Ian Beech, born in North Wales, moved to Crediton in Devon in 2014, having lived in Somerset for twenty years. Freelance photographer, former public librarian, Ian's lifelong love of books, literature and the spoken word has been reinvigorated by the success of his youngest daughter, performance poet and author Megan. Taking Megan to her first gigs inspired him to write and perform himself, and he’s delighted to have performed on the same bill as her on several occasions to date.
For several years he performed his poetry at a wide range of events, several times every month. Some were regular slots at events in Taunton (Fire River Poets), Exeter (both Uncut Poets & Taking the Mic) and Torquay (Poetry Island) and occasionally at The Bike Shed in Exeter. He has performed for Apples and Snakes at Forked! in Plymouth and was runner-up in the 2014 Exeter Poetry Slam. Ian has also performed at The Poetry Café at The Poetry Society in London, Cross Country Writers in Plymouth, Totnes Poetry Collective, Rhymewarp in Plymouth, The Artizan Gallery in Torquay, The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter (for the RSPB), Poetry Cafe in Tiverton, Crediton Arts Centre, the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, and numerous other venues and poetry festivals throughout the South West.
From September 2014 to December 2017, Ian was the host and organiser of Torquay's renowned Poetry Island at The Blue Walnut Cafe, where he was delighted to present top-class performance poetry every month, performing alongside highly talented local poets and star headliners. Poetry Island will continue during 2019, with various events in the planning stage. He hosted a monthly poetry radio show, Poetry Islanders, on Soundart Radio at Dartington, from June 2015 to September 2017.
In 2014 he also branched out into stand-up comedy, performing well received sets at both the Jocular
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Spectacular Roving Comedy Club and at The Artizan Gallery in Torquay and making his debut as a wedding reception entertainer.
In September 2015 Ian established Poetry Island Press and published his first poetry collection, 'On the Road to Ollantaytambo'.
The poems in the book, all written specifically for performance, cover a wide range of subject matter, with a mixture of comic and serious themes, many of them autobiographical or exploring the histories and personalities of family members. Some of them touch on the most personal and poignant moments of their lives and his own. Audiences have found some of them immensely moving.
It's not all serious. Ian gets a real buzz from making people laugh and this collection is home to many of his comic poems. Occasionally, he's also prone to a good rant, revealing his political views, when haranguing bankers, politicians and the arms trade, not to mention his pathological aversion to Formula One ...
ISBN 978-0-9933961-0-6 £9.00 + £1.80 p&p