John Cooper Clarke: The Luckiest Guy Alive - Leeds International Festival

8 May
20:00 – 22:30

John Cooper Clarke: The Luckiest Guy Alive

An evening of punk poetry – including both the brand new and the established classics –  alongside riffs, gags and hilarious anecdotes from the legendary “people’s poet”, John Cooper Clarke

See (and more importantly hear), this living legend of the British punk poetry scene up-close and personal in this one-off Leeds International Festival event. The anarchic figurehead of punk poetry, John Cooper Clarke, will be performing accompanied by punk poet heroes Toria Garbutt and Mike Garry in this must-see event.

Credit: Image by Peter Blake
Image by Peter Blake

A countercultural icon who has nevertheless been embraced into the canon (into the National Curriculum, even), Dr JCC has always told it as it is, however bald, gritty or hard-hitting that truth may be. His performance poetry coincided with the beginning of the punk era at the end of the 1970s, and he has been a punk poet ever since.

Anticipate a night of poetry new and old, as JCC brings some classic favourites out (think Evidently Chickentown and Beasley St), to be performed alongside material from The Luckiest Guy Alive (his new poetry collection released to worldwide acclaim on November 1st 2018). Expect humour, riffs and hilarious anecdotes with the “people’s poet” John Cooper Clarke.

Standard Tickets

Wednesday 8 May 20:00 – 22:30
L19 Cube @ The Village

Concession Tickets

Wednesday 8 May 20:00 – 22:30
L19 Cube @ The Village

Additional Information:

Age restriction: Only 14+


John Cooper Clarke has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents. His latest show, touring the UK, US, Canada and Australasia alongside this Leeds International Festival event, mixes his classic verse (including “Beasley St” and “Evidently Chickentown”) with new material fromThe Luckiest Guy Alive, as well as gags, riffs and chat. His new poetry collection was released on November 1st 2018 and went straight to the top of the poetry best sellers list. It’s stayed there since. This is John’s first new poetry book since 2012’s Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt.

Toria Garbutt’s unique blend of pure punk heritage and unapologetic spoken word confessions make her one of the most vital and visceral voices in the country.

Hailing from a former mining town in West Yorkshire, Toria Garbutt burst onto the scene through in summer 2014. In 2015 she featured on the ‘Ossett Observer Presents: The People’s Republic of Poetry’ tour, and also appeared at that summer’s Latitude Festival.

Mike Garry was a librarian for 15 years before becoming a poet.

He began by reading his own poems to the hundreds of young people who attended his Library Homework Centre. They loved what they heard and encouraged him to perform them at live poetry events and Slams, which he did, instantly winning fans and prizes throughout the UK.

His gritty poetry has won the admiration far and wide and his collaboration with Joe Duddell and New Order in New Yorks Carnegie Hall in 2014 received five star reviews.

Championed by Philip Glass for whom Mike is currently writing a libretto that will be premiered at the 2015 Days and Nights Festival in The Big Sur

Mike has worked in thousands of schools and his three books, Men’s Morning, Mancunian Meander and God is a Manc have become schemes of work in schools throughout the UK and his poetry is regularly heard on BBC Radio and TV.

He has read his poems in Prisons, Young Offenders units, Mental Health Hospitals, Children’s Homes, youth clubs and local pubs. He’s passionate about bringing live poetry to places it wouldn’t normally reach and to people who wouldn’t normally listen to it.

His performances are passionate swirling rhythms of thoughts and emotions converted to monologues of quick fire words.