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Nick Toczek (born 20 September 1950; Shipley, England) is a British writer and performer working variously as poet, journalist, magician, vocalist, lyricist and radio broadcaster. He was raised in Bradford and then took a degree in Industrial Metallurgy at Birmingham University (1968–71) where he began reading and publishing his poetry. Staying on in Moseley, Birmingham, until 1977, he founded his poetry magazine The Little Word Machine, had several books and pamphlets published by small presses, co-founded Moseley Community Arts Festival, and toured with his music and poetry troupe, The Stereo Graffiti Show. Moving back to Bradford in 1977, he co-founded the seminal music fanzine The Wool City Rocker and formed the band Ulterior Motives, in which he was lyricist and lead vocalist. Continuing to tour as a poet and to publish his writings, he also recorded songs with a variety of bands. During the early 1980s, he ran a series of weekly punk and indie gigs. Throughout the late '80s and early '90s, he ran weekly alternative cabaret clubs, usually co-organising these with fellow performer Wild Willi Beckett. Since the mid-'90s, his collections of children’s poetry (first with Macmillan and later with Hodder, LDA, Caboodle, etc.) have seen him become a best-selling children’s writer. Also, since 1997, he has been regularly collaborating with the composer Malcolm Singer, starting with their Dragons Cantata. By 2011, Toczek had worked as a visiting writer in thousands of schools, visiting dozens of countries worldwide in the course of this work. He is also a professional close-up magician, a skilled puppeteer, an authority on far-right neo-Nazi and racist groups, a prolific print journalist and an experienced broadcaster.
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