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Jack McGowan

I am pursuing a PhD research project exploring the nature of performance poetry in the UK. It's affectionately entitled Slam the Book: The role of performance in contemporary UK poetry. I say affectionately because, like my secret love of calorie-light fiction where the plot far outweighs the artistic merits, I suspect it's something I will have to do away with if I'm ever going to be a real life academic.

My research will be initially focused on the development of Slam poetry in the US. From its inception in Chicago in the early 1980's to contemporary SLAM and its associated cultural currency, performance poetry has become a rising phenomenon. America is in the business of exportation, and it is my intention to explore whether the fascination of performance as a medium for experiencing poetry is a flash in the pan fad or whether it could build a stable stage atop the roots of performance traditions in the UK, traditions exhibited by poets such as Basil Bunting, Cris Cheek, Bob Cobbing and Roger McGough.

Academic History
  • MLitt in Creative Writing - The University of St. Andrews
  • BA(Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing - Warwick University
  • The New Victoria: Anthology of Collected Poets - New Fire Tree Press 2010
  • Dove Release: New Flights and Voices - Worple Press 2010
  • We grow old because we stop being poets: Volume II Chapbooks - Silkworms Ink 2009

Performance poetry - once the tragedy infestation is dissolved - can lead the bottom of the barrel to the light. - Buddy Wakefield



Jack McGowan

Jack McGowan

Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies

Humanities Building

University of Warwick

Coventry CV4 7AL