Mark ‘Mr T’ Thompson Born and bred in South-East London of Anglo-Jamaican heritage, Mark originally trained as an actor following which he appeared on stage and screen, including touring nationally in a play written by Benjamin Zephaniah. Having found acting work a little less than consistent (ahem... ok a lot less than consistent!), he retrained as secondary drama teacher, looking to bring his youth work and dramatic skills together in a way that would actually allow him to make a regular wage between other engagements. Working as a Drama lecturer in FE, a theatre company’s director of education and then as a teacher of children with speech and language difficulties, he eventually decided to go back to the world of performance, this time focusing on his poetry. His love of verse can be traced to a diverse range of inspirations; his passion for rap music and sung lyrics, an early introduction to Shakespeare and a love of dub poets like Zephaniah. His first verses were written in song or rap form, but he didn’t discover the most effective way to use them until he stumbled into a spoken word event in Brixton in 2003. It was a eureka moment. Hold on I don’t need music, I can just get up and SAY my stuff!’ Twelve months later he won his first slam. Late in 2010 he won the People's Choice award for most popular artist on www.manologz.co.uk in their televised on-line slam. His work is intensely personal exploring themes including; culture and identity, love and romance, as well as political and social commentary. A whole chapter of his first collection, ‘Mixed Messages’ self published in 2009, is dedicated to the story of his wife Sarah’s successful search for a bone marrow donor. Mark has volunteered with the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust ever since, regularly representing the organisation at various awareness and fundraising events as the ACLT’s official poet. He has already sold over 400 copies of his first book, 200 copies of the CD, performed at venues from the Hackney Empire to The Blues Room in Johannesburg, in the process winning a number of awards and Slam competitions. Additionally he has delivered educational, poetry-based workshops to young people in schools and colleges receiving rave reviews.
Even Superman needs a phone-box Even superman needs a phone-box, When he needs to make a change. And obviously he also has to arrange, A small plastic carrier bag, in which to place his shoes and socks. Batman has both Robin and Alfred when he needs a helping hand, A quiet word of support, a gadget, or just a mate to understand. So if you need it, find some space where you can try and change your state, Lean on a friend in time of need, as in time you may be needed to reciprocate. Don’t knock yourself, it’s ok to pause or share if it all gets too much, Even proudest walking wounded will not be embarrassed to clutch a crutch. So work out what you need, And if in doubt then seek advice, Then take your remedy, Be it a private space, A friend’s assistance, Or just chicken peas and rice.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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Sunday 16 January 2011
Friday 21 January 2011
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