My name is Josie Whitehead. I'm a retired teacher and also a poet who writes for every age group from one year olds to 101 year olds, but mainly for children and young adults (teens).
HOW I STARTED WRITING POETRY
I'm a relatively new poet who was encouraged to start writing poems for children well into my retirement, by a class of 5 and 6 year olds at my local primary school. They wanted poems that were written with rhyme, with rhythm/metre and they wanted story poems or pictures painted in words. They wanted imagery that would light up their minds and every poetic element that I could find to put into my poems, ie personification, similes and metaphors, alliteration, assonance onomatopoeia and more. I, who had loved the work of the classic poets of my youth, gave them just this.
A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE
I have written 1,250 new poems at the moment and, also at the request of the children, I have put them onto a website - - - - oh no, in fact five huge websites and they go to every corner of the earth I think, and last year into 188 countries of the world. Teachers come in their thousands and carry my poems into their classrooms.
Sometimes I'm lucky enough to be invited to make Skype visits to their classes and this is the best part of my work. I love being amongst the children, encouraging their poetry performances and answering their questions. They also LOVE me to turn my camera to my window so that they can see the beauty of Yorkshire, for I look out at a little lake, surrounded by deciduous trees behind a convent, with Ilkley Moor rising in the background. The children usually are quiet for a moment and then I always get a "Wow" and I'm glad I'm letting them know of the beauty of Yorkshire, for I've written many poems about this beautiful area.
PUBLISHING - - - - HELP!
I've had many poems published in the past but had to have the books stopped because of errors. I need a good publisher now, although I'm going ahead with a children's illustrator to make our own books. We do need help with marketing though.
These story poems would make wonderful animated films for children. They are wonderful performance poems. I'd like to meet a qualified and experienced teacher of the performing arts to help take these poems into classrooms, via workshops for schools. HELP!!!
I've had one poem animated already and another is in an opera.