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Blackbox: ‘Rallying Cry Part 1’ Zena Edwards

Raised in Tottenham, Zena Edwards is one the most unique performance poets to come out of London.  She has two one-woman shows, Security (2009) and Travelling Light (2011), which both toured internationally to critical acclaim.

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Blackbox: ‘Negative Space’ Keisha Thompson

Keisha Thompson is a Manchester based writer, performance artist and producer. Her work has been presented at high profile venues and platforms such as Tate Modern, Blue Dot Festival and the British Council Showcase in Edinburgh. She is currently touring award-winning solo show, Man on the Moon.

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Blackbox: Isaiah Hull ‘Algebra’

Isaiah Hull is one of the Roundhouse/Radio 1 Extra finalists in 2015 at the age of 18, having participated in Wordcup, a national youth slam run by Apples and Snakes. He is a member of the young writers collective, Young Identity, which was formed in Moss Side to encourage young adults and teenagers to express themselves through poetry.

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Blackbox: Laurie Bolger ‘Mini Break’

Laurie Bolger is currently touring her show Talking to Strangers and debut poetry collection Box Rooms (Burning Eye Books). Laurie’s work has featured on Sky Arts, various BBC platforms, and for TATE. Laurie is a member of BANG Said the Gun, London’s leading standup poetry night at Soho Theatre.

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Blackbox: Megan McKie-Smith ‘Pre-empting’

Megan McKie-Smith is a poet and actor from Newcastle. She was part of the Apples and Snakes Writing Room cohort in 2018 and was awarded a place at Arvon in 2019. She's featured at Born Lippy, the Southwark Playhouse, Stand Up and Slam and was runner up at the Genesis Slam final in 2018 which qualified her for the Hammer and Tongue Nationals at the Royal Albert Hall.

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Blackbox: Jay Hulme ‘If I Was Being Honest’

Jay Hulme is an award winning transgender performance poet, speaker and educator. Alongside his writing and regular performances he teaches in schools, works as an Inclusion Ambassador for Inclusive Minds, and consults and speaks at events and conferences on the importance of diversity in the media, and more specifically transgender inclusion and rights.

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Blackbox: Antonia Jade King ‘You’ve Lost Weight’

Antonia Jade King is one of the hosts of Boomerang Club, and a previous Hammer & Tongue finalist. She was part of Apples and Snakes Writing Room programme in 2018 and has performed at numerous events including Love Supreme festival and Rallying Cry at Battersea Arts Centre. Antonia is studying for a Masters researching the historical significance of black women in popular culture.

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Blackbox: Laurie Bolger ‘Her Indoors’

Laurie Bolger is currently touring her show Talking to Strangers and debut poetry collection Box Rooms (Burning Eye Books). Laurie’s work has featured on Sky Arts, various BBC platforms, and for TATE. Laurie is a member of BANG Said the Gun, London’s leading standup poetry night at Soho Theatre.

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Blackbox: Marv Radio ‘Channeling’

Marv Radio is known for his out-of-this-world live music and theatre shows where he combines beatboxing, live looping, singing and rap to make high energy motivational hip hop.

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Blackbox: Liv Torc ‘This is it’

Liv Torc is a razor blade skating performance poet. A Radio 4 Slam Winner, a former Bard of Exeter and current co-host of The Hip Yak Poetry Shack. Liv runs the spoken word stage at WOMAD and the Hip Yak Poetry School. Her debut book Show Me Life was released by Burning Eye in 2015.

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Blackbox: Chris White ‘Duck’

Chris White is a poet from the South West now based in London. He came second in Exeter's 8th annual poetry slam and is known for humour, irony and clever wordplay.

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Blackbox: Ross Sutherland ‘In Which I Confess To Many Murders’

Ross Sutherland writes for film, radio and stage. Penned in the Margins have published four of his poetry collections and he runs poetry writing workshops with organisations such as London Science Museum and International PEN. His award-winning podcast Imaginary Advice is a sketchpad for new ideas and new episodes are released monthly.

