Shropshire Star

Punk poet Dr John Cooper Clarke is coming to Telford

Punk poet Dr John Cooper Clarke will be performing in Telford next May, it has been announced.

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Dr John Cooper Clarke

Known as the Bard of Salford, Clarke is a phenomenon: Poet Laureate of Punk, rock star, fashion icon, TV and radio presenter, social and cultural commentator – he’s one of Britain’s most beloved and influential writers and performers.

Clarke's memoir I Wanna Be Yours, was recently released in the UK by Picador.

The book explores his extraordinary life, filled with remarkable personalities, from Nico to Chuck Berry; Bernard Manning to Linton Kwesi Johnson; Elvis Costello to Gregory Corso; Mark E. Smith to Gil Scott Heron and Joe Strummer and on to more recent fans and collaborators like Alex Turner, Plan B and Guy Garvey.

Interspersed with stories of his rock and roll and performing career, John also reveals his mind-boggling encyclopaedic take on popular culture over the centuries: from Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe, to pop art, pop music, the movies, fashion, football and show business – with more than a few laughs along the way.

Clarke's new show, called I Wanna Be Yours, is described as a breathtaking showcase of poetry and spoken work, sharing stories from his incredible life and hugely successful career. JCC will take you on an incredible journey with pieces from the new book as well as his usual musings, off the wall chat, riffs, gags and wicked humour.

John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original ‘people’s poet’, and since then his career has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents.

His unique poetry was put to music by producer Martin Hannett and a band of Mancunians The Invisible Girls. Seminal tracks such as Beasley St and Evidently Chickentown featured on the album Snap Crackle and Bop, one of four hit 70/80s album releases. He became one of the most prolific artists of the punk years.

His 1980s poetry collection, 10 Years in An Open Necked Shirt, featuring the lyrics to classic tracks from his albums and more, is one of the UKs biggest-selling poetry collections of all time. Since then his career has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents.

A tour spokesman said: "Today, JCC is as relevant and vibrant as ever, and his influence is just as visible on modern 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 recent global number 1 albums - with The Arctic Monkeys putting one of John's best loved poems, I Wanna Be Yours, to music on their critically acclaimed AM Album.

"Currently performing purely as a stand up solo poet; his unique poetry show has been touring worldwide for over 15 years and continues to draw audiences from every generation."

The show will be at Telford Theatre on May 27, 2023.

Tickets are on sale now at

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