This list pulls togther those poets who primarily are involved in organising events around the Midlands, or who hold Laureateships, as a guide to some of the names that regularly pop up on the circuit.It is not a list of my favourite poets! (Although of course several are)
Dreadlock Alien AKA Richard Grant, past Birmingham Poet Laureate, Festival favourite,BBC Radio 4 National Slam Final presenter and tireless performer.
Deborah Alma Self styled “Emergency Poet”, a regular at festivals
Fatima Al-Matar Rising young female star with a feminist perspective. Academic,lawyer, human rights activist and journalist as well as a poet has worked with BBC Radio 3, studied at warwick University now resident in Kuwait but with strong Midlands connections.
Jo Bell Wiltshire, pastDirector of National Poetry Day now involved with Winning Words, a strong advocate of Midlands poetry, and often to be found supporting or performing at, Midlands events.
Jodi Ann Bickley Rising young star, organiser of Speak Up at the Bulls Head, Birmingham, a smash hit on the summer’s festival circuit.
Matt Black Derbyshire Poet Laureate 2012/14
Julie Boden Past Birmingham Poet Laureate, author and poet in residence at Birmingham Symphony Hall.
David Calcutt– Local novelist (Crowboy & Shadowbringer) and fine poet, a Lichfield Poet and regular performer.
Gary Carr – Host of “Spoken Worlds” , monthly Spoken Word event in Burton on Trent.A talented page and performance poet.
Richard Bruce Clay Founder of the Spoken Word night at the Hollybush Cradley Heath, novelist, poet and a man who does not need a microphone
Jane Commane Co-editor of Nine Arches Press
Catherine Crosswell Worcestershire Poet Laureate Finalist, and member of “Four Tart Harmony” group.
Jonathan Davidson midlands and national Poetry svengali who cordinates the Burmingham book festival
Malcolm Dewhirst- -Staffs Poet Laureate 2012/13 Host of monthly “Fizz” at Polesworth Abbey. Workshop leader, film maker, Polesworth Poetry Trail Co-ordinator and page poet.
Maggie Doyle Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2012/13.
Giovanni “Spoz” Esposito Past Birmingham Poet Laureate,Slam organiser and doyen of the Birmingham poetry scene.
Jack Edwards new MC for the Spoken Word Night at the Hollybush, Cradley heath
Dee Maure Fitch Malvern Slam and Youth Centre stalwart.
Simon Fletcher Organiser of City voices in Wolverhampton, poet and novelist and editor of Offa’s Press.
Kim Fordwoh co-ordinator for the Glocester Arts fest
Roz Goddard Past Birmingham Poet Laureate,author with work broadcast on BBC radio.
George Hardwick Organiser of Pure and Good and Right in Leamington Spa, youth leader and troubadour
Brendan Hawthorn Black Country Poet, publisher and event co-ordinator, specialises in local dialect poems.
Brendan Higgins Organiser of “Sunday Express” and renowned for the poem “Shopping”.
Glen James Organiser of “42” a Gothic, Sci fi, horror night inspired by Douglas Adams, an artist, writer and promoter of all things Gothic.
Adrian Johnson Past Birmingham Poet Laureate and events organiser.
Liz Lefroy award winning poet who has founded the Poetry Evening at the Shrewsbury Coffee house.
Helen Mort Organiser of Chesterfields “Spire Writes”
Richard Tyrone Jones Edinburgh Fringe stalwart, widely published, and midlander back on the scene after a serious illness.
Charlie Jordan Broadcaster and poet. Charlie has broadcast nationally and locally and is a past Birmingham Poet Laureate.
Brian Langtree organiser of the Poetry Night at the Giggling Goblin Coffeee Shop, Ashby de la Zouch
Sarh Leavesley (nee James) Author,award winner, Polesworth Poetry Trail Poet, and Worcestershire Poet Laureate Finalist.
Gary Longden A short fat greying bloke sitting somehwere with a notebook and pen, or a mic, in his hand.
