‘Procrastiskate’ is a collection of poetry by skateboarder, and poet, Tony Wood. In this case the skateboarder bit it quite important, as this anthology reads like a poetic love note to the maple wood plank that gives so many of us, so much pleasure (and pain).
Many of the poems are accompanied by artwork from skateboarders; Arron Campbell, Jason ‘Hillbilly’ Cheverall and Dan Bryant. The images really add to the overall sense of enjoyment, gratification and sometimes torment a skateboarder experiences. In particular the poem ‘Escape from Boredom’ (a reference to Death Skateboards?) which is complimented by a piece from Jason Cheverall that explores mental health.
As a skateboarder myself this collection of thirty-seven poems is wholly relatable. From the opening line of his first piece “A life long obsession with almost no progression” to the poem ‘Self-harm’ which explores the escape of skateboarding. It’s the type of book I wish was around when I was much younger, as it would have definitely inspired me to put pen to paper earlier and been much more palatable than the poetry force-fed to us in English lessons.
With the popularity of skateboarding right now, and the upcoming olympics next year, I really do believe this book should be in every school library in the UK. It’s an accessible and relatable entry point for young school age kids wanting to get in to poetry.
That said, ’Procrastiskate’ will appeal to skateboarders of all ages, as well as anyone trying to understand the mind of those who choose to put themselves through the pleasures and pain of our beloved pastime. It's a proud addition to my ever growing bookshelf of contemporary poetry.
I was honoured to have Tony as a guest on my podcast the ‘Skateboarder And…’ to talk about how it came together and it’s well worth a listen to discover more about this self deprecating poet.
‘Procrastiskate’ is out now via Stour Valley Publishing
Listen to Tony Wood on the ‘Skateboarder And…’ podcast here.