All About Paul Lyalls
All About Paul
Paul is a born performer, motivator and loves to make poetry and help others do the same, this is evident in what he has achieved. Poet in residence for the ROALD DAHL Museum 2013/2014 & Star of BBC2’s/CBBC’s ‘Big Slam poetry House’. Paul has worked & performed with Michael Rosen (on a regular basis), Arsenal FC, Benjamin Zepphaniah, Kate Tempest, George Best, Miranda Hart, Will Self, John Hegley,, Andrea Leavy & Rastamouse to name but a few. His poetry is funny and moving and his poetry workshops produce extraordinary poems from children of all ages. Paul has been poet in residence at 7 Secondary Schools and over 20 Primary Schools. His latest collection ‘Catching the cascade’ (Flipped eye KS3/adult) is available from all bookshops and Amazon & was shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize. His latest Children’s collection ‘A funny Thing Happened’ With an intro by Michael Rosen, is loved by kids and people with inner kids of all ages, (available from The Big Green Book shop or Pickled Pepper Book).
In 2008, Paul was Poet for the London Borough of Brent (London’s 5th coolest Borough) and he performed at the new Wembley stadium. He has 2 poems in Michael Rosen’s New Penguin’s A-Z of the best Children’s poetry. Paul has also performed at 10 Edinburgh festivals, 1 Eton College, 5 Glastonbury’s, several shopping centres, the back of a lorry, Arsenal FC’s pitch and on a 73 Bus, which made the and finally…bit of the 6pm national news. Paul was one of the London 2012 Olympic ‘Shake the Dust’ Poets & 2012 Smile London Poets. In 2012 Paul became Poet for the London Borough of Islington’s Word Festival 2012-18, working regularly with Arsenal Football club (Yes that one) performing his poetry in their dressing room and on their pitch! He was Poet for Save The Children’s 2014 reading campaign ‘Read On Get On’ as well as being a 100th anniversary Great War Poet working with the Berkshire 7th Rifles and the Museum of Reading. He spent 2015 as poet in residence for the Museum of Oxford and wrote an official poem for Oxford ‘We didn’t start the shire’ – In 2018 Paul was poet for the Children’s Conference of Curiosity – a new way to imagine learning and he is Poet in residence for The Westway Trust and has just produced an anthology of young peoples work called ‘This is me’. Paul is always fun to work with, doesn’t complain and quite often turns up with donuts and always with a smile.
Paul believes in inspiring children from the front, he loves to start the day with a whole school or KS assembly – this shows everybody how fun, dynamic and moving poetry can be. Paul not only teaches children simple but incredibly liberating ways to write poetry but also the equally important, where poems come from.
Paul’s School Visits
Paul works with EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4 and Students with SEN.
An example of a timetable with Paul:
9am Whole school assembly
9.30 – 10.30 Workshop 1
11am – 12 workshop 2
1pm – 2pm workshop 3
2pm – 3pm workshop 4
3.15pm book-signing meet the author
Please note Paul is totally flexible about timings – whatever suits you works for him.
Paul can make classroom visits, but he also believes in inclusivity, he is happy to work with a year group at a time so that more children get access to his ideas and in the words of Lilo and Stitch, ‘no one gets left behind’. Paul works in a way that allows very able writers to touch the stars and less able writers to reach for them and feel their heat.
Here is poem written by a KS2 child who has worked with Paul –
MY FIRST HANDSTAND
I place my hands, the grass tickles.
Putting my head in the green blades.
I see clouds.
Feet outstretched, body shaking.
Curling, ready for the lift. Now I aim, legs stretch.
Extending towards the sky.
Upside down, just like the world.
Zawdito, aged 9, taken from ‘This is me’ A collection of poems from Paul’s residency with the Westway Trust/Grenfell communities
And a couple of Paul’s poems
I HAD THAT MICHAEL ROSEN IN MY CAR
I had that Michael Rosen in my car,
We weren’t going far,
He never stopped talking,
Net time he’s walking.
Taken from ‘A funny Thing Happened’
WE ARE WORDS.
Their meaning, their dreaming,
the message they are streaming.
We use them to shape our lives
we use them as bribes,
to make enemies or allies,
we use them to find our tribes.
We are words.
Their story, their song
they make us listen or sing along.
They define right and wrong
always on the tip of your tongue.
We pin them to the page,
we read them to be amazed.
We are words.
