What Is This?

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“What do you think would happen if you knocked on a stranger’s house and offered to write them a poem? OK. What if you did it in a rough council estate in the North East of England?”

Aware that poetry isn’t a proper job, Rowan McCabe decided to create his own and became the world’s first Door-to-Door Poet. Knocking on strangers’ houses, he asks what is important to them; he then goes away and writes a poem about this, free of charge, before bringing it back and performing it on their doorstep.

Through this bold and arguably stupid act he asks: “Can anyone enjoy poetry?” and “Are strangers really as scary as they’re made out to be?” The project has been featured in the Guardian, on BBC Breakfast and was named ‘Best of Today’ on Radio 4.

Here you can read stories and poems about all the people who’ve stopped to talk to Rowan on his journey around the North East. From his visit to the infamous Byker Wall, to his meeting with an imam at a mosque in Fenham; from the most expensive houses in the region, to the ‘roughest street in Stockton’.

Rowan also performs on stages as well as doorsteps. He’s appeared at Glastonbury Festival and the Royal Albert Hall. To find out more about him visit www.rowanthepoet.com

“The most interesting contribution to cultural life from anyone in poetry recently”– Sophia Walker

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