I am a poet and spoken word theatre creator, specialising in work for young audiences.
Over the past 25 years, I’ve shared my passion for puckish poetics and heartfelt humour, entertaining and educating everywhere, from Shoeburyness to Shanghai and from The Savoy Hotel to street corners and a sitting room made entirely out of newspaper.
I’m the author of The Dictionary of Dads (Otter-Barry Books, 2017) and The Magic of Mums (2020) and the writer/performer of twelve family shows, most recently the spoken word theatre show The House That Jackson Built (with Half Moon Theatre) and the interactive shows The Gift of the Gadget and Rhyme Runners.
Whether by visiting schools, facilitating intergenerational projects, hosting open-mikes or editing community publications, I love to encourage the inner-poet in everyone I meet.
My first project with Eastside was in 2019. I’ve since worked on Verse v Verse and then the Spoken Word Power project in 2022 and 2023 in London schools and, in conjunction with the Essex Book Festival, in some Essex schools too. I’ve also been Poet-in-Residence in two schools as part of Eastside’s Creative Festivals projects. And I ran a ten week poetry course called Writing Talk with ten selected children in conjunction with the West London Zone. All the projects have been lots of fun.
Justin’s Eastside Highlight:
I can’t choose one, I’m afraid! I’ve loved it all. I was part of two amazing evenings where the young people from Essex shared their work with families in a theatre setting, most recently at The Towngate Theatre in Basildon. I also loved working with two special educational needs schools, Orion and Manor schools this year- the pupils there were phenomenal. I was delighted to see that Manor school had also been invited to display their poems at Willesden Green station.
Justin’s goals for the future:
I love what I do and look forward to continuing to work on more creative projects in the schools, despite all the current economic difficulties. I’m also working on completing my first verse novel and another collection of children’s poems.