The first book I ever produced, some 50 years ago, was a collection of poetry written by children. I called it Children’s Words. There are poems in there by the young Daniel Day Lewis and Montagu Don, among others, and another by one Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
I was a young teacher trying all I could to help children find their voices. It was at a time when teachers were not so confined to and driven by a narrow curriculum, the children not so taught to the exam, not so force-fed. So teachers like me could all have more time and space to explore ideas, discover worlds, write our poetry, tell our tales, sing our songs, paint our pictures, make and act our plays. It was a good time to teach. The work they were producing was extraordinary; I was already beginning to realise just how immense the potential and talent of these young people was.