A giant post-it note on the walls of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, saying: 'The museum is only a prelude the well-lived life' (Alain de Botton).

I research in the field of poetry writing in education, creative literacy practices in schools and creative pedagogies.

Recent projects

My current project is Young Poets’ Stories, with my colleague Sue Dymoke. We are investigating the impact of mentoring on your poets who have won prizes in the Foyle Young Poets competition.

I have recently finished Teachers as Writers, a project in collaboration with the Arvon Foundation and Open University, funded by the Arts Council of England.

You can read the Executive Summary of the project here.

You can read the Teachers as Writers blog here.

In 2013 I was a co-investigator on the Choice and Control project, funded by the Education Endowment Fund.

Poetry Matters

In 2010-12 I co-convened the ESRC-funded Poetry Matters seminar series with Sue Dymoke (University of Leicester) and Andrew Lambirth (University of Greenwich).

The proceedings from these seminars are available in two books: Making Poetry Matter (Continuum, 2013) and Making Poetry Happen, Highly Commended in the UKLA Academic Book of the Year Award 2016  (Continuum, 2015).

Panel Chair Morag Styles commented: “First of all we were delighted to find a lively volume devoted to the often neglected area of learning and teaching poetry with relevance for young people aged 6 -18. The passion for the subject by the contributors was palpable and this was a book full of practical ideas, likely to be useful as well as inspiring for teachers. The title of the book was apt and embodied by the content, and the homage to Seamus Heaney was a worthy recognition of his influence on most aspects of poetry. With its focus on making poetry happen in the classroom, while keeping a thoughtful eye on what is distinctive and important about a poetry education, it made an excellent sister volume to the more scholarly Poetry Matters.”

You can order a copy of Making Poetry Matter from the Bloomsbury website here.

Other projects include Bath Festivals’ The Write Team, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This project explored the impact of creative writers on the confidence and engagement of ‘invisible pupils’ in schools.

You can download the full report of the project here.

Journal Articles

Wilson, A. C. (2020). The reader, the text, the poem: the influence and challenge of Louise Rosenblatt. Education 3-13, 49 (1), 79-95. Special Issue on Reading: Multiple Perspectives.

Wilson, A. C., and Dymoke, S. (2017). Towards a model of poetry writing development as a socially contextualised processJournal of Writing Research, 9(2), 127-150.

Myhill, D. A., Jones, S. & Wilson, A. C. (2016). Writing conversations: fostering metalinguistic discussion about writing. Research Papers in Education, 31(1), 23-44.

Wilson, A. C. (2015). The power of poetry. Anglo Files Journal of English Teaching (Denmark), 175, 57-67.

Wilson, A.C. and Myhill, D.A. (2013). Teachers’ Views of Creativity (Wilson, 2013), Thinking Skills and Creativity 10, 101-111. Read more here.

Wilson, A.C. (2013). Teachers’ metaphors describing poetry teaching:  A Joyous Lifeline in a Target Driven Job Wilson 2013

Wilson, A.C. and Myhill, D.A. (2012).  ‘Ways With Words: Teachers’ Personal Epistemologies of the Role of Metalanguage in the Teaching of Poetry Writing’.

Wilson, A.C. (2010) ‘Teachers’ conceptualisations of the intuitive and the intentional in poetry composition’. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 9 (3) 53-74. Read more here.

Wilson, A.C.  (2007) ‘Finding a Voice? Do literary forms work creatively in teaching poetry writing?’ Cambridge Journal of Education 37 (3), 441-457. Read more here.

Wilson, A.C. (2005) ‘‘Signs of Progress’: Reconceptualising Response to Children’s Poetry Writing’, Changing English, 12 (2), 227-242. Read more here.

Wilson, A.C. (2005) ‘The Best Forms in the Best Order?; current Poetry Writing Pedagogy at KS2’, English in Education, 39 (2), 19-31. Read more here

Wilson, A.C. (2001) ‘Brownjohn, Hughes, Pirrie and Rosen: ‘What Rhymes with Oral Writing?’’, English in Education, 35 (2), 3-11.

Wilson, A.C. (2001) ‘Ted Hughes’s Poetry for Children’, Children’s Literature in Education, Vol.32, No. 2, 77-90. Read more here

Wilson, A.C. (2001). ‘Children Poetry and Thinking’, Teaching Thinking, 4, 8-10.

Wilson, A.C. (1998), ”Better than Double English’: How Useful are Poets in Schools?’, Writing in Education, 14, 5-9.

Book Chapters

Wilson, A.C. (2009) ‘Creativity and Constraint: Developing as a Writer of Poetry’. In Beard, R., Myhill, D., Nystrand, D., and Riley, J.(eds.), The Sage Handbook of Writing Development. London: Sage. 387-401. Read more here

Wilson, A.C. (2005) ‘Poetry, Children and Creativity,’ in Wilson, A.C. (ed.) Creativity in Primary Education, 70-87. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Wilson, A.C. (2002) ‘Using poetry to discuss issues of identity, language and loss, and for text level work’, in Clough, N. and Holden, C. (eds.), in Education for Citizenship: Ideas into Action.  A practical guide for teachers of pupils aged 7-14, 42-44.  London: Routledge/Falmer.

Wilson, A.C. (2002) ‘’Anything you want it to be’: Reading and Writing Poetry’, in Bearne, E.(ed.), Making Progress in Writing, 108-109.  London: Routledge.

Wilson, A.C.  (1998) ‘Carnival Week: ‘Where we can Talk Freely”, in Bearne, E.(ed.), Making Progress in English, 270-274.  London: Routledge.

Research Conferences

I have presented my research at Bath Festivals, The European Commission (Brussels), the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) (Amsterdam, Limassol), the EARLI Writing SIG group (Heidelberg, Porto, Amsterdam), Exetreme Imagination Festival (Exeter), the National Association of Teaching English (NATE), the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE), the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA), and Writing Research Across Borders (Washington DC, Paris).

Articles and reviews

With thanks to Rupert Loydell of Orbis, Ann and Peter Sansom at The North, and Joanna Cutts and Michael Laskey at Smiths Knoll for commissioning some of these pieces:

Sharon Olds’s The Matter of This World

Poetry Exhaustion

Seven Ways of Reading Gillian Allnutt


Jo Shapcott’s Of Mutability

Sian Hughes and Cliff Yates

The Poets I go Back to

The Sniff of the Real: An Appreciation of Thom Gunn

Peter Carpenter, Peter Sansom, Mandy Coe and Hilary Menos

On DH Lawrence’s ‘Bare Almond Trees’

On Jaan Kaplinksi’s Evening Brings Everything Back


  1. Hi Anthony, there seems to to be a bad link at “You can download the full report of the project here.” I would be interested to learn more about the project. Maybe you could repair the link? Thank you and best, Barbara


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