Poet Shaniqua Benjamin stands at a microphone. She wears black glasses, has hooped earrings and has shoulder length black hair tied back. Shaniqua wears a navy cardigan with white piping. She smiles as she performs.

From baby poet to Croydon Poet Laureate

From baby poet to Croydon Poet Laureate By: Shaniqua Benjamin Although I’ve always loved writing, I stayed away from poetry until my early 20s. Fashion design had been my focus, so when I dropped out of university to pursue a career in writing and eventually discovered that poetry was the avenue for me, it was…

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Amy Langdown

Describe yourself in 3 words… Quirky – Vibrant – Stubborn What inspires you? This, I suppose, is an answer of contradiction. What inspires me to write does not inspire me. Often I write because of the feeling that I must – I often write about the current political climate (which is not what I would…

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Polis Loizou

Describe yourself in 3 words… Creative, talkative, irritating. What inspires you? History, culture and weird lore. I’m also very inspired by mediocrity. Part of me thinks, “Well, I can definitely do better than that,” which fires me up to do my thing. Tell us about your worst ever gig? I’ve only done a handful of poetry…

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Poetry under Occupation

By Shareefa Energy. I was invited to The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank in Palestine as lead facilitator for the 2022 ‘Through The Eyes of Women – Feminist Theatre Festival,’ to deliver poetry and creative writing workshops, alongside performing poetry in Jenin and Ramallah. I last facilitated poetry and public speaking…

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The Pause – Field Lab 

Early this year I was invited by Team London Bridge, in partnership Apples and Snakes, to put together a day of interactive exercises that would inspire a different spin on talking about the climate and ecological crisis as part of the epic In A Field by A Bridge Festival. Since 2018, I’ve had many conversations in climate and environmental…

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Bits of a Poet

Bits of a Poet “Understanding comes in different forms, and poems are not riddles.” – Bohdan Piasecki We build poems out of bits of language. Words, and groups of words, and ways in which words interact. We each amass a different set of these bits, and even the ones we ostensibly share we imbue with…

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Edalia looks to the side and up, wearing her hair down, with hoop earrings.

The Animated Poet

A few years ago I realised if I draw while I listen, it tames my frantic mind and lets the poets’ words reach me. I have AHDH and I love poetry and drawing. My mind bounces all over the place when I create which is a joy for stringing together wild ideas, but my mind…

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Close up of table with gingerbread people biscuits, pine cones, fairy lights

Goodbye 2022

Hello from Apples and Snakes, and goodbye 2022! A momentous year for us as we turned 40 on 2nd October 2022.  Wahoooo!!! It’s amazing! What was started by a small collective of poets Mandy Williams, Pete Murry and Jane Addison in a room at the Adam’s Arms, on Saturday 2nd October 1982 is still here, going strong, 40 years later…

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A woman with long dark hair wearing a high necked, long sleeve white dress puts her arm behind her head, standing in front of a tall tower block

I Don’t Owe You a Trauma Poem

“i hate having to share trauma with white people to be taken seriously. as a writer but also just as a person. like, is that the only way whiteness recognises me as a person? through pain?” – Chen Chen The very first spoken word poem I ever wrote was on my experience of a lifetime…

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A woman with dark rimmed glasses and loosely tied up hair, with an open smile

Being A Disabled Poet

I’d love it if people could read the word ‘disabled,’ notice what feelings come up and then challenge them. Try it now. Disabled poet. I think I did have a sense that the village hall tea-party, in the middle of Norfolk, on a sunny afternoon, might not be ‘my audience’ but then, I didn’t want…

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A woman with red lips and dark hair looks straight on

Commission This – Shagufta K Iqbal

The world of commissioning can sometimes be a minefield, and it can be difficult to know where to start. I’ve been practising as a poet and workshop for over 10 years now, and alongside this work, I have also been commissioned to write for a variety of different projects. Each with its own trials, tribulations,…

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