When I’m not teaching – or marking C&G assignments for WEA courses – I spend what time I can reading, writing, playing guitar.
I was a semi-professional musician for a while, touring the country with a variety of performances: Brechtian-drama, live accompaniment to silent cinema films, folk-hero-homage: I still sing the songs of the late, great Jake Thackray at any time, anywhere, to anyone who’ll listen…
I published a book of poetry in 2009, and then started butterfly-flitting off on to yet more diverse (and perverse?) projects for a while: teaching song-writing, and intergenerational-drama; giving talks on literature and film; working in schools as a ‘creative practitioner’; playing jazz in a trio; learning to play a Bach cello-piece on guitar…
I’ve been working on a modern update on Byron’s Don Juan. A book is due for publication in 2013 or 2014 and it’s going to be a fascinating and funny compilation of sixteen famous and less-than famous poets. My contribution is Don Juan in the 21st-Century world of celebrity-sleaze: what would Byron lampoon and take a swipe at if he were around today?
Hear Mike’s free talk on Byron ‘Don Juan – Cantos for these times – by Divers Hands’ at Beeston Library on Friday 19th September at 10.30am (refreshments from 10.15am)