I was born far too long ago and haven’t written nearly enough poetry for children. My main gig was an academic post in a law school overseas. Outside of scholarly publishing and editing I have written lyrics and libretti (music by my brother Martin Wesley-Smith) – but along the way I’ve occasionally produced material for children (see list below). I am now retired and living in the lovely Kangaroo Valley in New South Wales. I still occasionally write, but somewhat lackadaisically and very rarely do I do children’s poetry.
The Ombley-Gombley, illustrations by David Fielding; published by Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1969 and Atheneum, New York, 1971. Reprinted 1970, 1976 (The Angus & Robertson edition was commended by the Children’s Book Council of Australia in 1970)
Hocus Pocus, illustrations by Ib Spang Olsen; published by Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1973. The book was originally written in Danish by Halfdan Rasmussen, and my role was to rewrite bare English translations using rhythm and rhyme.
The Hunting of the Snark: Second Expedition; An Ecstasy, in Eight Fits and Starts, illustrations by Paul Stanish; published by Cherry Books, Sydney, 1996. This is a sequel to Lewis Carroll’s famous first expedition to try to capture a snark.
Foul Fowl and other rhymes just for fun, illustrated by Carmen Hogue; published by Cherry Books, Sydney, 1995
A selection of anthologies
Stuff and Nonsense complied by Michael Dugan, illustrated by Deborah Niland; published by Collins, Sydney, London, 1974 (three poems from Ombley-Gmbley)
Putrid Poems compiled by Jane Covernton, drawings by Craig Smith; published by Omnibus Books, Adelaide, 1985 (five new poems)
Petrifying Poems compiled by Jane Covernton, drawings by Craig Smith; published by Omnibus Books, Adelaide, 1986 (six new poems)
Vile Verse compiled by Jane Covernton, drawings by Craig Smith; published by Omnibus Books, Adelaide, 1988 (nine new poems)
Four and Twenty Lamingtons: A collection of Australian Nursery Rhymes compiled by Jane Covernton, illustrated by Jenny Rendall; published by Omnibus Books, Adelaide, 1988 (two new poems)
Ten Times Funny: 100 Hilarious Poems complied by Michael Dugan, illustrated by Robert Roennfeldt; published by Houghton Mifflin Australia, 1990 (ten poems, several not previously published)
Pi in the Sky, libretto for children’s opera with music by Martin Wesley-Smith, produced in Adelaide in 1971
Mister Thwump, script and lyrics, music by Martin Wesley-Smith, recorded by The Wesley Three on CBS LP, 1966
For more information about Peter. http://www.shoalhaven.net.au/~peterws/