Islington writer embarks on ‘guerilla’ readings in Swan pubs

Jan Noble

Jan Noble - Credit: Archant

An Islington writer has performed his poem Swan in every London pub that shares its name – whether he has permission to or not.

Jan Noble’s piece was inspired by his pupils on the Workers Education Authority creative writing course, many of whom are homeless or have mental health issues.

Of the 21 ‘swan’ pubs in the capital, 15 have given him permission to do his reading.

The other six have told him to wind his neck in, but he’s staged ‘guerilla pop-ups’ anyway.

He says he was intrigued to see what would happen If he was to “stand up in the middle of the pub and start shouting out some poetry.”


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The results have included one listener who told him to “stop picking on swans.”

His tour ended at The White Swan in Upper Street last night.

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