I'm a playful, engaging and thoughtful writer for children. I love giving interactive poetry performances and running inspiring, inclusive (and slightly mischievous) workshops in schools that encourage children to find their own voice through the tremendous power and music of poetry.
My debut collection of children's poetry, Moon Juice won the 2017 CLiPPA prize and was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. The collection explores outer space, bad moods, dodos, hamsters, Indonesian myths, the importance of the imagination, the power and value of children’s perceptions and the sheer joy of words as ‘sound objects’ in their own right. Moon Juice was described by The Sunday Times as "clever, funny, inspiring… full of rich ideas and roll-around-the-tongue sounds that demand to be read aloud."
Having also trained as a music workshop leader, I have extensive experience working with children and have given poetry workshops in primary schools all over the country. I'm a lively and engaging performer of my poetry and I've given interactive poetry readings at venues and festivals across the UK, including at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, the Southbank Centre’s Imagine Festival, the Royal Opera House, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Wimbledon Book Fest, Verve Poetry Festival, Bridport Literary Festival and many more.
I'm available for schools workshops and performances and am more than happy to be flexible in how I plan workshops in - do just get in touch with Yvonne Lang at Authors Abroad (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make a booking.
Praise for Moon Juice
‘Exuding a belief that young readers are curious about the world they live in, Kate Wakeling’s poems also give her audience a sense of power, of being able to navigate the world they (we) live in... This wonderful collection is full of encouragement and interest.’ (Zoe Toft, Playing by the Book)
‘I very much liked Wakeling's inventiveness and imagination... The language and content of the poems is slap bang up to date and all the better for it. The poems are varied in shape and form, there is bold use of white space and a sense of enjoyment in the language.’ (Carole Bromley, The North)
‘These are not poems created to grab the attention with the quick laugh and a lot of noise; these are poems to seduce, to attract because they reflect the imagination of the young reader... These are no cosily romantic lyrics but original works vividly capturing thoughts, ideas, musings and pinning them precisely to the page.’ (Ferelith Hordon, Books for Keeps)
‘This clever, funny, inspiring poetry collection, which has just won the CLiPPA, is a children's debut by a poet for adults, full of rich ideas and roll-around-the-tongue sounds that demand to be read aloud.’ (Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times)
Praise for Kate's workshops and readings
'Kate Wakeling’s workshop and reading from her wonderful Emma Press children’s poetry book Moon Juice was a real highlight of the children’s element of our first Verve Poetry Festival in February 2017. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed her performance and on a busy weekend, her professionalism, enthusiasm and the joy she obviously finds in engaging children with poetry really stood out. Thank you Kate!'
(Stuart Bartholomew - Co-Director / Programmer Verve Poetry Festival)
'Kate took part in our reading for 8-11 year olds, ‘Incredibly Incorrigible Poems’. She was totally professional throughout and it was a pleasure to work with her. She gave a thoughtful and thought-provoking reading and presented her poems in a way that engaged the children. The children did think her poems were incredible and were queuing to get their hands on her book afterwards.'
(Lorraine Mariner - Assistant Librarian at The National Poetry Library)
'Kate is welcoming, friendly and has an excellent rapport with adults and children alike. All the children were highly engaged in the session, participated fully and developed their knowledge and understanding of poetry, as well as being highly engaged in listening to, performing and contributing ideas for writing poetry. Kate thought carefully as to how each and every child would feel involved and able to contribute. She wrote a new poem for the session to share with the children, showcasing herself as a writing role model; allowing them to actively see her as a writer and increase their own aspirations to write poetry.'
(Charlotte Hacking - Learning Programme Leader, Centre for Literacy in Primary Education)