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David Harmer, Author and Poet
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Discover more about Spill the Beans

Have you always liked poetry? What inspired you to become a poet?

I grew up in a house crammed with books and poetry, it has always been part of my life.

Where do you get ideas for your poems?

It's always a matter of thinking hard about things that have really happened and then making a bit up.

How long does it take you to write a poem?

Some are very quick but usually about a month.

What did you do when your first poem was published?

I shouted WHOOPEEE!

Who is your favourite poet? What's your favourite poem?

My favourite poet is Shakespeare. My favourite poem is any of the sonnets.

What advice do you have for young poets?

Read, read, read, read and write and never give up.

What are you working on at the moment?

A group of poems, quite serious ones, about wildlife.

Tell us something unusual about yourself

Sometimes, when I'm talking to children in schools about writing stories and poems, I make things up.

Mr. Moore Mr. Moore
Creaking down the corridor
Uh eh uh uh eh
Uh eh uh uh eh

Mr. Moore wears wooden suits
Mr Moore wears great big boots
Mr. Mooreís got hair like a brush
And Mr. Moore donít like me much.


When my teacherís there I havenít got a care
I do my sums I do gerzinters
When Mr. Moore comes through the door
Got a wooden head full of splinters.


Mr. Moore I implore
My earholes ache my head is sore
Donít come through the classroom door
Oh donít come through the classroom door
Mister Mister Mister Moore.


Mr. Moore wears wooden suits
Mr Moore wears great big boots
Mr. Mooreís got hair like a brush
And Mr. Moore donít like me much.


The Truth about Teachers by Paul Cookson, David Harmer, Brian Moses and Roger Stevens

An intriguing insight into what goes inside your teacher's head - find out their secrets and thoughts and discover what makes them tick.

Read Me Out Loud by Nick Toczek and David Harmer

A poet for every day of the year including raps, performances poems, chants, playground rhymes, verses, monologues and many more... Read them in your style, but don't forget to be loud!

Pirate Poems by David Harmer

Walking the plank, buried treasure on Spyglass Island, Blackbeard's ghost?! Find out more about these and many other mysteries with pirate Calico Kate and her cut-throat crew in this swashbuckling adventure verse.
How to Survive School: Poems Chosen by David Harmer

Have you ever been desperate for really good excuses when late for a class? Have you ever needed to know how to doze in class and not get caught? Dive into this essential guide of excuses.
David Harmer was born in Kent in 1952 but moved to South Yorkshire when he was 13. He did an arts degree and then an M.A. in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. David originally trained to be a teacher and for 15 years, he was the headteacher of a primary school in Doncaster.

At the moment, David teaches at Sheffield Hallam University and is half of the Spill the Beans performance poetry duo with his friend Paul Cookson. David's poems and stories have been included in more than 130 books for children as well as in several books for adults.

Spectacular Schools by Paul Cookson and David Harmer

From schools teaching you to become a lion tamer in a circus to delving into the spooky and mysterious world of vampires - whatever you do, there's always a school and a funny poem that'll suit you!

The Prime Minister Is 10 Today: If Children Ruled the World by David Harmer and Sam Hearn

The Prime Minister is very powerful but what happens when he is replaced with a child? Abolishing detentions, banning homework and extending playtimes...?

My Stepdad Is an Alien by David Harmer

Have you ever wondered what your parents get up to when you're not looking? Do they lead secret lives? Find out in this collection of very funny poems.

The Very Best of David Harmer

The very best of David Harmer's poetry in one fantastic volume; his first single poet collection for MacMillan.
David when he was young
David when he was less young
We asked David...
David's greatest hit...
Here are some of David's books...
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