Rachel Rooney

b. 1962

I do not write for children, I write with the child in mind.

Mermaid's Lament

Rachel Rooney

Nought to Nine

Rachel Rooney

Russian Doll

Rachel Rooney

The Language of Cat

Rachel Rooney

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About Rachel Rooney

Rachel Rooney was born in London, the fifth of six children, and now lives in Brighton, Sussex. She trained and works as a special needs teacher, along with visiting schools for poetry readings and workshops. Her first collection of poems for older children, The Language of Cat, was the 2011 Poetry Book Society children’s choice. It also won the 2012 CLPE Award and was long listed for the Carnegie Medal.  Her next book, My Life as a Goldfish, will be published by Frances Lincoln in 2014. A Patch of Black, her first rhyming picture book, was published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2012.

Rooney’s poems often revisit ideas and figures familiar from fairy tales and myths, as well as from everyday life, putting an original and modern spin on their predicaments. In her daring and vivid imagination, we learn the details of the language of cats, the real feelings and fears of Russian dolls and mermaids – even things as unassuming and ordinary as numerals and letters become in her hands a fox’s ear-tip, a pirate’s hook, a chameleon’s tongue. Rooney’s readings of her poems are direct, musical, warm, funny, and intelligent, and never condescending to her listeners, causing the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to remark that ‘Rachel Rooney's poetry collection for children is a well-crafted, stimulating and un-patronising box of delights, always accessible and constantly inventive.’

This recording was made for The Poetry Archive on 4 December 2012 at The Soundhouse and was produced by Anne Rosenfeld.



2012 CLPE Award

for The Language of Cat

2011 Poetry Book Society Children’s Choice

for The Language of Cat

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