Future Voices – South East

The south-east cohort for Future Voices will be led by People Dem Collective – is a registered CIC and community organisation based in Margate, Kent. Founded by members of the Black, Brown and *Diaspora communities (*people of cultural heritage other than the place they were born). The collective was born out of a lived experience of lack of spaceengagement and inclusion for these communities and a desire to encourage healing and transformation. People Dem, is a Patois term colloquially meaning ‘them’. The south-east cohort is as below:

Bhumika wears bell shaped earrings with a tight floral pattered dress, hair is dark, wavy and long

Bhumika Billa

Bhumika is a UK-based Indian-origin poet, creative facilitator, Kathak dancer & legal academic. An Outspoken Prize Finalist (2023), UniSlam Coaches Slam champion (2022), Hammer & Tongue Cambridge Finalist (2022), and BBC Words First Finalist (2021), she has performed & facilitated in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France & India. Her poems on the stage, on page, and on film have been featured on/published by various organisations including BBC Words First, Southbank Centre, Apples Blackbox, Button Poetry, UK UniSlam, Alipore Post, and Airplane Poetry Movement. She is currently exploring the themes of heritage, justice & identity to bring together languages, art forms & people. 

Matt has short, side parted brown/red hair and ginger moustache. Wearing a hoop earring on the left side and yellow collared shirt

Matt Alton

Matt’s writing aims to break male silences around chronic illness and grief. He was a 2020 BBC Words First participant, a 2020 Brighton Hammer & Tongue finalist, and performed the feature slot at Rebel Soapbox in November 2021. His poetry has been published by Ink Sweat & Tears, Flights and Lucent Dreaming, and is forthcoming in Broken Sleep’s Masculinity anthology. It has been nominated for Best of the Net and commissioned by Poems by Post.

His 2023 poem-film, Ways to Speak Absence, was a collaboration with artist Chris Alton, composer Kirsty Martin, and members of Hullabaloo Community Quire. He is a Creative Writing MA student at the University of Brighton.

Charlotte wears a silver starred necklace, with black top. Hair is shoulder length, wavy and strawberry blonde.

Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte is a Scottish poet living in Berkshire. She has been writing poetry publicly since 2021, first through online readings with Scribbler’s Union, a Glasgow-based poetry collective formed during lockdown. Since then, she has performed twice on Radio Berkshire and been lucky enough to have the following published: Cemetery Junction by Canvas (an online arts magazine published by the University of Reading); Cherries by Popshot Magazine and both Let’s Go Rockets and Tea Towel will feature in an upcoming Two River’s Press anthology (due to be released in summer 2024).

Now she writes with Open Cast poets, a poetry collective based in Yorkshire and meets with Canopy poets (London-based) as well as her local Stanza group. She writes about the everyday, belonging and family. 

Francis has short dark hair, wearing a grey marl scarf and black top

Francis-Xavier Mukiibi

Francis-Xavier is a poet and spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage from North London. He is an alumnus of the Barbican Young Poets programme, the Roundhouse Poetry Collective and the Obsidian Foundation retreat. He has performed his poetry on BBC Radio and iPlayer for BBC Words First, and is a multi-UniSlam finalist as a performer and coach, winning the UniSlam Coach’s Slam in 2023. He has featured in various creative arts festivals throughout the UK including Festival2Funky, the Camden Inspire Festival, and the Roundhouse Last Word Festival. @fxmpoetry

Amy leans head against hand, curly brown hair flowing over hand, ring nose piercing with dark top

Amy Anam Cara

I feel that the magic of poetry rests in its indelible ability to say the unsayable, present the unpresentable and give voice to the parts of us and the parts of society that often go untouched. Poetry navigates straight to the hearts of readers and listeners, from the brutal to humorous it invites questions in a way that no other art form can. I’m so delighted and humbled to be part of this incredible project with Apples and Snakes. 

After dipping my toe into sharing my words and then retreating, I’m looking forward to this opportunity to learn from the wisdom and expertise of others — to help me step all the way in, heart in my mouth, and voice ready to fuse art and advocacy.

Holly has a large afrro type hair and lots of freckles. with sun like tattoos on her shoulders and a nose piercing.

Holly D M Oluwo

I am Holly, a single mother of my three-year-old daughter Ivy.

I live in Folkestone, Kent but originate from the East End of London, where I moved from shortly after my daughter was born.

I have been an artist and poet most of my life, finding it a way to express myself from my teens and onwards, especially as I didn’t fit in with the academic side of schooling.
The medium I use in my art, I was drawn to and find the best way to reflect my creativity, is collage. I have experimented with different ways to use collage but found that using newspaper was the most enjoyable. It also helps with my poetry by reading words that popped off the page when I cut them into
small pieces.

My creativity has grown since I have become comfortable using newspaper. I like to embrace the black female form and women empowerment. This is reflected in both my creative processes, my early piece shows this, and I have been encouraged by the black community that surrounds me and my heritage.

I have recently joined People Dem Collective who have given me support and encouragement. A small exhibition of my work, that I independently produced, has given me the confidence to move forward to
the next step in my creative career.

In the future I would like to achieve a collaboration of my artwork and poetry with an immersive

Tanya has bob length curly dark hair, wearing a grey tshirt looking neutral

Tanya-Loretta Dee

Tanya-Loretta Dee is a professional Actor and Writer who has worked extensively in both Television and Theatre. Recent TV work includes appearing in Whitstable Pearl, Peaky Blinders Season 6, semi-regular character DS Margrave in BBC Doctors, and she currently plays returning character P.C Olsen in the BBC 1 soap Eastenders.

She has just finished a successful run playing Jan in the Amanda Whittington comedy Ladies Day at The Octagon Theatre and New Vic Theatre at the start of 2023. She played Sara in Ayckbourn’s premiere of Welcome to the Family 2023 at The Old Laundry Theatre, and is delighted to make her Ayckbourn hat-trick playing Andrea in Constant Companions in September 2023.

Recent writing includes Chicken Shop Love for Small Truth Theatre and Aunty with Futures Theatre and People Dem Collective.

She is currently working with Scarborough Film Festival on a response poetry piece about the sea, and is also working on her first poetry collection pamphlet due be released in 2025, as well as writing a short audio play for Small Truth Theatre and a special group of young people based in North Kensington.  

Gaetan has a black jacket, t-shirt and woollen hair, resting his arm against his head. Various portraits and framed art in the background

Gaëtan Gauthier

Born amidst the vibrant colours of Brazil, I embarked on a journey of discovery that transcended borders. Adopted at a young age, my roots spread across the world, offering me a unique perspective on life’s tapestry. After wandering through various cultures and corners, I found my home in the captivating embrace of Margate, Kent.

My poetic journey mirrors my odyssey, intertwining the threads of queerness, adoption, and belonging. I strive to capture the essence of growing up untethered, the pursuit of self-acceptance in a complex world, and the intricacies of carving out a sense of home. Each verse I craft is a mosaic of human experiences and emotions, reflecting the profound connections that bind us all.

Through the Future Voices program, I’m eager to delve deeper into my poetic expression, honing my craft while forging connections with fellow poets. Join me as we navigate the intricate landscapes of the heart and soul, and together, weave a narrative that celebrates the beauty of our shared human journey.