Poet Laureate Mark is a stand up guy

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THE city’s poet laureate wowed the audienceat University Centre Milton Keynes last night with his stand-up poetry performance ‘Somewhere South of Normal.’

After performing in poetry slams, recitals and festivals up and down the country, Mark Niel has settled back into MK to show his poetry to the community.

The gig was a fundraiser in aid of Arts Gateway MK, the organisation that helped Mark start his career in poetry after leaving a steady job in the financial sector.

MK Council’s Carmen Kane had never seen Mark prior to his performance.

She said: “We’ve never seen Mark before and never been to a social event here at the University Centre. It’s a fantastic space.”

The poet has been part of the facility for the last month, writing and giving guest lectures to students.

Kate Stephens, Director of Operations at UCMK helped bring Mark in to work among the staff.

She said: “The role of the University Centre is to start people on the road to careers and in this case, second careers.

“It’s a very brave thing to do from Mark’s point of view but it’s been a privilege to have him work with us and we want to support him in every way we can.”

After his extraordinary set (that threw up some surprises) Mark spoke about how thrilled he was performing back in Milton Keynes.

“It was fantastic to stand up in front of a home crowd” he said.

“MK means a great deal to me and it’s always going to be my base.

“I just want to help push the city forward.”

Story and photos submitted by Charlie Ray