinds of Love

I’ve been getting lots of requests to talk to practitioners in the medical profession. That’s come about because there have been lots of articles, TV appearances and radio interviews to do with my book Many Different Kinds of Love, a story of life, death and the NHS (Ebury). I like listening to the other speakers talking about what they understand to do with Covid. I get to realise just how much of a huge challenge and struggle it’s been for them for many different reasons at the same time: they get ill, they’re hard pressed, they are overwhelmed by the emotion of it all and so on.

One of the most poignant and affecting sessions I’ve ever done was with the children at the Great Ormond Street Hospital School. They’ve been reading Many Different Kinds of Love and writing their own poems about being ill. We talked about using metaphors and how that works for things you’re bothered by.

Many Different Kinds of Love

 


Zoom Performance

I’ve been doing quite a few zoom calls into schools and for talks with teachers. I’ve had to learn how to make these work, doing the poems imagining the children are joining in. I can see them, but they have to be on mute or they won’t hear me! I’m also working out ways of using the camera by, say, putting my hands right up close to the lens, or even my eye! It’s a new kind of performance poetry – thanks to the pandemic.

Michael Rosen Zoom

 


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

I was delighted to take part in a launch event for Five Leaves Press publication of the Yiddish version of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Yiddish is the language that all my forebears spoke. It’s the language that most eastern European Jews used for everyday life. And now there’s a version of it for ‘Bear Hunt’. A month or so later, I talked to the Folklore Society about my parents’ use of Yiddish when I was growing up.

Bear Hunt

 


Friday Afternoons

Friday Afternoons is a project for singing in schools. I wrote words for 12 songs that Russell Hepplewhite composed. We chose the theme ‘Everything’. That’s quite a lot (!) but you’ll get the point when you listen. These are available here: www.fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk

Friday Afternoons

 


In Conversation…

On May 21, it was a great treat to talk to Philip Pullman for one of our ‘In Conversation’ events at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I’m Professor of Children’s Literature. He was insightful, amusing, philosophical and really interesting talking about how he writes. You can hear the event here: https://sites.gold.ac.uk/clcl-blog/

Philip Pullman

 


Teaching

I’ve picked up teaching again at Goldsmiths on our ‘Children’s Literature in Action’ course. This is where people studying for an MA devise a project which will show how children and young people respond to children’s books. It’s fascinating to read transcripts of children discussing books, learning through talk and writing about books.

 


The Lollies

The Laugh Out Loud Awards (the Lollies) are back. It’s an award for the funniest children’s books of the year. Here’s the short list: https://shop.scholastic.co.uk/lollies

 


Children’s History Society

It was great working again with Kimberley Reynolds and Jane Rosen. We co-edited Reading and Rebellion, an anthology of radical writing for children 1900-1960. We did a session for the Children’s History Society and now we’re thinking of how to do a book on the same theme for 1960-2000.

Children’s History Society

 


The Harold Rosen Lecture

The United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) put on a Harold Rosen Lecture every year in honour of my father. This year – it was my honour to be the person giving the lecture! I talked about oracy and literacy to fit the theme of their conference. The text of it is here.

 


Health Update

I’ll get the health news out of the way first! I heard someone say that for every day you’re in intensive care, it takes one week to recover. I came out of intensive care at the end of May after 48 days. If my maths is right, that means I should be as recovered as I’ll ever be by the end of April.

At the time of me writing this, I certainly feel fitter and stronger than I have been. I test myself by walking as fast as I can round the block where I live, doing laps, for about 45 minutes to an hour. It feels OK. Marching about like that gives me a chance to think as well.

My two main problems are my left eye and my left ear. They’ve done a series of ops on my left eye which have kept the pressure down, and the sight – rather strangely is OK in a tiny area in the middle. The rest is fogged. The ear doesn’t really work, but I get a sense of 3D sound by wearing a hearing aid and turning it up.

There that’s the end of my health bulletin!

MIchael Rosen in the Guardian

Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

 


Virtual Broadcasts

I’ve been doing plenty of ‘virtual’ meetings and broadcasts. One that was fascinating for me was a BBC Radio 3 programme about a language called ‘Rotwelsch’ – an old European language of the underworld that used a mix of German, Romani, Yiddish and other influences. A writer called Thomas Puchner has written a book about it called The Language of Thieves and it’s taken him into his own family background (sometimes unpleasant, some less so) in the early and middle years of the 20th century in Germany.

