Paul was born in 1961 in Essex. After the usual exams and college courses he became a teacher. Paul still teaches but spends most of his time performing poetry and running poetry workshops for both adults and children.
He has written and edited a number of books including the bestselling anthology THE WORKS, WHAT SHAPE IS A POEM?, WHO RULES THE SCHOOL NOW?, UNZIP YOUR LIPS, TONGUE TWISTERS AND TONSIL TWIZZLERS, TEACHERS PETS, THE VERY BEST OF PAUL COOKSON, YOU'RE NOT GOING OUT LIKE THAT, STAYING OUT LATE PLAYING OUT LATE, and CRAZY CLASSROOMS AND SECRET STAFFROOMS. He is a contributor to Hodder Wayland's audio poetry collection POEMS OUT LOUD.
Paul is married and lives with Sally, Sam and Daisy (and Ginger the guinea pig) in Retford.