Quentin Blake: Illustrating Verse

Opening times: Tue - Sat, 10am - 8pm

Fri 29 Sep 2023 – Sat 6 Jan 2024

The first ever exhibition dedicated to Quentin Blake’s illustrations for poetry – on tour across the UK.

Exhibition Update: Ahead of school visits and workshops to Quentin Blake: Illustrating Verse on the 20th, 21st and 22nd November, our gallery will be closed to the public between 10am – 4pm on each of these days. 


The choice of moments, and a sense of discretion about what to draw and what not to draw, is particularly important in the business of illustrating poetry.’ – Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake has been writing and illustrating poetry throughout his 60-year career. Many of his own books feature rhymes and songs, and he has collaborated with writers including Michael Rosen and Roald Dahl.

As well as artwork for popular nursery rhymes like The Owl and the Pussycat and classic stories including Alice in Wonderland, the exhibition features previously unseen works from Blake’s archive, such as surreal illustrations for Sylvia Plath’s The Bed Book and mischievous cats for T. S. Elliot’s The Song of the Jellicles. Sketchbooks and rough drawings give a rare insight into Blake’s writing and book design process, as well as the creation of characters for Roald Dahl’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and his own Mr Magnolia.

This exhibition features original illustrations courtesy of Quentin Blake.

Quentin Blake: Illustrating Verse is a touring exhibition from Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration


Main image: All Join In by Quentin Blake © Quentin Blake

Our exhibitions are free to explore Tue – Sat, 10am – 8pm in Lighthouse’s Main Gallery on the ground floor. On occasion, an exhibition maybe closed to the public. Please contact our ticket office if you are travelling from a distance.

Food and drink is not permitted in our Main Gallery while Quentin Blake: Illustrating Verse is on display. Refreshments can be enjoyed in our newly refurbished Beacon café and bar.

Angelica Sprocket's Pockets by Quentin Blake © Quentin Blake
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear © Quentin Blake
Old Mother Hubbard's Dog Takes Up Sport by John Yeoman © Quentin Blake
Mr Magnolia by Quentin Blake © Quentin Blake
Jim by Michael Rosen © Quentin Blake
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll © Quentin Blake
Map Data ©2023 Google

Your Visit

Lighthouse is in the centre of Poole opposite the Dolphin Shopping Centre and bus station. There is plenty of parking nearby in the Seldown Road multi-story (evenings and weekends only), the Dolphin Shopping Centre multi-storey,  and the Dolphin Swimming Poole. Poole train station is a ten minute walk away.  Plan your journey via Google Maps

Lighthouse, Arts and Entertainment,
21 Kingland Road, Poole,
Dorset,  BH15 1UG

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