Free Thinking

 

Also on the programme that night was someone who has studied the Nazi transit camp on the edge of Paris (Drancy), and another person who has looked into the role of the railways in the Holocaust. As my father’s uncles and aunt were deported to Auschwitz on trains after being imprisoned in Drancy that was of particular interest to me. (I’ve written about this in my books The Missing and On the Move – both published by Walker Books and also in the last chapter of my memoir So They Call You Pisher! (Verso Books).

I interviewed the great writer Hilary Mantel for BBC Radio 4 about how she chooses and uses language for her books. That seems to have been interesting for quite a few people, judging by the response.

Mantel

 

I’ve been working with the Imperial War Museum on a couple of projects. I can tell you more about this next time. They will be audio installations that people will be able to listen to when visiting some of the different Imperial War Museums round the country.

I’ve started going back to teaching students at Goldsmiths, University of London.

 


Many Different Kinds of Love

There have been a whole set of interviews with me about Covid and the book I’ve written Many Different Kinds of Love, a story of life, death and the NHS (published by Ebury, illustrated by Chris Riddell) which came out on March 18.

There have been interviews in the Big Issue, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Amnesty magazine – amongst others – and I’ve done broadcast interviews about Covid or the book on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Front Row’, Scala Radio, Giles Coren’s show on Times Radio, Adrian Chiles’s Show, Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 show, GMB, BBC News, BBC Radio London (Vanessa Feltz’s show), BBC Radio 4 ‘The Reunion’, BBC Radio Scotland and there have been several podcasts and virtual appearances for Jewish Book Week, Ed Miliband’s ‘Reasons to be cheerful’, Owen Jones’s podcast, Radio 2’s podcast about how to cope, the ‘Griefcast’ podcast, the ‘New Humanist’ podcast. ITV also put out a film called ‘2020: the story of us’ (directed by Kevin Macdonald) where I was one of the 3 patients in intensive care shown in the film. (I can tell you, it was pretty grisly seeing myself in an induced coma!)

Discussing my illness in ‘2020: The Story Of Us’

 

Many Different Kinds of Love made it into the best sellers lists for two weeks running (at number 4 and number 5) – the first time a book of mine has been a best seller! There have been reviews in the Observer, the Daily Telegraph and on various blogs around on the internet.  You can find out more about the book here…

Many Different Kinds of Love

 


Book News

I presented a BBC Radio 4 programme about Dr Seuss’s book, The Lorax for the series ‘Costing the Earth’. It was good fun to interview Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell for that. She was at her enthusiastic best!

Costing the Earth

Some time ago I wrote a book about Emile Zola’s stay in England (The Disappearance of Emile Zola (Faber), and I’m pleased to say that a group of us are working on that to create a stage show. More on that when things start to come together.

Thanks to Five Leaves Bookshop and the persistence of Ross Bradshaw, there is now a bilingual English-Yiddish version of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. We did a bi-lingual reading of it in February.

Bear Hunt

 

I’ve helped in getting out a book of William Morris’s narrative poem part of which is set during the time of the Paris Commune: it’s called Pilgrims of Hope and published by Redwords and distributed by Bookmarks Bookshop. It’s been designed and edited by Roger Huddle and I’ve written the intro.

Pilgrims of Hope

 


YouTube

Meanwhile, over at the YouTube channel ‘Kids’ Poems and Stories with Michael Rosen’ (director, Joe Rosen), we’ve reached 100 million views! We’re pretty proud of this. It seems amazing that a channel devoted to poems, stories, a few jokes, interviews with other writers and some children’s book reviews has had that many hits. We put up a new vid every two weeks so please subscribe to the channel. That way you get to hear when new stuff goes up.

 

As part of our celebrations, Jonny Walker, a classroom teacher who teaches poetry has produced a booklet to help teachers use the YouTube Channel to help children write and perform poems and it is titled Michael Rosen’s Poetry Videos: How To Get Children Writing and Performing Poems Too. He is full of experience, has loads of ideas and some great thoughts about teaching poetry. I promise you, that if you read the booklet and use the channel you will be find it easy, fun and rewarding to teach and write poetry. More details about the book here.

Michael Rosen's Poetry Videos: How To Get Children Writing and Performing Poems Too

 


Pandemic Thoughts

Finally, I hope you have all coped with the pandemic. Obviously, it’s been a big shock for my family as it has for tens of thousands of other people. I believe very strongly that we need a public enquiry to find out why things went so badly wrong in the first few weeks of the pandemic when it started spreading in the UK. I know it’s a terrible thing to think about but we could face something like this again and we need to learn the lessons from what happened this time.

