The Writing Room is completely focused on developing the next generation of poets. It’s a bespoke course that aims to dispel some of the myths around poetry. It exists to ask questions, interrogate process and broaden the network within the poetry communities. I’m really excited about our 2017 cohort. Here, we have 22 brilliant poets, all at different stages in their careers, ranging in style and focus. Not only will they learn from Roger, Nick and Karen, but they will learn from each other to elevate what the future of poetry could look like. This is definitely a cohort to look out for in the near future, and I greatly anticipate the work they will create.

Tobi Kyeremateng

Our Writing Room cohort for Autumn 2017 were:

Immaculata Abba (
Kais Al-Kaisi
Kojo Apeagyei (Ste;n) (@Kojostein)
Anita Barton-Williams (@darianoire)
Bella Cox (@BellaCox19)
Omari Daniel
Oakley Flanagan (@OakleyFlanagan)
Peter de Graft-Johnson (The Repeat Beat Poet) (@TheRepeatBeatPoet)
Dominic Holman
Sumia Jaama (@thisbittertongue)
James Johnson (@poetpalms_)

Josette Joseph
Tom Jousselin (Slam The Poet) (
Joshua Judson (@joshuajudson)
Rara Kagbada
Henry Maddicott
Jamal Mehmood (@_jamalbhai)
Momtaza Mehri (@RuffneckRefugee)
Georgina Norie (@GeorginaNorie)
Jessica Rahman (lunarbaedekerr)
Celestina Rowaiye
Zahrah Sheihk (@zahrahsheikh)

Over the past 35 years, Apples and Snakes has been discovering and nurturing new talent and innovative ideas, and many of our current amazing spoken word artists and poets have participated in and been supported by our young writers programmes, everyone from Inua Ellams to Rachel Long to Kayo Chingonyi.  The 2017 Writing Room Cohort is a dynamic and diverse group who will undoubtedly push the art form further. We are excited to see what they produce and how Roger, Nick and Karen push them to develop their craft.

Lisa Mead
Artistic Director

As an intermediate writer I often had grand ideas but I lacked the technical skill and craft to execute them. This made the quality of my poems inconsistent. I began to take advantage of all the free workshops I could in London. As I gained the technical skill, that’s when the poetry maintained consistency of quality; and bookers and tour organisers began to take notice. Great ideas without the tools and craft to deliver the ideas to the page can often become poor poems.

Roger Robinson