About Berlie Doherty

Children on the edge of the playground. People who can’t join in. Shadowy figures who are barely there. These are the voices that get to speak in many of Berlie Doherty’s poems.

Berlie clearly remembers what it is like to be young, and she explores what it is like to be growing up in a world that can feel strange or confusing at times.

Darkness or mystery often lies beneath the surface. Listen to ‘Quieter than Snow. Although she reads with quite a gentle voice, you can hear the sense of unease build through the poem.

Many of Berlie’s poems do not have regular stanzas or patterns of rhyme. But if you hear or read them aloud, you can hear how the words chime with each other, using assonance, consonance and half rhyme.


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Berlie was born in Liverpool. From a very young age, she loved making up stories and poems which her father would write down for her.

After having three children of her own, Berlie became a teacher.  About the same time, she began to write again. She has now published more than 60 books, and continues to write novels, poetry, short stories, picturebooks, and plays. Berlie says she likes to have several different things on the go at once.

Berlie Doherty’s recording was made at the Soundhouse, London, on 3 April 2012. The producer was Anne Rosenfeld.

Featured in the Archive

Selected Bibliography

Walking on Air (Kindle edition), Hodder, 2014

Daughter of the Sea, Andersen Press, 2008

Granny Was a Buffer Girl, Catnip Publishing, 2007

Dear Nobody, Puffin, 2001

Street Child, Harper Collins, 2009

The Company of Ghosts, Andersen Press, 2013

Walking on Air, Hodder, 1999


1997 Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for Daughter of the Sea

1991 Carnegie Medal for Dear Nobody

1992 Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for staged version of Dear Nobody

1986 Carnegie Medal for Granny Was a Buffer Girl

2004 Phoenix Award for Jeannie of White Peak Farm

1995 Carnegie Medal (highly commended) for Willa and Old Miss Annie