Ash Dickinson is a poet, performer and workshop facilitator. He has become one of the UK’s best and busiest spoken word performers since turning full-time professional in 2008. His debut collection, ‘Slinky Espadrilles’ (2012), was the first title published by Burning Eye Books. They released his follow-up, ‘Strange Keys’ in 2016. A collection for younger years, ‘Show Cats In Transit, was published in 2019. A multiple slam champion- including Edinburgh, the Cheltenham Festival and the Museum of Scotland- Ash was the 2011 UK All Stars Slam runner-up, the BBC Radio 4 (Midlands) slam champion in 2009, and he was a winner at the BBC Radio 4 (Scotland) slam in 2007. Ash has performed in Australia, the United States, Canada (including a six-date feature tour in 2011, and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival in 2006), New Zealand (hosting his own weekly poetry night in Wellington, he was invited to appear at the 2002 New Zealand Festival), Germany, Spain, Jordan and the Czech Republic. Ash has headlined many shows and festivals throughout the UK. He had a four-star rated one man show at the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe, and the following year formed part of Scotland's renowned Big Word during its run there. His most recent Fringe appearance was in 2017. Ash has appeared at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Glasgow Comedy Festival, StAnza, the Bristol Poetry Festival, The Larmer Tree, The Freedom Festival, The Wickerman, the Stratford Poetry Festival and The Camden Crawl among many other events. He has performed at such venues as Ronnie Scott's (London), The Colston Hall (Bristol), Oran Mor (Glasgow), Jupiter Artland (West Lothian), The Engine Shed (Lincoln), various RAF bases (including Coningsby and Scampton) and The Jazz Cafe (London), and shared bills with many well-known poets and comedians. Ash is in heavy demand to run poetry workshops and talks; in education (primary and junior schools, secondary schools, colleges, special needs, international schools), through art education (libraries, museums) and with adult writing groups and in prisons. He has been invited to showcase his workshops at secondary school heads of English conferences for Hertfordshire, Devon, Cheshire, Hull and to the Rugby Group. He has addressed the literary society at Stowe School three times, and he was a case study in the Bloomsbury-published classroom aid, ‘Making Poetry Happen (2015) and was poet-in-residence at Coatbridge High in 2019-20. Variously published in newspapers, magazines and poetry presses, Ash’s media appearances include BBC Radio, The Times, The Scotsman, Metro and Sweet TV. "Impressive wordplay" - The Times “Clever and funny” – The Scotsman “Brilliantly surreal invention...fabulous poems” - Edinburgh Evening News "Hilarious social commentary and wicked wordplay…a master of stand-up poetry” – Apples And Snakes "A very cool combination of rap, rhyme, repetition and wry wit...Dickinson proves not only to be an incredibly gifted poet, but also a great comedian with a sharp eye for social commentary" - Winnipeg Free Press "Ash Dickinson is a performance poet for the Lost Generation. If you haven't seen him, you haven't seen performance poetry" - Federation of Writers (Scotland) "Could do for poetry what Bill Hicks did for comedy" - The Skinny "Method Poet": "The Disposable Lifestyle": "Chiller Queen":


being the sea carries a large responsibility I quickly learnt my insides took care of themselves no change there big fish ate little fish and wrecked vessels got tangled in veins and ventricles held like octopus tentacles (from "One Week At Sea") heard the one about the crash weight-loss/ bulk weight-gain/ crash weight-loss actress?/ regulates/ fluctuates/ her weight/ to keep her seen/ keep her in the magazines/ you too can have a body like hers/ salad then splurge/ pies then purge/ up and down/ one week a hologram/ the next Birmingham/ hologram/ Birmingham/ found a diet/ stuck it/ to the letter/ currently she’s a particle of light/ only observed under strict lab conditions/ a close friend says she’s never looked better (from "The Skindustry") stiff under magazines in the afterlife Glass Coffin Coffee Table Wife she’d been married to a charmer an enthusiastic embalmer so when death claimed her, he framed her laid her down, took off her glasses preserved her with gases till death us do part she’s now a work of art with a hot mug mark (from "Glass Coffin Coffee Table Wife") METHOD POET as Britain’s foremost method poet I immerse myself deeply in any subject I tackle I become one with my words I disappear for my revered epic on barnacles I attached myself to the underside of a peeling trawler for four months eating only ocean detritus and phytoplankton if you see me at times like these and think it is me it is not- I have gone native my life is essentially dedication and sacrifice striking a balance between art and life the first casualty was my first wife she didn’t understand that for me to understand office supplies...fully I had to lie in a cabinet for close on a year living, breathing, being a Post-It note I was rewarded with the four finest lines ever written about stationery - and still she left me you grieve, you hurt like acid and you move on the poems keep you warm wife number two I met on location I’d been a plastic bag and the moon and I’d been the sea now I was researching the climatic impact of festival goers on native plants by attending Glastonbury in the guise of a field poppy she’d stooped knelt over and smelt me cradled me delicately like I was new born I was so overcome I had to break character if you catch me off-guard I will tell you she never loved me more than when I was a flower people ask how we cope all this time apart but she understands this is art this is what I must do occasionally I return to our house and find odd things there unfamiliar hairs pressed into the bedding photos from our wedding placed face-down on the mantelpiece a sock, strange keys and I think these are props objects that I once was or one day may be and I’m again clinging on like a barnacle once more I’m all at sea

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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chris yates

Tue 28th Jul 2009 16:32

very funny with a hot mug mark

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Neil West

Sat 11th Jul 2009 15:43

I'm more towards the Bolton/Wigan side of Manchester where there are many convenient hostelries sympathetic to the muse. I also work in education and would be interested to know more about the poetry workshops you do in schools :)

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Neil West

Thu 9th Jul 2009 22:50

Hi Ash. I really like GLASS COFFIN COFFEE TABLE WIFE, very funny but the language is very clever too. Any plans to perform in the Manchester area?

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