‘Surreal, serious and seriously funny’ : Poetry Space launches Once Bitten in Covent Garden












A stone’s throw from a first bustling Christmas season weekend in Covent Garden on Saturday 1 December 2012, in a contrasting quiet street, stands The Poetry Society and Poetry Café. On a particularly frosty afternoon, on opening the door, a warm welcoming glow of a ”˜pride of publishers’ sitting on those lovely enticing smooth wood polished church chairs with hymn book pockets””and centre stage, none other than David R Morgan from Bedfordshire’s ancient town, Ampthill!Many wise publishers have acknowledged David’s uniquely skilful observation of life’s thrills and spills: his books, TV and radio broadcasts, workshops and infectious inspiration. Well known, much loved books like Blooming Cats became part of the National Curriculum. Today, POETRY SPACE, publisher of his latest anthology of children’s poetry, ONCE BITTEN, hosts the launch and readings by David himself.Drinks in hand we descend to a lower floor””an intimate auditorium with sofas and chairs, arts posters and flyers creating a relaxing and inquisitive atmosphere. “Mrs Poetry Space”, Susan Jane Sims , introduces David and herself and reading from several books for children published by this clearly discerning and entrepreneurial    company. I connect with the reputation of writer Moira Andrew whose work has come my way in the last years and clearly greatly respected. It becomes obvious that Poetry Space possesses eloquent good taste for illustration, all book covers vibrant in colour and eye catching especially child-friendly graphic detail.

David R Morgan takes the stage and with natural comedic charm worthy of any ”˜stand-up’ act shares lines surreal, serious””and seriously funny! But all with a message whether vaguely philosophical, thought provoking””yes, even for kids””or ”˜giggle producing’ which most of these poems are. Enjoyment of nonsense rhymes is historic. David’s ability to write and perform such works are becoming legendary. Frequently drawing comparisons with his childhood, family and working life, today we are introduced to David’s three children and  teaching career, his youngsters’ dreams and aspirations, his classroom impressions, his own twists of history, everyday life and the  elements””all brought into sharp focus with a wizardry of words! Only David R Morgan would re-educate his readers suggesting Greek Mythology superstars were subjected to Ofsted Inspectors and the M1! Only David would quote a young child sadly describing a glistening oil puddle as a dead rainbow’.

David pays tribute to his long term illustrator John Welding. His ingenious caricature of The White Rabbit fusing with a nonsense rhyme entitled Alice Threw the Looking Glass is one of many which will delight all ages. David justifiably shares his pride in his teenage son, Toby’s illustrative contribution to ONCE BITTEN. David’s wit, wisdom and endearing warm personality shines through an afternoon  of his poetry to delight the audience, many signed copies snapped up as ideal Christmas presents. Seasonally, this lovely book published just in time for Christmas at £5.99, contains news that Bill Gates has bought Santa’s workshop giving Santa’s email address for presents lists! Ingenious was the afternoon! Ingenious is the writer!


Sandra Dudley

Writer, publicist, publisher, creator/organiser of Bedfringe

2007 and Bedford Jersey Arts Festival 2009.