Brisbane-based poet and co-founder of the legendary spoken word event Speedpoets, Graham Nunn has been posting a series of Poetry Picks of 2010, to round of this wild and woolly year.

He put out the call to a number of Australian poets to ‘give the lowdown on the books/mags/journals of poems that have lit a fire inside them in 2010.’

Today he has posted my response on his blog. I chose the wonderful children’s print magazine The Scrumbler.

Pop over to Another Lost Shark for a look at all the Poetry Picks for 2010 (and you are welcome to nominate your own pick in the comments section). Thanks Graham!

My poetry pick is reprinted here:


Poetry Pick of 2010: Gabrielle Bryden

My pick of poetry literature for 2010 is The Scrumbler magazine, devoted to publishing the very best poetry for children. This gorgeous print magazine is published in England by Mike Kavanagh and includes poetry and illustrations from the young and not so young, and amateur and professional poets and artists.

I wanted to talk about The Scrumbler magazine for a number of reasons. Firstly, I just love the name – having it roll around on my tongue and in my head. The Scrumbler character starts the magazine with his ‘Oops, I’ve fallen asleep on top of a poem. I’ve scrumbled it to bits.” You get the picture.

Another reason is that high quality poetry magazines or journals for children appear to me to be a rarity. Encouraging children to love and play with words, including poetry, is the first step in increasing the popularity of poetry. Poetry should be something that everyone can engage in (listening, reading or creating) and this type of magazine is the bee’s knees in that regard.

The Scrumbler is ideal for children, with its colourful glossy front cover, appealing black and white pencil illustrations, compact format, and short, simple, well written poems (often laugh out loud funny).

My children were delighted with the magazine and loved the wicked humour of ‘A Shark in Kensington Park’ (you’ll have to read it yourself to find out what happens) and other poems. They were particularly taken with the illustration of a young Orang-Utan (and poem of the same name) by Liz Brownlee, famous for her animal poetry for children.

Another thing I just love about The Scrumbler is the inclusion of writing games to assist children (and adults) with their very own poems. There are questions/prompts and space in the magazine to write down your lines. What a great way to stimulate the creative juices.

This is only the 2nd edition of The Scrumbler but they plan to print three times a year. You can subscribe or find out more information in their website at

Photo by Michael Bryden 2010

23 thoughts on “My poetry pick of 2010: The Scrumbler

  1. The Scrumbler sounds like a fantastic magazine for children … it’s lovely and inspiring to think of the amazing things being created in the world.

    PS. I love your Christmassy photo! 🙂

  2. I am embarrassed to say I hadn’t heard of The Scrumbler until now but it sounds fantastic. Anything that gets kids interested in poetry and playing around with words is spot on, in my opinion. Love the photo. Michael has a very good eye!

  3. This magazine sounds very innovative Gabrielle and it is a welcome antidote to the dumbing down happing to kids via Television, video games and the internet. I would also like to say that you and your daughter are festive and beautiful! 🙂

    1. Happy New Year to you too Amy 🙂 and thanks for stopping by and commenting. If you go on their website they have an online version of Issue 2 (where you can flick through the pages to have a read) but there is nothing like having a print version.

  4. Congratulations on being posted ; & on networking the creative poetry community on a now global basis. Fabulous photo.

    Happy New Year.

  5. Happy new year, Gabrielle. Creative poetry is one of my indulgence but I am a late bloomer and only found out the beauty of words in college.

    Having kids exposed to poetry at a young age is good. I will give The Scrumbler a heads up too.

    1. Happy new year to you Paul and thanks for stopping by and commenting – your blog looks very interesting (I do need to know how to grow garlic successfully!) – I will have a good look soon.

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