I’m A Terrible Dancer

Dr Liz Chapman is the CKG Judge for YLG Yorkshire & Humber

Liz Chapman

In the early 2000s, I briefly met Seamus Heaney at a literary event, and for some reason felt the need to loudly announce to him that I couldn’t write poetry. No doubt weary of hearing this sort of thing, he assured me that if I could dance, I could write poetry. I explained that I am a terrible dancer.

Despite this, I have been inspired by the far more talented poets on the Carnegie (and Greenaway) shortlists to try my hand at a couple of poems for this blog post.


Crates of books, and more, and more

And more, arriving at my door

Reading till my eyes are sore

Notes on post-it pads galore

Eventual target: two-five-four

Ghosts, and guns, and grief, and gore

Inventing rhymes, surviving war

Eight great books that I adore!


Great escape into the wild

Refugees, and mermaid child

Elephant who guards you well

Emmeline and Christabel

Naming spells to conjure words

Adventure, loss, and bookish birds

Wolf that swallowed mouse and duck

Any topic, if you look

You’ll find it in a picture book.

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