Interview with Luke Wright

We sent interview forms out to our artists, and we’ll be sharing their stories here on the blog. First up:

Luke Wright by Scott Tyrrell

Luke Wright by Scott Tyrrell

Your Name

Luke Wright

Website

http://www.lukewright.co.uk

Twitter handle

@lukewrightpoet

Instagram handle

@lukewrightpoet

Video

Audio

Facebook Page

http://www.facebook.com/mrlukewright

How did you get into poetry/ spoken word?

I saw Ross Sutherland, Martin Newell and John Cooper Clarke do a gig in Colchester and knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life performing poems on stage.

Who are your influences/ idols?

This year I’ve been mostly listening to Aldous Harding.

What’s the one thing you’d like people to know about your work?

I did it all myself without any help from my mum.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in spoken word/ performance poetry?

Read widely, watch widely.

Who are you looking forward to seeing/ what are you looking forward to doing at the Festival?

Mik Artistik

Have you been to Glastonbury Festival before?

Yes

What’s your stand-out memory of the Festival?

Aged 17, Performing poems down a megaphone at the stone circle. It sound unlikely but people cheered.

What’s the one thing you simply must bring with you to the Festival?

A good quality pair of rubber boots

What advice would you give someone visiting the Festival for the first time?

You’ll never see all of it so relax and play it by ear. It’s not about the bands.

Have you performed at Glastonbury Poetry&Words before?

Yes

What’s your standout memory of performing at the Glastonbury Poetry&Words stage?

Not that I’m advocating such behaviour but one year I was very very drunk. But I remembered all the words to a 9 minute ballad and then had a great game of football with some kids backstage before passing out in the sun.

What advice would you give someone performing here for the first time?

They’re not leaving because they hate you, it’s that the Foo Fighters are on.

What words would you use to describe your work/ your act?

poetry

What do you like best about doing whatever you call whatever it is that you do on stages?

My life is my job.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

It’s my 20th anniversary this month. 20 years since my first gig. Almost to the day!


You can see Luke Wright at 16:35-17:00; Saturday at the Glastonbury Poetry&Words stage. Read our previous article about him here.

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Introducing: Luke Wright

LukeWright_photoby_IdilSukan_01_web
Back to perform with us is Luke Wright, 16:35-17:00; Saturday . If he’s new to you/ you’d like a reminder, read on:

In his own words:

“Flamboyant, political and riotously funny, Luke Wright creates inventive poems with loads of heart. Part Essex wide boy, part dandy fop, he writes from the sidelines about small-town tragedies and national farce, then performs his work with snarl and spit.

“As well as his own tours Luke can be seen warming up for Peter Doherty and John Cooper Clarke. This year he celebrates twenty years in the business with a new double vinyl album called ’Twenty’ and a new pamphlet of poems from Rough Trade Books.”

Reviews:

“He must be on some kind of dope.” John Cooper Clarke

“Fierce, wistful, romantic and witty by turns, this is a sensational hour of poetry.” ★★★★★ The Stage

“One of the funniest and most brilliant poets of his generation” The Independent

“Cool poems.” Patti Smith

Fay’s words:

The first time I saw Luke perform was at a book launch for Ross Sutherland’s book (this would have been autumn 2009, so I’ve no recollection of what it was called) at Heffer’s Bookstore. I’d not long moved to Cambridge, knew approximately two people (neither of whom were there), and a friend from out of town wanted to network at the event, so I went along. Of the original “Aisle 16” group, I only knew Tim Clare, and then only slightly. I suck at networking, so managed to find another shy person who proclaimed themself “bad at networking” and we jabbered quietly to each other about what we might say if we knew what to say. When Luke Wright moved into the performance space, it was clear that this wasn’t something he had an issue with. Slickly blonde in what my memory insists was a three-piece, double-breasted suit, he outright gleamed, stood taller (literally and figuratively) than anyone else there, while the softness of the rhyming love story he told seemed almost at odds with this image. Two years later, I met him at the inevitable darkened bar at EdFringe while introducing my girlfriend to Tim. Tim introduced us to Luke, and that crushed and hurried handshake was the extent of our connection for the next while.

