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 which will probably mark the end for me], I remain deeply involved in education, and this blog will continue to 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

Poems from 2017 in – *82 Review; Adjacent Pineapple; After the Pause; Allegro Poetry Magazine; Amethyst; Amaryllis; Angry Old Man; Anthropocene; Bare Fiction; Bone & Ink Press; Broken Sleep Books; Burning House Press; Clementine Unbound; 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; pacificReview; Perverse; Poetry WTF?!; Rabid Oak; Speculative Press; Strange Poetry; talking about strawberries all of the time; The Babel Tower Notice Board; The Honest Ulsterman; The Open Mouse; 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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