Finally finally (!) I must thank all the people who saved my life and have helped me get better: my wife Emma and family, Dr Katie Amiel, all the NHS doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, voice therapists and all the health workers at the Whittington Hospital and the St Pancras Rehabilitation Hospital. Without them all, I wouldn’t be alive today.

'2020: The Story Of Us'

‘2020: The Story Of Us’


Previous News


Walking

I’ve been doing my best to get fitter and stronger. My record for going for a walk is 75 minutes and that included what I think of as a mountain: walking uphill from Alexandra Park Station to Alexandra Palace! OK, I know it’s not the Matterhorn. Fantastic view over London just as the lights were coming on in houses, streets and offices.

I remember being taken there for the first time when I was 7 by a family friend, Francis Aprahamian, who looked out and said, that when we grew up we would have to have hope. And far away beneath us an express train was heading north. I think he said it was the Tyne Tees Express. I loved the sound of that: Tyne Tees Express…

Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace

 

Alexandra Palace

View of London from Alexandra Palace

 


Virtual Programmes

I’ve been doing all sorts of ‘virtual’ things: programmes on BBC Radio 4, like ‘The Reunion’, where the BBC reunited me and my wife, Emma with the doctors and nurses who saved my life. It was very emotional for me to hear them talking of me about the time I was unconscious while my body was trying to get better. I also read one of my new Covid poems at the end of the programme.

The Reunion

 

Another programme that I really enjoyed doing was ‘Pick of the Year’. They asked my son Joe to present it with me and we talked to each other (virtually!) about some great, uplifting or sad moments that happened through the year. You can listen here…

Pick of the Year

 

I very much enjoyed being the last item of the last BBC Newsnight of the year 2020. They asked me to write a poem that had a bit of hope in it and they came to our back garden and filmed me doing it. I’m quite excited by the idea that when we write poems, it’s possible through technology for 100s, 1000s or even millions of people to see and hear them within a few hours of them being written.

 

I’ve also started recording the programme I present, ‘Word of Mouth’, a programme about words and language use. I love doing this and I’ve been presenting it for over 20 years. It’s great to be back! The latest programmes go out in January and February and then they’re all on BBC Sounds.

 


YouTube

Before I got ill, I made quite a few videos for our YouTube Channel. Joe is loading these up on to the channel either once a week or once a fortnight. By the way, we’re very proud that the channel has been viewed over 95 million times. That means we’ll hit 100 million views in a couple of months time! The latest video is the final instalment in a series I made in conjunction with Authorfy, Michael Rosen’s Poetry Masterclass. You can watch the whole series on our channel, Kids’ Poems and Stories With Michael Rosen.

 

One way we might celebrate this is with a book being written by teacher and poet Jonny Walker. It’s for teachers to help them teach poetry to children. He’s beavering away to get it done. Look out for that.

 


New Writing

Talking of writing, I’ve done quite a lot myself over the last few weeks: finishing off Many Different Kinds of Love to be published by Ebury Press with pictures by Chris Riddell. It’s about my 9 months of getting ill, being in intensive care and struggling to get better. This comes out on March 18. I feel quite ‘tingly’ about this…wondering what people will make of this. You can find out more here…

Many Different Kinds of Love

 

I’ve also been writing some new children’s books. Not sure at the moment when they’ll be out, but I’ll keep you posted.

 


My Blog

If you go to the button we call ‘blog’ you’ll see that there are some writing ideas there. They’re for anyone – children, teachers, parents, carers or any person dropping in – to get started on writing something. Please free free to use them, adapt them, change them in any way you want. The latest is Poetry Idea.

Corridor

 


In the Press

There have been various interviews with me in newspapers and magazines. I’ve put them all together here:

https://michaelrosenblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/recent-print-interviews-on-surviving.html

 

Michael Rosen

Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

 


Finally

One other thing: in June and July my hair started falling out and I thought I was going bald. Then in November and December it’s started to grow again! Well, it keeps life interesting doesn’t it?

Lastly, here is a photo that Cambridge United Community Trust just posted on Twitter, capturing the day when I visited Abbey Stadium to work with local children.

Michael Rosen

 


Previous News


Health Update

As far as my personal health is concerned, I’m continuing to make progress. I can walk for about 40 minutes non-stop without having to take a rest. It’s a slow walk – more of stroll, really – but it is me moving along steadily. I’m afraid the sight in my left eye is only a bit better so far but the doctors are doing their best to improve it. The hearing in my left ear is pretty well gone, but I have a hearing aid and this helps a good bit. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for scans to see if my lungs and heart have got better. I hope so. The ends of my toes are numb which is a strange feeling! Then, as other Covid sufferers have said, I’ve also lost quite a bit of hair off the top of my head. I shouldn’t have to say this, but please don’t believe anyone who says that Covid is a hoax or that for everyone it’s only a mild form of flu and so it’s nothing to worry about. I  believe we should take every precaution we can to help avoid getting Covid. 

