About Dennis Lee
When Dennis writes a poem he often begins with a sound. It could be the sound of a place name. Or it could be a rhythm that he hears or feels. If you listen to ‘Alligator Pie’ you’ll find out what rhythm started it all off. It has become a well loved poem, and is even used as a skipping rhyme. In fact, you can hear how Dennis makes it sound a bit like a skipping chant in the last line of each stanza. See if you can join in!
Like traditional nursery rhymes, Dennis’s poems have strong rhythms and a musical sound that makes them easy to remember. And lots of them are very funny.
Dennis also writes poems that tell a story – like ‘Lizzy’s Lion’ about a burglar who meets a lion. And there are quieter poems that make you think – like ‘Secret Place’. Dennis admits that some of his rhymes are a little bit horrible or a little bit rude. But that’s OK, he says. Life is like that. He tries to get some of each kind of poem into each of his poetry books.
Dennis Lee’s poems have a very regular rhythm and rhyme, and many use the same kind of rhythm as traditional nursery rhymes.
Dennis has lived all his life in Toronto in Canada, and you will hear his Canadian accent in his reading. When he was a child he loved listening to the chanted place names in the weather forecast on the radio. It gave him a lifelong love of the sounds that words make. He also puts names of places he knows into his poems.
Dennis has done all sorts of work, including teaching, book publishing, and writing song lyrics for children’s TV. He has also written a huge number of books and poems.
He started writing children’s poetry for his own children, because he thought there should be some nursery rhymes with place names they would know. Like traditional nursery rhymes, Dennis’s poems have strong rhythms and a musical sound that makes them easy to remember. And lots of them are very funny.
Dennis Lee’s reading was recorded at Morph Productions in Toronto on September 28th 2017 with Ashton Price as producer.
Featured in the
Alligator Pie, Harper Collins, 2012
Bubblegum Delicious, Harper Collins, 2013