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The Internet can turn into a sour pastime fairly rapidly. Suddenly you’ve lost two hours you should have spent doing something else, and you’re left feeling empty and vaguely embarrassed. But just occasionally, random searching can uncover online gold. We recently discovered the website of York-born performance poet Rob Auton, full of weird and wonderful videos showcasing his talent for the spoken word (including a 20 minute poem about the colour yellow).
We invited Rob to be the first guest poet on our new slot, Litro TV, where over the coming months we’ll be showcasing performance poetry and other visual arts. Litro had a hard time picking a favourite of Rob’s poems, but “A Footballer’s Life For Me” came out top, featuring Rob in his job at an art shop, cheered on by an ever-present football crowd as he stacks shelves and flattens cardboard boxes.
Rob says, “I worked in an art supplies shop in London and kept reading stories about footballers getting paid lots of money. I wondered what it would be like if I had the perks of a professional footballer’s job in the art shop.”
On his journey into performance poetry, Rob says “In 2008 I started saying things out loud to people without wanting them to respond verbally.” Since then he has performed at Latitude festival, Glastonbury, Tate Britain and the Edinburgh Fringe festival three times.
In 2012, Channel 4 televised five short films made by London poetry extravaganza Bang Said the Gun and the Mob Film Company. One of the five was a silent film version of “A Footballer’s Life For Me”.
For more information on Rob’s work, visit www.robauton.co.uk
Emma Cooper is editor of Litro's visual arts channel LitroTV. She is a Bedfordshire based writer, passionate about films and books and in particular short stories. You can see more of her writing at www.skewedstories.com and www.readwave.com.