Birmingham Poet Laureate

Stephen Morrison-Burke has been performing poetry for approximately 2 years. On National Poetry Day last year he was named as Birmingham Poet Laureate - the youngest person to ever be awarded the title.

 

Stephen has won multiple poetry slam competitions, supported two separate internationally renowned poets and is also the current Cambridge Poetry Slam Champion - which puts him through to the National Finals, due to take place in London on June 8 2013.

 

As part of his laureateship Stephen attends many poetry events throughout the Midlands, performing at various locations throughout the city.  He is also busy teaching workshops anywhere from primary schools, to libraries and Youth Offenders Institutions. He is continually researching other poets and their respective projects and is an avid reader and writer.

Pugilist to Poet

Before poetry Stephen had been actively boxing for 10 years and in 2008 reached the Semi-Finals of the National Boxing Championships. Given his affiliation with such a virile sport his transition to the world of poetry was an extremely daunting process due to the contrast between the two pastimes.

However, just 4 months into publically sharing his poems he was asked to perform at a major festival in front of hundreds of people.

The overwhelming response I received from the audience provided me with all the confirmation I required to be assured that poetry is the right path for me. That entire festival experience, coupled with my Poet Laureate achievement are without doubt my career highlights to date

Stephen's latest project was working on ‘If Walls Could Speak’, a collaborative theatre production that he was very excited to be a part of. The event was a collage of tales woven together using live grafitti, vocal looping, spoken word, rhythm and rhyme, to create a unique theatre experience.

You can find out more about Stephen and his work on his website www.morrison-burke.com and catch up with his daily musings via his twitter account @MorrisonBurke

 


 

If you are interested in literature then read on...

To mark the official opening of the new Library of Birmingham in September, there will be a Festival of Celebration and a series of special exhibitions. The Festival will focus on the theme of Discovery giving Birmingham residents, visitors to the city, and library users, exciting opportunities to experience all the new Library has to offer.

It will provide a dynamic mix of events, activities and performance while showcasing the Library’s unique resources, exhibitions and access to expert help for learning, information and culture.

LOLIHULL (4-14 April) is a new comedy and literature festival which launches with a fantastic line-up of comedians, there will be stand-up workshops, a Poetry Slam Competition and story-telling for young children.  You can buy tickets for the Solihull based festival from the Solihull Arts Complex.

And then from 3-12 October The Birmingham Book Festival returns with a new look and some exciting changes. The festival will form part of the opening season of the Library of Birmingham. You can expect appearances from prominent literary figures such as Germaine Greer, Lionel Shriver, Catherine O’Flynn, Benjamin Zephaniah and Carol Ann Duffy, as well as writing workshops, book launches, student activities and quirky literature experiences.

 

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