John Cooper Clarke
The twenty seventh and final person in our series of introductions to performers taking part in International Poetry ReIncarnation at the Roundhouse in Camden on 30th May 2015 is the iconic punk poet John Cooper Clarke.
John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original ‘people’s poet’. His ongoing career has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents.
Today, JCC is as relevant and vibrant as ever, and his influence just as visible on today’s pop culture. Aside from his trademark ‘look’ continuing to resonate with fashionistas young and old, and his poetry included on national curriculum syllabus, his effect on modern music is huge.
His influence can be heard within the keen social observations of the Arctic Monkeys and Plan B. These collaborations mean that John has been involved in two global Number One albums in the last two years.
John has been a regular and dedicated contributor to New Departures and the Jazz Poetry SuperJam/Poetry Olympics bandwagons since 1980.
His latest show, touring across the UK and the USA this year, is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, honest-to-goodness gags, riffs and chat. Don’t miss this chance to witness a living legend at the very top of this game.
Get your tickets for the evening’s star-laden performance here: The International Poetry ReIncarnation
Adam Horovitz reflects on the impact of the International Poetry Incarnation in 1965 and looks forward to the celebratory party for it.
I have spent most of my life aware of the International Poetry Incarnation, which took place in the Royal Albert Hall in 1965, very nearly 50 years ago. My father, Michael Horovitz, helped organise it, so of course I was going to be exposed of it. Growing up, I knew some of the poets. They were often about, in our house or at events, being genial and strange and merely a part of my metaphysical furniture.
For a long time, the 1965 Incarnation was a big poetry gig in the sky that people talked about and that I accepted as just another impressive thing that fathers do. As I have grown older, however, and become more interested in poetry in my own right, it has been hitting ever more forcefully home to me what a turning point this Incarnation, this 1965 happening, was.
Poetry in Britain was somewhat in the doldrums in the 1950s, as far as it being a public art went. It tended to sit in small rooms in universities and libraries and speak to and of itself. With my father’s generation – people like Adrian Mitchell, Christopher Logue, Pete Brown – poetry picked itself up and went running around the country talking to people who didn’t expect poetry to come leaping out of hedgerows at them. It went charging up to the Edinburgh Festival and touring through towns and cities with musicians and actors and playwrights in tow. Poetry began to listen, and to sing out in different rhythms. It offered up a party where only drier forms of symposia had appeared available before. Continue reading