Totally Cultured by Dan Simpson


  • Image of Totally Cultured by Dan Simpson

Whilst the familiar themes of science and technology are examined with the snappily-smart observations he’s known for, in his second collection Dan Simpson taps into a more personal and poignant voice. By turns robust and vulnerable, the book is shot through with the sense of humour and linguistic dexterity for which the former Canterbury Laureate has built a reputation in the world of spoken word. Unafraid to play with form and structure, the collection includes a one-vowel-only black cab journey; a music review featuring all the words first coined in 1985; and a shape poem in the shape of a poem. Featuring pieces from four full length
solo shows, plus material written for residencies and commissions, Totally Cultured is poetry at its most engaging and contemporary.

‘Dan’s love of the form lends itself to intricacy and playfulness in equal measure. A collection as likely to elicit a wry smile as tug at your heartstrings with its tenderness.’ HARRY BAKER
Dan’s first collection of poetry is Applied Mathematics, published by Burning Eye Books. A former Canterbury Laureate, he has been Poet-in-Residence at Waterloo Station, National Trust Stowe, and Canterbury Roman Museum. He has had pieces commissioned by Southbank Centre, Free Word, and the Beaney Library. Dan has performed around the world including Glastonbury Festival, Chicago’s Uptown Poetry Slam, Sofar Sounds Auckland, Edinburgh Fringe, and on the BBC.

Dan creates pioneering work using crowdsourced and outdoor poetry for organisations such as the Royal Academy of Arts, National Museum of Scotland, and the European Commission. He is an experienced project manager, coordinating literature and performance programmes for arts organisations. He coproduces and hosts poetry versus comedy gig Stand Up & Slam, and worst-poet-wins spectacle The Anti-Slam. Often working in scientific contexts, Dan has appeared at popular science shows and talks - and is half of Dr. Illingworth and Mr. Simpson, devising interdisciplinary science communication events and projects.

As an experienced educator, Dan is an enthusiastic, insightful, and adaptable workshop leader. He convenes and lectures on the ‘Writing for the Spoken Word’ module at Canterbury Christ Church University, and delivers primary and secondary school classes around the U.K. - including work for First Story, Barbican Centre, and Apples and Snakes. He also runs both creative writing and professional development sessions for adults.