We’re genuinely excited to work with the second cohort of the Jerwood Arts | Apples and Snakes Poetry in Performance programme for 2021-22.  Let’s introduce them all so you can get to know them as well as we do:

Reece Williams

A man with a short trimmed beard and shaved head looks onto the camera

I’m honoured to be a part of this programme because it’s come at a point in my life when I’m challenging myself to take my artistry to the next level. I’m excited to create new work, shake myself out of my comfort zone as a performer and be surround by other amazing artists.

Reece Irvin Williams is a Mancunian poet of Jamaican and Trinidadian heritage. Reece has brought his inimitable, no-holds-barred brand of wordsmithery to stages up and down the country (including Band On The Wall and The Southbank Centre) and internationally too (with performances in New York City’s Nuyorican Poets Café -the ‘temple’ of spoken word and the prestigious Schaubuehne in Berlin). 

Lisa Luxx

A woman with short curled hair, dangling pearl earring and black turtle neck jumperI feel excited by the possibilities opening up ahead of me, and the relationship that will begin with Apples and Snakes. This opportunity is a fertile ground for experimenting and expanding my craft.

lisa luxx is an activist and poet of British and Syrian heritage. Her poems are published in The Telegraph, The London Magazine and by publishers including Hatchette and Saqi Books. Her work is broadcast on Channel 4, BBC Radio 4 and TEDx. In 2021 she toured UK theatres with the show for her 60-minute poem Eating the Copper Apple, produced by a team of all Arab women artists. Her debut book Fetch Your Mother’s Heart is out now through Out-Spoken Press.

Malaika Kegode

A woman with large curly hair smiles at the camera

I’m so excited to have this opportunity to explore new ways of introducing mixed media to my live solo performance. Apples and Snakes have been such a pillar of support from the very beginning of my poetry life, so I’m really honoured and psyched to be working with them so closely again!

Malaika Kegode is a writer, performer and producer based in Bristol. She has appeared on stages at a number of festivals and literary events including WOMAD and Edinburgh Book Festival. Her debut theatre show, Outlier, an autobiographical gig-theatre show about addiction and isolation in rural England performed with prog-rock band Jakabol was the first piece of new writing to appear on Bristol Old Vic’s main stage in 2021.

Sarah Lasoye

A woman with braided hair stands behind some leafy greens

As someone looking to extend their creative practice, I’m looking forward to generative conversations and interdisciplinary collaboration with artists working across a range of mediums, within the cohort and beyond.

Sarah Lasoye is a poet and writer from London. She is an alumna of the Barbican Young Poets programme and a current member of Octavia – poetry collective for women of colour. Her debut chapbook, Fovea / Ages Ago, was published by Hajar Press in April 2021.

John Bernard

A man with a shapely beard and small knitted hat looks on with a neutral expression

To be chosen to be a part of Apples and Snakes: Jerwood Arts Poetry in Performance 2021 for me is a monumental step forward towards bettering myself as a creative. I am looking forward to starting the program, exploring new ideas and overall being edified by the mentors and my contemporaries.

John Bernard is a Coventry based Poet, Rapper & Writer who uses his artistry to inspire, influence and invigorate his listeners with meaningful messages. His work commentates on social issues, youth empowerment, faith and purpose. Distinctive delivery, commanding voice, an intricate lyricist his content is authentically raw and potent. He has undoubtedly carved a lane for himself infusing Spoken Word poetry, Alternative-Rap and Neo-Soul.


A woman with long braided hair and ornate necklace, runs her hand through the back of her hair and smiles happily

I’m so excited to begin this project. I’m eager to grow as an artist by experimenting with new mediums, and by challenging myself, and my artistry, in a creative environment. I’m hoping to gain more confidence in what I do, find new ways to do it and seek guidance on how to further expand and utilise my skills and abilities.

Desree Gumbs-Carty (preferably known as ‘Desree’) is an award-winning spoken word artist, writer, playwright and facilitator based in London and Slough. Producer for both Word Up and Word Of Mouth, finalist in 2018’s Hammer & Tongue national final and TEDx speaker, she has featured at events around the UK and internationally, including Glastonbury Festival 2019, Royal Albert Hall and Bowery Poetry New York. Desree has a pamphlet out with Burning Eye titled I Find My Strength In Simple Things (2017).


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