The Pause – Field Lab 

Early this year I was invited by Team London Bridge, in partnership Apples and Snakes, to put together a day of interactive exercises that would inspire a different spin on talking about the climate and ecological crisis as part of the epic In A Field by A Bridge Festival. Since 2018, I’ve had many conversations in climate and environmental…

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A yellow circle on a faded yellow crown on a purple background. The circle reads Word Cup 2023

WORDCUP : An Overview

Each poem owes gratitude to other poems and poets that went before it. Poetry is a communal, collaborative act. Sometimes we fall into the trap of spotlighting the individual, whoever’s creative genius steals our breath. And yet we know that everything exists in a continuum. Each poem owes gratitude to other poems and poets that…

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Tatenda Matsvai

Describe yourself in 3 words… Playful, Enthusiastic, Sporadic What inspires you? I am inspired by life the beauty the weight, the flow of it all through music movementbreath, it moves me, makes me feel present, real unreal at times and like magic, My family,my mother the story teller, my father the spokesperson, my sister and…

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Apples and Snakes changes lives. Apples and Snakes changed my life.

It’s a bold claim but it’s true, Apples and Snakes really did change my life. Reaching me just at the right time and showing me that poetry wasn’t/isn’t exclusively written in the drawing rooms of the privileged, that community work was not of lesser quality and that art really can change lives in a way…

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The Path from Shadow to Poet Coach

WORDCUP ’14 – ’23 The Woods of Writing As a poet who has reached a decade into this line of life (I’d call it work, but poetry is something lived, isn’t it?) I have found myself reflecting on the journey, the path from Shadow to Poet Coach.  Over this decade, I have facilitated poetry in…

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Apples and Snakes Takeover and All Stars Gig

Apples and Snakes Takeover & All Stars Gig On a sunny Saturday 3 June 2023, we hosted our special Takeover and All Stars gig at the Roundhouse in London. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Apples and Snakes in style, the day featured live performances, creative workshops, podcast recordings and talks. This epic birthday bash was…

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Bits of a Poet

Bits of a Poet “Understanding comes in different forms, and poems are not riddles.” – Bohdan Piasecki We build poems out of bits of language. Words, and groups of words, and ways in which words interact. We each amass a different set of these bits, and even the ones we ostensibly share we imbue with…

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Edalia looks to the side and up, wearing her hair down, with hoop earrings.

The Animated Poet

A few years ago I realised if I draw while I listen, it tames my frantic mind and lets the poets’ words reach me. I have AHDH and I love poetry and drawing. My mind bounces all over the place when I create which is a joy for stringing together wild ideas, but my mind…

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Goodbye 2022

Hello from Apples and Snakes, and goodbye 2022! A momentous year for us as we turned 40 on 2nd October 2022.  Wahoooo!!! It’s amazing! What was started by a small collective of poets Mandy Williams, Pete Murry and Jane Addison in a room at the Adam’s Arms, on Saturday 2nd October 1982 is still here, going strong, 40 years later…

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A woman with long dark hair wearing a high necked, long sleeve white dress puts her arm behind her head, standing in front of a tall tower block

I Don’t Owe You a Trauma Poem

“i hate having to share trauma with white people to be taken seriously. as a writer but also just as a person. like, is that the only way whiteness recognises me as a person? through pain?” – Chen Chen The very first spoken word poem I ever wrote was on my experience of a lifetime…

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Being A Disabled Poet

I’d love it if people could read the word ‘disabled,’ notice what feelings come up and then challenge them. Try it now. Disabled poet. I think I did have a sense that the village hall tea-party, in the middle of Norfolk, on a sunny afternoon, might not be ‘my audience’ but then, I didn’t want…

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Commission This – Shagufta K Iqbal

The world of commissioning can sometimes be a minefield, and it can be difficult to know where to start. I’ve been practising as a poet and workshop for over 10 years now, and alongside this work, I have also been commissioned to write for a variety of different projects. Each with its own trials, tribulations,…

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The Educational Poet

Its September. School bells are calling in students to begin a new academic year, and for many writer teachers like me, we’re trying to find the balance and earning a living and honouring their creative endeavours. I’m a part-time English lecturer working in Further Education (FE), teaching GCSE English Language resits to learners who didn’t…

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The Beginning of Young Identity

Young Identity started life as Inna Voice. In 2006, we entered Apples and Snakes’ national poetry slam “Word Cup” at Warwickshire University. It was extremely exciting and we had no idea that we would end up with a project that has now become a micro charity. After Word Cup, we started running weekly workshops in…

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Image of Tom - a man with curly hair and glasses looking to the side

A Poet Walks Into a Bar

​​The first poem I ever performed in public was in the basement of a Starbucks. It was something sweet, innocent and poorly written about holding hands (we don’t all burst onto the scene masters of the Craft). As I compared notes with the other budding performers afterwards however, I slowly realised that my earnest poem…

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From Callout to Publication

How it Worked For me – Sundra Lawrence I love Apples and Snakes callouts – the news neatly folded in my inbox, a truthful subject header – Callouts, courses and mentoring opportunities – and the unlatched thrill of hope. A few years ago, I’d decided to take my writing practice more seriously. This included reading…

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Black and white picture of Iroro looking towards camera wearing sunglasses

Iroro Azanuwha: Not a typical poet

Some people might say that I don’t look like a typical poet. I’m ok with that.

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A young man standing on stage, speaking into a mic, wearing a blue outdoors rain mac

Not Feeling Like a Poet

“I’ve never really seen myself as a writer, more somebody who happens to write. I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a poet. I always saw my body as a more likely avenue to success than my brain.” I was good at football and running; I captained my Sunday League team and ran for my…

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Tahmina Ali – This is a Mother Poet

“…The only thing that helped me stay connected to who I was was my writing” Who am I? I am a poet who writes about things that matter to me, so I like to write about culture and identity. I am a North East poet and a British Bangladeshi. I am a new mum and…

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The Poems of Joseph Coelho

Joseph Coelho has been a long-time friend of Apples and Snakes. With his latest release, Poems Aloud, what better way to celebrate it than on World Book Day. It’s full of beautiful illustrations and stand-up and read out loud poetry for children (or anyone really!). 3 March also marks the start of SPINE Festival, a…

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Practical Poetry in Times of Revolution – lisa luxx

“I speak here of poetry as a revelatory distillation of experience, not the sterile word play that, too often, the white fathers distorted the word poetry to mean – in order to cover a desperate wish for imagination without insight.” – Audre Lorde, Poetry is Not a Luxury It was the winter of 2020 when…

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Kate Fox: This is a Neurodivergent Poet

This is a Neurodivergent Poet… I know a lot of other poets feel, as I did, that whenever they first encountered the world of poetry, they had found their tribe. I had glimpsed my tribe before. I found them in the amateur drama groups I joined from being a teenager. They were in the green…

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2021 Round Up

Hello from Apples and Snakes What to say about 2021, was it worse than 2020? Hard to choose! We kept ourselves busy making work and supporting artists through programmes such as Writing Room, Work from Home, Artists Gatherings and our bespoke Poetry in Performance development programme supported by Jerwood Arts. We collaborated again with the…

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Open House: Mapping the journey of ESOL

Open House has been running as part of the SPINE Festival since 2017. The project is specifically devised for refugee and migrant communities in London, allowing participants to creatively explore language through culture. This year (2021) was the last year Open House was part of SPINE festival and we thought it would be great to…

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