Firefly Press has acquired world rights in its first poetry collection for children, Daydreams and Jellybeans, by South Wales poet Alex Wharton, publishing in spring 2021.
Wharton, a senior building surveyor when he isn’t busy writing or performing poetry, won the inaugural 2020 Rising Stars Wales Award, an award held in partnership between Literature Wales and Firefly Press, which gives children’s poets from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds based in Wales the opportunity to further develop their skills and writing for children. The runners-up for the award were Sadia Pineda Hameed and Taylor Edmonds.
Penny Thomas, Firefly publisher, said: "Alex’s poetry is both funny and reflective, and is perfect for primary school-age children, inspiring we hope a love of words, poetry and reading. We feel very lucky to have signed such a terrific collection and hope it will be hugely popular in homes and schools around the UK.
"It’s also very exciting that the Rising Stars Wales Award, run with Literature Wales and sponsored by Quarto Translations, should have showcased three such inspiring poets right away. We hope this is just the beginning and we aim to be able to publish an anthology of Rising Star poets from Wales in the not-too-distant future."
Wharton added: "I am delighted that my collection of children's poems Daydreams and Jellybeans will be published with Firefly Press. It's a marvellous opportunity on the quest of connecting people with words. Knowing my poems will reach a wider audience makes me happy – and I hope they spark curiosity and happiness in the people they find."