I interviewed him a few years later before reviewing his event at Cambridge Literary Festival (sadly I was too ill to write it up subsequently), discovering that the clipped, gleaming Luke I’d originally witnessed was a phase – he had since resurrected a more tenebrous vibe, all eyeliner and enormous hair, complete with rockstar entrance, dripping anecdotes, connections, and extensive gestures. He expanded to fit the space available, in short, whether it was in the green room or in the 100-seater space that was rammed to capacity with adoring audience, the Essex Lion personified.

Luke’s energy, on- or off-stage, seems relentless, whether you see him holding court in an auditorium, or run into him on the street. He is forever picking up nuances, spinning them into story, riccocheting onto the next topic like a raconteurish bagatelle of rhyme and cultural reference. Like Tony Walsh, his pieces often follow ballad patterns of rhythm and end-rhyme, and – again like Tony – it would be easy to dismiss their accessibility and overlook the sheer craft involved, and in Luke’s case the undisputable rage, the idealism masked by what looks like cynicism, the almost desperate longing for a world where he doesn’t have to rant about inequities large and small. He also has a gift for mining cultural memory, flinging his listeners into a particular place and time. Come see this grandiloquent dandy and immerse yourself in his world at the Poetry&Words stage!

Sneak preview:

The FULL Glastonbury Poetry&Words 2015 Line up

Behold, the dates and times of all the stars of this year’s Poetry&Words tent at Glastonbury. Thanks to P&W’s very own behind-the-scenes veteran Jack Bird for designing this year’s poster. Is very pretty 🙂

PW Poster Final

The first of our special interviews will be going up soon. Keep watching.

Scott 🙂

More festival folk flowing with florilegia

Some more of those wordy weavers of stonking stanzas. And me at the end 🙂

Antosh Wojcik

Antosh Wojcik

A true rising star. I saw Antosh perform at Glastonbury last year. An annoyingly talented young man, so crisp in his thought and realization for one so young and very good looking too. He’s quite charming as well. And self-effacing. He’s probably nice to children and animals as well. Your relatives would no doubt end up loving him more than you. Tell you what, I’ll give you his official biog before I weep with bitterness 😉

Antosh Wojcik is a poet, writer, performer. He was joint winner of The Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2013 and is a member of the poetry collectives, Kid Glove and Burn After Reading. He  writes for The Flashnificents blog. He is a resident artist at The Roundhouse and was part of Poejazzi’s cross-art collaboration, Howl 2.0. He has performed poetry around the UK at festivals such as Poetry&Words at Glastonbury, Bestival, In The Woods and at leading events such as TEDx EastEnd, Tongue Fu, Bang Said The Gun, Outspoken and various Apples and Snakes gigs. He was a poet-coach shadow as part of Spoke’s inter-school slam project, WORDCUP 2014, and leads poetry and writing workshops in schools. He writes to see and learn about people.

Carly BrownCarly Brown

Very excited about seeing this poet, having watched her winning poem at the Scottish National slam championships. Which you can see here.

Carly Brown is an American writer based in Scotland. In 2013, she won the Scottish National Championships of Slam Poetry and placed fourth at the World Series of Slam Poetry in Paris. She performs regularly in the UK and the US. In Edinburgh, she has been featured by The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Rally and Broad, Loud Poets and the National Library of Scotland. In St Andrews, she has performed at two TedX Conferences, a St Andrews University graduation dinner and at StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival. Her first chapbook, Grown Up Poetry Needs to Leave Me Alone, was released in 2014 from Knockingdoor Press. Her first children’s book, I Love St Andrews, will be published in Spring 2015 from Cartographie Press. She is currently completing a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.

 

Luke Wright

Luke Wright by Steve Ullathorne

One of performance poetry’s major voices. I first met Luke at a poetry slam in Bristol 13 years ago and in that time his career has gone stratospheric and as gravity-defying as his hair. A real professional and a must see.

Luke Wright writes bawdy bar room ballads about small town tragedies and Westminster rogues. His fast paced, witty poems are crammed full of yummy mummies, debauched Tory grandees, maudlin commuters and leering tabloid paps. His live shows are enjoyed by thousands of people across the world every year, where he mixes the wistful with the downright comic to take audiences on an incredible emotional journey.

