Michael Rosen returns to Wadham College

Date Published: 09.11.2023

We were honoured to welcome alumnus, Michael Rosen (English, 1965), back to College for a 'Wadham in the World' event hosted by the Warden, Robert Hannigan, and alumna, Zahra Grieve (Classics, 2018).

Michael reflected on his experience of COVID-19 during the pandemic and shared further insights from his life and career during a lively audience Q&A session.

Many of Michael's experiences from when he first contracted COVID-19 in March 2020 and through his coma and 40 days in intensive care, were shared through his 'patient diary', to which both his family and hospital staff made moving contributions. Michael's memories were jumbled but he remembers that his first food - pureed cottage pie - tasted fantastic! He did manage to create the story of 'Rigatoni the Pasta Cat', about a cat that loves pasta. This might have links to his own longing for hummus while in hospital...

Michael remembers being given a 50/50 chance of recovery. He is very glad to have been given a second chance and very sad for those who were not. His moving tribute, 'These Are the Hands', was published to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NHS.

Michael shared also his thoughts on why children's literature is so important. A whole set of patterns for literature is laid down when we do our first reading; we learn techniques like the 'conceal and reveal' method from our very first books. And children's literature is nice - it's good fun!

Our audience greatly enjoyed hearing about Michael's life, career, and experiences. We hope to see him at Wadham again soon.

If you missed the event or would like to watch it again, it is available here.