Q&A: Luke Wright

Luke Wright is one of the UK’s brightest young poets.

His previous shows include Poet And Man, Poet Laureate and, with Aisle 16, Powerpoint and Poetry Boyband

He curates and hosts the Latitude Festival‘s poetry arena and his first book, Who Writes This Crap? was published in November 2007.

How do you categorize what you do? Are you a poet, stand up or some unholy son of the two?

I’m a poet. I like telling stories and jokes between poems, but I don’t become a stand-up when I do it, I’m just a poet telling jokes.

What do you have planned for this year’s Edinburgh festival?

I’m bringing two shows. The main one is not actually a poetry show, it’s a two-hander with Joel Stickley called Who Writes This Crap? It’s based on the book we wrote which is coming out in paperback in August. The second is a poetry solo show called A Poet’s Work Is Never Done, it’s simply ten of the best poems I’ve written since last year’s festival. I think it’s on the whole my best work to date. I’m only doing that for a week though. Oh, and I’m also directing a poetry/comedy show about nostalgia called The Mid 90s la la la

What made you embark down the lucrative and jewel encrusted career path of poet?

When I was 16 I went to see John Cooper Clarke perform. I had never seen anything like it. He was like the frontman of a band without the band, and very funny to boot. Live poetry seemed to combine lyricism, comedy and showmanship and it felt perfect.

What do you make of the UK poetry scene at the moment? Does such a thing exist and what kind of health is it in?

I think it does exist and I think it’s in pretty good shape. Poets like Polarbear, Dockers MC plus the Aisle16 guys are all world class. I’m spoilt for choice when I book Latitude.

Who should be the next poet laureate? Do you care?

I do care, I think having a national ambassador for poetry is important. I’ve said how I think the role should be changed in my show Poet Laureate, and I hope it will be further modernised when Motion steps down. I think Carol Ann Duffy is the right person for the job and I hope she would make it her own.

Any future plans or projects you want to tell us about?

I’m writing a novel about an arrogant advertising creative who’s life is spinning horribly out of control, I’m also working on a TV pilot script.

Luke Wright will be at the Latitude Festival, 17-20 July

Who Writes This Crap? is at the Underbelly, Edinburgh, from 31 July – 24 August and A Poets Work Is Never Done is at Zoo Southside, Edinburgh, from 10 – 16 August 2008

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