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Wednesday 29 June 2016



Since 2013 I have been a part of the pioneering Spoken Word Education programme. As a result of this programme I gained an MA from Goldsmiths College, and am a trained poet-educator working in schools. Last night the school where I have been resident poet celebrated the launch of our first poetry anthology. Working regularly at Plashet School has given me the valuable opportunity to forge long-term links with both teachers and pupils, something not possible for most creative artists. I am very lucky to have this wonderful role.

The anthology is entitled 'Us', and was produced as part of a collaboration between myself and the school's RE department. I worked with a number of classes to produce poems on various topics of spiritual importance, such as death, war, faith and gender identity. A number of these poems were collected for the anthology, which was sold to raise money for Care 4 Calais, a charity working with migrants and their families. A number of poets performed their poems at the launch event last night. Here is my favourite poem from the anthology:

Poem by Safa

I’m here sitting in my classroom
I have education
I have clean clothes
I have friends
I have a supportive family
And I’m treated well

Yet there is a girl out there
Who’s sitting at home
Without education
Without clean clothes
Without friends
Without a supportive family
And she isn’t treated well

But that’s not all
She’s been forced into marriage
Even though she’s so young
She’s been stripped of her freedom
Even though she’s so young
They took away her childhood
Even though she’s so young

I’m probably living her dream
Yet we come from the same place
And live on the same planet

The evening was rounded off with a fantastic performance by guest poet Bridget Minamore. I am very proud of what my students have achieved, and had a wonderful time working with them all!

Tuesday 14 June 2016


The Dad

is on the platform.
His baby son
is gurgling away
in the pushchair.
“Where’s the train?”
asks the dad.
The boy says nothing.
“Point at the train for daddy”
says the dad.
Still the boy says nothing.
“Go on, point at the train for daddy”
says the dad.
The boy looks at his mum
but does not point
at the train.
The boy doesn’t care
about the train
or about his dad.
“Point at the train
or we’re not getting on”
says the dad.
The dad looks over
at the mum.
He is angry, frustrated.
The boy has let him down.
The boy who won’t
point at the train.

Image result for lonely train

Tuesday 7 June 2016


Summer is upon us, and I have several very exciting gigs coming up. I will add to this list as and when new bookings come in. For now, here is a selection of places where I can be seen waffling over the summer:
  • Village Green, Westcliffe-on-Sea - Saturday July 9th
  • Village Beach, Grays - Saturday July 16th
  • RHS Wisley, Arts Fest - Sunday July 17th
  • Appledore Book Festival - Thursday 13th & Friday 14th Oct

Image result for joshua seigal

Monday 6 June 2016

BOAST POEMS - Inspired by Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)

Muhammad Ali came up with some wonderful quotes. Lots of them actually read like poetry, and are surely the precursors of the belligerent, boastful lyrics that characterise certain strains of hip-hop. This can form a really interesting basis for poetry. What outlandish boasts can you come up with? Start off with a list of adjectives, then turn each one into a ridiculous boast. You can turn the poem into a riddle like mine if you want, or you can combine the lines to create a group poem. Finally, you can finish by having a battle in class!

Image result for muhammad ali

Quote by Muhammad Ali

I done wrestled with an alligator,
I done tussled with a whale;
handcuffed lightning,
thrown thunder in jail;
only last week, I murdered a rock,
injured a stone,
hospitalised a brick;
I'm so mean
I make medicine sick

What am I? by Joshua Seigal


than a butterfly princess
than a gorilla on steroids
than a professor with two brains
than a warrior in a lion’s cage
than diamond girders
than a hamster-sized kitten
than a torpedo made of light
than a sultan who won the lottery
than a headmaster with no trousers
than sugar-coated ice cream.

What am I?

A: a liar.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Poems for Abney Park Cemetery

I recently did some work with the Hackney Pirates, a fantastic children's charity based in, erm, Hackney. Over half-term, the work involved using the nearby Abney Park cemetery as a stimulus for poetry. I wrote three especially commissioned poems for the project, and I am delighted to be able to share them here. Each poem was written in order to model specific writing techniques, such as personification, metaphor/simile, the five senses, rhythm and repetition. Here they are, along with pictures of the items in the cemetery they were inspired by.

Abney Park Chapel

I have seen the slow rolling
of the seasons, the cycle of life
and the ceaseless turning of the earth.

I have bridged the path from ground
to sky, my finger touching heaven
and my feet set in the soil.

I have heard the cries of widows
and the laughter of birds
taking flight to the stars.

I smell dust in my stone nostrils.
I taste ash in my toothless mouth.

Image result for abney park chapel


He’s watching you.

With eyes keener than guided arrows
and claws sharper than angry knives,
he’s watching you.

He’s waiting for you.

With a neck stronger than varnished oak
and a mane mightier than an ice-capped mountain,
he’s waiting for you.

He’s ready for you.

With teeth poised like soldiers
and limbs as agile as an acrobat,
he’s ready for you.

He’s protecting you.

With a heart as pure as fire
and courage as deep as the ocean,
he’s protecting you.

 Image result for bostock lion

A Tribute

you raced
the past,
your way
in and out
of years.

you dashed
your bike
churning up
the dust
of memory.

you pursued
like a
two-wheeled fox
a hare.

Tommy, you lie in the ground.
Quiet. Still. Fading away. 

Image result for tommy hall cyclist