16:00-16:30 First Word
Saturday 18 June
Dr. Mike Garry was a librarian for 15 years before becoming a poet. His ground-breaking work with Manchester Libraries began with the development of Study Support Units or “Homework Centres” throughout Manchester’s local library network, support, literacy and learning.
His poetry career began when he started to read his poems to the hundreds of young people, he worked with during study sessions. They loved what they heard and encouraged him to perform at live poetry events and Slams, which he did, instantly winning prizes throughout the UK.
Mike started performing his poems in Prisons, Young Offenders units, Mental Health Hospitals, Children’s Homes and local pubs. He was passionate about bringing live poetry to places it wouldn’t normally reach, giving people a voice and using poetry to be that voice.
His work focuses on the city and its people, championing the underdog and finding beauty amongst the ugliness and triumph amongst tragedy. Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays recently described Mike’s poetry as “The best street poetry I’ve ever heard” and iconic designer Peter Saville described Mikes as a “genius”
Mike has toured with John Cooper Clarke since 2011 performing in over 1000 venues throughout the UK, US and Europe.
The First Word tent has ramped access onto trackway from Jubilee Parade. Inside, there are solid wooden floors, and seating is available.