Top poet tells writ­ers ‘be cre­ative not cool’

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR PICTURES -

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

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