Primary page content

Michael Rosen on ‘Working in a Variety of Ways’

I work in a variety of ways at the same time. For the Centre, my contribution is to suggest possible talks, public conversations, and conferences and act as interlocutor where appropriate.

In broadcasting, I host a BBC Radio 4 programme about the uses of language, ‘Word of Mouth’ which falls within the old Reithian precept of ‘edutainment’, trying to be informative and entertaining at the same time. It mostly appears to be a conversation but it rests on the knowledge and scholarship of its participants.

With my son, Joseph Steele Rosen, we have created a YouTube Channel, ‘Kids’ Poems and Stories with Michael Rosen’. This is made up of over 400 videos consisting of poems, stories, jokes, book reviews and interviews with authors about the writing process. It has nearly 570,000 subscribers and over 100 million views. It’s an ongoing piece of work that we add to every fortnight and has a linked Teachers’ Channel. There is a new handbook to go with the channel written by a classroom teacher, Jonny Walker.

This is in addition to the four booklets I’ve written that have arisen out of the Goldsmiths MA in Children’s Literature, on issues such as how literary theory can be used in education, how to write and read for pleasure in schools. These are a continuation of books I’ve written for teachers and school students on writing and creative education such as ‘What is Poetry?‘, ‘Good Ideas’ and ‘Book of Play’.

Prior to the pandemic, an important part of my work has been to visit schools, libraries, book festivals and literary festivals to perform my poems, take part in discussions and run poetry workshops. Since the pandemic, I’ve been carrying on with that in the more limited form of zoom calls into schools. As part of this work, I also do talks for teachers’ INSETs, and teachers’ conferences on e.g., how and why we create a reading for pleasure environment.

I work within the field of Holocaust Education arising out of my own family’s experience, and in conjunction with my books, ‘The Missing’ and ‘On the Move’ (both published by Walker Books). In particular, I’ve worked with History Works doing workshops encouraging middle school groups to respond to Holocaust and genocide testimony, poetry and song on themes of persecution, refugees and resistance.

For children, I am continuing to write poetry, stories and picture book texts.

I’ve ritten books for adults such as ‘Alphabetical‘, ‘The Disappearance of Emile Zola’ and a memoir, ‘So They Call You Pisher!‘. Most recently, I have written a book about my experiences of Covid and recovery, ‘Many Different Kinds of Love’ (Ebury), which has taken me into the field of medicine education, patient testimony and nursing training.

Blog by Michael Rosen