Amy Langdown

Describe yourself in 3 words… Quirky – Vibrant – Stubborn What inspires you? This, I suppose, is an answer of contradiction. What inspires me to write does not inspire me. Often I write because of the feeling that I must – I often write about the current political climate (which is not what I would…

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Goodbye 2023

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…

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Elena Chamberlain

Describe yourself in 3 words… I asked one of my best friends to help, here’s the product: “ginger, approachable, and you’ve got an artistic mind” (Thanks, Nell) What inspires you? People. I feel most inspired when I’m seeing, listening or reading from/about people who are really passionate about their craft, watching art that holds really…

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Polis Loizou

Describe yourself in 3 words… Creative, talkative, irritating. What inspires you? History, culture and weird lore. I’m also very inspired by mediocrity. Part of me thinks, “Well, I can definitely do better than that,” which fires me up to do my thing. Tell us about your worst ever gig? I’ve only done a handful of poetry…

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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…

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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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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,…

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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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Lindon smiles, holding a leather bound book. Short hair, round glasses and wearing a patterned colourful blazer and black t-shirt

Linden McMahon

Describe yourself in 3 words… Just a hopepunk hobbit What inspires you? At the moment I write a lot about the ecosystems we’re part of; my relationships with land, plants and animals. I’m also facilitating nature connection sessions, and I’ve been veering more and more towards projects which combine ecology and creativity. I’m working on…

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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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Close up of table with gingerbread people biscuits, pine cones, fairy lights

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 hair hair and a small silver nose ring piercing, smiling

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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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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Portrait of Ioney standing with sun on her face

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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A grey haired man in a green shirt, leans against a cream banister against a pink wall

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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Helen Seymour

There’s no such thing as a ‘slow reader’, just read books in your own time and don’t feel like you’re ‘too slow.’ On a similar theme, running is over-rated. Describe yourself in 3 words… Worried little mole What inspires you? People who don’t take themselves too seriously and do their thing with a lot of…

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Black and white portrait of Shirley may looking ahead

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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A woman with long dark hair, centre parted, wearing black rimmed glasses, smiling.

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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