November 16th, 2020

The Joy of Poetry

Week Three: Grace Nichols

Award-winning poet Grace Nichols was born in Guyana and grew up in a small country village on the coast. She studied at the University of Guyana and worked as a teacher and journalist before moving to the UK in 1977. Grace’s poetry is full of imagination and surprise, warmth and wit. She writes about what it was like for her growing up, as well as how it feels to be far away from home. Grace writes poems for adults and children, and has won lots of prizes and awards. She lives in the UK with her partner, the poet John Agard.

Twinkle Twinkle Firefly by Grace Nichols and John Agard, illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura

This much loved collection by Grace Nichols and John Agard fizzes with energy. Sometimes humorous, sometimes thoughtful, and always captivating, this collection has a poem for everyone.

Grace Nichols has wit, acidity, tenderness, any number of gifts at her disposal.
Jeanette Winterson

Here is one of our favourite poems from that anthology:

Give Yourself a Hug

Give yourself a hug
When you feel unloved.

Give yourself a hug
When people put on airs
To make you feel a bug.

Give yourself a hug
When everyone seems to give you
A cold-shoulder shrug.

Give yourself a hug -
A big, big hug.

And keep on singing,
“Only one in a million like me.
Only one in a million-billion-trillion-zillion
Like me.”

Watch Grace Nichols read When The Colours Spoke

Watch Grace Nichols read Hummingbird

Watch Grace's advice about writing poetry!

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