Jerwood Arts | Apples and Snakes Poetry in Performance programme is a unique opportunity for spoken word poets from across the country to explore the performative potential of their practice. 

Providing space, time and creative support, alongside a bursary, the programme nurtures the creation of new work in spoken word whilst exploring the artform’s relationship to other disciplines such as dance, theatre and digital art, and interrogating the opportunities these offer for pushing the boundaries of spoken word.

The creative programme started in 2020 (adapting over the pandemic) and was led by prolific writer and performer, Sabrina Mahfouz, producer and Artistic Director of Trigger, Angie Bual, and Apples and Snakes’ Artistic Director, Lisa Mead. In order to select artists we asked organisations to nominate poets across the country that they felt would seize this opportunity to enable a step-change in their practice. From these nominations, Sabrina, Angie and Lisa selected the artists for the first year. The programme leads continued to offer support throughout the year and collaborated with the group to devise the creative programme.  This showcase introduces you to 4 of the group.

To watch the showcase register here: Eventbrite Link.

If you would like to contact the artists or find out more, please contact [email protected]

A final word, we’d like to add is a special thanks to Jerwood Arts and our other partner organisations, artists, and colleagues around the country who nominated artists for the programme. We also want to thank everyone who has taken part and helped to support this programme – we couldn’t do it without you.

About the Poets in the Showcase

Kirsty Taylor

Kirsty Taylor

Kirsty is a ‘Bratfud’ born and bred teacher, writer and poet.  Passionate about people and their stories, she has created work for radio and theatre, performing up and down the country telling stories about her beloved city and her experiences there, taking a sensitive look at life in ‘Broken Britain’.

I am eager to develop my writing through mentorship and working alongside other artists. I’m interested in exploring spoken word in the context of theatre, particularly in non-traditional spaces, combining other art forms including music and song. I am excited to reach wider audiences and rep the North!

Follow Kirsty on Twitter @kirstybratfud | Instagram @kirstybratfud

Neelam Saredia-Brayley

Neelam Saredia-Brayley

Neelam Saredia-Brayley is an award-winning poet, captivating audiences for 8 years. Effortlessly warm, she creates unique performances with illustrators, musicians and dancers. She is a slam winner, regular headliner, and appeared on BBC Radio Kent. In 2019 she received Arts Council funding to develop her new show, Queer Brown Skin.

I am so honoured to be part of this! I’m really excited to develop as a spoken word poet, exploring new collaborations in contemporary dance with my dancer Jasmine Ee, with time for writing, mentoring, learning, showcasing new work, building audiences and developing core pieces of my new show.

Follow Neelam on Twitter @neelam_saredia | Instagram @neelam_the_poet

Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa

Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa

Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa is a British born Barbadian raised poet and dancer. To write and perform her work, she chiefly experiments with dance/movement, rhythm, and science to navigate through intersectional material. Safiya was shortlisted in the Page category for the 2020 Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry and longlisted for the Performance and Film categories.

I desire to contribute rich pieces which continue to expand on my multi-disciplinary practice, feed my curiosity for the possibilities of poetry in performance and challenge my craft. I hope to gain invaluable knowledge and use the time to continue discovering my voice, heritage, and unique style.

Follow Safiya on Twitter @SafiyaKamaria | Instagram @safiyakamaria

Shaun Hill

Shaun Hill

Shaun Hill is a queer poet exploring non-capitalist ways of being. Through performance he co-authors moments of radical intimacy. Shaun has shared his words widely, at festivals like UK Young Artists, WOMAD, Shambala, and Verve. His poems have appeared in magazines like Magma, multiple anthologies, and on BBC Radio 4.

Camping with poets always expands what’s possible. I’m looking forward to the geeky conversations I’ll have in the creative lab that’ll rip apart my thinking and leave me stumbling forwards. Now, with the safety net of a bursary I can take the risky, lengthy detours I can’t always justify exploring.

Follow Shaun on Instagram @warmbloodedthing


Jerwood Arts LogoJerwood Arts | Apples and Snakes Poetry in Performance is supported by Jerwood Arts’ Development Programme Fund.


Photo credits: Neelam Saredia-Brayley – Alice Bryant, Shaun Hill – Sam Cavender