Emergency Poet is a piece of theatre, a quack doctor show and also at its heart, a vehicle (pun-intended) for sharing and disseminating poetry. I travel to city centres, festivals, libraries, hospitals, conferences, schools – I have even been to a couple of weddings! My last ‘emergency’ call-out was to a conference of psychotherapists and psychiatrists for the UK National Health Service.
Dressed in a doctor’s white coat and stethoscope and accompanied either by Nurse Verse or a Poemedic, I travel in my vintage 1970s ambulance, which is still fitted with its original stretchers and medical equipment. It’s a mix of the serious and the theatrical. There are skulls, jars of eyeballs and other body parts inside the ambulance, and under an attached awning there is a ‘Cold Comfort Pharmacy’ with Nurse Verse dispensing poems-in-pills for various ailments, including internet addiction and anxiety. There’s even some poetry Viagra.