“What May Sarton calls ‘the burden of mystery’ requires we speak of that of which we cannot speak. This is no less than a vocation, and Joan Poulson’s work is under that burden of necessity… is rare and worth our attention.” David Hart

Joan Poulson is a poet, dramatist, children’s writer and tutor born in Manchester, UK.

IMG_3880In 2012, her work for children was added to the Children’s Poetry Archive. Her work is represented in 300+ anthologies, her books held in 665 libraries world-wide.

She began her writing career with regional English food, exploring the links between customs, festivals and traditional food. She wrote 14 books on this subject and presented a series for Yorkshire Television based on her book Yorkshire Cookery (Batsford, 1979).

Joan’s work as a poet and dramatist has frequently been featured on BBC radio. She was a scriptwriter for the radio soap The Merseysiders and an adviser on the Channel 4 television series The Perfect Pickle Programme.

IMG_3900Joan’s poetry has been awarded prizes at literature festivals and by publishers in Canada, the USA and UK.

Her children’s collection Pictures in my Mind (Macdonald) was shortlisted for the Signal Award.

“Poems from the heart.”

“… beautifully composed poetry, & fun!”

“I bought a copy for my grand-children but my seventy-eight year old husband ordered his own after observing their enthusiasm!”

IMG_4082Joan has held several long-term residencies including the onetree project (1998) which aimed to show the unique value of woodlands by exhibiting the volume and quality of work that could be made from a single large oak felled on the National Trust estate of Tatton Park in Cheshire, UK. The project led to her books onetree singing (2001) and onetree journal (2010).   

Joan also worked in hospitals for over four years with Hospital Arts/Reminiscence Project, which led to her books Window on Winwick Hospital (1994) and Ladywell Lives (1996).

Joan has been a tutor with the Arvon Foundation and received commissions from the Arts Council, the BBC and publishers, including Hodder Headline, Wayland and Oxford University Press. 

IMG_3907She has read & exhibited her work nationally & internationally: New Mexico; Durham Art Gallery; Oslo; India; California; The South Bank Centre; Vermont Studio Center; the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh; the Jeffrye Museum, has twice received the Canadian Sandberg-Livesay Award & received awards from the US National Federation of State Poetry Societies.

“(Poulson’s) work has a crystalline quality that is unusual.” 



earth-being, Below-the Moor Press 1992
Celebration (chn’s),
Girls are like Diamonds (chn’s),
O.U.P. 1995
Pictures in my Mind (chn’s),
Macdonald 1999
Flarestack reprint 2000
Dear Ms (chn’s),
A & C Black 2001
onetree singing,
Blackthorn Books 2001
Sling a Jammy Doughnut (ed. chn’s),
Hodder 2002
onetree journal, 
Flarestack 2010

NEW! — Tequila and Shooting Stars, Grey Hen Press, Hen Run (2014)


Window on Winwick Hospital, Hospital Arts/N.W. Arts 1994
Ladywell Lives,
Hospital Arts/N.W. Arts 1996

14 books on regional English food, including Old Yorkshire Recipes which sold over 35,000 copies and was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.