Performance poet Jim Higo at Fudge Hull
It wasn't so much a "Dear John" letter as a shopping list. But Jim Higo – a performance poet from West Hull – has got something to thank an ex-girlfriend for.
"She gave me a list of all the things that she found annoying about me – including that I was pedantic," said Jim.
"The thing I should have said to her – 'That's not how you spell pedantic' – came to me, as with all the best retorts, about two months after it had happened."
But the phrase didn't go to waste.
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Instead, it became the title for a performance poetry show which Jim took to this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
It's all part of a growing schedule of events for the Avenues-based poet, who is at Fudge, Princes Avenue, on Wednesday (November 21).
Appearing at the venue's new event – Pie, Peas and Poetry – Jim's set marks the latest stage in a long-held love for writing and performance.
"I'm now in my 40s and used to do a lot of acting when I was in my 20s," said Jim.
"As with most things, jobs and relationships take hold and it falls into the background but I always carried on writing.
"About three or fours years ago I was doing lots of writing but was struggling to get it performed.
"So I thought 'Why not do it myself'?"
Jim started out as a stand-up but after deciding to include a couple of poems in a set – and being pleased by the response – has found his focus shifting.
"I am a stand-up poet," he said.
Jim has seen his work published in poetry journals but it is the buzz of appearing on stage that he loves the most.
"Performance poetry is punk rock poetry," said Jim.
"It is not that traditional perception of a poet wearing a tweed jacket and corduroy trousers.
"I grew up on Bransholme and my dad was a docker.
"I write about the things that people would talk about in the pub – TV and politics and sex, the everyday stuff."
Jim has been a regular at Fresh Ink – the performance poetry night at Hartley's, Newland Avenue – since in 2011 and is part of Carshare Poets, a group of Hull poets who perform at venues around the region.
His gigs have included a set at the King's Arms, the Salford pub owned by the former Beautiful South lead singer Paul Heaton.
"I do it for the performance side – to get up in pubs and clubs and theatres, that's the exciting bit for me," Jim said.
"Someone said to me if you can get up and perform poetry in a pub – to get people's attention when they are out for a chat and a beer – then you can do it pretty much anywhere."
His influences include the famed performance poet John Cooper Clarke – another writer adept at mixing social comment and humour.
But the key motivation remains the punk movement.
"It is the punk thing of going out and doing it for yourself," he said.
"It is about reflecting those influences we had – of not being defined by pay, and rent and mortgages.
"It is all part of growing old disgracefully."
When: Wednesday, November 21, 7.45pm
Where: Fudge, Princes Avenue, Hull
Call: 01482 441019