I'm a trained actor, director, writer, performance poet, philosopher and a bum. Disillusioned with the world of theatre, I took up performance poetry in 2000, when I joined Tyneside's infamous Poetry Vandals. In the six years since, I've performed extensively throughout the UK and Europe, at various events and festivals, including the Prague Fringe (2004/05) and Newcastle Green Festival 2001/02/04/05), among many others. I'm published in various anthologies including Sand 05, The People's Poet 04, 100 poems by 100 poets and various others.In 2004, along with Kate Fox, I set up New Word Order, an organisation that provides a platform and workshops for all forms of the spoken word. I really hate talking about myself, prefering to let my performances do the talking so to speak, but here's what other people think; ‘... Karl’s explosive, fast paced story telling shook the audience. His poem about isms was particularly powerful, exploring the many ways in which we mimic, delude and evade – it is both heartening and disturbing to be shown the many feints we perform to escape and crush life. Karl as always, has an uncanny knack of exposing the worst and sometimes the best of humanity it all its nakedness. One line which stuck and is particularly relevant to the future of the café and literature in this region was ‘whatever the mind can conceive, it can believe and can therefore achieve’…’ Writer’s Café, The Arc, Stockton on Tees December 05 ‘…Karl had a touch of the mystic genius about him. His words were sharp and cutting, but simultaneously very moving and filled with imagery. It was pure stream of consciousness type writing, as if it had sifted through the smokey cigar of a beat-poet back in a Greenwich Village jazz bar in the late 50's…’ Trevor Gibb singer/songwriter July 04 ‘…Next on stage and arguably the most well known act on last night was Karl Thompson. He is one part of the group known as the Poetry Vandals. An explosive performance by Karl, who managed to make the venue through adverse circumstances (ill health and Network Rail…say no more). His unique contemporary style got the group going. He covered topics about drugs, clubbing, violence. I particularly liked his poem about “Broke Glass”…’ N. Hunter December 04 "Karl Thompson is simply the greatest performance poet l have ever seen. Combining power, subtlety and grace to grab any stage and any crowd, he doesn't shout but doesn't have to. He changes minds instead of causing outrage, using street poetry to near perfect timing." Scott Devon 05 (Please note, Scott Devon was not tied to a chair and did not have a hot poker waved at him when he said that. Just in case you were wondering...) Karl Thompson x
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