From our first event in the Adams Arms in London back in 1982, Apples and Snakes has grown into a national organisation at the forefront of the poetry and spoken word sector.

Over the years, as spoken word trailblazers, we have supported incredible artists to develop work, created inspirational experiences for audiences and participants, produced events in surprising places – on buses and boats, in supermarkets, parks, historic buildings, and train stations – and created opportunities for people to listen to unheard voices.

During this time the wider poetry and spoken word movement has grown significantly with organisations, venues and artists across the country doing amazing work. In response to this new climate, the time is right for us to look with fresh eyes as to how we can best make impact in the future.

Our mission, to champion poets and poetry from across the country, amplify ignored and unheard voices and push the idea of what spoken word is and can be, remains at our core. As we map out the company’s future vision we want to ensure that we are bringing fresh thinking to our programme, and an entrepreneurial approach to developing a sustainable operating model.

Our current national programme runs until April 2020. Following this we will be working on our Jerwood Poetry in Performance development programme and developing a new show, Cece’s, combining jazz and spoken word as part of the Season for Change programme looking at arts and climate change.

We will be working with a smaller team, with producers on the ground in the Midlands and in London, and a wider team supporting delivery across the country. We will continue to support and develop artists nationally and, as always, ensure that artists remain at the heart of what we do.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the staff who have devoted their time, energy and expertise to supporting artists across the country over the past 18 years that we have been working nationally. They have done amazing work, which has really enabled spoken word to grow in the way that it has. As we move forward we will endeavour to build on that legacy.

As we approach our 40th anniversary, we are excited about this new and ambitious chapter for the organisation and look forward to what it might bring.

Lisa Mead
Artistic Director and CEO


Please continue to check our website for information and updates about our programme of events and activities. You can also follow our work on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and by signing up to our monthly newsletters. If you have a specific question please email us on: [email protected]