26 Characters

26 children’s authors transformed themselves into the characters they most loved as children for a photographic exhibition at The Story Museum, Oxford. Call it fate. The name of the exhibition is the same as the official name for our writers’ organisation. This project was meant to be. Paired with one of the portraits and a letter of the alphabet, our writers responded with sestudes.



Introductory Sestude

by John Simmons

About badgers, crocs, clocks,
cats and docs in strange pairings
and everywhere fairies,
giants and hairy heroes,
icy witches, just kings,
little people and mirrors
for nannies and wild things
like owls and fowls,
parrots and pirates questing
river creeks, screeching at teachers
under umbrellas shading
very bad witches
with wizards spelling
X marks the spot before yelling
Z ends the lot.

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