About Chrissie Gittins

This is poetry that does what it talks about. A poem about a hamster in a ball that rolls on, and rolls on… A poem about a wasp in which the words hum. Listen to ‘Wasp on the Tube’ to hear the hum!

Chrissie Gittins uses a very wide range of forms and poetic devices – lists and limericks, narrative and nursery rhymes, shape poems and songs. There’s also a very wide range of subjects. Many of her poems are quirky or absurd. But wrapped up in the wordplay are some sharp-eyed observations – as in ‘Three’.

If you open one of Chrissie’s books, you will see the very wide variety of poem styles just by looking at the shapes on the page. Perhaps because she was an artist, the way a poem looks on a page is very important to Chrissie. She often uses line length to create a particular effect.

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Chrissie Gittins was born in Lancashire. She wrote her first children's poem for her nephew, Sam when he was eight years old,–  ‘Sam, Sam, quite contrary’.

She studied mainly English at university and then studied art at St Martin’s School of Art, then worked as an artist and teacher before becoming a writer. She now writes poetry, short stories and plays.

Chrissie's recording was made for the Poetry Archive in 2012.

Featured in the Archive

Selected Bibliography

Between Here and Knitwear, Unthanks Books, 2015

Adder, Bluebell, Lobster, Otter-Barry Books, 2016

Stars in Jars: New and Collected Poems, A & C Black, 2014

The Humpback's Wail, Rabbit Hole Publications, 2010

Michael Rosen's A-Z, Puffin, 2009

I'll Dress One Night as You, Salt Publishing, 2009

I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle, Rabbit Hole Publications, 2006

Armature, Arc Publications, 2003

Now You See Me, Now You..., Rabbit Hole Publications, 2002


2016 Society of Authors’ Award

2010 Poetry Book Society Choice: for the Children's Poetry Bookshop, for The Humpback's Wail, 2010

2009 Arts Council Writers' Award

2007 CLPE Award (shortlisted) for I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle

2007 Authors Foundation Award

2006 Poetry Book Society Choice: for the Children's Poetry Bookshelf, for I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle

2005 Arts Council Writers Award

2003 CLPE Award (shortlisted) for Now You See Me, Now You...

2002 Belmont Poetry Prize (for individual children's poems) for 'The Powder Monkey'

2002 Royal Literary Fund Award

2001 Society of Authors Award