Hear from our artists!

Check out our curated YouTube playlists, including original Blackbox videos showcasing the best spoken word artists in the UK. Get the latest insights on the spoken word scene with our blogs from artists and producers. And combine contemporary writing and current affairs with our podcasts.

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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Michael Rosen smiling with hands raised

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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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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Muskaan Razdan

Have high standards. Be brave. Try everything. Give up on some things. There is food at home. Describe yourself in 3 words… Future fun grandma What inspires you? The women in my life. The company of creatives. The desire to anger the aunties. Tell us about your worst ever gig? It was a small audience….

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A woman with dark rimmed glasses and loosely tied up hair, with an open smile

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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Screenshot from a video of Shaun Hill speaking in to a microphone in a dark room with green and red lighting

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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Screenshot from a video of Rojbin speaking in to a microphone in a dark room

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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Screenshot from a video of Safiya speaking into a microphone in a dark room with orange and yellow lighting

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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Screenshot from a video of Lisa speaking into a microphone in a dark room with purple lighting

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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Imagine of Lashay speaking into a microphone in a dark room with pale green lighting

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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Screenshot from a video of Ingrid speaking into a microphone in a dark room with a blue light

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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Screenshot from a video of Eileen speaking into a microphone in a dark room with purple and blue lighting

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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Screenshot from a video of Desree speaking into a microphone in a dark room with green yellow and pink lighting

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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Screenshot from a video of Chika speaking into a microphone in a dark room with blue and yellow lights

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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Screenshot from a video of Cherry speaking into a microphone in a dark room with yellow and pink lighting

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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Screenshot from a video of Anneliese speaking into a microphone in a dark room with blue lighting

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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Screenshot from a video of Bhumika standing next to a microphone in a dark room with pink lighting

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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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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Apples and Snakes: The Podcast 2

Apples and Snakes: The Podcast

Tune in and listen up. Join Award winning British-Nigerian writer Yomi Sode for Apples and Snakes: The Podcast. You probably have heard of our host, he is our regular at every Jawdance, and has been doing incredible work lately. Yomi has won critical acclaim for his works published by Penguin (Manorism), is a Jerwood Compton…

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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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Apples and Snakes X The Verb

This week on The Verb we’re celebrating the birthday of Apples and Snakes, who’ve been pioneering spoken word poetry for 40 years.

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