Steve Pottinger, back with Write Angle again, is 20th February's guest poet.
Steve has gigged up and down the country, taking his irreverent, comic, and political poetry to pubs, clubs, and festivals, entertaining audiences from Penzance to St. Andrews. He runs workshops for the Communication Workers Union (among others) and has his work published regularly in online magazines.
Steve's poetry goes from personal to global, with some wild detours via his imaginative, outrageous mind-map! In the aftermath of the Brexit and Trump votes, his poems 'Stabberjocky' and 'imagining a world where Donald Trump visits the West Midlands, both proved extremely popular.
He’s also one-third of a poetry collective ‘Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists’ - who perform regular spoken-word nights in Walsall and West Midlands. Theytook their poetry/theatre show to the Edinburgh Fringe last summer, and are currently touring it round the UK. (Poet Jimmy Andrex described the show as being ‘Like Chaucer with scratchcards)’.
Of his five published books, his last, 'More bees bigger bonnets' was chosen in The Times Higher Education Review as one of his 'books of the year' by economist Richard Murphy'. The video of his poem 'The ostentatious breastfeeder' showed on a loop during 2016's StAnza poetry festival in St. Andrews, Scotland and his letter to Caffè Nero, taking them to task over their tax avoidance, went viral in 2014.
'Warm, questioning, and compelling. A treat of a performer.' (Buxton Spoken Words).
'In a world crowded with hype, doubt, and egoism he speaks up for humanity.' (1000 Monkeys. Guildford),
'Accessible, intelligent, funny' (The Green Gathering.)
'A rising star.' (Cheltenham Poetry Festival), 'Brilliant - and I hate poetry.' Susan Murray, (comedian). 'Exceptional.' (Louder Than Words festival)
His laid-back style is strong, confident and theatrical. It's gentle - like hearing love poems - but don't be fooled. He's a rebel who 'speaks softly but carries a strong word'!
His poems and stories flow together. He's a great raconteur, combining humour with cynicism. His poems, many inspired while working for the homeless, describe 'rough sleepers who, despite 'all they've been through', still maintain an innocence against all odds.
Steve hopes social services won't destroy him. He tells of the party in his railcar when he hadn't slept for days – how they endlessly shrieked but had so much fun, - he realised how important laughing is.
Some know what they want to be when they grow up. Steve 'never had a clue.. still doesn't!' He wants to travel, see the world, meet people…
His poem, 'Key City', based on his home, Walsall, in the West Midlands, where all keys and locks were originally made – a city of 250,000 people, once thriving with factories, forges, fires, furnaces – 'is now on its arse', full of charity shops. His dad , a GP, working during a time when 'identity, pride and dignity' existed – is now gone. Also Blackpool, where his grandad lived. He visited it after his death. No pretensions. Set on seafronts. Very picturesque. And Orkney, where his granddad grew up. 'Did you ever go to a place you'd never been but felt you were at home?'
His one love poem, written so he had 'one token love poem', reeks cynical. 'It won't last. It can't'. Steve's philosophy comes through every poem.
He says the poems in his book are his songs, laments and celebrations....be that Orkney or himself – sent out like messages in bottles in the hope they mean something to others too!' (highly reviewed by Joolz Denby and Boff Whalley).
In addition to having gigged in pubs and clubs, at poetry nights and festivals, 'the length and breadth of the country', he's been a regular performer on the Spoken Word stage at Rebellion punk festival in Blackpool. His set is cheekily irreverent, politically engaged, and shot through with a belief in the remarkable capacity of humanity to leave you open-mouthed in wonder as well as drive you to despair.
His poems have been used by comedian Arthur Smith, adopted by the tax reform movement, read out at a poetry festival in Delhi, and - thanks to 'Youtube' - enjoyed around the world. He has a strong poetic voice, an electrifying stage presence and many interesting stories to tell!
His work will make you laugh, think, and walk out at the end of the night feeling good about life We hope you all come to see him! He's an intelligent poet who will keep you on your toes! It's Tuesday, 20th February, starting 7.30 at Townhouse Pub/Bistro. Entry £6. You can come earlier, have a meal at Townhouse and come straight up! A wonderful memorable way to spend an evening! And there'll be a raffle as ever for a free meal for two at one of our local, excellent restaurants! For a fiver, you just might win it!
And, don't forget to buy your tix for the Petersfield Music Festival starting 'Sat Feb 10th, Handel's 'Baroque by Candlelight', St Peters Church, and check out the dates of the concerts to follow!