Norman is a slam-winning performance poet who facilitates the monthly workshops for Touchstones Creative Writing Group, as well as co-hosting monthly Folk ‘n Poetry nights at The Baum on Toad Lane. He also offers a professional critique service, and sets monthly ‘homework’ which he marks and returns.
Norman Warwick began his writing career as a music journalist and was fortunate enough to interview most of his American song-writing heroes, including Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt. Norman then attended Hopwood Hall College and The University Of Leeds as a mature student, beginning his studies at the age of forty seven. Poet, Simon Armitage, was his lecturer for one semester, in a creative writing module. After graduating with a first class BA in English Language and Literature, Norman formed Just Poets with fellow writer, Pam McKee.
Established more than ten years ago, Just Poets are successful freelance creative writing facilitators, registered with Artists In Schools, Curious Minds and other similar government funded organisations.
Norman has worked in more than 300 schools, engaging with thousands of school children and serves as an occasional consultant to the BBC on literary initiatives. Based in Rochdale, Just Poets are part of the Touchstones Schools Programme delivering in-house workshops at the Arts and Heritage Centre.
Just Poets enjoy a long-standing working relationship with RMBC and Rochdale Borough Library Services, having partnered the services’ public writing competitions, hosted workshops, served as masters of ceremony at numerous events and were recently commissioned to write the commemorative poem for the relocation of Rochdale Central Library to Number One Riverside.
Norman is the author of Memories of Bedlam, a biography of a sufferer from poor mental health, and has also seen his work in several anthologies with publishers such as Pan Macmillan. His work in progress, Beneath an Arietta Moon, is a novel based on characters from the American music he so loves.
Two years ago Norman established all across the arts™ to incorporate Just Poets and to promote a cross-disciplinary, and eventually cross-cultural ethos that he believes will encourage Rochdale to see the arts open as a door to life-long learning. He co-writes a weekly all across the arts page in The Rochdale Observer and co-presents a live weekly hour-long all across the arts radio programme on Crescent Community Radio broadcasting every Tuesday at 9.00 pm on 97fm and on www.crescentradio.net.
‘all across the arts’ is also the name Norman gives to his informal partnerships that see Just Poets in a collective with Ray Stearn’s Can O’ Worms, That Drama Girl, Lois Entwistle, and The Sound Collector, Steve Bewick. all across the arts often work with other Rochdale based, funded arts organisations such as Skylight Circus Arts, PeoplePrint, Cartwheel Arts and Spiral Dance in delivering multi-disciplinary arts projects into schools and local community groups, as well as with freelance artists like Graham Marsden’s shadow theatre and Pan Demonium Drumming Project.
Norman serves in a voluntary capacity as a Trustee for Rochdale Community Voluntary Sector and as an Advocacy Director on the board of Spiral Dance, whilst also devoting time as a member of the steering committee of Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festivals.
And, as if not busy enough, Norman is currently seeking to establish Rochdale’s Choir Of The Unspoken Voice, a co-operative that will provide readings at local events and festivals.