Ben Norris

Ben Norris is a poet, playwright and actor. He is a two-time national poetry slam champion and has appeared everywhere from Latitude Festival to the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. His debut solo show, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Family, won the 2015 IdeasTap Underbelly Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before touring the UK and Australia, and his first short film, commissioned by Channel 4, was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award. He has also written commissions for BBC Radio 4, Southbank Centre, IdeasTap, and Ditch the Label, among others, and was recently writer in residence at Theatr Clwyd. He is currently developing a new show about elite sport, The Distance, and has a pamphlet of poems forthcoming from Verve Poetry Press. Ben is currently poet in residence for Nottinghamshire Libraries, and he plays Ben Archer in The Archers.


The StAnza Slam »

With MC Ben Norris

Sat 9 March | 22:15 - 23:59 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium

Poetry Café: Ben Norris »

Enjoy an entertaining lunch with a BBC slam champion

Sat 9 March | 13:00 - 13:50 | £6.75/£5.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre


It’s difficult for children to pinpoint the exact moment they realise that nothing lasts forever, but rather it slides into view, like the silver wink of the sea as the family Astra rounds the bend of a Lincolnshire hill

Of course I wasn’t to know
as Jason Leathen and I
pretended at playing snooker
on a full size table
as dad shuffled Clare and me
round the go-kart track
if only to get our money’s worth
as grey day turned to grey night
and the adults all drank
and nobody thought to lament
the fact that the mums and dads
of Netherfield Colts FC (under 15s)
couldn’t afford to go abroad
as our static caravan
terrestrial tele
chicken nugget weekend
trundled on like
a 70s fairground ride
that no one found exciting even then
as Butlins spluttered into Monday

of course I wasn’t to know
that you were setting yourself on fire
letting yourself love him
for the first time

You probably had brunch
probably held hands
linked     kissed
with February lips
like a torn calendar

I wasn’t to know
that one day this would find itself
in a happy poem


Ben Norris

First published in Anthology of Love (Emma Press, 2018)