Sunday, 15 March 2015

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Hackney Youth Poetry Showcase Wednesday 11th March at Cardinal Pole

Cardinal Pole Catholic Secondary BOOK LAUNCH + SPOKEN WORD SHOWCASEon the Wednesday March 11th at the School.

The evening will feature:

- the Book Launch of 'A Complicated Answer'
, an anthology of Cardinal Pole students’ creative writing comprising poetry, prose and short fiction pieces written by students at the school aged 11-19.
The book has already been praised by the UK top poets and educators: 

      ‘This book will spin in the world, like a stick in a candy floss machine, gathering good things as it spins.’ Michael Rosen

      ‘This anthology [...], offers us the world in ways we may never have seen it before.’ Jacob Sam-La Rose
       'An incredible, magical, transformative book. My breath is stolen.’ Joelle Taylor

- Performances from young poets and their educators as well as readings from the book.

This event is brought to you by Spoken Word Education Programme. In its third year, the programme embeds spoken word artists
in schools to work with classes throughout the academic year. It partners with Goldsmiths University, Waltham Forest Arts Education Network,
Arvon Foundation, Spread the Word, Apples & Snakes, Eastside Educational Trust and Slambassadors.

Its aims are to raise children’s confidence, encourage self-expression, team-building and leadership skills through poetry and performance.
Cardinal Pole is one of eight schools, who are part of the programme.

When:  Wednesday March 11th 2015, 5.30pm-6.30pm
205 Morning Lane, Hackney, E9 6LG, London
Entry Fee: £1 for students  / £3 for guests
A Complicated Answer will be on sale at the showcase, for £5 each.Contact Person: Katie Hayward (School Librarian) Email: or call 020 8985 5150

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Spoken Word Education MA

Graduating From Goldsmith University with an MA in Spoken Word Education
Keith Jarrett, Indigo Williams, Raymond Antrobus, Dean Atta, Pete The Temp, Cat Brogan

Two years ago I started the worlds first MA in Spoken Word Education at Goldsmith University. This Wednesday, I graduated with full honours. Never went to University before and left institutional education at 16, but this is testimony to what is possible when we commit to our passions. Proud of my fellow poets and the Goldsmith professors and Peter Kahn, who gave me the chance to prove myself academically. I got a distinction.

Poets Who Push The Art Of Performance

"To Have Great Poets, There Must Be Great Audiences" - Walt Whitman

"Spoken Word" a term marketed and skewed by the Guardian to mean "Urban wordsmith", i.e. someone (usually young and influenced by Hip-Hop) who performs poetry or dramatic monologues or raps without a beat. "Spoken Word" audiences (i.e. Guardian readers) are still new to the art so I thought I'd share these videos of poets who truly push the performance of poetry.

David J

Laura Lamb Brown

Salvar Soler

Danez Smith

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Chill Pill is BACK! 26th Febuary at Canda Water Cultural Space (Featuring New York's Jon Sands)

Chill Pill brings the international party to Canada Water for this very special, one-off event with the incredible Jon Sands.

Come join the whole Chill Pill team, Raymond Antrobus, Deanna Rodger, Mister Gee, Simon Mole and Adam Kammerling, for the best spoken word and music party either side of the river, this time we’re amongst the bookshelves at the Canada Water Culture Space.

Jon Sands is a writer known for electric readings, and the author of The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing). His work has been featured in The New York Times, published widely in various journals, and anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2014.

Arrive early for open mic sign-up, show starts at 7.30pm…so arrive early!

£5 each

Box Office: 020 8692 4446

Saturday, 27 December 2014

2014 (Poetry, Education, Community And Other Summaries)

shot by Adam Docker for Chill Pill Shorts -
This year I have spoken poetry to an estimated twelve thousand people from stages at Tedx, Glastonbury and LatitudeFestival to fruit sellers on Deptford Market to students and professors at Oxford University.
November 2014
I finished my Masters in Spoken Word Education at Goldsmith's University with a distinction and was promoted to Lead Educator on the MA Programme, co-ordinated by Jacob Sam La Rose, training and mentoring poets pursuing careers in education.

Faber are currently considering my new poetry manuscript.

I have delivered workshops on creativity and poetry to over two thousand young people, aged 10 – 25, nationally and internationally. I also ran workshops for adults as part of the Keats Festival in Hampstead.

