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Wednesday 14 August at 7.30 pm

Join Michael Rosen for a unique poetry experience
Newham Bookshop logo (2015)
Pebbles by Michael Rosen
Pebbles is published by Smokestack Books in paperback at £8.99.

Michael Rosen


Michael Rosen has been, for many years, a prodigious and prolific user of Twitter (now known as Eggs). Unlike the armies of ‘anonymous tweeters / raging in the twilight’, his Tweets are variously fables, squibs, musings, daily observations and lifelong preoccupations – pitted prunes, anteaters, Sisyphus, the sound of rain stopping, garlic pickle, blocked sinks, lost suitcases, legs, hummus and bagels, SATS tests, Runcorn, grief, saggy jumpers, chicken soup, Eurovision, COVID, labyrinthitis, kookaburras, fringe-magnets, cucumber raita, sneezing, shamans, armpit-scratching, Rishi Sunak’s Maths, pest-control, skip-wrestling, the after-life, the icing on the cake, antisemitism, Gaza…

Pebbles is a collection of some of Michael Rosen’s most recent poetry-tweets. Sharp, pithy and eloquent, serious and comical, wise and perplexed, these are the everyday reports of an ‘optimistic nihilist’ – someone who doesn’t believe there is any point to existence, but thinks that this is a good reason to make the most of this life while we can.

Sample poems

This morning’s big challenge:
how to eat blackberries
without getting pips
stuck in my teeth.
I think it’s important
at my stage in life
to take on the big stuff,
the things that really matter.

Just as I was walking to the supermarket
this morning
thinking that my brain has holes in it
through which names escape.
I disturbed
two birds
who complained
that I didn’t know
whether they were sparrows
or chaffinches.

Anonymous tweeters
raging in the twilight
demanding replies
giving out orders
flinging insults
summoning enemies
to an imaginary court
calling for sympathy
signposting injustice
spotting conspiracies
claiming expertise
staying anonymous.

Laura Kuenssberg
says the British have a love-hate relationship
with the NHS
I don’t have a love-hate relationship
with the NHS
I have a love-love relationship
with the NHS.
If ever I find something wrong
with the NHS
I don’t hate it
I care about it
like I might care about someone
who needs more help.