Ian McMillan

Ian McMillan

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The Bard of Barnsley

To book Ian McMillan please contact your JLA Agent.


Affectionately known as ‘the Bard of Barnsley’, Ian turns performance poetry into pure entertainment. Now living down south, he turns his hand to people and places in the news (and assembled guests) - with what one critic describes as the verbal gymnastics of Spike Milligan and the timing of Eric Morecombe.


Born in Barnsley, Ian has been a drummer, a builder, a tennis-ball factory worker and the poet in residence at Humberside Police.

Ian wrote constantly as a child without an idea of how to go about actually becoming a writer. After joining a band he realised how much he also loved performing and he soon formed Barnsley’s first folk/poetry duo. A grant from Yorkshire Arts eventually came to the rescue and he began work with Circus of Poets and Versewagon, the world’s first mobile writing workshop.

Described as the “Shirley Bassey of performance poetry” by the Times Educational Supplement, Ian has columns in the Yorkshire Post and the Barnsley Chronicle and can be heard regularly on Newsnight Review and Radio 4.

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