Glenn Carmichael
Glenn's Poetry
The Poetry Slam
A Brief History
Poetry History
Poetry History
Glenn Carmichael has been writing poetry all his life. His first venture into poetry proper was in the late 1980s when he became half of The Big City Beats,
a performance duo comprising Glenn and Kevin (Spider) Evans. In the early 80s Glenn & Kevin had fronted a rap band called The White Brothers. In 1988 Kevin contacted Glenn and suggested that they 'do something'. It was decided that they were too old to rock 'n' roll (Glenn 35, Kevin 31) and so The Big City Beats were born. (video: ‘Let's Talk’ - Aug 1988)
After schlepping around the embryonic London performance scene, sharpening their act, The Big City Beats approached the only paying venue, Apples & Snakes in Covent Garden. They auditioned and were told to go away and work on their set. They knew they were as good as they were ever going to be, and so founded The Hard Edge Club, a weekly performance venue in Soho's Great Windmill Street. There were 10 performance poets in London that Glenn & Spider rated; six of them appeared on the first night. Luckily the club was previewed on the TV show '01 for London' and on the opening night the 'Evening Standard' covered the event with a double page spread. The Hard Edge Club ran for 5 years.
Glenn left London in 1990 and lived in Cardiff. He published his first book of poetry, 'How Low Can You Go?' (1991) and recorded a cassette of four poems with musical accompaniment, 'Poem$' (1992) and a ‘single’ cassette ‘$EX’
Audio tracks
03 - Sex (MP3, 2.9Mb)
04 - Trying To Revive It (MP3 4.9Mb)
Glenn went into rehab in Weston-super-Mare and then moved to Bristol in October 1993.
He visited New York in September 1994 and entered the Nuyorican Poetry Slam (he was runner-up). Upon his return to Bristol he organised a slam at Bristol’s Arnolfini arts centre. It was a success and The Bristol Poetry Slam continued organising monthly adult slams until 1998, including 1997’s UK Poetry Slam Championship at Bristol’s Watershed.
Along with Sara-Jane Arbury Glenn launched Pimp$ of the Alphab£t Press in 1995 and produced 5 poetry books: ‘The Truth Is Optional’ by Glenn Carmichael. ‘Gutted’ by Sara-Jane Arbury, ‘Blind Peeping’ by Claire Williamson, ‘Postscript Poems’ by Gary Cox and ‘The Bristol Slam Poetry Anthology’.
In 1996 the quartet embarked on an eight-date UK tour called ‘The Truth Is Optional Tour’
Glenn has performed in many places.
In 2001/2, working with ex White Brother David Littler, and calling themselves Modena, Glenn experimented with poetry, music and film (Videos: Movie and Ties), culminating in a performance in Manchester’s Dukes 92. Read some of Glenn’s poems.