My pick of poetry literature for 2010 is The Scrumbler magazine, devoted to publishing the very best poetry for children. This gorgeous print magazine is published in England by Mike Kavanagh and includes poetry and illustrations from the young and not so young, and amateur and professional poets and artists.
I wanted to talk about The Scrumbler magazine for a number of reasons. Firstly, I just love the name – having it roll around on my tongue and in my head. The Scrumbler character starts the magazine with his ‘Oops, I’ve fallen asleep on top of a poem. I’ve scrumbled it to bits.” You get the picture.
Another reason is that high quality poetry magazines or journals for children appear to me to be a rarity. Encouraging children to love and play with words, including poetry, is the first step in increasing the popularity of poetry. Poetry should be something that everyone can engage in (listening, reading or creating) and this type of magazine is the bee’s knees in that regard.
The Scrumbler is ideal for children, with its colourful glossy front cover, appealing black and white pencil illustrations, compact format, and short, simple, well written poems (often laugh out loud funny).
My children were delighted with the magazine and loved the wicked humour of ‘A Shark in Kensington Park’ (you’ll have to read it yourself to find out what happens) and other poems. They were particularly taken with the illustration of a young Orang-Utan (and poem of the same name) by Liz Brownlee, famous for her animal poetry for children.
Another thing I just love about The Scrumbler is the inclusion of writing games to assist children (and adults) with their very own poems. There are questions/prompts and space in the magazine to write down your lines. What a great way to stimulate the creative juices.
This is only the 2nd edition of The Scrumbler but they plan to print three times a year. You can subscribe or find out more information in their website at www.thescrumbler.com
Gabrielle Bryden is an Australian writer and poet published in Ripples, Aspects, Speedpoets, Extempore magazines; the Cherry Blossom Review, Lunarosity, Divan, Bolts of Silk, Third Eye, Specusphere ezines; and on local and national ABC Radio. In 2009 she won first prize in Ripples magazine’s poetry competition. Her poem ‘Fortune Teller’ is published in the book ‘Short and Twisted 2010′. She blogs regularly at Gabrielle Bryden’s Blog.