Wicked Poems, Paperback Book

Wicked Poems Paperback

Edited by Roger McGough

Illustrated by Neal Layton

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is a superb anthology of poems selected by the keenly wicked eye of Roger McGough.

Poems from Jo Shapcott, Benjamin Zephaniah, Carol Ann Duffy, Shel Silverstein all jostle places with poems from new talent.

It is a brilliant collection that takes wicked at all levels, from cheeky to naughty, from wild to exuberant, to dowright, pure, evil ...Wicked! 'An outstanding collection of poems by poets past and present' - "Financial Times". 'The collection is full of jokes and entertaining wordplay, and an overarching sense of cool, while Layton's scribbly illustrations complement the sense of unstuffiness' - "Sunday Times".


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: English literature
  • ISBN: 9780747561958



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An anthology of poems from a wide variety of authors, both modern and classic, on subjects loosely related to being wicked. The thematic common element of wickedness is very loose with monster poems, poems about doing evil or just naughty things, and having wicked things done to you. The book seems to place equal weight on the wickedness of being abused and being bullied at school. However, there is almost no organization so the placement of hard and gritty poems near lighter silly poems is forgivable.The book is quite long, typically with a single poem per page (but with longer poems stretching over two and rarely three pages). The poems themselves are very British, with related slang and settings. This might make the book harder to read for those unfamiliar with the words or the culture, but the imagery and childhood problems should still be relatable. The poems are paired with sketchy ink illustrations that are akin to frantic caffeinated imitations of Quentin Blake (Roald Dahl's frequent illustrator). I cannot imagine a child reading through the book in a single sitting, but it might make excellent night-time reading with a couple of quick poems before bed.