Since 2006 he has written and performed eight one man shows, touring them to top literary and arts festivals from Australia to Scotland via Hong Kong and Bruges. His current show Stay-at-Home Dandy tours March – June 2015. In August 2015 he’ll be taking Stay-at-Home Dandy and What I Learned From Johnny Bevan to the Edinburgh Fringe. What I Learned From Johnny Bevan is Wright’s theatre debut and features a score by Ian Catskilken from Art Brut.

Luke’s debut collection – Mondeo Man – was published in 2013 by hip London imprint Penned in the Margins. George Szirtes said it was:
“Not only verbally substantial, skilful and very funny but also complex in its feeling.”

Ian McMillan described it as
“an excellent book.”

 

Sara Hirsch

Sara Hirsch

I haven’t had the privilege to see Sarah live yet, but if this poem is anything to go by, I can’t bloody wait. Witty, honest and impeccably performed.

Sara Hirsch is a London based performance poet known for her witty, accessible and heartfelt poetry which challenges the world around her, tells a story or simply entertains. A multiple Slam Winner (including Hammer and Tongue, Genesis and Nozslam) Sara was the 2013/14 UK Slam Champion, recently came third in the World Slam Championships in Paris and was a semi-finalist in the European Slam Championships 2014. She was also awarded the Farrago award for Best Slam Performance 2013 and was voted runner up in the Hammer and Tongue National Slam Finals last year.

Sara has performed across the Country including features at Richmix (Apples & Snakes), Hammer and Tongue, Pleasance Edinburgh, Southbank Centre, Larmer Tree Festival, MAC Birmingham, Brighton Dome and Nozstock, was the April poet in residence at Bang Said The Gun, recently appeared on BBC Radio 2 and performed live on the BBC At The Edinburgh Fringe with Anneka Rice. Sara also regularly hosts Hammer and Tongue Camden and since September proudly produces the Genesis Slam, London’s only regular 3 round slam.  She has also been known to write the odd Haiku, normally including a terrible pun.

Sara will be performing her debut solo show “How Was it For You?” at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer and will be featuring at a number of festivals including Nozstock and Larmer Tree. This is Sara’s first Glastonbury and she can’t wait to be knee deep in mud alongside some of her favourite performers and peers.

“A  master of brevity, fluidity and building tension.” Unpublishables

“Sara has the unique ability to flip the atmosphere in the room. Her work is sharply observant and her storytelling fluent and accessible.” Slate The Disco.

 

Scott Tyrrell

Scott Tyrrell by James Sebright

So this is me. Look at that serious fierce-looking face, completely belying the fact that I’m about as scary as a bag of Haribo.

So, I used to do standup comedy over 10 years ago when I lived in Manchester before getting married and becoming a dad. I live and work back home in Newcastle now as a graphic designer, poet and occasional illustrator of owls that look like famous authors. I’ve won 13 poetry slams around the UK and recently, the Great Northern Slam at Northern Stage and The Anti-Slam Apocalypse at the Roundhouse. I’ve also been a twice regional winner of BBC Radio 4’s poetry slam.

I’ve performed at Glastonbury, the Edinburgh fringe, the Prague Fringe, the Big Chill, Kendal Calling, the Larmer Tree festival and various literature festivals including Cheltenham. I’ll also be performing at Womad and the Lindisfarne festival later this year.

My first full collection ‘Grown Up’ was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2014 and is already well into its second print run. (I’m told this is pleasantly unusual for poetry books, but my publisher may be humouring me about that.) It’s also available on Kindle.

Nice review about me:
“I have been fortunate to perform alongside Scott on a few occasions at both Glastonbury and Larmer Tree festivals, and each time he has astounded the audience and left them simultaneously creased with laughter and wiping their eyes. Poignant, powerful and undoubtedly poetic” – Joelle Taylor

Nice review about ‘Grown Up’
“With ‘Grown Up’ Scott Tyrrell has shown himself to be both Big and Clever. It is every bit as accessible as you’d expect from a writer who has honed his craft in performance” – Matt Harvey

And this is a bit of me, and another bit of me.

 

Stay tuned. Some real legends on the way very soon…