Here is a video I have just made detailing some of the lingering effects of my Covid experience.

 


Writing

I’m also writing and doing occasional interviews. There’s a recent one in The Daily Telegraph and there’ll be one in The Guardian soon.  I’ve written some things about Covid – wait for news on that soon! I’ve been writing some poems for the very youngest children – that’s with Walker Books. No title at the moment! And I’m doing an anthology with Walker Books too. I’ve got some interviews coming up for films on Sir Quentin Blake and another one on Julia Donaldson which will be on TV in a few months time. 

I’m also writing my ‘Dear Gavin Williamson’ column in The Guardian. One’s already come out since I came out of hospital. One a month from now on. And I do the origins of a word that’s in the ‘air’ for the magazine New Humanist. I missed a few editions while I was ill but I’ll be back on that soon. 

The Guardian

And there’s the poem I write for the National Education Union Newspaper, Educate. I write a poem per issue and I’ve been doing that for several years now going back to when the magazine was The Teacher. I would like to make a collection of all the poems I’ve written for these magazines. 

 


You’re Thinking About Doughnuts

We’ve successfully crowdfunded my book You’re Thinking About Doughnuts with Cole Henley turning it into a graphic novel. We’re doing it with ‘Unbound’ who are very keen that people go on supporting the project. 

You're Thinking About Tomatoes

Full details at Unbound.

 


New Books

This month two books came out:

Macbeth United (illustrated by Tony Ross). This is a football story based on the story that Shakespeare tells in the play ‘Macbeth’. And you can’t get nastier than that! Find out more…

Macbeth United Book Cover

 

Honey for You, Honey for Me (illustrated by Chris Riddell) is a book of nursery rhymes and playground rhymes. It’s a companion volume to my A Great Big Cuddle. I think of it as the folk roots for the kind of writing that I do for the youngest children. Find out more…

Honey for You, Honey for Me: A First Book of Nursery Rhymes

 

Look out for a new book coming soon on October 1st, On the Move: Poems About Migration, illustrated by Quentin Blake. Find out more…

On the Move: Poems About Migration

 


YouTube – Kids’ Poems and Stories with Michael Rosen

Don’t forget that each and every week, we put up a new video on our YouTube Channel. These were filmed before I got ill but we will be making some new ones soon. Please subscribe to the Channel – it’s free – and that way  you can keep up with what goes on the Channel. We’ve had nearly 85 million views at the moment of me writing this News!

My latest video is Cucumber from my True or False? series:

 

By the way, a teacher friend of mine is writing a book for teachers that will be a guide on how best to use our YouTube Channel to help children write and perform poems. More on that next time! 

 


Coronavirus

Hello friends

In case you hadn’t heard, I can tell you that in March I caught the Coronavirus. I was in bed at home for a while but then went into hospital. I spent 12 weeks there including 7 in Intensive Care. I was in a very serious condition.

When I recovered enough I wento a Rehabilitation Hospital where they taught me how to stand up again! And then they taught me how to walk so that I could go home and get around the house.

I had great care and between the doctors and nurses saved my life more than once. I’ve had wonderful loving care from my wife so it’s been wonderful to come home after 12 weeks in hospitals.

I also have to say that I’m still recovering: walking is very slow, I’ve lost sight and sound from my left eye and left ear and there are some other problems too. This means that some of the things I’ve been doing for years I can’t do at the moment: school visits, conferences, broadcasting, and teaching at Goldsmiths university. I can’t say for the moment how long this is going to last but I am doing all I can to get fit and well and I have great help and support.

Here are some news reports of what happened:

The GuardianMichael Rosen ‘very poorly but stable’ after night in intensive care

The GuardianMichael Rosen home from intensive care after coronavirus

The GuardianMichael Rosen I’m Only Finding Out Now How I Was Saved From Coronovirus

BBC: BBC Radio 4 – Best of Today, ‘They Handed Me A Piece of Paper and Said You’ve Got a 50/50 Chance

Good Morning Britain:

 


New Books

I am doing a little bit of writing right now and there are some new books coming out during the next few months.

September 3rd 2020:

Macbeth United, illustrated by Tony Ross. Find out more…

Macbeth United Book Cover

 

October 1st 2020:

On the Move: Poems About Migration, illustrated by Quentin Blake. Find out more…

On the Move: Poems About Migration

 

 

Older News

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