All About Justin Coe
Justin Coe is a performance poet with appeal for both children and adults, on a mission to reconnect poetry with people and people with poetry.
Since 1997, he has taken his lively mix of puckish poetics and heartfelt humour everywhere from Sheppey to Shanghai and from The Savoy Hotel to street corners, steam trains and a sitting room made entirely out of newspaper.
In recent years, Justin has specialised in creating full length spoken word theatre shows for young people, touring to schools, libraries and theatre venues across the country. Big Wow Small Wonder (produced by Half Moon Theatre) about the wonders of being the smallest child in school and Are We Being Silly? (featuring SATS tests, his beloved Nanny Spooner and a puppet Potato Frog) are currently touring in 2016/17.
Past shows have included My Creepy-Crawly Story-House, The Book of Record Breaking Rhymes, The Jumble Book (focusing on issues of dyslexia) and One Way Ticket (co-written with Rosie Harris and Sophie Rose) about the child migration scandal of the 1950’s.
His much anticipated debut collection for children The Dictionary of Dads was published in August 2017 by Otter-Barry Books.
Justin’s School Visits
Justin loves visiting schools and libraries. He has worked in hundreds across the country, offering fun high energy one day visits as well as enjoying work on longer term educational projects with the likes of Hastings Pier Trust, Creative Partnerships, Glyndebourne Opera and many others. He works flexibly to the requirements of the school/organisation, offering performances across all key stages and workshops with individual classes or selected groups. Justin has worked in special needs schools, including four years working as a poet in a school for pupils with behavioural and emotional difficulties. Justin is diagnosed as dyslexic and is often booked to run workshops with dyslexic students or to raise awareness of dyslexia across the school, performing poems from his award nominated show The Jumble Book.
A typical day in a primary school might look like this
8.45 – Assembly for Key Stage 1 – finish 9.15
9.30 – Assembly for Key Stage 2 – finish 10.15
10.30 – Workshop 1 to selected group or class (approximately 1- hour)
11.45 – Workshop (as above)
2pm– Workshop 3 (as above)
Justin has been published in several poetry anthologies for children, including The Jumble Book (Macmillan) (to which he leant the title from his show), Born to Giggle (Save The Children), Recycling Grandad and The Secret Life of Pants (A & C Black).
The Dictionary of Dads, an A-Z of over sixty different Dads.
Justin’s much anticipated debut solo collection was released in August 2017.
He’s my Abracadabra dad He wows me with his wizardry Slips secrets up his sleeve To magic away misery Look out for Big Bad Dad and Caveman Dad, laugh at Daddy Disaster and Donkey Dad, feel sorry for Faraway Dad and look forward to Homecoming Dad. Then raise a cheer for Mum-Dad! There are more than fifty different dads in The Dictionary of Dads. Find your favourite – but watch out for Exploding Dad! This is a brilliant and funny debut collection from a poet who performs his work in schools and theatres across the UK, with witty illustrations by Steve Wells.
Reviews and Recommendations for ‘Dictionary of Dads’
“Young readers will find themselves wondering about what it means to be a father after reading what is a rather good debut by a writer well-known on the performance circuit for his poetry as well as his spoken word theatre shows for young people. Nice, simple illustrations are by Steve Wells.”
Poetry Zone review Dictionary of Dads
“Dads come in all shapes and sizes: in this, his debut collection, performance poet, Justin Coe introduces a veritable alphabetic assortment… It’s impossible to mention all the dads that feature in this collection but it’s certainly one I’d want to add to any primary class collection, or to a family bookshelf. Steve Wells’ visual pen-and-ink embellishments are numerous – at least one per spread – and add to the individual reader’s enjoyment.”
Red Reading Hub review Dictionary of Dads
“A lot really jump off the page when read aloud, proving the author’s pedigree and training in the school recital that led up to this debut publication. But even from a more published name I might not have been expecting such a successful spread.”
Bookbag reviews Dictionary of Dads
Reviews and Recommendations on Justin’s visits and performances
“The most talented, funny, original and obliging of performance poets.” Hastings Education Action Zone
“He was fab! …He worked tremendously hard. He did 4 performances which included poetry and songs, answered questions, ran a writing workshop and busked at break-time in order to reach the optimum number of students. We would definitely invite him back and recommend him.” Julie Frew, Teacher, Oxford Community School.
“Fantastic energy and interactivity” Teacher, Ernest Bevin School
“He made us laugh but also think…he made us show everyone what we can do and how bright we are” Pupil, Year 8
“The poetry is phenomenal. Full of puns and personality….and that’s why everybody should buy a one-way ticket and go” FIVE STARS. Childrenstheatrereview.com on One Way Ticket.
“Jumble wakes up to his own creativity and value despite not being able to read. Jumble is clever at stories, and this is a strong message, well presented. There are moments when it reaches brilliant – poetry, storytelling, and sheer charm emanating from the personal magic of Justin himself.” FOUR STARS. Fringereview The Jumble Book.
“Justin’s performance was slick and professional, magical and inspirational. The children and dads enjoyed the interactive elements and joined in with great spirit. The poems, raps and songs were diverse and engaging and appealed to a wide age group. Poetry has never been more popular!” Southend Libraries on a performance of The Dictionary of Dads
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Justin, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org