O! Charles!


Yesterday, for the first time, I was moved to verse on the subject of the monarchy. Perhaps I WILL be Poet Laureate after all. Read this for a bit of context. O! Charles O! Charles! A score of monarchs on your shoulders – severe and heavy – like the Habsburg jaw. If not for all this circumstance and ritual you’d…

Patron of INK


I’ve recently become a patron of INK. INK is a charity that develops, nurtures and produces the best new short scripts for stage, film and radio from writers with an East Anglian connection. INK was born in 2015 at the Halesworth Cut Theatre in Suffolk, and has been growing ever since. I’m delighted to be a patron of INK. East Anglia has always…

Frankie Vah comes to London


I’m delighted to announce that Frankie Vah has been snapped up for a three week run at the Soho Theatre in London’s glamorous westend. Come shower yourself in boozy sin and 80s nostalgia with Britain’s drunkest  poet as he rants to pieces Thatcher, the Labour Right, and his own chances of success and happiness. You can buy your TICKETS HERE.…

Frankie Vah – The Book!


I’m delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Frankie Vah. Frankie Vah is my second verse play – a single story told in verse. Penned in the Margins are an excellent publishing house and I’m delighted to be working with them to bring this story to the page. Here’s the blurb: We all want something to believe in. It’s 1987 and…

The Usher


I found this lurking in a disused folder on my laptop. I wrote it during the 2015 Labour leadership campaign for the Homework event at The Edinburgh Book Festival. The Usher I’m early. Bus gets in just after five. But once I’ve walked, it’s only half an hour. I used to love to get a bit of time just on…

Once You Clear The Bodies


Once You Clear The Bodies “There’s a group of UK business people, wonderful guys … And they literally have a brilliant vision to turn Sirte … into the next Dubai. The only thing they’ve got to do is clear the dead bodies away and then they’ll be there.” – Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary, September 2017 Come now, native, wipe…

Press Coverage


I’ve had a few bits and pieces in the press of late. METRO – Article about spoken word, featuring an interview with me THE STAGE – Four star review of Frankie Vah THE STAGE – “Drop Everything and Book” – Frankie Vah is 2nd top recommend show at 2017 Fringe NORWICH EYE – Five star review for Frankie Vah OUTLINE –…

Renegade Poets (in Adverts)


There is a current trend in advertising to use “spoken word.” I fell in love with live poetry because it was subversive and anti-establishment. It’s so depressing seeing that on adverts now. I’m not blaming these young poets – there’s loads of people I know and like who have done adverts. I know the money is hugely tempting, but I…

The Toll – Book Launch


I’m delighted to announce we are launching my new collection The Toll on Friday 10th February at The Courtyard Theatre, Shoreditch. It’s free to get in, and I’m told there might even be free booze as well. Everyone is welcome, but you must RSVP to james [at] pennedinthemargins.co.uk The event starts at 7pm. There will be a reading about 8pm.…

The Toll is coming!


Wow! My second poetry collection has finally been sent to print. Eek! There are 34 poems, selected from over 80, which date from late 2012, just before Mondeo Man came out. While I have been working on this book, both of my children started school and my marriage ended; in the wider world, the world has seen war in Syria, Brexit…