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Rhymes, Rock and Revolution: The Story of Performance Poetry

How the edges between performance poetry and popular music have become blurred, a cross-pollination that began in 1965 when Allen Ginsberg stormed the Royal Albert Hall stage.

Is poetry the new rock 'n' roll - or is rock 'n' roll the new poetry? This documentary explores how the edges between performance poetry and popular music have become blurred - a radical cross-pollination that began 50 years ago when Allen Ginsberg stormed the stage of the Royal Albert Hall. In the year when the Beats met The Beatles, the event turned a young generation on to verse - a revolution that shows no sign of slowing down in today's urban music and slam poetry scenes.

1 hour


Next Monday 23:10

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Casiokids

    Fot I Hose

  • Gil Scott‐Heron


  • Patti Smith


  • Suede

    Beautiful Loser

  • Graham de Wilde

    Echoes of Empire

  • Tav Falco's Panther Burns

    The Bourgeois Blues

  • Sex Pistols

    Anarchy in the UK

  • James Clarke

    Blow Up A Go Go

  • UK Subs


  • 00:12

    Small Faces

    Almost Grown

  • Chappell

    Lord John

  • Sham 69

    If the Kids are United

  • John Cooper Clarke

    Beasley Street

  • Fatboy Slim

    Everybody Needs a 303

  • Leonard Cohen

    Famous Blue Raincoat

  • Buzzcocks

    Fast Cars

  • Siouxsie and the Banshees


  • The Liverpool Scene


  • Public Enemy

    Fight the Power

  • Roots Manuva

    First Growth

  • X‐Ray Spex

    I am a Poseur

  • Gil Scott‐Heron

    The Revolution will not be Televised

  • The Scaffold

    LIly the Pink

  • Leonard Cohen

    The Stranger Song

  • Grasscut


  • Television

    Marquee Moon

  • The Velvet Underground

    The Murder Mystery

  • The Equals

    Police on My Back

  • 00:56

    Kae Tempest

    Lonely Daze


Role Contributor
Presenter John Cooper Clarke
Presenter Hollie McNish
Presenter Phill Jupitus
Producer Kemi Majekodunmi
Director Kemi Majekodunmi
Executive Producer Pauline Law


Featured in...

Contains Strong Language

Contains Strong Language

A season of poets and poetry, centred around National Poetry Day on 8 October 2015.