They connect us, correct us
make us find one another,
yes, they collect us.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
A lie, a promise a trust.
We are words.
We dance with them through time,
they are our partners in rhyme.
Cool, cruel or kind,
the stitching in our story line
the eloquent ties that bind,
We are words.
Taken from Paul’s soon to be published collection ‘All the words a stage’
Paul has a reputation for never ever being late, he can arrive by car, plane, bus or train. Early arrival at schools is crucial to set up the spaces and also to meet teachers and find out class requirements. Paul will work as hard as any other staff member and fits in with the school ethos, he realises he sets an example and is a positive role model for all.
Catching the Cascade
In ‘Catching the Cascade’, his long awaited debut collection, Paul Lyalls presents verse that documents his long career as a performing poet, exploring the motifs of childhood, love, consumerism, second hand cars and his native North. His punchy, breathlessly entertaining poetry stems not just from a razor sharp wit but from his genuine love of language. “A gifted poet… his work is witty, well constructed and well delivered.” –The Stage “A talented poet, Lyalls’ works, such as ‘The Cult of Relationships’ and ‘Anatomy of a Bookshop’ provide a clever take on modern attitudes and popular culture.” –Three Weeks magazine “The quality that shines through this slim volume is a playful sense of fun… Lyalls has an unerring and endearing sense of fun.” –Patrick Neate, London Magazine
Recommendations & Reviews from previous visits
‘One of the strange things about the world around us is that we sometimes forget to notice it. Paul makes you notice it. That’s a kind of magic.’ Michael Rosen
‘Paul’s ability to make people laugh, both children and teachers, with his quirky, captivating and moving poetry is a real gift. His lightness of touch and skill with words really challenged the children’s perception of what poetry truly is and precipitated a torrent of poetic outbursts throughout the corridors of Garden House School’. Mary Clare O’Neil Literacy Coordinator Garden House School
‘Just wanted to say thank you for coming yesterday. The children loved it and are still talking about it today’. Tom Rowlands, KS2 lead, Great Linford Primary School
‘Paul spent two days with us at the International School of Riga in Latvia. The children (and teachers) loved his energy, enthusiasm and inventiveness; this was particularly evident during his whole-school assembly, which had us all belly-laughing. He worked with every age group, from 3-year-olds whom he had turning rulers into aeroplanes, to 16-year-olds who, thanks to Paul’s nurturing, inspiring approach, wrote some stunning poetry of their own. Many of the children had only a very basic grasp of English but in his writing workshops Paul managed to coax out of all of them poetry they were proud of. He comes highly recommended!’ Miss Andrade, English co-ordinator
‘With 100 Year 5 children, you certainly inspired and injected enthusiasm both for the children & the staff…you allowed quirky and fun moments of their lives to be captured and it was something that children of all abilities could connect and spark from. We all loved re-reading the poems.’ Head of Year 5 Danes Hill School
“Every Teacher loved his work and laughed along with the pupils. Children were inspired to write their own poems using clever devices provided by Paul. He was equally inspiring for all age groups and his work was accessible to all children. Not only did he perform but he listened to the children too.” Helen Ham Literacy Coordinator, William Patten School, London.
“His high quality performance skills means he is particularly adept at engaging the focus and attention of the class. His dynamism and enthusiasm means he has a great capacity to entertain and inspire young learners. His ability to help draw on their own interests when writing, has lead to the production of brilliantly original and thoughtful pieces of poetry”. Em Fairburn Kings Cross Academy, London.
‘It was an honour to host Paul for the day at Forty Hill, where his poetry and creative talking inspired and engaged our children to be creative themselves, to think outside the box and to write for pleasure. His humour, passion and enthusiasm left the children enthralled way beyond the end of the school day. We definitely want him back again!
– Josh Newham Head Teacher Forty Hill Primary School Enfield
‘Paul recently spent the day with us delivering gifted and talented workshops across the school. Paul was inspirational, humorous and totally engaging. He was quick to build up an excellent rapport with the children whilst mesmerising them with performances of his own poetry. He quickly produced an interesting and creative collaborative example for the children, which acted as a form of scaffolding for them to base their own poems on. The children were very enthusiastic both during in and after the workshops. Their class teachers have commented on their response to this opportunity and are delighted with the reluctant poems, produced in a relatively short space of time. Many parents have since been to the school to thank us and comment on how much their children enjoyed the experience.’
– Linda Williams Assistant Head Fielding Primary School, Ealing, London
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Paul, 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