Who are you?

I’m Charles Wheeler, a writer, performance poet and activist from Leicester. As well as House of Verse, I can often be found at open mics around the city.

I organise politically with Leicester Socialist Party, campaigning to stop cuts to public services and build a fairer society. I’m also co-ordinating our local activity with BadArt, an anti-capitalist protest art group affiliated to the Party’s international organisation, Committee for a Workers’ International. We’re planning our first BadArt Leicester showcase night in September.

I cover rugby union and American football for live blogging site ByTheMinute [http://bytheminute.co]. We always need new writers, and you don’t need any approval to set up your own live blog of absolutely anything (but we have a weekly schedule of events, including sports, TV and news, if you need some suggestions to pick from).

I also write for Great Central, a free magazine and website about the wonderful Leicester cultural scene. The magazine is available in the coolest places in the city, and it’s free. Take one. Just take it! Go on, nobody’s looking.

I’m also a pro wrestling referee, and I have pet rats, the most wonderful animals I know…

What’s your art?

Primarily poetry, both written and spoken. I often address political themes, because politics to me is simply the organisation of human life, and as such, it’s relevant to everything and everything is relevant to it. I touch on themes of mental health, particularly my own experiences with Asperger Syndrome. But it’ll be about anything, really.

I started writing poetry in earnest after getting burnt out with long-form fiction during my Masters’ degree. It’s an awesome rush to be able to write something in the morning, memorise it in the afternoon and perform it to instant feedback in the evening. Although I usually practice a little more than that. And then mess stuff up anyway. But who cares?! It’s just liberating and empowering to be able put thoughts out there, and the Leicester scene in particular has tons of opportunities for everyone from every background to do that.


[
photo credit: Chris Wells]

What’s coming up for you?

A bunch of things!

I’ll next be popping round the House of Verse on 15th July at the Music Café. Keep an eye on: 

http://www.facebook.com/thehouseofverse for the details…

I’m frequently found at Find the Right Words, a spoken word open mic night usually on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at Upstairs at the Western, run by the brilliant Jess Green and Toby Campion.

https://www.facebook.com/FindTheRightWords/

Obviously with a General Election coming up, Leicester Socialist Party will be very active. We’re not standing any candidates this time, as we’re supporting Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Our two branches meet for political discussions and organisation every Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, usually either at the Barley Mow on Granby Street or Secular Hall on Humberstone Gate, and we have a stall in town for a couple of hours every Saturday opposite the Highcross. Come along and have a chat if you’re interested in building a better world! Find out more about what we think and what we’re up to at: 

http://twitter.com/LeicsSocialists …and the national website at: http://socialistparty.org.uk

The election has unfortunately forced us to postpone the first BadArt show, which was scheduled for June, but that just means we’ll have even more time to plan and make it amazing. We’re currently aiming for a September date at Upstairs at the Western. In the meantime, we’re gonna be holding monthly-ish meetings at Madison’s Café on London Road, where much like the Socialist Party meetings we’ll have a discussion and a chat about our activities. If you’re interested in the arts’ role in social justice, come on down! You can keep up with our local BadArt activity at: 

https://www.facebook.com/BadArtLeicester/ …and check out the international website at: http://badartworld.net/

You can find my Great Central articles at: 

http://greatcentral.org.uk/author/Charles-Wheeler

…and my ByTheMinute live coverage at: 

http://www.bytheminute.co/users/139

Make sure to click around and check out the rest of GC and ByTheMin too.