In a world where the gap between Arts and STEM seem to grow ever wider, maths graduate and full-time award winning poet Harry Baker, in the spirit of a true Londoner, found a way to “build a bridge” between them. During a brilliant performance for CLSG Lit Soc on Monday, the Poetry World Slam Champion talked about his career as a STEM student with a love for rap and spoken word since schooldays, his switch from Medicine to a Maths degree, his fascination with the German language, and how all of these experiences have accommodated his passion for performance poetry.
His key message will resonate with any student making daunting decisions about their future: whether your passion is numbers, words, or something else entirely, if the drive to explore the boundaries and have fun with it is enough to sustain you, it will come across in the work you produce and take you further than you ever imagined.
Between this life-affirming and inspiring talk, Harry performed poems from “Paper People” to the German-inspired “Falafellöffel”, involving audience participation and awe-inspiring alliteration. Sharing the importance of slam poetry in his life, Harry confessed it “offers me something I couldn’t find anywhere else and that is a way to connect with total strangers. I always loved puzzles and for me, finding ways in which to make people have a reaction to what I say - be it laughter, crying or thinking, or having goose bumps - is one of the greatest puzzles as a performer.” Insightful and deeply entertaining, his performance left a great impression on the audience and, we hope, gave them inspiration to find their own creative outlet that combines their different interests in the most authentic ways.
Malika, Year 13