Thirty Angry Ghosts

Suggested activities

Here is my new poetry collection which features poetic monologues in the voices of the ghosts of historical figures such as Henry VIII, Genghis Khan, Pocohantas and Queen Victoria.

You can buy it on Amazon and Dial Lane Books in Ipswich.

Click here to purchase from Amazon

If you would like to use the collection in an educational setting or a with a community group, here are thirty activity ideas which you might find useful.  These include arranging performances of the poems, using the book in drama lessons and a recipe for making the delicious semla buns!

You might also like to use my tips for editing poems. You can find them here. 

To get in touch, email me at

Mai Black – poet and workshop leader

Please note: some poems in the book deal with serious issues and may not be suitable for children under the age of twelve.

  1. Email me to arrange a visit, zoom session or workshop.
  2. Email to ask me to judge an ‘Angry Ghost’ poetry writing competition.
  3. Hold a poetry reading event using these poems and/or some of your own.
  4. If you enjoy the poems, write a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
  5. Put on a show combining the biographies and the poems.
  6. Make costumes and/or masks for some of the ghosts.
  7. Paint portraits of the ghosts.
  8. Try sketching one of the ghosts using the front cover as a guide.
  9. Write your own angry ghost poem. (Click here for inspiration).
  10. Discuss which themes are explored in the poems. (Click here for activity.)
  11. Talk about which ghost is most justified in their anger.
  12. Write about your favourite poem. Explain why you chose it.
  13. List some of the metaphors used in the poems. (Click here for examples)
  14. List examples of similes from the poems. (Click here for examples)
  15. Discuss the use of other examples of figurative language in one or more poems. (Click here for my analysis.)
  16. Discuss how to give an effective reading of an Angry Ghost poem.
  17. Write about the ghost you most sympathise with.
  18. Discuss which ghosts make you feel angry, eg. Henry VIII or Queen Victoria.
  19. Write a letter to one of the ghosts.
  20. Think about who a poem is addressing and write a response from them.
  21. Read through the biographies and create a PowerPoint about one of the people. Alternatively, choose your own historical figure to research.
  22. Record yourself reading one of the poems.
  23. Make a bookmark by drawing an angry ghost and choosing a quote to accompany it.
  24. Follow the recipe and have a go at making some Semla buns. Click here for recipe.
  25. Write your own version of the one of the poems as a song, play or story.
  26. Act out an interview with one of the ghosts.
  27. Get one person to ‘freeze’ in the role of one of the angry ghosts. Other people take it in turns to stand behind them and whisper their thoughts.
  28. Read my analysis of Mary Shelley and then analyse one of your own poems in a similar way. (Click here for my analysis)
  29. Work as a group/class to make a collage or tapestry of the angry ghosts.
  30. Work as a group/class to produce your own poetry collection. If you wish to self-publish on Amazon, here is a quick guide: Mai’s Guide to Self-Publishing. You might also like to refer to my editing guide to help you edit your own and each others’ poems before you publish. Mai’s Editing Guide.

I’d love to hear about any activities you do based on the poems, so please email me with any photos, videos, sound recordings and pictures. If I have permission to share your work on social media, please let me know in your email.

To get in touch, email me at

A very proud moment – here I am performing ‘Anne Boleyn’ at Primadonna Festival.
Running a zoom workshop with some of the wonderful members of Suffolk Writers Group.
An interactive writing workshop using pebbles and playing cards.