A Brave New Wave Of Radical Wordsmiths Is Taking Poetry Back To The Streets
In the early ’80s, Britain’s pubs and clubs were full of angry, funny, working class poets inspired by punk, reggae and protest.
This brave new wave of radical wordsmiths made folk heroes of Seething Wells, Garry Johnson, Ginger John, Attila The Stockbroker, Porky the Poet and one of Garry’s guests today Tim Wells – all of whom will be celebrated next month at the British Library’s Taking Liberties event, ‘Ranting poets, ‘zines & Angry Kids of the ’80s’. Tim is also the founding editor of poetry zine Rising and a mean Ska DJ.
Who were these funny, chippy backstreet upstarts, what did they want then – and what do poets want today?
Joining Garry and Tim in the studio is young, spiky Swindon poet Emily Harrison – formerly Poet in Residence at Bang Said The Gun and one of eight poets to have their work on the theme of London showcased at Boxpark, Shoreditch. Emily is currently working on her next collection, confronting a search for love against the stark, yet humanising backdrop of the psychiatric institution.
And completing the line-up is Salford’s own JB Barrington, an Amnesty International Poetry Slam winner whose critically rated blue collar protests have won him awards and support slots with Sleaford Mods.