Roy McFarlane Past Birmingham Poet Laureate, event co-ordinator and driving force behind “Celebrate Wha” a collection of Black Midlands Poets.
Fergus McGonigal Itinerant minstrel, amongst the best performance poets around.Worcestershire Poet Laureate Finalist.
Lorna Meehan Organiser of “Rhymes” bimonthly Spoken Word event on Birmingham. Actress and poet and co-founder of Rogue Play Theatre Company
Matt Nunn Co-founder of Nine Arches Press, Under The Radar magazine and co-promoter of Shindig at Leicester
Antony R Owen Co-organiser of Night Blue Fruit in Coventry, poet and author of “The Dreaded Boy”, a critically acclaimed contemporary war poetry collection
Bobby Parker Kidderminster based author and poet.
Barry Patterson Co-organiser of Night Blue Fruit in Coventry, poet and author who hails from the North East
Bohdan Piesecki – Apples & Snakes Regional co-ordinator. Host of “Hit the Ode”- Birmingham’s International Monthly Spoken Word Showcase, and a fine multi-lingual performance poet in his own right.
Emma Purshouse – Leading light in Offa’s Press, organiser and host for “Bilston Voices” monthly spoken word, co-ordinator of “Snug” a touring site specific touring show, workshops and writing groups. A hugely talented Slam Poet in her own right.
Amy Rainbow Poet, juggler, philosopher, uni-cyclist ,fire-hoop performer and fairy.Worcestershire Poet Laureate Finalist.
Brenda Read- Brown Gloucestershire Poet Laureate 2012/13
Dave Reeves Owner of Spoken Word radio station “Radio Wildfire”, poet and author.
Alison Riley Organiser of Derbyshire Stanza
Jacqui Rowe – Organiser of “Poetry Bites”, co-founder of Flarestack Poets, published poet and workshop organiser.Author of ” Apollinaire”
Anna Saunders Co-ordinator for the cheltenham poetry festival
Jane Seabourne Author and poet whose work has appeared in The Guardian and who is part of Offas press
Dina Smith Warwick Poet Laureate 2011/12
Geoff Stevens Who sadly died in Feb 2012, former industrial chemist, much published and renowned Black Country Poet, founder of the magazine The Purple Patch.
Rob Stevens organiser of Word Wizzards at Buxton, poet and musician.
Lee Stoddart Marketing and press officer for The Drum in Birmingham, organiser of “Speak Up” at the same venue.
Tony Stringfellow author, poet, artist and sculptor, based in Wolverhampton. Marc Bolan expert. Chairman of the Shifnal Festival, perfoms with the Shropshire collective Spoken Worlds, organises Poetry Train
Jonathan and Maria Taylor Husband and wife poets and academics who co-promote Leicester Shindig and are Directors of Crystal Clear Creators, a not for profit arts organisation which produces the poetry magazine “Hearing Voices”
Sarah Tamar Co host, with Heather Wastie of Mouth & Music at The Boars Head Kidderminster
Theo Theobald Inaugral Worcestershire Poet Lauraeate
Lisa Ventura – Worcester Literary Festival Organiser, and promoter of Worcester’s “Parole Parlate” a thriving and hugely successful Spoken Word evening.
Jan Watts Birmingham Poet laureate 2011/12, Rhuabarb Radio presenter and workshop co-ordinator.
Heather Wastie Co-founer of “Snug” ( see Emma Purshouse),poet, musician and singer,Worcestershire Poet Laureate Finalist.Co – hostCo , with Sarah Tamar of Mouth & Music at The Boars Head Kidderminster
Matt Windle Past Birmingham Young Poet Laureate, boxer and poet of international repute.
Peter Wyton Gloucestershire 1000 poet Laureate, author and widely published in the press.
Laura Yates Northfield Arts Forum Chair, Write Down Speak Up Poetry Collective Co-ordinator and Decadent Diva.