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Special Feature

Michael Rosen – ‘Many Different Kinds of Love’

In March 2020, I got Covid. My condition dipped and I was put into an induced coma for 40 days. By the time I got home after 3 months in hospital, I was weak and confused. I started to write poems to help me get a handle on what had happened and what was happening day by day now that I was out.

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Shaun Hill – ‘That night, I saw god under a traffic light, hold me warm blooded thing’

Shaun Hill is a 26-year-old poet mapping post-capitalist ways of being. He lives in leafy Birmingham and was the recipient of an Apples & Snakes | Jerwood Arts: Poetry in Performance Award for 2020.

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Rojbin Arjen Yigit – ‘B Flat Seventy-Five Octaves Below Middle C’

Rojbîn Arjen Yigit is a Kurdish writer and medical student. She has written for Bad Form, Gal-Dem, Lucy Writers, theartsdesk and AZEEMA. She is part of The Writing Room - a poetry programme led by Apples & Snakes.

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Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa – ‘Carnival Queen’

Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa is a British born Barbadian raised interdisciplinary poet who chiefly uses movement and dance to compose her work on the page and stage.

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Neelam Saredia-Brayley – ‘Wives’

Neelam Saredia-Brayley is an award-winning poet, captivating audiences for over 9 years. Effortlessly warm and honest, Neelam works with illustrators, musicians and dancers, creating unique, multi-disciplinary performances.

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lisa luxx – ‘I Always Thought’

lisa luxx is a queer writer, performer, essayist and activist of British and Syrian heritage. She writes for freedoms, for healing, to mobilise and to inquire.

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Lashay Green – ‘Teething’

Lashay is a poet, spoken word artist, writer, and playwright from North-West London. She recently completed a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Her past creative engagements include the Kiln Theatre, in which she wrote a short play Eulogies written entirely in spoken word.

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Ingrid McLaren – ‘Blue’

Ingrid is a writer, artist and musician who is trying to be heard and stuff. She has performed poetry nationally, was selected to perform as a regional poet at Hit the Ode in Birmingham and ran a poetry and discussion event called Processed Feud in Brighton which was funded by hummus.

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Eileen Gbagbo – ‘Oil Fields’

Eileen Gbagbo is a spoken word artist and journalist based in London. Originally from Ghana, she is interested in how we use the boundaries of language to help understand the historical and phenomenon of the world.

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Desree – ‘Snakes’

Desree is a spoken word artist, writer and facilitator based in London and Slough. Currently Artist in Residence for poetry collective EMPOWORD, Desree explores intersectionality, justice and social commentary.

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Chika Jones – ‘Is This why we Have Nightmares?’

Chika Jones is a performance poet who was endorsed by the Arts Council of England in 2021 and received the Global Talent Visa. He relocated to the UK and has performed for the British Billingual Poetry Collective. He is currently working on a Poetry translation for a British Sign Language project.

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Cherry Eckel – ‘Rising’

Cherry is a London-based writer, director, performer, and spoken-word poet. She is interested in creating work that is relevant, empowering, electric, and blurs boundaries between disciplines.

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Anneliese Amoah – ‘Sorry for the Late Reply’

Anneliese has been writing & performing spoken word poetry for almost five years. Having grown up and lived in Ghana, London and now Essex, the themes of her work centre mainly around her upbringing, race, religion & current affairs.

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Bhumika Billa – ‘My Mother Lives In Me’

Bhumika (she/her) is an Indian poet, Kathak dancer and legal academic based in Cambridge, UK. She writes on privilege, heritage, and mental health to bring together languages, art forms, and people.

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Blackbox: Antonia Jade ‘You’ve Lost Weight ‘

Antonia Jade King is one of the hosts of Boomerang Club, and a previous Hammer & Tongue finalist. She has featured at Poetry and Shaah and Heaux Noire and 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. She is currently a Barbican Young Poet and her debut pamphlet 'She Too Is a Sailor' is out with Bad Betty Press.

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Blackbox: Sea Sharp ‘The Tall Grass Shuffles’

Sea Sharp is a British-American poet, performer, and playwright whose work explores themes of home, trauma, identity, and anything else that makes them feel uncomfortable. They are the author of 'Black Cotton' (Waterloo Press, 2019) and of the Prairie Seed Poetry Prize-winning book, 'The Swagger of Dorothy Gale & Other Filthy Ways to Strut' (Ice Cube Press, 2017).

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Blackbox: Roger Robinson ‘Walk With Me’

Roger Robinson is a dozen men. Or more. He was born in Hackney, lived in Trinidad, but spent most of his adult life in London. He is a writer, poet, singer, musician, teacher, scholar, thinker, activist and man of letters. He is one of the few unrelenting and constant observers of life in Brixton, of post-riot/pre-Brexit Britain. He is a serious man with a great sense of humour.

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Blackbox: Jasmine Gardosi ‘Why Does She Write in Nightclubs?’

Jasmine Gardosi is a multiple slam champion, Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist and recent winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry. Jasmine uses audience participation, beatboxing and manipulation of voice and body in order to explore LGBTQ+ issues, sex education and mental health.

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Blackbox: Henry Madd ‘The World on Fire’

Henry Madd is an award-winning poet, educator and theatre maker born in the West Midlands now operating in Margate. His work, rooted in his rural upbringing, veers from the heart-warming to the heart wrenching, always with a healthy dose of comedy woven in.

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Blackbox: Marcus Joseph ‘Morning Affirmation’

Marcus Joseph is a jazz musician and spoken word artist based in Leicester. Classically trained on the clarinet from the age of seven, Marcus was inspired to pick up the saxophone full-time after attending a jazz workshop in London.

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Blackbox: Subria Wahogo ‘Reverse Racism’

Subira is a defiantly queer, unapologetically Black spoken word poet and activist based in Brighton. Their work weaves together the personal and political, through experiences and imaginations, spoken with rage, softness and laughter. Subira is the winner of ONCA’s 2018 Green Curtain Award and has been poet-in-residence at Brighton Dome.

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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: Shagufta K ‘Stokes Croft’

Shagufta K is an award-winning poet who uses arts to engage with audiences who feel their experiences are not reflected within traditional and mainstream arts.