Mosquito Bounce is my latest book of participative poems aimed at primary school children; it is divided into two sections, the first for younger children and the second for an older age group. At the heart of the collection is universal childhood experience, whether it is the child transformed into a girl astronaut or sailor boy in “Nanny’s Swivelling Chair”, or, as in the “Magical Bus Ride”, children confidently confront from the safety of the top deck, perils such as a raft of hungry crocodiles and a giant in his dressing gown. For older children, similarly, the poems are an entry point for self-expression and creativity and have been tried and tested as oral and writing stimuli.
Mosquito Bounce is rich, riotous, and rhythmic. It does not, however, shy away from the more sombre side of life. In “Voice from the Ghetto”, an ambitious boy looks on the world with hope despite the problems around him.
White River Blues is my latest collection of adult poems published in 2016. It brings together work from three decades: these poems are both strong and delicate and full of variety in form and content. They touch on snippets of life in their varying phrases, both joyful and sombre, where hardships are met with the fighting spirit of survival portrayed in the Blues songs of the African-American people. You can buy it by contacting me or through my publishers Papillote Press HERE. Please watch and enjoy this short video of the book’s launch.
REVIEW OF ‘PRAISE SONGS’ BY PROFESSOR TONY HOWARD, DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AND COMPARATIVE LITERARY STUDIES AT WARWICK UNIVERSITY:
“Jane Grell’s perfectly-titled Praise Songs is a joyful celebration of life and the people who live it.
Her language is dazzling, her rhythms dance. Each vibrant poem pulls you instantly into a story, a memory or a journey, and above all into feelings that are generous and intense.
She is a great story-teller and guide. Here are tributes to friends and to her family (a world of dignity, knowledge and respect). And here are panoramic odysseys through Caribbean palm groves where nature blooms, the rain pours down, and ‘experience and innocence hold hands’. It rains everywhere in Jane Grell’s poems, and rain has never seemed such a life force.
She guide us through the wonderlands of Dominica (‘Should you journey to Victoria Falls, take off your shoes’) and exotic East London (‘past Dick Turpin’s tree’). She speaks to us in RP English and Kweyol. Her poetry immerses us in both compassion and delight, and every vivid moment resonates with the past. These praise songs are incandescent and bouyant, rich in scents, colours and memories too rich to be described with merely monocultural words.
Sometimes she advise us how to live (‘Hold on… / even if it would be easy to let go’) – and even when she doesn’t, she shows us. Jane Grell is a performer as well as a poet, a storyteller from an oral tradition, and this is unmistakable here. She advises us to read her work out loud, and you should try it like the countless children she has entertained, enchanted and empowered. We inhabit the words we speak, and she gifts us new ones. ‘Please drape me’ she writes, ‘in the colours of the sun.’ That’s what Praise Songs does to the reader“.
OTHER PUBLICATIONS INCLUDE:
‘Doctor Knickerbocker and Other Poems‘ – Hawthorn Press, 1994
‘A New Life in Britain’ – Macdonald Educational, 1987
JANE HAS ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO:
‘New Daughters of Africa’ – An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent edited by Margaret Busby. Showcasing the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent (including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Andrea Levy, Zadie Smith, Diane Abbott, Zita Holbourne, Amma Asante, Celia Sorhaindo and Bonnie Greer) this major international collection celebrates their contributions to literature and international culture, 2019.
‘Mapping Your Manor’ – www.mappingyourmanor.com – commissioned by the Olympic Delivery Agency & supported by the Arts Council for England, 2011
‘Storyteller’– Traditional tales to read, tell and write – Scholastic Ltd, 2008
‘WOW! 366’ -speedy stories in just 366 words – Scholastic Ltd, 2008
‘Literacy Time’ – Scholastic Ltd, 2008
‘Child Education’ – Scholastic Ltd, 2008
‘Voice, Memory Ashes’ – Poetry collection, Caribbean women writers- Mango Publishing, 1999
‘IC3’ – The Penguin Book of New Black Writing, 1999
‘Dominica – A Small Caribbean Island’ – Development Education in Dorset (DEED), 1993
‘Festivals Together’ – A Guide to Multi-cultural Celebration- Hawthorn Press, 1993
‘Tales, Myths & Legends’ – Scholastic Ltd, 1993
‘Time for Telling’– Kingfisher Books, 1991