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Blackbox: Isaiah Hull ‘Hallelujah’

Isaiah Hull is one of the Roundhouse/Radio 1 Extra finalists in 2015 at the age of 18, having participated in Wordcup, a national youth slam run by Apples and Snakes. He is a member of the young writers collective, Young Identity, which was formed in Moss Side to encourage young adults and teenagers to express themselves through poetry.

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Blackbox: Rowan McCabe ‘Deer in a Licence Plate Shop’

Rowan McCabe is a poet from Newcastle upon Tyne, he’s performed on stages around the country, from the Edinburgh Fringe to Glastonbury Festival. His work has been featured in the Guardian, on BBC Breakfast and was commissioned by Radio 3’s ‘The Verb’. He’s the world’s first Door-to-Door Poet read more about his work at rowanthepoet.com

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Blackbox: Ollie O’Neill ‘Forgive Me’

Ollie O’Neill is a poet based in London. In 2013 she won SLAMbassadors, the UK’s national youth slam championship, and she has since gone on to read at venues such as Soho Theatre, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Cheltenham Literature Festival, and many more. She was shortlisted for one of the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry categories in 2018 and published her debut pamphlet 'Ways of Coping' with Out-Spoken Press.

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Blackbox: Thembe Mvula ‘Makhanda’

Thembe Mvula is a South African born writer and performance poet currently based in London. Her work has been described as “having a profound ability to allow readers and listeners to exist in different places at the same time” (Bridget Minamore).

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Blackbox: Connor Byrne ‘On Holy Saturday’

Connor Byrne is a poet and performer from Brighton. They write and perform poetry focusing on ideas of gender and relationships. Connor participated in Writing Room, Apples and Snakes skills development programme for emerging performance poets. They have self published two pamphlets, Borrowed Robes and Parts and Places, and regularly compete in slams.

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Blackbox: Jamie Thrasivoulou ‘Cobwebs’

Jamie Thrasivolou is an award-winning writer, poet and lyricist from Derby. He performs regularly at spoken word nights across the country. Derby County Football Club appointed him as their official poet, and his poem 'We Are Derby' is played on the big screen before every home game at Pride Park stadium.

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Blackbox: The Repeat Beat Poet ‘For the Poets and the Faithful’

The Repeat Beat Poet is a London based poet and MC who fuses stream-of-consciousness writing and Hip Hop culture. He is a multi slam champion, seasoned performer and has been described by John Cooper Clarke as a 'phenomenal writer and enthralling performer.'

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Blackbox: Rue Gumbochuma ‘Stay Strong Black Girl’

Rue Gumbochuma is a Zimbabwe born poet and storyteller. Currently based in London, she has found a balance between poetry and music, combining both to explore the human condition. She has performed at The Roundhouse and BAFTA and her work has been published in an anthology SISTA written by queer women of African and Caribbean descent.

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Blackbox: Bella Cox ‘Howl’

Bella Cox works as a poet, workshop facilitator and MC. She is a Barbican Young Poets alumni and has been part of The Writing Room, London Queer Writers Collective, and the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. She is well known for her transportive poetry that addresses the notions of home and belonging. Her proudly queer and feminist work seeks to embrace difference and empower young people.

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Blackbox: Matt L.T. Smith ‘Lemon Squeezer’

Matt L.T. Smith is a poet and facilitator. Through his work Matt seeks to convey the intimacy of change through explorations of family and mental health that try to capture emotional truth through abstraction.

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Blackbox: Lisette Auton ‘Second Best Room’

Lisette Auton is a disabled activist, writer, poet, spoken word artist, theatre-maker and creative practitioner based in Darlington in North-East England.

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Blackbox: oakley ‘the urban queer finds themself walking again’

oakley has worked with Birmingham Rep and Theatre Royal Stratford East as a playwright, and was awarded the Out-Spoken Prize for Page Poetry 2018 and a part of Apples and Snakes immersive poetry show Rallying Cry in 2018.