Top poet tells writers ‘be creative not cool’
THE voice of Manchester performance poet Mike Garry told young writers at King’s Boys’ Division to forget about being cool “be creative.”
Mike has been one of the leading figures in Manchester’s cultural revolution, working with fellow writers, pop bands, with museums, theatres, in schools, in prisons, in mental health centres always promoting a love of the oral tradition with a gritty yet romantic and an often comic view of life in a Northern city.
He was welcomed by pupils and staff alike, who flocked to his King’s School lectures, young and old hanging on his every word.
He said: “Cool is the enemy of creativity. I go to see children in primary schools and they have that sense of joy and wonder; they actually laugh at the jokes and love the poetry and use their imagination.
“But then the teenage years come along and the gel in the hair and the latest clothes and shoes and they are afraid to say what they feel because it’s not cool. I want teenagers to act like they were children again.”
He added: “I am here because I want young people to enjoy reading, enjoy discovery and find new worlds through the written and spoken word.
“It’s so important for young people indeed all of us to want to learn, to want to know more.”
Mike, who has done the rounds of the national media discussing the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan, was delighted by the choice of a fellow performer: “Poetry has always been an oral tradition; from Ancient Greece to Medieval Britain that’s how people were entertained, in theatres in spaces; it wasn’t written down to be read off the page but spoken to be listened too as the writer’s voice intended”
He added: “Bob Dylan changed the world.
“People say he’s not a poet but look at the body of work, the wonderful lyrics that are there to be read now and into the future.
“I think it’s a great choice and more easy for people, especially young people to relate to than say T.S. Eliot or Harold Pinter.
“There is long line of great writers he follows and he fully deserves his place.”
King’s Boys’ Division librarian Lisa Snook said: “When Mike visits King’s it’s not only the pupils who turn up but the staff and not just the teachers either, but the maintenance men, the IT professionals, support staff, all our community.
“He has universal appeal and is wonderful advocate not just for creative writing but for creative thinking.
Mike Garry is pictured with from left to right: Hugo Chinea-Rodriguez, Will Davies, Rowan Sutton and Josh Rajendran,. during his visit to King’s in Macclesfield