The Ferret will host two of Britain’s top poets in September


Harry Baker

Leading poets Luke Wright and Harry Baker will bring their UK tours to The Ferret in September, as Preston enjoys a ‘growing reputation’ as a ‘cult destination’ for spoken word.


The duo are touring major cities but have included dates from Preston due to their emerging reputation, with BBC Radio One favorite Baker and regular John Cooper Clarke supporting act Wright visiting The Ferret following success at Edinburgh Fringe.

World slam poetry champion Baker has performed for and has been viewed millions of times around the world. Baker’s blend of humor and math in his poetry has led Radio 1 to hail him as “Earth’s Greatest Performer”.

Luke Wright will perform at Preston’s The Ferret on September 22, from 8 p.m., with Harry Baker on September 29, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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Luke Wright

Promoter Garry Cook said: ‘There is a competition to book spoken word artists for gigs which is why persuading them to come to Preston is such a success story.

“Preston has become the jewel of the north for performers – they all talk to each other about different places and cities. What makes this city so attractive is the way they are taken care of. Touring can be a lonely and expensive activity.

“If they come early, I’ll show them around town and take them out to eat or drink. I often have them stay with me after the gig – they love that personal touch and the feeling of being so welcome.

“And even if Preston struggles because it doesn’t have proper theater space like many Lancashire towns, we make up for that with the experience we give to those performers who visit the town.”

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Posters are displayed to promote the events

Wright was the most recent winner of the prestigious Saboteur Award for Best Speech Performer. He supported the Libertines on tour, delivering performances ranging from “tender and tumultuous” to “caustic and romantic”.

Wright’s third book of poetry, The Feel-Good Movie of the Year, is available from Penned in the Margins.

The two artists return to the city after successful concerts. Wright performed at the Harris 12 months ago, while Baker came to the Ferret for the first time in 2020 for one of his last gigs before the pandemic hit.

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Principal poets Harry Baker and Luke Wright

The Poets follow several high profile spoken word artists who have recently visited the city.

They include Louise Fazackerley, Henry Normal, Jess Green, Matt Abbott, Mike Garry, Kevin P Gilday, Laura Taylor, Toria Garbutt, Hollie McNish and Tony Walsh.

Garry said: “Some of these artists tour the world – Australia, Las Vegas, Europe – but they remember the coffee at Cafune or the pre-show meal they have at PLAU bar just as much as the show himself.

“The cooperation of all the independent venues I work with is also crucial for the success of the shows. Vinyl Tap, The Stanley Arms, The Larder, The Continental and The Ferret are all behind me, supporting and encouraging what I do.

“Across the country, it has been extremely difficult to mount shows over the past six months, with audiences down from pre-pandemic levels. People have lost the habit of going out and seeing shows.

“We are still feeling the effects of this in Preston, but growing audiences are coming to these shows, eager to experience the unique atmosphere of a live spoken word concert.”

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Garry said it was an “uplifting” feeling and the performances were “like a live music concert but with a heightened sense of drama” – guests “hang on to every word” of the performers.

Poet Gritty Salford Barrington, who has supported Sleaford Mods and Reverend and The Makers on tour, also comes to The Ferret in October for the final night of ‘Showing Poetential’.

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