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'He wandered here, he wandered there', and then he sat down and wrote a poem - Mr Cayn White.

What is your background?

I started performing my brand of punk poetry on the 10th September 2005, I say "my brand" as there's so many different punk poets knocking about these days.

Since then I've wrote a range of poems and gigged heavily in the early years supporting poets like John Cooper Clarke, Nock Tokseck, Attila the Stockbroker ect as well as a wide range of punk rock bands and solo artists.

I took a small break due to work, only performing at the odd event (and there were some very odd events!) Untill I was brought back out of "retirement" by fellow poets Tatty Hogarth and Keiron Higgins.

The shorter version is I'm some bloke from Yorkshire who wrote a poem about biscuits once!

When did you write your first poem? What was it about?

My first poem with the intent to perform would have been 2005, it was called "Law Disordered" and was about a taxi driver who after being involved in a hit and run incident where a thirteen year old teenager was killed, tried to sue the parents of the said teenager for emotional stress. I scribbled it down with all the angst a 19 year old lad can muster!

How did you get into the spoken word scene?

Purely by accident! I always fancied giving it a go but always bottled it untill I helped book Attila the Stockbroker at The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge where I went on very unprepared and very drunk, it was an eye opening experience.

Fun fact, on my way home from that gig I was beaten up in Mytholmroyd, badly bruising a few ribs- it's a dangerous thing this rock n roll lark!

What do you love about writing and what does it give you?

I've always loved words, and seeing how other folk use them in poems, songs, stories.

Recently, writing has given me nothing but trouble! But it's satisfying knowing you've created something that strikes a nerve with folk.

I've always been fascinated with poems and lyrics, my first album was a cassette of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club band by a little known Liverpudlian band called The Beatles, the writing in that album changed my life in a cliche I absolutely detest, but I started writing poems on the back of that, so yeah, words are great and they don't need to be clever or complicated, my words are simple because the person writing them is simple-it works!

What have you been doing over lockdowns?

Lockdowns have been a frustrating time for everyone, mine has been spent job hunting and house hunting but I also managed to write my first book in a very long time and pick up a few new hobbies along the way!

Performances have been online, either by zoom or FB Live which has had an effect on my writing as it's quite difficult to gage the reaction of humourous poems so more serious material has entered the set.

A laughter track on zoom wouldn't go amiss though!

You have just released your poetry book’s Scraping the barrel, tell us about it?Scraping the Barrel, Poems and Stupidity 2005-2020 started life as a collection of the older poems, as time went by I started preferring the newer more serious stuff that I was writing so the mood of the book changed from what was just going to be a cheeky little throw away book to something I'm immensely proud of.

In my biased opinion I don't think there's a poor poem in there and once this lockdown ends I can't wait to perform them to live audiences, I think folk'll be pleasantly surprised with what they get. Either that or a book burning is due... What gigs have you got lined up?

Some great ones actually, they can all be found on my nifty little website but sticking in my mind is Tonight's gig on Facebook Live with Isaac Hughes Dennis and myself as part of Inter-arts Festival Page, it kicks off at 8pm, and it's pay as you feel.

I've also got a joint book launch with the people's poet Keiron Higgins at The Greystone Unity in Halifax on the 24th June as well as performing at Bernie the Bolts High Five night in Keighley.

The way this full return has worked out means I'm getting to gig with friends and folk who I admire and I couldn't be happier. In the first lockdown you were walking a lot, have you kept this going? And did this bring you lots of energy and inspiration?

I was, and still get out on hikes when the time allows, it's been great for me and it's so easy to forget what a beautiful area is around us.

A few of the newer poems were wrote on these walks, it's amazing what a bit of peace and quiet can do with your thoughts. What inspires you? It's hard to pick out any specific inspiration, life changes and so do our surroundings. What we cling to and adapt to I feel are ever changing things, my inspirations when I was writing Drunk and Incapable are vastly different to what inspired the subjects in Scraping the Barrel, and again with the new book, it's all a natural progression.

Discover Cayn White here on Inter-Arts profile page here

Check out all Cayn's adventures



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