Craig Bradley
Craig Bradley
A One Man Whirlwind of Words!!!

All About Craig Bradley

Craig Bradley aka That Poetry Bloke is one of the UK’s most popular and sought after performer of children’s poetry.

Craig Bradley has been a full-time performance poet since 2002. He has performed in over 1,500 schools – that’s over 4,500 performances! He performs his poems to over 40,000 young people every year. He has worked in schools all over the UK, Europe and the Far East.

 

Craig Bradley 2

Amongst some of the weird and wonderful jobs Craig has had so far, include greenkeeper on a golf course, in a kitchen factory, a builder’s labourer, van driver, Butlin’s breakfast cook, pizza chef, nightclub bouncer in Corfu, heavy metal drummer, stand-up comedian, security guard, roadie, postman, window-cleaner, burglar alarm installer, gravedigger and a University lecturer. He also worked in a sweet factory putting the stripes in humbugs!

After all these years he still can’t believe people actually pay him to go into schools, have fun and read his own poems out. He says he has the best job in the world.

Education

1996-99 BA (Hons) English Studies 2:1 (Huddersfield University)

2000-02 MA English: Twentieth Century Literature Merit (Leeds Met University)

 

The Story So Far..

Craig has performed for Royalty, including HRH Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Edward and the Sultan of Brunei’s grandson.

Craig Bradley 1

Craig meeting HRH Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the National Literacy Trust

 

Among others, Craig has worked with Michael Rosen, Michael Morpurgo, Anne Fine, Andy Stanton, Jeremy Strong, Shoo Rayner, Paul Cookson, Simon Armitage, Ian McMillan and Gervaise Phinn.

His poetry has been broadcast on TV and radio and he has worked with the CBeebies regulars – Mr Tumble, Mr Bloom, Mr Maker, Dick n’ Dom and Rastamouse.

Some of Craig’s extremely popular YouTube clips have been viewed over 13,000 times – that’s amazing for a performance poet! Check them out for yourself!

Craig’s School Visits

Craig is unique as a children’s performer – in a previous life he was a drummer and a stand-up comedian – he draws on these skills and experiences to offer poetry performances which are entertaining, engaging and unforgettable.

Craig’s immensely popular and dynamic workshops are fast-paced, funny and informal. Full of improvisation, interaction and audience participation, anecdotes, stories, songs and poems.

A normal day in school would be 4 x 45-minute sessions across the day with a whole school assembly, either at the start or at the end. Craig can do specific writing workshops but over the years working in schools, he has found that just going in with bags of energy, having loads of fun, playing around with words and ideas, looking at language and focusing on the performance aspect really inspires and engages young people. As a musician he plays guitar and makes that important link between poetry and music.

Craig’s workshops focus on original writing, imagination and performance. Pupils are encouraged to write and perform their own poems in a creative, fun and constructive atmosphere. This key performance element brings poems to life in the classroom.

Craig sets out to demystify the often complex and elitist image surrounding poetry and passionately believes that poetry is relevant to everyone. It is about who we are, what we are and where we are.

Festivals, Libraries, Hosting, Residencies, etc

As well as working in schools, Craig has also performed at many festivals including:

  • Harrogate International Festival
  • Northern Children’s Book Festival, Newcastle
  • Ilkley Literature Festival
  • Sheffield Off The Wall Festival
  • International Friendship Festival, Sunderland
  • Lollibop Children’s Festival, London
  • Wenlock Poetry Festival
  • Scarborough Books By The Beach Festival

Craig is also a popular host, particularly for children’s book awards, including:

  • Leeds Children’s Book Awards
  • Sheffield Children’s Book Awards
  • Wakefield Children’s Book Awards
  • Calderdale Children’s Book Awards
  • Open Mic Competition, Ilkley Literature Festival

Craig has held many residencies, he has been Poet In Residence for:

  • Streetspeak, Preston Youth Offending Team
  • Kirklees Youth Offending Team
  • Calderdale Libraries
  • Liverpool Libraries
  • Blackpool Primary Schools
  • Northallerton Young Offenders Institute

Craig has been involved with the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge for many years and undertook national tours of libraries to promote their reading initiative.

Craig was also the BBC RaW Football Stories Co-ordinator in 2007.

In 2007 Craig won the Arts Council Award for Outstanding Work with Young People.

Craig’s Books

Craig Bradley book

I Like To Rhyme It, Rhyme It

(extract from)

I like to rhyme it, rhyme it
I like to rhyme it, rhyme it

Big Macs, ruck sacks
railway tracks, Halifax
ring-a-ding, ball of string
bling bling, Burger King
swimming pool, April Fool
big school, stay cool
suitcase, rat race, suitcase, lost in space
bag of slime, it’s a crime
loads of rhyme, one more time

I like to rhyme it, rhyme it
I like to rhyme it, rhyme it

craig book

Darth Vadar in the Chip Shop

I saw Darth Vadar in the chippy
with his sabre, his cape and his mask
I wondered what he was doing
but I didn’t have the nerve to ask

I just stood and stared at him
I didn’t know what to do
it was Darth Vadar out of Star Wars
just standing in the queue

He ordered his pie and chips
and got out his money to pay
then he flew off in his Death Star
to a galaxy far, far away

Recommendations & Reviews

“I’ve seen many sessions by many authors, poets and storytellers but I’ve never seen any sessions that evoked such a positive response from children, fantastic!!” Anne Burns, School Library Service, Bolton

“Never have I heard poetry read with such enthusiasm or seen children clamour to take part as they did with Craig, he was brilliant. … If you want to inspire a classroom into writing then you cannot get a better person than Craig Bradley.”  Jane Brookes, Blackpool Libraries

“Craig held us all spellbound, charming us with his sense of fun and enthusiasm, but really getting the point home that poetry isn’t dull rhyming couplets, but a vibrant, living entertainment form.” Helen Robinson, Literature Development Officer, Oldham Libraries

“Craig is an entertaining and innovative speaker who works with extraordinary enthusiasm. … Craig has a knack of bringing out the best in the students and giving them a relevant way to access poetry and literature, all in all, his visits were a resounding success.” Gaynor Jones, School Literacy Co-ordinator, Aston Comprehensive School, Sheffield

“Craig’s visit during February 2010 has to be the most amazing author/ visits I have hostedin the last 10 years. Getting our students and staff off curriculum and into poetry has been so wonderful. Craig really went the extra mile; he covered Reception to Year 9 and captivated his audience completely. … Craig is really easy to host and just thrives on the joy of his job. If you only have money for one person a year, like we do, do your school community a big favour…” Fiona Mulvaney, Library Manager, Jerudong International School, Brunei 

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Craig, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535656015, or email him at trevor@caboodlebooks.co.uk.

Further information on Craig is available on his website: www.thatpoetrybloke.com