Poetry International Poetry International

Harry Man

Harry Man

Harry Man

(United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 1982)
Harry Man stands out as a new and exciting voice in the UK, exploring the borders of paper and stage, science and art in an intriguing way. He started his career as a spoken word performer, something that still influences his work. In 2013 he debuted with the pamphlet Lift, a dynamic mix of science fiction, science and nostalgia in sparkling language packed with humour. For Lift, Man received the 2014 Bridges of Struga Award at the oldest poetry festival taking place in Europe, the Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia.

Audacity is a valuable trait in Man's work, according to Slave Gjorgo Dimoski, board chairman of Struga Poetry Evenings: “the audacity through which he manages to find a poetic way in, including seemingly non-poetic topics through his linguistic games and a neo-avant-garde style, which makes his poetry direct, communicative and of current interest”.

Man tackles scientific and urbane themes with electric language, lyricism and humour – whether imagining the Facebook page of the planet Earth as it moves from era to era, as when “Microraptors, Hadrosaurs, Flowering Plants and Massive Asteroid” joined the network “Goodness Cretaceous Great Ball of Fire” in his poem EARTH, or drawing out the love story at the heart of a tale of missing identity in TELESUE: “Sue/  there are days I don’t believe in doubles or daydreams/  when you’re behind every windscreen of every car coming the other way”.

Man collaborated with the illustrator Sophie Gainsley Finders Keepers (2016), which examines the topic of endangered species in British nature. The poems are created from the raw material of interviews with conservationists and local residents in which each species lives. The theme illustrates Man’s interest in ecology and science and his feeling of urgency about them. Among other things, Man has written about the steep collapse in British nightingale populations, as well as the Norfolk Hawker, an endangered dragonfly, red-listed on the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan. In late 2014, he curated an ecologically-focused poetry reading in London’s Poetry Café, with readers including Inua Ellams, Holly Corfield Carr, Tom Chivers and Karen McCarthy Woolf.

Harry Man has collaborated with his long term partner, the contemporary dance choreographer Jennifer Essex, on No Landing, a multimedia project on the interaction of the spoken word with movement, as well as a number of fellow poets, including Kirsten Irving, for S. J. Fowler’s Camarades series, part of the Enemies Project.
© Versopolis
Lift, Tall Lighthouse, Luton, 2013
Finders Keepers, Sidekick Books, 2016

Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Lira fonds
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère