Friday 18 November 2022

Michael Rosen, "Many Different Kinds of Love"


Michael Rosen, photograph by David Levene

Michael Rosen is renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. He is Professor of Children's Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London and visits schools with his one-man show to enthuse children with his passion for books and poetry. In 2007 he was appointed Children's Laureate, a role which he held until 2009. While Laureate, he set up The Roald Dahl Funny Prize. He currently lives in London with his wife and children. His website is here

About Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS

Michael Rosen wasn't feeling well. Soon he was struggling to breathe, and then he was admitted to hospital, suffering from coronavirus as the nation teetered on the edge of a global pandemic. 

What followed was months on the wards: six weeks in an induced coma, and many more weeks of rehab and recovery as the NHS saved Michael's life, and then got him back on his feet. 

Combining stunning new prose poems and the moving coronavirus diaries of his nurses, doctors and wife Emma-Louise Williams, and featuring illustrations by Chris Riddell, this is a beautiful book about love, life and the NHS. Each page celebrates the power of community, the importance of kind gestures in dark times, and the indomitable spirits of the people who keep us well. 

You can read more about Many Different Kinds of Love on the publisher's website here. You can read a short review of the book by Lisa Williams on Everybody's Reviewing here. Below, you can read a sample prose poem from the book. 

From Many Different Kinds of Love, by Michael Rosen

The coma keeps secrets.
There is no place for the coma in 
the geography of my memory. 
I can't visit the coma. 
I can't call for it. 
If I try to find it,
if I plead for it to come, 
it doesn't hear. 
Or if it hears, 
it refuses to come out of its cave
and tell me what happened. 
It hangs back in the shadows
forbidding me from 
having a conversation
There isn't even a sign saying:
'This is not a memory.'

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