Tell everybody a little about yourself
I am a London-based award-winning author/comedy poet who has had six poetry books published and four more due in the next 2-3 years. Although I work with all ages, most days I am in schools performing and running fun poetry writing workshops (pre-pandemic of course!).
You have compered some poetry and stand up events, can you tell us some funny happenings and some of the people you have worked with?
This could be a book itself! Funny things include me performing to an audience of three (a fellow poet, his wife and his GP), seeing a famous comedian nearly have a fight with a drunken audience member on stage (no-one was hurt in the end) and another accidentally breaking the equipment/PA after falling over his own mic lead.
Acts I have worked with include Harry Hill, Phil Jupitas, Omid Djalili, Michael Rosen, John Cooper Clarke and many more.
What kind of places have you performed in, which was the strangest?
Schools, libraries and poetry/comedy clubs in London's West End are the most regular places for 'gigs' but I have performed at a funeral, on holiday to our tour party, in the middle of a league 2 football pitch before a game and at quite a few open air music events in parks.
Would you/have you read poetry on zoom?
Yes, I am running quite a few sessions at the moment. I have just completed an event with a school in Coventry, have ones in Greenwich and Cambridge next week, although they are free of charge as I am furloughed.
Was your creativity affected in any way during the lockdown? Did being lockdown make you feel inspired or deflated?
As I have so much more time I have written a huge amount of poems during lockdown, around 40, more than double my normal output of a poem a week.
Was it therapeutic doing creative work during lockdown?
I think so: It keeps my mind active, inspires others which in turn inspires me again and it helps me to express the feelings and observations I have about what is going on during the Covid crisis.
How did you occupy your time?
Writing, free Zoom sessions, social media, reading, walking, cycling, catching up online with friends and family, listening to music, podcasts, movies, tv, gardening. Not bored at all although, I can't wait to get back into schools.
What inspires most of your poems?
Real life experiences: people I meet, places I go to, things I hear on the news, read in books, see in movies etc.
Do you have any favourite poems, from all the poems you have written?
Too many to pick from as I have written over 900. But I often think it's the latest one I have done (at any time) as the latest has to always be the best!
Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote or one of the first?
Yes - it's in my book, Bees in My Bananas, just in the introduction, as I was only six when I wrote it. Buy the book and find it!
Do you ever think of poems before going to sleep or just after waking up?
All the time including in the middle of the night when I wake up, in the shower, when out walking or shopping etc.
Do you hand write poems or go directly on to your computer?
Usually draft by hand in my notebook then edit on computer.
Do you ever give up on poems you have started?
Extremely rarely, maybe one a year if that.
Do you do any other creative activities?
No but would love to pursue painting or photography if I ever have time, which I won't!
Do you only focus on poetry or do you also write prose?
Poetry, poetry, poetry!
Do your poems ever have strong messages?
Yes, I do write more serious poems for all ages but often I find my poetry using humour to make a serious point.
How would you describe the tone of your poems?
Normally funny, rhyming, rhythmic and very structured. But, as I suggest above, some are more serious, do not rhyme, have no rhythm or set structure. It's interesting and inspiring to have variation as a writer!
If you had to write a poem about yourself, how would it start?
Nearly all my poems are written in the first person and most of them as if I am child. I don't try to do this but it's the way they pop out of my pen and this approach helps me to relate more strongly to young audiences (in my head I still think like a child so that's why this happens!).
For more information on me please see
Website: cccpworkshops.co.uk (I can take orders for signed/dedicated books via this site)
Google me and see what I have been up to visiting schools etc.
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