Any seasoned writer will react cautiously when called a poet, because the term comes with a whopping weight and honour that demands a plethora of writerly skill and proven credit. However, some writers and artists are rightly poets, by dint of both verve, poise and indeed, skill. Manchester’s Tom Bishop is an example.
Shying away from calling himself ‘a poet’, a sprightly and warm Tom Bishop sat comfortably with TNT saying “I write poetry, amongst other things”.
Originally, Tom wrote and rapped music; before transitioning into spoken word. Over the last 6 months, he has been writing poetry. Onto those ‘other things’ he mentioned earlier, Tom loves to cook. “I have a few food projects I’ve been working on and I’m going back to study soon, It’s like I have my hand in a few different pies but poetry is one of my main focuses at the moment”, he explained.
Having begun writing music in Year 7 up to his late teens, Tom took a break from writing but has “come back full circle, but from a different place now. Not to push a career but more as an art”, he told TNT.
On the Manchester poetry scene, Tom performs at poetry collective Young Identity’s Ode@Odd which is on every third Thursday of every month.
Inspired by personal life experiences and politics, Tom’s writing is real and has a traditional focal point. After observing mainstream media’s portrayal of current affairs, Tom spontaneously wrote a full length spoken word piece titled ‘There’s nothing new about the news’.
Impromptu it may be, Tom’s writing is nothing short of measured, creative and punchy. He believes that poetry “provides a voice for people. Like since the Brexit issue, certain voices have been silenced again by the media. I think, on the race issue, people of colour have not been able to voice their opinions on the news”.
It’s certainly refreshing to see Manchester’s poetry scene growing with writers that essentially sizzle positivity with a promising creative flair.