The north cohort for Future Voices will be led by Young Identity – a Manchester-based literature and performance arts charity. Young Identity create opportunities for young marginalised people at risk of being excellent to participate in writing, performance and theatre in Greater Manchester, nationally and internationally through our dynamic. Meet the north group below:
Princess Arinola Adegbite
Princess Arinola is a poet, performance artist, Factory International, Youth Music and MOBO Help Musicians funded musician and filmmaker from Manchester. Bitez is also a member of Young Identity and The Writing Squad. She is a winner of Slambassadors, BBC Words First 2020, Slam-O-Vision Manchester Champion 2021, and Manchester Young Creative of The Year 2021. She’s also a winner of Grooveverse Poetry and Jazz Slam. Her in-progress poetry collection ‘Algorithms of Meaning’ won an Eric Gregory Award from The Society of Authors in 2023.
Amy is a writer, facilitator, producer and artist based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Amy is primarily a poet who writes a lot about the current political climate in the UK and the wider world, but also on topics such as mental health, introspection, family, grief and landscapes. Amy started writing as a way to express difficult and confusing feelings in an artistic way and it is now an intrinsic part of life. In 2022, Amy started the Out of Your Head! poetry night and continues to run it monthly, both finding a place in, and growing the local poetry scene. Amy shares poetry and other artistic projects on Instagram @amylangdown_ .
Jay (they/he) is a non-binary punk poet, multi slam Champion and creative non-fiction writer based in London. Born in India but raised in Yorkshire, they have spent their life merging two cultures into one five-foot body. Their poetry has been published in Acumen Poetry, Drawn to the Light Press, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Broken Sleep Books’ Queer Icons anthology. Jay has been featured on BBC Radio 6 and has also performed in BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival, Hit the Ode, Leeds Lit Fest, Manchester Pride, and Manchester Punk Festival. Currently, he is pursuing a career in teaching and working as a freelance writer and facilitator. You can find out more about them on Instagram and Twitter @punkofcolour.
Dan is a Sheffield-born, now Leeds/ Bradford based writer, acoustic rap artist, poet, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and videographer. He released his debut album ‘An Album’ to a sell-out audience in 2016, combining witty rap lyrics with beautiful guitar arrangements, beatboxing and vocal loops.
“I enjoy the intricacies of life, I make sure to represent them in my writing, whether that be a song or a play. I find levity helps to digest difficult thoughts and I try to include both in my works. I have been writing, poetry and rap, since I was 18. I turned to music at 21, I have since started to develop my narrative skills through films and plays.
Writing is my passion, no matter the method of delivery.”
Toreh is a writer and curator who actively tries to be in a state of boredom to notice the mundanity of everyday actions. He has recently decided to be kind to everything and everyone, as well as himself. He remembers writing poetry, libretti and nonsensical rationales once or twice. He believes memories are hopeful lies and dreams are visual variations of Adam Sandler.
His reality (and work) are Moss Side, Manchester, Montserrat and whatever other ‘M’ sticks to his identity. He is currently, between sleep and errands, writing his first collection of poetry: an attempt at being O negative with kindness.
Louis is a poet, editor and performer from Manchester, shooting a mixed technical and creative background to challenge labels, break social barriers and bring a voice to local communities. Much of his creative writing stems from Manchester’s Young Identity collective, featuring in their anthologies (Ecosystems of Fury, No Disclaimers), workshops and theatrical projects. By extension, they’ve performed at Manchester International Festival, Manchester Literature Festival, UNESCO’s ‘Festival of Libraries’, and other local events.
Studying engineering in Sheffield brought a swift introduction to performance tech, jumping from sound design and set building to stage and production management across plays, gigs and arts festivals. Now based in West Yorkshire, Louis has started sharing work at open mics like Turn the Page poetry and sits in the committee for an emerging Halifax Writers Group. He’s also a facilitator for under-25s at HOME Arts Centre and continues to edit works for YI alumni looking to publish. @reggieontheside (Insta)
Lauren (she/her) is a poet, performer, and workshop facilitator from Manchester, she is a member of the poetry collective Young Identity. Lauren’s work often focuses on queerness and mental health. Seeing herself primarily as a storyteller, Lauren often uses a narrative style that weaves fantasy with the mundane to examine our contemporary life. Lauren has worked with organisations such as Manchester International Festival, HOME theatre, and Manchester City of Literature.
Ella is a poet and artist living in Manchester, based at Islington Mill. She is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing, and is working on her first pamphlet about lesbian love, family, and queer lineage. Ella has creative roots in the spoken word scene, and has performed her poetry all over the UK and in Europe. She regularly collaborates with other writers, musicians, and artists on interdisciplinary projects. She believes that storytelling is a vital part of life and community building.
Her most recent collaborations have been with The Sunday Boys, Manchester Pride, Quarantine, Young Identity, Lancaster Arts, and The World Reimagined.