Author Archives: @wonderfrancis

About @wonderfrancis

Francis Gilbert is a Lecturer in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London, teaching on the PGCE Secondary English programme. He also teaches the Creative Writing module on the MA in Children’s Literature, which is run by Maggie Pitfield and Professor Michael Rosen. Previously, he worked for a quarter of a century in various English state schools teaching English and Media Studies to 11-18 year olds. He has, at times, moonlighted as a journalist, novelist and social commentator. He is the author of ‘Teacher On The Run’, ‘Yob Nation’, ‘Parent Power’, ‘Working The System -- How To Get The Very Best State Education for Your Child’, and a novel about school, ‘The Last Day Of Term’. His first book, ‘I'm A Teacher, Get Me Out Of Here’ was a big hit, becoming a bestseller and being serialised on Radio 4. In his role as an English teacher, he has taught many classic texts over the years and has developed a great many resources to assist readers with understanding, appreciating and responding to them both analytically and creatively. This led him to set up his own small publishing company FGI Publishing ( which has published his study guides as well as a number of books by other authors, including Roger Titcombe’s ‘Learning Matters’ and anthology of creative writing 'The Gold Room'. He is the co-founder, with Melissa Benn and Fiona Millar, of The Local Schools Network,, a blog that celebrates non-selective state schools, and has his own website, He has appeared numerous times on radio and TV, including Newsnight, the Today Programme, Woman’s Hour and the Russell Brand Show. In June 2015, he was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing and Education by Goldsmiths.

Anthony Thwaite reading from “Going Out” at his Enitharmon Press launch: does this video prove him to be our greatest living poet?

It was a magnificent evening! Anthony Thwaite was on top form reading from his new collection “Going Out” and some poems from his wonderful back catalogue. The great and the good were truly there: there were some very famous novelists, … Continue reading

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Anthony Thwaite’s ‘Kanji’ — a poem about learning, language, children and Japanese culture

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‘Old South’ — Thwaite’s poem about memory, passing on & the Civil war drummer boy…

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Anthony Thwaite’s poem ‘Arabic Script’ — the majesty, power and terror of language

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Anthony Thwaite discusses his longer sequences of poems on Libya, Japan, Victorian England and St Augustine

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For Louis Macneice — Thwaite’s moving tribute to his colleague at the BBC, one of our greatest poets

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‘Girdle Round the Earth’ — Thwaite’s funny, politically incorrect satire on Shakespeare

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Prologue to an unfinished, posthumous poem — a grumpy old man poem to end all grumpy old men poems!!

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“At Marychurch” — Thwaite’s brilliant poem in the voice of Christian fundamentalist Victorian geologist

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At High Table — Thwaite’s comic poem in the voice of a pedantic 19th century Oxford don

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