The Manchester Children’s Book Festival is a year-round programme of events, projects & activities for children, young adults and adults.

MCBF Children’s Poetry Weekend: Let in the Stars … of Children’s Poetry

Saturday 4th July 2015

Let in the Stars
Stars in Jars
If You Could See Laughter
The Dragon Who Hates Poetry

Event details

Poet and educator Mandy Coe came to the Manchester Writing School in late 2013 on a mission. Troubled by a decline in the number of publishers launching new poetry for children, and the lack of opportunities for writers of children’s poems to reach an audience in print, she made a strong case for Children's Poetry having a place on bookshelves.

Inspired by Mandy’s passion, Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Children’s Book Festival team launched an international search for the best new poetry written for children. Thousands of poems were submitted and the work of 30 poets – based in the UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Uganda, and the USA – was selected by Mandy, Imtiaz Dharker and Philip Gross, and collected into a beautifully illustrated anthology: Let in the Stars.

We’ll be celebrating poetry for children by letting its stars into Manchester on the weekend of Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July. We’ll be taking over city centre venues for two full days of readings and activities - Manchester Central Library on the Saturday and Waterstones Manchester Deansgate on the Sunday. Drop in to see children’s poetry stars performing their work and join in arts and crafts. There’ll also be open floor slots, so you can come along and read a poem, too.

Guest poets who'll be taking part include Dominic "Dommy B" BerryMandy CoeChrissie Gittins and Robert Paul Weston. For details of their appearances, see our full programme: "What's On".

We'll also be inviting bookshops, libraries, schools and reading groups to set up their own children’s poetry events across the city and beyond. Ask your bookshop or library if they want to help let in the stars by arranging or hosting and event, or putting on a display of children's poetry from their stock. To find out how you can get involved, click here

This project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

"This powerful collection of moving, clever and funny work sends an important message that poetry written for children must be taken seriously, must be cherished and must be made available. It is my hope that others will follow the example ... seeking out, collecting and celebrating the best new poems in beautiful books like Let in the Stars, which can be picked up and loved by the next generation of readers and writers." Carol Ann Duffy on Let in the Stars

Saturday 4th July 2015
Manchester Central Library, Waterstones Manchester Deansgate
Start time:
10:00 AM
For ages:
All ages