The birds are singing, the sun is shining and luring you out into the false warmth of a crisp, bright day. We’re no longer waking up in darkness. That means spring is here!
As is a bit of a tradition of ours, the first Hit the Ode is back at Birmingham Hipodrome and in collaboration with Unislam.
Hit the Ode is a unique performance poetry night bringing world-class spoken word artists to the heart of Birmingham to perform alongside open mic-ers. This is your chance to take the stage amongst some of the brightest talent in the region.
Spectacular poetry and top notch hosting is perfectly accompanied by you – our audience – by taking the stage via our lucky dip open mic. Simply add your name into a hat for a chance to take the stage. There’s no pressure to perform so if you’d rather enjoy the show, then that’s fine as well.
Bohdan Piasecki is a poet from Poland based in Birmingham. A committed performer, he has taken his poems from the upstairs room in an Eastbourne pub to the main stage of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, from underground Tokyo clubs to tramways in Paris, from a bookshop in Beijing to an airfield in Germany, from niche podcasts to BBC Radio. He enjoys the creative chaos of big field festivals just as much as the composed concentration of literary events. Bohdan was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem: Performed in 2023, the category’s inaugural year.
Bohdan founded the first poetry slam in Poland before moving to the UK to get a doctorate in translation studies. He has worked as Director of Education on the Spoken Word in Education MA course at Goldsmiths University, and was the Midlands Producer for Apples and Snakes between 2010 and 2017. He is Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. He also works as Creative Producer, and sits on the board of the Poetry Translation Centre.
Rishi Dastidar’s poetry has been published by Financial Times, New Scientist and the BBC amongst many others. His debut collection Ticker-tape is published by Nine Arches Press, and a poem from it was included in The Forward Book of Poetry 2018. A member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, he is also chair of the London writer development organisation Spread The Word. Rishi wrote and judged the meme poetry challenge on Young Poets Network
Bridget Hart (they/them) is a queer writer and creative producer. They have performed at events including Manchester Punk Festival, Shambala, Boomtown Fair and Rebel Riot Poetry. They have also shouted a lot in basements, kitchens, gardens, and protests. They are currently producing the queer DIY Chips and Beans Podcast and writing their first collection of short stories.Their second poetry collection Chewing Gum is a queer retelling of characters from Grease and Grease 2 and is out now with Small Press (Tangent Books).
Hannah Silva is a writer and performer at the vanguard of innovative and interdisciplinary research into the creative potential and implications of generative AI.
Silva has been working with technology as a creative tool for two decades and has an international reputation as a sound poet. Talk in a bit (Humankind Records) was included in the Wire’s Top 25 Albums of 2018.
Yomi Ṣode is an award-winning Nigerian British writer. He is a recipient of the 2019 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and was shortlisted for The Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2021.
His acclaimed one-man show COAT toured nationally to sold-out audiences, including at the Brighton Festival, Roundhouse Camden and the Battersea Arts Centre. In 2020 his libretto Remnants, written in collaboration with award-winning composer James B. Wilson and performed with Chineke! Orchestra premiered on BBC Radio 3.
In 2021, his play, and breathe… premiered at the Almeida Theatre to rave reviews. Yomi is a Complete Works alumnus and a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. He is the founder of BoxedIn, First Five, The Daddy Diaries, and mentorship programme, 12 in 12. Yomi’s debut collection, Manorism is published by Penguin Press.