All About Sally Crabtree
Sally Crabtree started out as a gymnast. At the age of 14 she won a scholarship to train in Russia and went on to become the youngest ever member of the GB Women’s gymnastics team. Since then she has been turning the literary world upside down with her cartwheeling poems and colourful, quirky performances.
It is her originality and creativity that stands her out in the world of words (the Greek word for poetry is “one who creates“ and she has been described as “One of Britain’s richest inventions” (Lars Gustafsson nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature) and “Exhilarating!“ (BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.)
As well as books, Sally Crabtree loves creating interactive poetic installations such as the Phone a Poem phone box, Poetry Postie, Poems in a Tin, I’ll Eat My Words edible poetry and her copper Poetree which began life when she decided to hang some poems on a tree and busk, singing, wearing stilts and doing handstands in the splits. People put enough money in the hat for her to buy lobsters and fizz for lunch and she thought “This is the life for me!”
She then happened to send a poem to a publisher in the form of a quirky hand made card. The publisher ignored the poem but loved the design and asked her to create some novelty books. Sally was slightly bemused (she thought she was a poet!) but gave it a go – and thus began her career in writing and designing books in all shapes and sizes for major publishers. Some had sing a long CD’s in them, some were picture books and one even rolled across the floor like a ball! “It was great fun”said Sally “but I was always itching to get back to the words” and she spent time writing serious poetry that would get her invited to festivals all around the world. Now she has finally managed to combine all the things she loves and she delights in also inspiring others through creativity, showing them that words can carry in their arms one’s own amazing ideas and hand them like a present to others – not necessarily just in book form but perhaps as an object d’art, a song, a performance poem, an installation or even as the icing of an edible poetry cake!
Sally in action in her role as ‘Poetry Postie’ – Poetry Postie delivers poetic inspiration to the Nation with her colourful, quirky, interactive performances and inspires whole communities to explore the notion of communication – communicating with oneself ( something poetry helps one to do, ) with those close to you and those further away. It gets communities communicating, allowing them to discover the poetic heart of themselves. The projects aim to raise aspirations and show everyone that there is a big world out there – one that they can forge a link with. To remind us, through poetry, that that underneath it all we are all part of one community – the world.
Sally’s School Visits
In her sessions she aims to give those taking part the encouragement – or enCOURAGEment – to find their own creative voice and for this to be heard in an original way that will also delight and inspire others.
For primary schools, Sally will usually work with individual classes (on average 3-4 classes per day) and then come together at the end with the whole school for a sharing assembly to perform the work created during the day. Each session lasts an hour to an hour and half (although for younger pre-school children a half an hour is often more suitable.)
For secondary schools, she often spends the whole day with one group but can adapt accordingly.
The sessions are tailored to suit the different age groups but can involve:
The Poetree with its branches full of magical objects that inspire songs, stories and poems.
Lyrics Alive instant songwriting.
Create – a Book – designing, writing and illustrating books in all shapes and sizes, some of which include a song CD that will have been written by the class. (Mini ditties written for Word Bird books can be tweeted live on twitter.)
I’ll Eat My Words – creating edible poetry biscuits (when you eat them you become a walking poem!)
Tongue Trampette – literacy keep fit.
All that is needed for the sessions are pencils, felt tip pens, glue sticks, white paper, card (A4 and A3) and access to a white board, black board or flip chart.
Longer projects of 2-5 days suitable for when a school wishes to link into a festival or community event:
Poetry Postie – delivering poetic inspiration to the nation!
Phone a Poem phone box – dial up a song, story or poem created by those taking part in the project and leave your own poem in the directory.
Poems in a Tin – food for the soul that can feature in the local supermarket.
Incredible Edible Art – edible art and poetry that can feature in a gallery café or cake stall.
Firewords! A creative writing session to fire up your imagination! The poetry is then tied to a rocket firework to really light up the heavens with words!
About Funny Fleas and Splashy Seas : This sing a long CD animation picture book is being used for early years to inspire earning right across the whole curriculum and Sally is one of the few authors who is able to inspire the very young in creative literacy.
To purchase Sally’s book, click here.
Reviews and Recomendations
Comments received following a visit to Newlyn School, Penzance:
Well we just love you to bits and everyone was just spell bound.. Henry from our school has written you a story (bless) so I need to get that to you.
A very successful day Sally, bring it on! Xxxx
Our youngest daughter came over to your workshop in Newlyn today. I haven’t seen her this inspired for ages. She had a great time, learnt lots, has all sorts of new ideas buzzing around in that head of hers and has been teaching the rest of the family a thing or two this evening like a mini Postie herself!
Thank you for running what was clearly a brilliant, cleverly and energetic workshop! xx
Loved every minute of your school session today it was brilliant!! you and your lovely lady Kat made my day thank you, the balloon lady
My son Theo attended the writer’s day at Newlyn School today and had a fantastic time. He is never usually that forthcoming with what he has got up to at school so must have been especially enthused by today’s activities. He showed us his school’s verse from the love song and was really proud of what he had contributed. He has given me the ring he made and told me all about the biscuits and doves on balloons – it all sounds amazing and I just wanted to email you to let you know what a great time he had.
‘I would like to say Thank you to Sally Crabtree for a fun, inspiring day on ‘World Book Day.’ Not only did Sally put the children at ease with her friendly, fun and kind personality, she read her fantastic books with such enthusiasm and character presence. Sally also included music adding a twist with her guitar (which was a big hit with the children) demonstrating how to tell a story through song and music, this was brilliant as the children sang along too keeping them engaged and focused. One on going activity is making the magic rings. They are now part of our special writing topic, we use them to inspire and help bring out the children’s imagination when writing. Thank you for a fun day, the children enjoyed it and so did I. Sally, you made it even more special that you dressed up with the children bringing a real character to our school. Thank you’ Natasha Tregent – Southwood Primary School
‘We all loved working with Sally. What a talented lady! She really inspired the children (and adults) to have tremendous fun with words. Her ideas were incredibly inventive, just right for the age group and utterly hilarious! Thank you so much for arranging this. It is so enriching for the children to work with high quality specialists.’ Chagford School/Festival
“The children have been enthralled and motivated by this fantastic book“ Teacher,Trenance School
Sally at one of her creativiTEA events
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Sally Crabtree, 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