In his second collection, Dan Simpson looks back to childhood: a place of security in an economically and politically unstable world. As his fellow Millennials grow up into precarious living arrangements borne out of the housing crisis, they are turning back to the safety of childish things: comic book universes and superheroes; adult nursery schools and breakfast cereal cafes; reformed 90s boy- and girl-bands.
Mashing up financial statistics and pop-culture, Dan reflects on the Instagram-worthy preoccupations of Generation Rent: bottomless brunch and smashed avocado on toast, artisanal coffee and craft beer, pop-up street-food and boutique festivals.
These poems are both personal and political, bringing together a detached, data-driven analysis of the difficulties of a struggling generation with Dan's own childhood memories. By turns robust and vulnerable, the book is shot through with the sense of humour and linguistic dexterity for which Dan has built a reputation on the spoken word scene.
A former Canterbury Laureate, Dan's first collection of poetry is Applied Mathematics, published by Burning Eye Books. He has had work commissioned by Southbank Centre, Free Word Centre, and Corinium Museum, and he's a regular chef at The Poetry Takeaway. He has been Poet-in-Residence at Waterloo Station for TfL, at Knole House for the National Trust, and Canterbury Roman Museum for the University of Kent. Dan creates pioneering work using crowdsourced and outdoor poetry for organisations such at the Royal Academy of Arts, National Museum of Scotland, and the European Commission. He is an experienced project manager, co-ordinating literature and performance projects for arts organisations. Often working in scientific contexts, Dan has appeared at popular science events and talks. He partners with Dr. Sam Illingworth to create shows and run spoken word and science projects - such as Experimental Words, bringing together poets and scientists to collaborate and create new performances together. As an educator, Dan is an enthusiastic and motivating workshop leader. He was a Poet Coach on Apples and Snakes' youth slam education project Spoke 'n' Word, and is a regular in primary and secondary schools. He also runs creative writing and professional development workshops for adults.