STEVE URWIN was born in 1970 in Consett, County Durham where he still lives. For over a decade he worked as a returned goods clerk for a local giftware distribution company while building up a substantial number of poetry and prose appearances in various UK small press publications.

In 1999, following illness and redundancy, Steve approached “Theatre Cap-a-Pie” and spent eight months on their “Small Fires Leaders Course” (acting, facilitating and writing) at Civic Hall Stanley. In Spring 2000 he edited “The Chocolate Onion” – an anthology of poetry and prose exploring relationships and tolerance towards (domestic) violence – for Cap-a-Pie and appeared in their production of HAL – an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV parts 1 and 2 and Henry V.

In winter 2000 Steve was awarded a poetry mentorship by Northern Cultural Skills Partnership/New Writing North. During this period his official debut full-length collection “Tightrope Walker” was published by Redbeck Press of Bradford.

He then started giving readings/performances across the region: at venues such as Morden Tower and The Blue Room in Newcastle; and the Gala Theatre, Colpitts Poetry and Earls House Priority Services NHS Trust (for World Mental Health Day and to launch their 2003 art/poetry calendar and anthology) in County Durham.

In January 2003 Steve started running publishing workshops for Waddington Street Writers in Durham City and since autumn 2004 has been a Creative Writing community outreach tutor for New College Durham.

He co-edited “The Great Dinner Expedition” with Waddington Street Writers in autumn 2008 and until 2010 produced “Moodswing” – a quarterly pocket broadsheet magazine featuring new writing by established authors and newcomers from across the UK and beyond.

His second poetry collection “Hypomaniac”, published in 2009 by Red Squirrel Press, was September book of the month in cultural listings magazine The Crack that year. Red Squirrel Press also published “Shades Of Grey” a book of prose poems and other writings in 2011.

Steve is the 2008 Newcastle Bare Knuckle Poetry Slam Champion, 2008 Northern Lines Slam Champion, 2011 Middlesbrough Intro Festival Spoken Word Slam Champion, 2011 Berwick Big Word Slam Winner and 2017 South Shields THE WORD Pro Demo Slam winner. He hosted Writers’ Open Mic Nights via Leisureworks at Lamplight Arts Centre for three years.

In 2012 he was an Apples and Snakes shadow poet-coach at Greenfield Community College, Newton Aycliffe, for ‘Shake the Dust’ National Youth poetry slam. He produced Northern Elements Spoken Word Showcase for Arts Council England at Lamplight Arts Centre and ran Arts on Prescription workshops for Colour your Life

Steve currently hosts the lively Poetry Jam monthly spoken word event at Waddington Street Centre in Durham City and runs regular writing courses there. He has also facilitated weekly workshops for Cambian Appletree in Meadowfield and St Cuthbert's Hospice in Durham.  

Steve runs Talking Pen - organising live literature events and publishing limited edition monographs and pamphlets. 

A handmade book "So Much for the Sunshine" (Talking Pen 2013). was followed by a double-header pamphlet (with Catherine Ayres) called "Dark Matter 5" in September 2015 from The Black Light Engine Room Press

Steve's latest full-length poetry collection LAUGHTER TO SPLIT GLASS was published by Red Squirrel Press in January 2019.


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