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Luke Wright: Thursday 8th February 2024

Feted as a performance poet, Luke Wright has been on stage in many festivals. And he was for a time a contributor to ‘Pick of the week’ on Radio 4. He has also been a warm-up artist for fellow poet John Cooper Clarke and is currently enjoying his 25th year on the circuit.

Luke was funny and engaging, winning hearts by explaining that he had been waiting for years for a chance to perform at the Ipswich Institute and for Suffolk Book League. In the past he has been known for political verse, but his two latest collections, Peak and Are Murmurations Worth It?, have a more personal feel to them.


His performances of his work came from these two books, drawing on his varied life experience, and with an intimate tone to them. Poems included subjects such as his mother, his brother, a former wife and his current spouse. Touchingly, he also explored his relationship with his two sons from his first marriage.


Some narrative of Luke’s life was interleaved with the poetry. He spoke of his adoption and of his mother’s origins in Zimbabwe. He paid homage to other poets that he particularly admires, including Philip Larkin and John Betjeman. Luke explained that he has even named his cat after Betjeman, surely a significant symbol of approbation, as well as a source of very good family jokes. He gave some fine examples such as: ‘Oh no. John Betjeman’s been sick on the carpet!’ 


The evening finished with Luke’s virtuoso performance of the title poem from Are Murmurations Worth It? - a satire on how our modern-day obsessions with mobile devices and social media can get in the way of the appreciation of nature, complete with odd sound effects. A different sort of evening, with an enthusiastic, sell-out audience; if you missed it, catch Luke whenever you can.


Janet Bayliss  


You can catch Luke’s ‘Silver Jubilee’ show on tour at various places in Suffolk, including the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich:    





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