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Anne Fine, Jun Tiburcio, Ahmad Shihan, Lionel Fogarty, Robert Adamson

Some poets and writers for children at the Brisbane Writers' Festival...

I managed to get some of the favorite books of a few noted poets and writers for children at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival, too.
Australian poet Robert Adamson is also an editor, publisher, and author. His latest book is the memoir Inside Out.
At one session I asked him about the history of his poetry reading, and Mr Adamson said that as a poet you just read what you liked, and these poets would talk about or mention other poets in their work, and you could then follow these up.
He said his reading of poetry started with Tennyson and other poets at school. Then he read Dylan Thomas before getting into the music of Bob Dylan, and Bob Dylan mentioned other poets in his songs.
Jun Tiburcio (The Hummingbird), a Mexican poet, potter and artisan was from Totonocapen, which is north of Veracruz in Mexico.
He liked the Mexican poet Octavio Paz, and his own book Lanka Tamanixni: Sueno en Grande (The Big Dream).
The latter is a celebration of the Totonaco way of life.

Syrian-born poet Ahmad Shihan read some of his poems, which seemed symbolist influenced and were very good.
He said his favorite books were The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights. The best known version in English is the Richard Burton translation.
Also Ahmad Shihan liked A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
Lionel Fogarty was introduced by host Sam Watson as being a poet whose work showed the way Aboriginal people thought.
Lionel Fogarty’s latest collection of poems is called Minyung Woolah Binnung, published by Keeaira Press.
He told me his favorite books were Because a White Man’ll Never Do It (1973) by Kevin Gilbert, (about the British colonisation of Australia, and seen as one of the first political works by an indigenous Australian).
Also he liked We Are Going (1964) which was the first book of poetry by Kath Walker (later Oodgeroo Noonuccal).
Anne Fine, a British writer for adults and young people, is the author of Madame Doubtfire, which was subsequently made into the movie Mrs Doubtfire; Goggle- Eyes, which won the Carnegie Medal and the Guadian Children’s Fiction Award in 1990; and many other books.

She said her favorite books included Vanity Fair, Middlemarch, War and Peace, and the works of Proust.
As far as books for young people went, she liked Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien, and The Once and Future King by T.H. White (1958), which was the collected volume of four of his works based on Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur (1469).
The Once and Future King is probably his best known book and includes The Sword in the Stone; The Queen of Air and Darkness; The Ill-Made Knight; and The Candle in the Wind.
Ms Fine said T.H. White was a neglected children’s writer. She said The Once and Future King was a rich reading experience for children.
She also like Mistress Masham’s Repose by T.H. White, which she said was lovely for ten year olds.
Morris Gleitzman’s latest book is Girl Underground. During one session he cited what he said was his personal manifesto on writing for children. “It is always an abuse of power to create fear instead of hope.”

Also he liked the theme of going from one world to another you didn’t know existed.

Of his favorite titles he said he liked the Just William books.