A monthly spoken word night for unheard and under-represented voices in Teesside.

DiVerse features special guests and open mic performers who are womxn, LGBTQIA+, visibly and invisibly disabled, refugee and artists of colour. DiVerse alternates venues between Hope & Union in Stockton and Shanti Bistro in Saltburn.


Becky Cherriman
Becky is a Yorkshire writer, workshop leader and performer. She works part-time as Creative Writing Development Officer for The University of Leeds. Her writing is influenced by her own experiences of single parenthood, vulnerable housing, chronic illness and the communities she works with. Echolocation, her first poetry pamphlet, and first collection Empires of Clay were published in 2016 by Mother’s Milk and Cinnamon Press respectively. Her agnostic poem ‘Jesus Lives’ was highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2017.

Dominic JP Nelson-Ashley
Dominic is firmly established as a spoken-word artist who delivers consistently electrifying performances. His two poetry books tackle the issues of skin-bleaching, black fatherhood, chat-up lines, role models, celebrity culture and mental health. He has been praised as a writer who is ‘Reminiscent of those understated yet highly accomplished old-school jazz cats’. His other creative work encompasses being a Radio host, Music Journalist, Record Label Boss and award-winning Social Entrepreneur.

Ella Frances Sanderson
Ella is 19 and began writing poetry when she joined Ilkley Young Writers, which changed her from a shy girl, who would hardly talk to anyone, to someone who could read and perform her poetry anywhere. Ella has recently written a selection of poetry about her Asperger’s, hoping to educate people about some of the feelings and traits someone with Asperger’s may have (not everyone with Asperger’s has the same traits), and to show the challenges but also the hope.

India Hunter
India is a 16-year-old writer from the Teesside area. Her articles and poems aim to make people think about global issues. She is an avid young historian and this shines through in her work as she uses true stories from the past to help people understand the present and change the future. India is a strong feminist and activist. In the future, she hopes to become an investigative journalist so that she can educate people on lesser known issues in the hope of making a difference.

For open mic slots, sign up on the night.