• Spicy

Spicy Fingers

Spicy performed at our Multicultural Awareness Day, organised by Mr Beadle on Thursday 11th July 2013.

Spicy Fingers was born in Kingston, Jamaica, travelled to England at the age of 14, and lived in Handsworth, Birmingham.

After completing his schooling at Handsworth Wood Boys School, Spicy worked in the restaurant and hotel industry for two years, before going to Garrett’s Green College, where he qualified as a chef in 1980. Spicy worked as a chef for the next ten years, including running his own catering business for six years – hence the name Spicy Fingers!

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Poetry, storytelling, rhythm and art

Whilst managing his own catering business also painting and writing poetry and stories, hoping in time to develop a career in the arts. During the 1990s Spicy travelled extensively, including to Africa, where he bought his first drum and where he mastered the art of drumming, while at the same time developing his writing. In 1994, he produced a ‘poetry poster’ entitled Hungry Man, and based on its popularity, went on to produce and distribute a series of poetry posters and poetry calendars, illustrating his poetry with his original artwork.

Spicy became a prolific writer of poetry, culminating in the publication of his first book in1995, Black Emotions, followed by his second, Black Inspirations, in 2000. As well as writing poetry, Spicy began to tell his stories to family, friends and in public between 1998 and 2005 worked as Storyteller in schools, colleges and community settings, as well as performing his stories and poems(accompanying himself on a drum)in a number of arenas, including in theatres, on radio, carnivals, festivals and community events.

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Between 2005 and 2010, Spicy has been concentrating on poetry, researching his work in a number of countries and developing his art in different cultural contexts. This has led to a greater richness and depth to his poetry over time, while still retaining a clarity and simplicity that is his hallmark.

This has earned him recognition as a poet on the international stage, as well as being one of the widest-read black poets in Britain at present. Spicy is also known as the people’s poet because of his deep empathy with and support from his local community.

In 2010 Spicy published his third book, Black Adorning, with a fourth Reflecting Black ,to be published in summer 2010.

Reflecting Black is an anthology of Spicy’s work as well as an educational resource with worksheets, geared towards the national curriculum, to help young people develop a better understanding of poetry. Spicy will be using this resource in his work with children and young people in schools and colleges.

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Spicy continues his journey as a poet and creative writer, while supporting others to do so by running workshops with children and young people in primary, and secondary schools, colleges and community venues, as well as with adults, in a range of community, education, health and care settings.