Wolverhampton Literature Festival review: John Cooper-Clark treats fans to evening of quick-fire poetry - with pictures

By Marion Brennan | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published:

Devoted fans hung on his every word as performance poet John Cooper Clarke regaled a packed Bilston Town Hall with anecdotes and quick-fire poetry.

In his trademark skinny jeans and dark glasses, the original people's poet, who shot to prominence in the 1970s, was reading from his latest book The Luckiest Guy Alive and other works.

These days his poetry is studied by schoolchildren as part of the GCSE curriculum and bands such as Arctic Monkeys and Plan B speak of being influenced by his work.

However his audience in Bilston were clearly fans who have followed his career from its early days. And at the age of 69, Clarke is still able to perform in much the same way as he did when he was starting out.

His poetry is not for everyone, it doesn't speak of love and fairytales, but is instead rooted in the real world. The collection certainly seemed to have something for every audience member in it.

The poem that gives the book and tour its name, is dedicated to the love of his life, his wife Evie. Despite a mid-life heroin addiction and a few failed attempts at finding his soulmate, Clarke boasts that he has landed on his feet and has never been happier in his life than now.

The show, which is touring across USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the UK, is a mix of classic verse and new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, gags, riffs and chat.

For the full house at Bilston, it was a chance to witness a living legend at the top of this game.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.


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