Biography

PAUL COOKSON – POET, PERFORMER AND NATIONAL READING HERO

Paul lives in Retford with his wife, two children, a dog and several ukuleles. He has worked as poet since 1989 and since then has visited thousands of schools and performed to hundreds of thousands of pupils and staff.

Paul is also the official Poet In Residence for the National Football Museum.

He is the Poetry Ambassador for United Learning

He is also Poet Laureate for Slade.

And he worked as the Poet for Everton Collection at Liverpool Library.

He was poet in residence for the magazine Literacy Time Plus and wrote specific poems and teachers’ resources.

As part of the National Year of Reading Paul was nominated a National Reading Hero and received his award at 10 Downing Street.

His work has taken him all over the world – including visits to Argentina, Uganda, Malaysia, Singapore, Beijing, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.

His work has appeared on Match of The Day, Radio 5 Live, Radio 2, The World Service, CBBC, Sky Sports, Talksport Radio, The Everton match day programme.

He has written poems celebrating a variety of footballers – including Brian Labone, Dixie Dean, Howard Kendall, Neville Southall, Alex Young, Joe Royle and Graeme Sharp and performed them at official Everton events.

His poem about Brian Labone was read by Ian Callaghan at his funeral and has appeared in the Everton Match day programme.

Bill Kenwright read his poem about Dave Hickson at the memorial service

Former Everton, Leeds and Nottingham Forest player Duncan McKenzie used a poem by Paul in his autobiography – The Last Fancy Dan.

His poem “Let no-one steal your dreams” has been adopted by numerous schools as their mission statement, school motto etc. and become a Year six leaver’s poem

He co-ordinated a poetry exhibition for the National Football Museum. As part of this he wrote a set of commemorative poems for the England team of 1966. He has since met six of the team and they now have the poems written about and for them.

He was once a subsititute for John Cooper Clarke at the Sheffield Off The Shelf Festival and also stood in for Andrew Motion at the Warwick University Arts Centre with European Chamber Orchestra.

His performances are always memorable, lively and extremely funny. Audience participation is non negotiable! WARNING : may contain ukuleles.

He has a vast experience of leading workshops with all age groups and abilities and firmly believes that everyone can write poems.

With over sixty titles to his name, Paul has sold well over three quarters of a million books and his poems appear in over two hundred other books. Best known collections include The Poetry Store, Pants on Fire, The Truth About Teachers, I’d Rather Be A Footballer, Give Us A Goal , Spill The Beans, The Truth About Parents, The World At Our Feet and It’s Behind You! As well as a tenth anniversary edition of perennial best seller – The Works ( now sold over 200,000 copies )

 

 

A few choice words :

“Paul is Slade’s poet Laureate – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed” – Noddy Holder

“ A fresh collection of Cookson’s verse – if it’s laughter you’re after you could do worse” – Dr John Cooper Clarke

“Everyday should have a Paul Cookson moment – keep him by your bedside for emergencies” – Simon Mayo

“Funny, witty, clever, wise” – Mike Harding

“Paul Cookson is my favourite poet” – Joe Royle

“Hilarious” – The Times

“A sure-fire hit – superb, easily accessible” – School Librarian

“Wordsmithery of the highest order and wittiest bent)” – Mark Radcliffe

“Simple, direct and poetic. Caring, compassionate and funny.” – Ian McMillan

“Paul manages to capture that misty world of childhood in a way that nobody has succeeded yet and walks us through that door and into that garden many of us had forgotten. Enjoy.” – Mike Harding

“As funny as ever – always a festival highlight” – Northern Children’s Book Festival

“An abundance of jests, jokes and japes – like The Beano in poetry form” – Junior Education

“A whirlwind of poetry fun, laughter and audience participation. Exciting, explosive and hugely entertaining” – Edinburgh International Book Festival

“I didn’t like poetry before I saw you. it was brilliant – I couldn’t stop laughing!” – John Year 6

“I haven’t laughed so much since I saw Eddie Izzard – inspiring!” – Claire Waldron, Literacy Co-ordinator, Wolsingham Primary School

“Uproariously unboring!” – Harry, aged 8

 

BOOKS BY PAUL COOKSON

A Twist In The Tale – independent publishing
Growing Older Soon
You Took The Words Out Of My Mouth
A Twist In The Tale
Waiting For The ZAP!
More Than A Badge
Unclench The Fists
Batman And Oddy
Sketches
Over 21 And Still Into Noddy
Let No-one Steal Your Dreams
42
In Two Minds (With David Harmer)
Touched By The Band Of Nod
Ordinary Words
Saturday Men

Solway
Father’s Hands

FOR CHILDREN
A Twist In The Tale
The Amazing Captain Concorde
Happy As A Pig In Muck
The Toilet seat Has Teeth
Rhyming Rhythms For Twisted Tongues
Spill The Beans (with David Harmer)
Big Red Undies (with David Harmer)

Pan Macmillan
Elephant Dreams (with David Harmer and Ian McMillan)
The Very Best of Paul Cookson
Give Us A Goal
Pants On Fire
Spill The Beans (with David Harmer)
I’d Rather Be a Footballer
The Truth About Teachers (with David Harmer, Brian Moses and Roger Stevens)
The Truth About Parents (with David Harmer, Brian Moses and Roger Stevens)
It’s Behind You (with David Harmer)
It Came From Outer Space (with David Harmer)
Joke Shop

Frances Lincoln
Give Us A Goal
Crazy Classrooms

Lion Hudson
Crazy Classrooms And Secret Staffrooms
Staying Out Late, Playing Out Late

Paternoster
Sing That joke

As Editor (Pan Macmillan)
Tongue Twisters and Tonsil Twizzlers
Who Rules The School?
Teacher’s Pets
Ridiculous Relatives
Superheroes
We Are Not Alone
Let’s Twist Again
The Evil Doctor Mucus Spleen
Unzip Your Lips
Unzip Your Lips Again
Shorts
Ha-Ha
What Shape Is A Poem?
Don’t Get Your Knickers In A Twist
You’re Not Going Out Like That!
Loony Letters And Daft Diaries
Who Rules The School Now?
How To Embarrass Grown Ups
Spectacular Schools (with David Harmer)
The Works
The Works 3
The Works 5
Trick Or Treat
How To Embarrass Teachers
Read Me Out loud (with Nick Toczek)
The World At Our Feet

As Editor (Scholastic)
Disgusting Poems
Silly Poems
Christmas Poems
Dinosaur Poems
Read, Write, Perform – Teaching Poetry in the Classroom

As Editor (Red Fox)
My Mate Fancies You
Turn That Racket Down!

As Editor (Hodder)
The Poetry Store

CD (Pan Macmillan)
The Very Best Of Paul Cookson

I-Book (Sleepydog Productions)
The Toilet Seat Has Teeth (with Carl Flint)

Poetry Comics
Spill The Beans
Stand Up Comic
Footy Fun
Looney Verses
My Dog Is Dead

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