As a former Birmingham Poet Laureate, Charlie has worked as a performance poet and writer in the community. Appearing on stage at many gigs and events including Birmingham Literary Festival, Manchester Literature Festival, Artsfest, Ledbury Poetry Festival and Birmingham University Festival. Her work has been performed live on Radio 2 and is published in the anthologies ‘Bugged’ and ‘Split Screen.’
Charlie was a ‘Writer In Residence’ at West Bromwich Albion FC, and performed the resulting show proudly wearing the Baggies shirt at the Big Chill festival. Even Wolves fans were joining in with the chorus to one poem. Charlie also wrote and performed a one-woman show, ‘Buddhism and Ben & Jerry’s’, which debuted at the Bristol Old Vic. The title inspired by a favourite meditation retreat, and the ice cream devoured on the train home.
Keen to work in collaboration, in 2011 Charlie formed the cross-generational ‘Decadent Down To Earth Divas’, who performed at Ledbury Poetry Festival to a euphoric audience, helped by the venue’s free half time cider. Described by critics as ‘a hilarious and moving celebration of womanhood, not to be missed’. They’re working on a new show for 2021 to commemorate 10 yrs together.
Since serving as Birmingham Poet Laureate, Charlie has taken poetry into schools, lifting words off the page and bringing them to life to engage pupils with literacy. She enjoys working with young people of all ages, and has worked in Pupil Referral Units, and in prisons. She also has experience of working with children recently bereaved, and those on the autistic spectrum, and her warm, encouraging approach yields profound results.
Happy to work in or outside of the classroom, Charlie has created several site responsive projects including working at Shugborough Hall and with the Staffordshire Hoard. She was part of the ‘Words and Willows’ project at the National Memorial Arboretum for several years, which opened up a dialogue about war with pupils of all ages.
Following the success of the ‘Free Speech’ project, Charlie also worked on the 3 year‘Hear My Voice’ project for the Lichfield Festival. This combined working with survivors of domestic abuse, and families receiving care from two children’s hospices. The resulting work was celebrated with performances at Lichfield Cathedral where the confidence built up throughout the project shone through in each participant, and tested Charlie’s waterproof mascara…