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.
Describe yourself in 3 words… wend / weft / weave What inspires you? The fluidity of possibility for change. The way injustice builds a fire in our belly so that flames froth from our mouths in a fierce torrent. The paradox of being human and bearing witness to so much beauty and so much suffering….
Whilst 2023 was an amazing year for Apples and Snakes, full of celebrations for our 40th anniversary, it ended on a sad note as we said a heartfelt farewell to the inspirational poet, activist, human-being and friend Benjamin Zephaniah. Benjamin first performed with us at our second gig back on 9 October 1982 and has…
Poetry under Occupation
By Shareefa Energy. I was invited to The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank in Palestine as lead facilitator for the 2022 ‘Through The Eyes of Women – Feminist Theatre Festival,’ to deliver poetry and creative writing workshops, alongside performing poetry in Jenin and Ramallah. I last facilitated poetry and public speaking…
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…
The Death of Eddie
In 1999, Eddie Steele Rosen – son, brother, friend and very much his own true self – died. He caught meningitis. He was 18 years old. It was a shock to all who knew and loved him and now, nearly 25 years later, he’s very much remembered and loved. We think of him every day,…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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