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John Cooper Clarke Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

I Wanna Be Yours (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Luckiest Guy Alive (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
What (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

About John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke, a well-known English performance poet, rose to popularity as a ‘punk poet’ during the late 1970s. His unique style and talent quickly made his performances anticipated events. He released multiple albums from the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, showcasing his creative verve. Throughout this period, Clarke shared the stage with numerous punk and post-punk bands and still carries on with active performances today.

Clarke’s recorded works are especially notable because of the strong musical support from the Invisible Girls. This group has been an integral part of his performances, contributing significantly to his overall sound. The Invisible Girls’ lineup features the brilliant talents of Martin Hannett, Pete Shelley, Steve Hopkins, Bill Nelson, and Paul Burgess. Their collective musical skills have further enriched Clarke’s poetic performances.

In summary, John Cooper Clarke isn’t just an English performance poet, he’s a vibrant force that transformed the poetic scene in the punk era. His enthusiastic on-stage presence, combined with his distinctive brand of poetry and outstanding musical support, has secured his place as an influential figure on the cultural landscape. Today, he continues his exciting work, bringing his groundbreaking style and creativity to a new generation of audiences.

Early and Personal Life

John Cooper Clarke, the well-known British punk poet, was born in Salford, Lancashire, on January 25, 1949. Residing in the Higher Broughton area, he was inspired to dabble in poetry by his English teacher, John Malone. Furthermore, in an episode of Jonesy’s Jukebox, a radio show in April 2018, Clarke revealed his admiration for poet Sir Henry Newbolt, even reciting a part of Newbolt’s poem “Vitaï Lampada” by heart.

Clarke’s early career kicked off as a laboratory technician working at Salford Tech. His journey into the world of performance began in Manchester’s folk clubs, collaborating with Rick Goldstraw and his band, the Ferrets. His creative journey in punk poetry took a leap forward with the release of his first EP, “Innocents” in October 1977, followed by more releases by Rabid, an independent label by Martin Hannett and Tosh Ryan.

Clarke accords part of his initial success to the popular English poet Pam Ayres, whose strikingly successful streak on the UK show ‘Opportunity Knocks’ convinced both Clarke and his mother of his potential in poetry. In more recent years, Clarke has resided in Colchester, Essex, sharing his life with his French wife, Evie, and their daughter, Stella. He continues to inspire and engage with his passion for performing poetry.

Music and Performance

A pivotal figure in the world of punk poetry, John Cooper Clarke’s journey began powerfully in 1979 with his musical hit ‘Gimmix! (Play Loud),’ which made the UK top 40. Clarke’s unique path intertwined with various artists as he shared the stage with musicians such as the Sex Pistols, the Fall, and New Order, exhibiting his distinctive rapid-fire poetry. Known fondly as ‘the bard of Salford,’ he self-referred to himself playfully as “Johnny Clarke, the name behind the hairstyle” during his performances.

Taking a peek into the progression of his career, the 1980s was a challenging phase for Clarke. However, his arts never ceased. He produced music with Suns of Arqa, and his performances continued through the 1990s and beyond. Clarke found a renewed artistic vigor post-2000, reconnecting with guitarist Rick Goldstraw and taking the stage alongside The Fall and the Mescaleros. Beyond poetry, he also made remarkable contributions to films, music videos, documentaries, and even advertisements, creating a diverse and robust career legacy.

Despite the hurdles, John Cooper Clarke’s artistic journey remains remarkable, showing resilience and versatility in a celebrated career span of five decades.

Writing Career

John Cooper Clarke’s contributions to the literary world commenced with his debut poetry collection, ‘Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt,’ published in 1983 by Arena. The strength and energy encapsulated in his written verses offer a unique insight into his charming charm and talent. His unique penmanship continues to influence and inspire in the world of literature.

Fast forward a few decades, Clarke continued his literary journey with ‘The Luckiest Guy Alive,’ another poetic collection, this time published by Picador in 2018. Besides poetry, he also ventured into prose with ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ in 2020 by Picador. Clarke’s impressive broad writing spectrum also covers insightful forewords and introductions for other books.

I Wanna Be Yours

John Cooper Clarke penned the autobiography titled ‘I Wanna Be Yours.’ The book was published in the year 2020. The publishing house Picador, oversaw the book’s publication.

The memoir of John Cooper Clarke – a fashion icon, TV and radio presenter, and the Poet Laureate of Punk – features his distinctive voice. Known for his unique looks and gold teeth, Clarke’s life story is filled with interesting people, from Nico to Chuck Berry.

He shares his various encounters with iconic figures like Alex Turner and Plan B. Moreover, the book showcases his vast knowledge of 20th-century popular culture, making it a delight for both long-time fans and newer audiences.

The Luckiest Guy Alive

‘The Luckiest Guy Alive’ is a captivating poetry book penned by the acclaimed poet, John Cooper Clarke. This literary piece made its debut in 2018. Picador, a renowned publishing house, played a pivotal role in bringing this book to the public.

‘The Luckiest Guy Alive’ is a collection of new poetry by Dr. John Cooper Clarke, his first after several decades. The book contains a medley of intriguing pieces, including a hymn to pies, hand-grenade haikus, and a contemplation on Bono’s lost leather pants.

This collection encapsulates Clarke’s famous ferocious wit and sharp social commentary, confirming his position as ‘The Emperor of Punk Poetry.’ The book also highlights his continuing influence on newer generations of performers, proving that Clarke is still on top of his game in the literary world.

Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt

The poetry book ‘Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt’ is a noteworthy creation by John Cooper Clarke, featuring artistic illustrations by Steve Maguire. It was successfully published in the year 1983. The book hit the stands under the banner of Arena, marking Clarke’s debut release.

Clarke’s early poetry collection reverberates with a vitality as fitting today as when initially published over a quarter of a century ago. Clarke, renowned as the Bard of Salford, presents a collection loaded with a blend of punk sentiment, insightful poetry, and pioneering spirit. This book embodies the hip, edgy culture of its time, and Clarke’s presence is as prominent as ever. His distinct style and expressive language make this a timeless collection.

Book Series In Order » Authors » John Cooper Clarke

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