Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Interview: Paul Lyalls

Paul Lyalls is the current writer in residence at the Roald Dahl Museum
This blog has been lucky to track down this whoopsy-splunkers writer, and he has kindly agreed to be interview by us!!! 
I hope you agree Paul is Phizz-Whizzing and Whoopsy wiffling for getting involved- and his answer are whizz-popping!

Photo Credit: Paul Lyalls

1) How did you get involved with The Roald Dahl Museum? 
RD appoint a writer each year.  This year they wanted a poet.  I applied and got it.  To get the job you had to write for both children and adults and also be published for both and be able to perform and workshop with children and adults.

 2) What is your favourite aspect of the Museum? 

I like the dinkyness and old worldlyness of the place.  I like the fact that it's a museum with a lot to read and what a good read it all is.  I like the fact that it is in the writers home town and that it is just a converted stables or some such thing, full of quirky bits and pieces of his life.  It's like he's just popped out for a Kit-Kat, and will be back in 15 minutes!

3) What is your favorite Roald Dahl work? That's a tough one. Maybe Matilda because she is such a heroine and ultimate best friend.  I like the Twits as well because of the originality of the humour and the situations.

4) Do you feel Roald Dahl has influenced your work at all? 
It's starting to, I'm taking to branching out in some of the themes and making some situations much more surprising and much more extreme which is what RD did. My latest Kids collection which only came out a month into the residency reflects his influence, particularly in poems like 'Two types of parents' and 'Heaven'.

5) You run workshops at the Museum, what does this involve?  
Part show, part writing exercise, aimed at adults and children.  I have been getting people to write poems and also I've spent time sitting in the chair writing poems to order from people wandering past on whatever they've wanted (Dreams,  turning six, Spitfires etc).  Also I am visiting schools in Buckinghamshire on behalf of the Museum. These involve performing whole school assembly shows  and visiting selected classes for focused writing workshop.

6) How to both Children & Adults react to Roald Dahl's work? How do they react to the your workshops? 
Everyone seems to love RD's work and the fact that I am poet for RD goes down a storm.  Adults and kids are in awe at my appointment. It's the champions league of the residency world! 
I don't want to be the one to say it, but everyone loves my workshops and work.  All the stuff I do is fun and funny from start to finish and adults and kids love my poems and performances. 

Paul will be sitting in Roald Dahl's chair again and writing poems for anyone on Sunday 12th Jan 11am to 3pm if you would like a poem written there and then, come along,  if you can't make it contact him here- see if you can arrange to tell him what you'd like a poem about and he'll write it in the chair for you.
You can also follow Paul on Twitter (@PaulLyalls) or have a click around his website.

Paul's latest books show that poetry is necessary for all ages! 'Catching the Cascade' (adults)& 'A Funny Thing Happened' (kids) can be found on Amazon and at most good bookshops (and probably a few indifferent ones too).
His latest collection "Do me a favour & favour" is new this year!  Available from The Roald Dahl Museum or The big Green Bookshop.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Merry Christmas

"Where art thou, Mother Christmas?
I only wish I knew
Why Father should get all the praise
And no one mentions you.

I'll bet you buy the presents
And wrap them large and small
While all the time that rotten swine
Pretends he's done it all.

So Hail To Mother Christmas
Who shoulders all the work!
And down with Father Christmas,
That unmitigated jerk!"

Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake wrote this poem for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in 1988. It part of a full anthology found in the Roald Dahl Treasury

Mother Christmas- the busiest mum on earth at this time...
Picture: Quentin Blake

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a happy new year and a lovely break from work (giving you more chance to read some Dahl books!)