Yvonne Lang: Introducing Authors Abroad

Authors Abroad was set up in 2008 by Trevor Wilson after he was inspired during his time working as teacher in international schools by the impact children’s author and poet visits can have on young people. It has continued to grow and now operates in over 80 countries as well as arranging author, poet, storyteller and illustrator visits for hundreds of schools annually throughout the UK.

Although we arrange a plethora of author visits at a huge range of facilities dealing with a varied age group, poetry holds a special place in our hearts. There is something very magical about a poetry visit and how it can connect with young people who are disengaged from literacy, struggling to express themselves or even help stretch those who are gifted writers. We run the publishing company Caboodle Books and our speciality is poetry, with a range of poetry books from rhyming picture books to traditional poetry collections for young people and poems told via a graphic novel with scannable QR codes to hear the poet performing the pieces on YouTube as you read along. We’ve even managed to win a CLiPPA award, which we are exceptionally proud of, with Karl Nova’s debut Rhythm and Poetry.

Spoz who launched the Worcestershire Poetry Slam

In addition to our regular in school poetry visits and our poetry-focused AIM High Days (founded in collaboration with Brian Moses) we have been very excited to launch some Poetry Slam days. We took over the running of Spoz’s Worcestershire slam last year and it proved so successful we have expanded it, also taking on Gloucester and launching in Calderdale, Leeds and London. We are running extra slams in Leeds to support their Leeds 2023 culture programme and are very grateful to the Bearder Minster Trust in Halifax which helped subsidise the slams in Calderdale to allow the maximum of 14 schools to take part.

Some finalists at the Worcestershire Poetry Slam

We know the difference poetry can make and the impact it has on schools. It helps increase reading for pleasure and the confidence boost it can deliver for pupils is immense. That is why we are passionate about getting poetry into schools in various formats and for various budgets. Whether private days in person, bespoke virtual sessions, a subsidised subscription of pre-recorded videos including authors and poets via our brand new Caboodle Classroom offering (with accompanying teaching notes provided by CLPE), which launches next month, AIM High poetry days for gifted and talented or our brand new poetry slams, Authors Abroad are experts at connecting poets to schools to allow them to share their enthusiasm and knowledge about the written and spoken word.

Trevor Wilson, director of Authors Abroad and Caboodle Books Ltd

Our specialist knowledge and years of experience means we can find the perfect match for a school which is looking to organise an event that suits them and their learners’ needs. We also advocate for poets, helping well-established names add new schools to their roster and manage their busy schedules, whilst also offering opportunities to those who are newer to the scene and still establishing themselves.

Feedback from one of our poet’s visits:

“Kate Wakeling visited our school for National Poetry Day and was an absolutely wonderful guest. She engaged the pupils from the off, with an assembly to the whole school – from reception to year 6, every student was enthralled. She then ran workshops and poetry readings, bringing out incredible work and creativity from the students.’ St Christopher’s School on their visit with Kate Wakeling.

Yvonne Lang

Yvonne Lang is the manager of Authors Abroad UK visits and Poetry Slams, as well as head of author recruitment. Following over a dozen years working in public libraries, then as Head Librarian at a boy’s grammar school, she joined Authors Abroad and now runs the team booking author and poet visits all over the UK.

www.authorsabroad.com for author visits, poetry slams or to sign up for our free half-termly newsletter

www.caboodleclassroom.com online programme