Seven Stories Welcomes two of the biggest names in poetry - John Agard and Grace Nichols

As part of our Rhyme Scene season, Seven Stories is thrilled to welcome two of the biggest names in poetry, John Agard and Grace Nichols, for two fantastic events.

Born and brought up in Guyana, John and Grace belong to a generation of Anglo Caribbean writers whose work (both for children and adults) has had a huge impact on the poetry scene in the UK.

John's first collection of poems for children, I Din Do Nuttin' (1983) was soon followed by Say It Again, Granny (1986), Laughter is an Egg (1988), We Animals would Like a Word with You (1996) and Get Back Pimple (1997). The 1990s and 2000s saw a succession of creative collaborations with illustrator Satoshi Kitamura, including The Young Inferno (2008) and Goldilocks on CCTV (2011). John has won numerous awards including The Queen's Medal for Poetry in 2012 and the Eleanor Farjeon Award for Services to Children's Literature in 2016.  Witty, warm and generous, he is a flamboyant performer.  Don’t miss the chance to see him in action!

Grace’s work has a quieter genius, infused with vivid memories of her childhood in Guyana, captured in a blend of Creole and standard English.  Her collections for children include Come on into my Tropical Garden (1988), Everybody Got A Gift (2005), and Cosmic Disco (2013).  In her anthologies, including Poetry Jump-Up (1988) and Can I Buy a Slice of Sky (1991), she has championed of the work of Black and Asian poets; Under the Moon & Over the Sea (2002), which she compiled jointly with John, won the first Centre for Literacy in Primary Education poetry award in 2003.

John and Grace write for children of all ages, from babies to young adults, and are both well-known to GCSE students for poems such as Half Caste, and Praise Song for My Mother. This will be their first visit to Seven Stories and it’s a rare opportunity to hear the pair – who are partners - performing together. Don’t miss it!

John and Grace will be in the Seven Stories Bookshop on Thursday 26th October at 5.30pm for a captivating twilight event, with poetry readings responding to the Freedom City themes of war poverty and racism, followed by a Q&A and book signing. Get your tickets here!

Children ages 8+ can join John and Grace for a special reading, Q&A and book signing on Friday 27th October at 11.00am. Tickets are available here!


Part of Freedom City 2017 – a city wide programme across Newcastle marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree at Newcastle University.   Visit for further information.