Michael Rosen

Michael Wayne Rosen (born 7 May 1946) is a British children’s author and poet who has written 140 books. He served as Children’s Laureate from 2007 to 2009, and has also been a television presenter and political columnist.

British children’s author and poet
For other people named Michael Rosen, see Michael Rosen (disambiguation).

This article’s lead sectionmay be too short to adequately summarize the key points. (November 2021)
Michael Rosen

Rosen at the 2019 BETT & Education Show
Born (1946-05-07) 7 May 1946 (age 75)
Harrow, Middlesex, England
Occupation Writer
Period 1974–present
Genre Children’s literature
Children’s poetry
    Elizabeth Steele

    (m. 1976; div. 1987)

      Geraldine Clark

      (m. 1987; div. 1997)

      • Emma-Louise Williams
      Children 5 (1 deceased)
      Relatives Harold Rosen (father)

      . . . Michael Rosen . . .

      Michael Wayne Rosen[1] was born into a Jewish family in Harrow, Middlesex,[2] on 7 May 1946.[3] His ancestors were Jews from an area that is now Poland, Romania, and Russia,[2] and his family had connections to The Workers Circle and the Jewish Labour Bund.[4] His middle name was given to him in honour of Wayne C. Booth, a literary critic who was billeted with his father at Shrivenham American University.[1]

      Rosen’s father, educationalist Harold Rosen (1919–2008), was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, but grew up in the East End of London from the age of two after his mother left his father and returned to her native England.[5] Harold attended Davenant Foundation School and then Regent Street Polytechnic.[4] He was a secondary school teacher before becoming a professor of English at the Institute of Education in London and publishing extensively, especially on the teaching of English to children.[6]

      Rosen’s mother, Connie (née Isakofsky; 1920–1976), worked as a secretary at the Daily Worker and later as a primary school teacher and training college lecturer. She had attended Central Foundation Girls’ School, where she made friends such as Bertha Sokoloff. She met Harold in 1935, when both were aged 15, as they were both members of the Young Communist League. They participated in the Battle of Cable Street together. As a young couple, they settled in Pinner, Middlesex. They left the Communist Party in 1957. Rosen never joined, but his parents’ activities influenced his childhood. For example, their acquaintance with the bohemian literary figure Beatrice Hastings made an impression on him as a child.[4][7]

      At around the age of 11, Rosen began attending Harrow Weald County Grammar School.[3] He attended state schools in Pinner and Harrow, as well as Watford Grammar School for Boys.[2] Having discovered Jonathan Miller, he thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know all about science, and know all about art, and be funny and urbane and all that?”[8] His mother was then working for the BBC. Producing a programme featuring poetry, she persuaded him to write for it and used some of his material.[9] He later said, “I went to Middlesex Hospital Medical School, started on the first part of a medical training, jacked it in and went on to do a degree in English at Oxford University. I then worked for the BBC until they chucked me out and I have been a freelance writer, broadcaster, lecturer, performer ever since—that’s to say since 1972. Most of my books have been for children, but that’s not how I started out. Sometime around the age of twelve and thirteen I began to get a sense that I liked writing, liked trying out different kinds of writing, I tried writing satirical poems about people I knew.”[2]

      . . . Michael Rosen . . .

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      . . . Michael Rosen . . .

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