I have written poems commissioned by The Arts Council, Freeword Centre and Southbank. 

Keats House Forum and Chill Pill remain two influential London based poetry and Spoken Word nights.
Chill Pill featured at Camp Bestival
This has been my third year teaching in schools and I will continue to campaign for student voice, education and the marginalised people of Hackney.
Cardinal Pole's Spoken Word poetry showcase in April 2014
In January an anthology of poetry and creative writing by many of the students I have taught in Hackney will be published and has already been recommended by The Poetry Society, Joelle Taylor and is also being reviewed by Michael Rosen.

In 2014 I experienced grief as well as accomplishment and fulfilment in (almost) equal measure. New connections have been established in terms of friendships and my family may be smaller but I feel we are closer. 

I’ve been less sociable this year, preferring to be alone, to read, to think and to hone a kind of solitude. I have shifted my ideas of success, who I am and who I want to be and I am improving the management of any anxiety and depression.

Here's to another year of learning, teaching, creating and inspiring. 

See you all in 2015.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Chill Pill Christmas Special; Luke Wright, United Vibrations, Aisling Fahey & Vanessa KIssuule at The Albany (December 18th)

Here are two powerful poems by two of our featured poets appearing at the Chill Pill Christmas Special at The Albany. I'd suggest watching these all the way through, and on your own. Then I'd remind you that the Chill Pill Christmas show will indeed be a BIG HAPPIER PARTY!

Luke Wright

“One of the funniest and most brilliant poets of his generation.”  The Independent.

Luke was a poet in residency on BBC Radio 4’s saturday live, he’s the founder of the Latitude Poetry tent, and regularly tours with John Cooper Clarke.

For this Chill Pill event he is performing a special xmas collaboration with stand-up comedian and musician Vikki Stone, and her choir

United Vibrations

Vanessa Kisuule

She is the current Roundhouse Slam Champion AND the current Hammer & Tongue national slam champion, currently based in Bristol. 


Monday, 17 November 2014

The First Time I Wore Hearing Aids


The first time I wore hearing aids
Stepping out of Saint Bartholomew 
Hospital. I heard pigeon flapping 
crowded city traffic avalanche my ears
like never before. If there was silence
behind any doors in my brain 
they’d been unhinged. It is a miracle
that anyone can think in this volume of busy. 


The first time I heard the bell on the bus,
I kept pushing it for every stop, 
it vexed the bus driver
but I was a child 
playing with sound.


First day at school,
Kieran saw my hearing aids 
and asked if I was a secret agent, 
I said yes, my ears are investigators 
of missing sounds. 


I can still hear 
Miss Williams taking register.
every present syllable in Ray-mo-nd-Ant-ro-bus
was a silent prayers for absence.


When Dominick asked if support teachers 
sit with me in class because I’m stupid,
I wished I said something smart
to clarify my intelligence.


I wished I could trust my ears
to pick up the answers.


In speech therapy
I struggled with
pronouncing it con-fi-der.

The sound was too dense, too tuned out of frequency.


In the hearing aid repair clinic
The TV is always on mute – Or is it?


I turned off my hearing aids
to write this, because sometimes, 
hearing aids make you hear everything 
except yourself.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Joelle Taylor Book Launch, Karim Kamar Album Launch & Girls In Film Discussion

Bouncing back from a week of illness and a reading at Oxford University, here's a few events I'll be appearing at this week.

Joelle Taylor, curator of SLAMbassadors has a new book of poems launching, 'The Woman Who Was Not There' and I'm honoured to be one of the poets asked to read alongside her at Phoenix Artists Club on Thursday 6th November at 6.30pm in Soho. Joelle is one of the most important names in British poetry and has become a prolific door opener for many poets on the London scene today. If you haven't seen her Ted Talk I highly recommend it.

The following evening, (November 7th) Pianist, film maker and Out-Spoken Co-Curator, Karim Kamar launches his music project 'Songs Without Words' at the 1901 Arts Club from 7pm. I'll be reading alongside poets such as Simon Mole, Anthony Anaxagorou and Sabrina Mahfouz.


On Saturday (November 8th), Corrina Antrobus will be chairing a discussion on female representation in film at The Under-Wire Film Festival. Details below.