Paul`s poetry spreads laughter around the world

A picture says a thousand words but have you ever thought of words creating a thousand pictures? One UK based poet does exactly that in his book launched in 2018. Darren McErlain reviews `Miss Winter`s Demise and other crimes against poetry` by Paul Minton.

Paul has a way with words to help the reader visualise a comical concept. Just as you get the gist, there is a sudden twist! Each stanza causes a form of mental combustion or an implosion of laughter. I have been telling audiences on my radio shows in Australia about the talent of poet Paul Minton for a few years now.

I first mentioned Paul from the UK on 2NN Breakfast in Newcastle in 2014; Paul`s performance poetry also featured on MacKillop Radio in Western Sydney in 2015; he brought out Miss Winter`s Demise and other crimes against poetry in 2018, and I spoke of this achievement on AirFM Drive 88.0 in Penrith in New South Wales. Paul Minton from Wales engages young writers in the classroom with his love for words.

I was so excited when I received my four copies of the book! I ordered extra copies, just in case I wanted to read it again. I was always taught to respect books and be gentle, so I opened the book carefully so I didn`t damage the spine. Unfortunately I couldn`t see the numbers down the right-hand side of the page and didn`t realise it was the Content page. The title of the poems were so funny, I read it thinking it was an abstract form of poetry. This is what this book does to you. The front cover places you in a state of mind, ready for the unexpected run of laughter. While the joke was on me, it certainly didn`t dampen my enthusiasm to sit down and have a good read.

Paul Minton`s `Acknowledgements` are informative and hilarious! There will certainly be no spoilers in this review, and you will have to secure a copy of your own, but the timing is incredible. This simple paragraph has the perfect timing of newly wound-up Grandfather clock – it is THAT good! My laugh radar started with a short exhale from the nose, moved to a chuckle, and then switched to an internal implosion without notice! It was unexpected, it is how comedy works and it was a great start to a poetry book.

This book uses incredible illustrations to accompany some ripping yarns! I use the word incredible to describe amazement, not incredible as in not credible. The poems set the scene with some beautiful imagery, yet bring some great characterisations to the scene. Whether it is Gramps with a hair situation or bored Harry Pugh. Paul Minton deserves to be congratulated for his fine work.

Paul Minton has a very advanced understanding of Science. One process in Chemistry is the naming of chemical compounds and polyatomic ions. This is often known as nomenclature. The nomenclature of diseases brings a refreshing look at health and a fun way of looking at all things medical `A concerned child` looks at the way we name medical problems using animals or insects. For example, a man may be nervous and have butterflies in his stomach or have an upper-respiratory infection that makes them sound like they have a frog in their throat.

Paul Minton`s use of this type of conversational language and poetic devices like metaphors captures that emotionally driven sentiment when someone is sick. It also renames some of the greatest medical discoveries of our time. I have been a Primary classroom practitioner for nearly 20 years. I have to admit I have gone home each day for a break, however, I thoroughly recommend this book as an ideal tool for the classroom. I have used it, the kids have enjoyed the poems and fits beautifully into a Literacy Block of learning.

Many poets use rhythm and rhyme to get a message across for entertainment purposes. However, they don`t always do a good job. The syllables are wrong, there seems to be a word missing or it can sometimes go off topic. NOT with the poems by Paul Minton. The rule of rhyme and rhythm in Miss Winter`s Demise and other crimes against poetry creates a certain ambience by Dr Minton that even Dr Seus couldn`t replicate! If Roald Dahl read these poems, he would have been his favourite poetry text of all time! Poems like `Where`s the Chair?` brings a simple real-life problem, and uses humour to help us understand the misplacement of material things.

Miss Winter`s Demise and other crimes against poetry is available from Waterstones, Amazon, WH Smith and other online retailers and was recently ranked number one in Teen & Young Adult Poetry on Amazon. For an autographed copy from the UK, email Paul Minton at for a price and pay via Paypal.

If there is birthday around the corner or even on the same street, politely grab a copy for your kids, the school and or your nieces and nephews. If they resist you must insist on the grounds that laughter is the best medicine.

 If it is not in your local school library, it should be! It will rock your world with a giggle, cackle and a chuckle if you are not too careful. If your friends have never heard of this poet, take a copy to school, and show it!

Miss Winter`s Demise and other crimes against poetry by Paul Minton, published by Matador publishing in 2018. Click on the link to listen to an exclusive podcast with Paul Minton performing his poetry below.

Drive Presenter Darren McErlain on Newy 87.8FM Newcastle and the Central Coast in Australia purchased extra copies in case he wants to read it again!