As some of you will know, I was plucked from poetic obscurity during my third ever gig by iconic poet Peter Finch about 5 years ago. As a result, my fourth gig was in the Welsh heat of the BBC Radio 4 National Poetry Slam, and my fifth gig live on BBC radio.
I have always made it my joyous 'job' (if you can call it that) to pluck out and promote talent in a similar manner through my social enterprise Jam Bones, through which I have organised over 60 events in the past few years.
Most recently, I was startled and impressed by a young poet called Johnny Giles, who came to my attention during a spoken word event organised by Alwyn Jones in Tommy's Bar. A naturally gifted performer, Johnny is possessed of a compact, charismatic presence which captures audience attention from the very beginning to the always-too-soon end. Already writing poetry for 5 years, the transition from stage to page has been a relatively recent one, but one which has seen the young poet already win fans and the respect of his poetry peers, myself included.
As a result, I took the step of making Johnny Poet in Residence at my new Jam Bones event, Back of the Pub Poetry Club. It really is a rarity to find a poet who is both brilliant on the page and kick-ass on the stage, but this is one who manages it. Expect striking; stand-out simile; astoundingly original metaphor; a deeply developed sensitivity to human frailties, human cruelties; rare tenderness, quirky humour, and strong, sometimes political, passion.
The next Back of the Pub Poetry Club takes place at the Tair Pluen, inside the Owain Glyndwr pub, on Sunday 21st July, from 7pm. It is free of charge, and if you would like to read yourself please bring up to 5 minutes of poems.
And, of course, do come to hear Johnny read, as well as many talented others. Do also take a look (and follow) his new blog (please click on the image below). Two fantastic poems are on there already, and I am eagerly awaiting more. Enjoy!!!