Welcome to the website of poet & literacy advocate
An award-winning author of eight books, Mandy Coe writes poetry for adults and children.   She works in education and literacy projects though residencies, workshops and readings.

Latest poetry collection for children

Belonging Street

Look out for the tree that saved a town; dip your toe in the Milky Way; sing the City Seed Song; play in Kitty Cat Street - and then come home to Belonging Street. ...a magical and heartwarming collection.

Children's Book of the Week...The Sunday Times

In the 'Top Ten' kids poetry books... The Independent 

"Mandy Coe is is one of our most exciting poets

writing for children." Pie Corbett

Otter-Barry Books 2020
ISBN 9781913074807

Latest poetry collection for adults 

There Will Be Cherries

"Mandy Coe is an original. No one looks at and writes about the world like she does... an almost Blakean sense of the divine in living things." Anthony Wilson, Lifesaving Poems, (Bloodaxe)

Shoestring Press
ISBN 978-1-910323-54-0
 
about

Author of six poetry collections, Mandy has received the Manchester Poetry Prize  and  a Hawthornden Fellowship.  Her poems have been broadcast on BBC radio and television.

Mandy writes for, and works with, adults and children in schools, universities, teacher training colleges and community arts projects.

Past residencies and commissions include collaborations with Bath Festivals,  Poetry School, The Poetry SocietyBook Trust, National Galleries and The Princes' Trust

Mandy lives in the North West of England and is a Visiting Fellow of The Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

photo credit, Sarah Maclennan

 
REVIEWS for books

'Our thoughts are bees: Writers Working with Schools (Coe/Sprackland)

 

"...a writer in a school can indeed create moments that can be life-enhancing, life-changing even - can help a children become a reader for life, and maybe a writer too."

Foreward, MICHAEL MORPURGO

 

poetry READINGS

  • Wigtown Festival

    Mandy 's poetry is full of people we would love to meet. Her poems travel easily between the personal and the political and the audience happily joined the journey.

    Wigtown Festival Review

  • Ryedale Book Festival 

    with the Mile Roses

    "A perfect night of music and poetry. Again, please." 

    A. Bannon, Milton Rooms

  • Writing on the Wall 

    Festival, Liverpool

    ...a masterclass on how to be positive and see the good in people. Can't praise her enough." R Maher

    'Launch, 'There Will be Cherries' 

  • Warmth & wonder from Mandy Coe & Brian Patten

     

    "Coe got it off to a gorgeously warm and tender start... and ended each poem with a smile, as if hearing the words for the first time, and left us smiling, too." Judy Gordon

    The Worktown Festival

  •  Bath Festivals

    “Coe's performance was a delight. Her poems and ideas are shared with humour and passion. She holds the audience with ease.” 

    Trudy Shannon, Write Wire

  • Aldeburgh Poetry Festival

     Coe's skill with words never fails to surprise. She encourages us to think while inviting us to smile."

     

    Launch of 'If You Could See Laughter' 

In conversation, Michael Rosen

& Mandy Coe,  Let in the Stars,

Manchester Literature Festival

"I don’t think I’ve ever been to a literary event with two less pretentious speakers....

Both writers approached poetry as a lived personal experience...

not just for themselves but for everyone." 

Bryony Makin, Chapter & Verse, Manchester Literature Festival Blog,

.

photo credit, The Writing School at MMU

with michaerl rosen compressed.jpg

Today's poetry page

two poems for children

EXTINCT

.

We live in books and photographs,
our stories all begin with ‘Once’,
three, two, going, going…gone.

 

Barbary Lion, Atitlan Grebe,
Caribbean Monk Seal, Carolina Parakeet.

We tasted good, our forests were yours
Our horn was valuable, you wore our furs,
three, two, going, going…gone.

 

Laughing Owl, Passenger Pigeon,
Javan Tiger, Japanese Sea Lion.

We flew and swam beneath the sun,
nested, hunted, raised our young,
three, two, going, going…gone.

 

Western Black Rhinoceros, Aldabra Snail,
Pyrenean Ibex, Wake Island Rail

Shells, tails, whiskers and bone,
three, two, going, going…

Poem © Mandy Coe, 2010, used by permission of the author and Salt Publishing

WATCH OUT FOR THE WHISTLER

.

He whistles to my giddy ant
he whistles fish and ships, 
he whistles to the boys and ghouls
with magic in his lips.

He whistles with his hat and soul
practising day and neat.
Without rhyme or raisin, he whistles
to the birds and beasts.

His whistle is a spanner in the words
and sooner or alligator, 
sink or swan, 
he’ll whistle our world upside-dawn.

The whistling man will whistle us 
out of our shoes and sharks. 
Truth and pies, white or wrong
beware the whistler’s mixed-up song.

 

 

Poem © Mandy Coe ‘Belonging Street’
Otter-Barry Books (2020)

AUDIO: 

CHILDREN'S POETRY ARCHIVE  

'Talking Poetry' School's Radio  

 
contact

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch! You can reach me using this contact form.

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