Poet. Radio Presenter. Journalist. Event Host and Workshop Facilitator.
© 2013 Charlie Jordan
Charlie Jordan learned to read aged 3, the same year she got her first pair of NHS glasses. This convinced her they were magic specs, and not just a geeky affliction. Distracted from books by chocolate, contact lenses, London and music, she spun her way through a 20-year career in local and national radio, including 3 years as a Radio 1 DJ.
Working in speech radio at LBC and at BBC local stations, Charlie revisited her English degree when interviewing her favourite writers. She rediscovered the pure joy of curling up with a good book, or with pen and paper to scribble down her own ideas.
Birmingham Poet Laureate 2007/2008, and former Writer in Residence at West Bromwich Albion FC, Charlie has since worked as a writer in the community, lifting words off the page. Sessions in schools, PRUs and prisons often begin with freestyling a poem including each pupil’s name, which instantly connects. Emma Clifford, English teacher, Earls High School: ‘The students spent a fantastic day with Charlie. The Activities planned were exciting, stimulating and enjoyable. All the students joined in and created some brilliant and compelling poetry. Many students said it had helped their self esteem, speaking skills and team work alongside their literacy.’
Charlie works with survivors of domestic violence, on the Free Speech project and on Hear My Voice, which is continuing into 2014. She also runs sessions for more experienced writers on page and performance poetry.
Published in Bugged and Split Screen anthologies, Charlie is a regular on the performance circuit. Her one woman show, Buddhism and Ben & Jerry’s, previewed at Bristol Old Vic, and 2013 saw her appearing at Manchester Literature Festival and twice at the prestigious Ledbury Poetry Festival. She was also chuffed to appear alongside Jean Binta Breeze & Daljit Nagra at Warwick Wordsmiths.
As a founding member of ‘Write Down Speak Up’, Charlie creates and runs community arts projects such as ‘Small Heath Stories’ with the Birmingham City Council Mobile Arts Unit. Working in collaboration with talented poet friends, Charlie initiated the ‘Decadent Divas’ – a unique cross-generational project that were described as ‘The hit of the Ledbury Festival.’ and will be touring in 2014.