I taught English for 30 years in an 11-18 comprehensive – more than half of those as Head of Department – retiring early in 2010. The first 10-15 years were a kind of bliss, teaching with a full sense of professional and creative control. The latter years still contained the crucial element of working with wonderful students and fellow teachers – indeed, this is the only way I endured – but the increasing political intervention and target culture destroyed the job for me.

With this background and a significant role as a Senior Examiner at GCSE (35+ years – halted by Covid and now a permanent ending), I remain deeply involved in education, and this blog will continue to occasionally reflect such. In addition to my personal political/educational correctives on issues that gall, the blog contains many teaching and learning resources, mostly creative writing ideas (and typing ‘creative writing’ in the search bar will direct you to most of these) though I also now have a dedicated blog Creative Writing for Copycatters – see details below – and I am gradually transferring work across to this as well as exclusively adding there all new ideas/resources.

In my retirement from the day-to-day, I have more time to write, and write poetry, so this blog will also present this and has done increasingly so over the few years of its existence: my continuing thanks to the regular and varied editors who publish and support this work.

Other Blog

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I do operate another blog, this one with creative writing ideas and resources, free to download. Go here.

Educational Publications

Creative Writing in Schools: Rupert Loydell in conversation with Mike Ferguson, National Association of Writing in Education [NAWE], Issue Number 31, 2003


Poems In Your Pocket, Imaginative Approaches to GCSE Poetry: Routes Through English series, Longman – Student resource and photocopiable teachers’ handbook, 1999


Crafting Poetry: Original Writing for GCSE: Devon Curriculum Services – booklet in support of DVD

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Various poetry resources [especially for National Poetry Days]Teachit; further references/resources/details in this site. These are also collected and being added to at my creative writing resources site here.


Wordplay; Dancing With Words; Powering Poetry, Classroom Resources – three separate photocopiable teacher resources for creative writing

The AQA Anthology Poems: Poems from Different Cultures: Cluster One, Devon Curriculum Services – national video/dvd performance and discussion of two AQA GCSE examination poems [also shown on BBC Bitesize annually for duration of this exam]


Writing Workshops, co-authored with Martin Phillips – Cambridge University Press, 2015 Details here


Writing Workshops, Teacher’s Resource – Cambridge University Press, 2015 Details and free download here

Poetry Publications

Poems published in the following anthologies: The Bees Sneeze; The Stumbling Dance; Voices for Kosovo; Things We Said Today, Poems About The Beatles; my kind of angel, i.m. william burroughs; When Good Dogs Have Bad Dreams, Four American Poets – all Stride Books


Nearing The Border, poetry collection – Stride, 1998

Further poems in [historically speaking]: Palantir; Argo; Otter; Odyssey; Scratch; Ramraid Extraordinaire; Headlock

Further poems in: Stride Magazine; International Times; inksweatandtears; Establishment Magazine; Smallminded Books; Tower of Babel [like this press, 2012]; Newspaper Taxis [Seren Press, 2013]; X-Peri; iOTA Poetry; Nerve Damage [Analogue Flashback Books, 2016]; The Gospel According to Archbishop Makeshift [Digital Analogue Books, 2016]

Extracts from novel Writing With HammersThe Use of English Volume 54 Number 2, 2003

Writing as member of Coleridge Memorial Trust: mobile banners; Land of Canaan tourist information lectern, Ottery St Mary. I currently manage the CMT Facebook and CMT Twitter pages @ColeridgeMT]


Yesterday’s Music Today – [edited with Rupert Loydell] Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, November, 2015. Read a review here; further details here

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Precarious Real – [chapbook sonnet collection] Maquette Press, January, 2016

Professions – The Red Ceilings Press, November, 2018. Read a review here.

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The Lonesomest Sound – Knives Forks and Spoons Press, November 2019. Read a review here.


Aeons of Upheaval – Trainwreck Press


And I Used to Sail Barges http://www.theredceilingspress.co.uk/


Holding On To Me In Lockdown: my memoir, often intentionally poetic, can be got here. ‘…a collection of tender, moving, gently humorous, and sometimes rueful sketches looking back over a lifetime’ ~ Ian Seed


Drawing on Previous Learning – Wrecking Ball Press: further details here.

Poems from 2017 in – *82 Review; Adjacent Pineapple; After the Pause; Allegro Poetry Magazine; Amethyst; Amaryllis; Angry Old Man; Anthropocene; Bare Fiction; Beir Bua Journal; BlueHouse Journal; Bone & Ink Press; Broken Sleep Books; Burning House Press; Clementine Unbound; Collusion Books; Decals of Desire; Dime Show Review; Dispatches from the Poetry Wars; Erase-Transform; Eunoia; Hypnopomp Magazine; iacoustic; i am not a silent poet; Jump International Journal of Modern Poetry; Litbreak Magazine; LossLit; M58 Journal; Mojave Heart Review; Ol’ Chanty – Chanticleer Magazine; Otoliths; pacificReview; Perverse; Poetry WTF?!; Rabid Oak; Selcouth Station; Speculative Press; Strange Poetry; talking about strawberries all of the time; The Aesthetic Directory; The Babel Tower Notice Board; the Crank; The Honest Ulsterman; The Open Mouse; The Pi Review; The Poetry Shed; The Poetry Village; The Projectionist’s Playground; The Writers’ Cafe Magazine; Train: a journal of prose poetry; Turnpike Magazine; unbroken journal; unlost journal; Vallum; Visitant;  Where is the River; Wild Goose Poetry Review; Wordgathering; X-Peri; Your One Phone Call

Where To Read Some of My Work [with thanks for supporting]

Poems at International Times here

Poems at new Stride here

Poems at X-Peri here


The George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition, 1979 Crabbe Memorial Competition – First Prize [read here]; Sidmouth Arts Festival, Open Entry Poetry Competition 1994 – First Prize; Saveas Writers’ International Writing Competition 2020 – Third Prize


[© All original poems in this blog are the copyright of the author Mike Ferguson,  2015-2021]

1 thought on “About

  1. My history mirrors yours. I was a Head of Dept, did work for AQA and took early retirement ten years before you. I’m writing – have a look at ” Quantum Theory for Cats” published by Valley Press.

    Liked by 1 person

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