The following events were based round a specific poet/poets, often with other activities such as music. For some poets we built a specific environment.
But by and large we know very little about these events since often all we have is the original leaflet and our ever fading memories. We do not for instance have the dates when these readings took place, we do know that it was late 60s and early 70s; therefore they are currently listed alphabetically.
Many of the links below are to Wikipedia but the Poetry Archive is also a brilliant resource for their works.
1. Pete Brown & Piblokto, with local poet Ed George (deceased), and Mal Knight. Pete Brown is a poet who has a long history of working with musicians, from being a lyricist for Cream to performing poetry to jazz.. Pete Brown & Piblokto were a progressive rock band and part of that history.
2. Pete Brown and Mike Horovitch. Mike Horovitz read at the Blackie on several occasions both as a solo performer and with others including Pete Brown and Dave Calder.
Michael Horovitz founded the literary periodical New Departures in 1959, and in the following decades organized many "Live New Departures" events featuring poetry and jazz performances.
Most notably he was part of the International Poetry Incarnation at the Royal Albert Hall on 11 June 1965, alongside Allen Ginsberg and Alexander Trocchi.
In 1969 Penguin Books published Horovitz's Children of Albion anthology. Introducing him to New York City in 1970, Ginsberg characterized him as a "Popular, experienced, experimental, New Jerusalem, Jazz Generation, Sensitive Bard".
3) Dave Cunliffe and Tina Morris were introduced to the avant-garde by modern jazz and the experimental verse they found in little poetry magazines to which they submitted work from the early 1960s. In 1963 Cunliffe began editing Poetmeat, a quarterly published through his own BB Books small press from Blackburn. Morris contributed to this, quickly becoming co-editor; a romance soon leading to their marriage. To read about their work as poets and publishers click here .
Mike Hart ( Michael William "Mike" Hart 3 December 1943 - 22 June 2016) was a Liverpool singer-songwriter and poet. In 1962 he founded the band The Roadrunners, before leaving in 1965 to join The Liverpool Scene, a poetry and music collective, with Adrian Henri, Andy Roberts, and Mike Evans. To read more about his work click here.
To read his obituary click here.
Bob died in 2002, to read his obituary click here.
In addition we have photos of a Bob Cobbing reading in Liverpool with George MacBeth and Jeff Nuttall but we have no idea where it took place. If you would like to view the photgraphs click here
5. In 1971 Horovitz published The Wolverhampton Wanderer, an epic of Britannia, in 12 books, with an original dustjacket by Peter Blake.
Dave Calder during the early days of the Blackie was based in Liverpool. He not only read his own poetry but also was part of the organisation of the poetry readings.
He was part of the team (The Theatre Of Mixed Means) which created Kong, Cube, etc. And he took part in numerous Blackie events from Going Away Games to Easter Casino .
With Dave Ward he set up The Windows Project - a poetry organisation - which worked with young people in youth clubs, on playschemes, and in schools. They also took part in Blackie events with young people such as The Food Events.
6. This event was advertised as multi media - the poetry was provided by Liverpool poets Adrian Henri and Dave Calder.
Music by Don Henshilwood who was an early pioneer in the field of electronic Music.
Lights and environment by the Blackie including a lightshow by Supernova (basically Paul Brown and Jim Macritchie)
Adrian Henri died in 2000 (click to read his obituary). He was one of the three Liverpool Poets published by Penguin; founder of the group The Liverpool Scene and a painter; click for more information
7. Libby Houston, Bristol based poet, performed from a lotus shaped chair created specially for her.
Libby Houston is an English poet, botanist, and rock climber. The native of North London has published several collections of poetry. Houston, a research associate at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol, has discovered several new species of Whitebeam, one of which has been given her name
8 Ted Joans jazz poet, painter and musician. This reading took place in The Garage and therefore in 1974/5.
During the 50s Joans lived in New York where he became acquainted with jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker; Miles Davis; Archie Shep and Ornette Colman. He read his poems in the village coffee houses along with Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Leroi Jones, etc. During this period he brought out Funky Jazz Poems; All of Ted Joans and No More; and The Hipster.
He corresponded with the European surrealists - Andre Breton called him the only Afroammerican surrealist. He then moved to Africa living in Morocco, finally in 1962 renting a house in Timbuktu - the ancient centre of commerce and black culture. He died in 2003. Click here & here for further information.
9. Colin Peter Morgan (7 July 1939 - 5 July 2010) was a
Born in Leigh, Lancashire, Morgan began his career as a poet in the mid-1950s when he was 16 and living alone in London. He entered the British Army and rose to the rank of infantry platoon commander while serving with the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) in West Germany, but began to question this career choice. By the mid-1960s he had become a pacifist and resigned his commission. In 1964 he moved to Edinburgh, where he started to publish his poems and to perform recitals in public. He returned to the North of England in 1971, but this time to Yorkshire's North Riding, to live and work in the fishing village of Robin Hood's Bay near Whitby.
Over the years Morgan emphasised the oral tradition of poetry and song. Some of his poems have been set to music and have been recorded by such artists as Al Stewart ("My Enemies Have Sweet Voices" on the 1970 Zero She Flies album), the McCalmans and most recently the Levellers. To read more click here
Matt Simpson (13 May 1936 - 8 June 2009) was a British poet and literary critic. He published six full poetry collections, and after retiring from a senior lectureship in English at Liverpool Hope University, wrote numerous books of literary criticism until his death.
10. Jeff Nuttall and Rose McGuire (Friday 28th January). The event was called JACK and 'according to the leaflet' was a piece to pull performers and audience even closer... involving music. lightshow, environment, inflated structures, movement, voices...
Jeff Nuttall was known for his work with the People Show. He played trumpet and piano in his own Jazz band for 5 years; did a comic strip for I.T.; and produced the underground magazine "My Own Mag" for 3 years. His books include "Bomb Culture" and "Pig". He died January 2004 click here for his obituary
Jeff and Rose read from their own works in an environment made from hanging pastel painted bones.
11. Tom Pickard In impoverished North Eastern England, Newcastle on Tyne Tom Pickard co-founded and for several years managed Morden Tower, a poetry centre situated on a medieval city wall. He was an important initiator of the movement known as the British Poetry Revival. He moved to London in 1973 and became a documentary film maker.
Barry MacSweeney was also from Newcastle upon Tyne. He worked as a professional journalist throughout most of his life. He met poet Basil Bunting when they were both working at the Newcastle Evening Chronicle in the mid-1960s, and formed part of a local group of poets including Tom Pickard, Jon Silkin and Jeremy Prynne. He taught journalism and tutored in creative writing in the 1970s and worked as voluntary tutor in adult literacy in Newcastle in the late 1980s. Alcoholism, which he struggled with from the age of sixteen, and related ill health led to his death in May 2000.
12. Tom Raworth with music by Smoke. (Friday 7th July). Thomas Moore "Tom" Raworth was an English-Irish poet, publisher, editor, and teacher who published over 40 books of poetry and prose during his life. His work has been translated and published in many countries. Raworth was a key figure in the British Poetry Revival. Tom Raworth died in February 2017.
13. Viv Stanshall and Company. Vivian Stanshall (21/3/1943 - 5/3/1995) was an English singer-songwriter, musician, author, poet and wit, best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, for his exploration of the British upper classes in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and for acting as Master of Ceremonies on Mike Oldfield's album Tubular Bells. For further information click here
Brian Jacques ( 15th/6/1939 - 5/2/ 2011) was a Liverpool writer -specifically for children - and a musician. For further information click here