Valerie Bloom

writer and performance poet

Hi!

Welcome to my homepage! See news and updates here and through the blog. You can find out more about me (and my availability to come to a school or event), or get in touch through the pages to the right. All the best!

Val

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The Lion Lay Still in the Zoo

The latest #poemoftheweek is from Jaws and Claws and Things with Wings, a collection of animal poems. This one is a lovely poem to read aloud – you can almost picture the lion’s dreams as you read or listen. Featured image from the book’s colourful illustrations by Matt Robertson.

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Classroom activity – Autumn Gilt

Our next classroom activity is out! This time based on the poem Autumn Gilt, which is the first poem featured in the Let Me Touch the Sky collection. We actually featured this poem recently as a #PoemOfTheWeek, so as well as downloading the poem text and activity sheet below, you can also listen to an audio recording of it being read aloud.

The next resource in the pipeline will be a comparison activity for this poem and the one previously covered, Don’ Go Over There. Let us know how you found this one and keep an eye out for that instalment, coming soon!

Photo credit: we had a very nice featured photo for this poem already. But when we found Pedro Ferreira’s lovely image on Flickr.com accompanied by a copy of the poem, it felt fitting to use it! CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Poetry tips…

Wanting to write your own poetry? In this week’s #poemoftheweek Valerie shares her top tips for writing and performing your own. What other advice would you add?

This poem was recorded several years ago for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE).

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Autumn Gilt

It’s perhaps a bit early in the year for our next #poemoftheweek, “Autumn Gilt” (from the collection Let Me Touch the Sky), but we hope you enjoy listening anyway! There’ll be some activities for schools using this poem in an upcoming Scheme of Work freebie, so keep an eye out for that!

Photo by Dan Price on Unsplash

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Ashlyn performs “Pet Shop”!

We loved this video of 11-year-old Ashlyn Tombs from Zimbabwe performing “Pet Shop” with great style and energy for her National Eisteddfod! “Pet Shop” is one of the poems included in Jaws and Claws and Things with Wings and we’re delighted that Ashlyn chose to recite it for her entry. Well done, Ashlyn and good luck! Reproduced with permission.

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Classroom activity – Don’ Go Ova Dere

We promised you resources, and the first of them is hot off the press. A free lesson activity to go with Valerie’s poem Don’ Go Ova Dere, which can be found in the collection Let Me Touch the Sky. We’ve also included a copy of the poem for those who haven’t got the book. This activity is part of a wider Scheme of Work created by a practising teacher and has been successfully used with year 7 classes. It can, however, be adapted to other age groups or tweaked for any needs. If you do play around with it, let us know what you come up with!

We’re also looking to start sharing a poem of the week with you over the next few weeks; some of these may even be recorded by Valerie herself. Feel free to vote for a favourite and we’ll see if we can include it in the shortlist – and maybe give you a mention!

Hope you find these useful!

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Introducing Tamara

Hi! My name’s Tamara; if you’ve been in touch to book a school visit over the last couple of years our paths may have crossed. You may have noticed things have been quiet around here lately; I’ll be working behind the scenes getting exciting new content up for you soon, including activities and ideas for use during the current coronavirus pandemic. You may have ideas for ways we can support at this time also; if so, please do get in touch.

Looking forward to working with you; speak soon!

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New Release of Fruits

Delighted to announce that this popular title is available in a new release from Pan Macmillan. With beautiful illustrations by David Axtell and telling the story of one girl’s quest to eat as many fruits as possible, this counting-poem picture book is a great gift for little ones!

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Three performances at the British Library

With everything that’s been going on in the news over recent months, it’s great to see a number of events and initiatives coming up to celebrate the windrush generation.

I had the pleasure of taking part in ​Windrush Women: Past and Present​, an evening of poetry and readings inspired by the lives of female writers from the Windrush era, at the British Library last month. Read the rest of this entry »

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Green-fingered words

Just a little update on what I’m working on at the moment. Although it seems a bit cold to be talking about planting seeds or vegetable patches, my current project is poems about gardening. I started a post a while back about trying to make my hobbies pay. Not because everything should be about money, Read the rest of this entry »

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