Join us this National Poetry Day on the Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre, London, for an unmissable free poetry event hosted by the incredible Joelle Taylor. We’ll be hearing from prize-winning poets Daljit Nagra, Raymond Antrobus, Dzifa Benson, Young People’s Laureate for London Theresa Lola, and former Foyle Young Poet Jasmine Simms – all thinking through this year’s National Poetry Day theme of ‘truth’ in their electrifying sets.
On top of that, we’ll be giving out free posters, poetry goodies and anthologies of this year’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award winners – hot off the press! The winners will have been announced on 2 October 2019 – check our website for more.
What better way to celebrate National Poetry Day? See you there!
This free event is aimed at schools but is open to the public. The venue is wheelchair accessible. For any enquiries, including access queries, email [email protected].
The event is jointly presented by Southbank Centre and The Poetry Society.
Joelle Taylor is an award-winning poet, playwright and author. A former UK slam champion, Joelle founded the national youth slam championships SLAMbassadors in 2001 with The Poetry Society. She has performed her poetry nationally and internationally and is the host of Out-Spoken, London’s premier poetry and music night. Her most recent collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me (Out-Spoken Press) was inspired by workshops engaging groups of vulnerable women across the UK. Speaking to refugees, prisoners, young mothers, survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, the collection powerfully evokes the struggles women still face globally in the 21st Century. Joelle’s previous collection The Woman Who Was Not There (Burning Eye) was named as one of the UK’s top ten recommended collections in the Morning Star, and was described by Benjamin Zephaniah as ‘poetry with purpose’. She has been anthologised widely in English, Portuguese, Polish, Finnish, Arabic and Ndebele; and her work is a Subject for Study on the OCR GCSE English syllabus. The National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a portrait of her as part of their 2019 exhibition of Contemporary Poets. Her collection of short stories The Night Alphabet is due for publication in 2019.
Daljit Nagra is from a Sikh background and was born and grew up in West London then Sheffield. He has published four books of poetry with Faber & Faber. His poem Look We Have Coming to Dover! won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem in 2004. His first collection, of the same name won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2007 and the South Bank Show Decibel Award in 2008. His subsequent two collections, Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man Eating Tiger-Toy Machine!!! and his version of the Ramayana were nominated for the TS Eliot Prize. In 2014 he was selected as a New Generation Poet by the PBS. His latest collection is British Museum which was published in 2017. He is the inaugural Poet in Residence for Radio 4/4 Extra and teaches at Brunel University London. Daljit was a judge of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018.
Raymond Antrobus is a Hackney-born British Jamaican poet, educator, editor and curator of the Chill Pill event series. His pamphlet, To Sweeten Bitter (2017), is published by Out-Spoken Press and debut collection The Perseverance was the winner of the Ted Hughes Award in 2018. He is a Complete Works III fellow and one of the world’s first recipients of an MA in Spoken Word education (Goldsmiths, University of London). He is also one of three current recipients of the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. His poem, ‘Sound Machine’, first published in The Poetry Review, 107:1, Spring 2017, was the winner of the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2017, judged by Ocean Vuong. In 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize for best work of literature in any genre. In 2019 he is a judge of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.
Dzifa Benson is a multi-disciplinary live artist who uses literature as her primary mode of expression. The intersections between science, art, the body and ritual and by the question of who or what is invisible animate Dzifa’s practice. She explores this through poetry, storytelling, theatre, performance, libretti, essay, journalism and a range of other media. She also embraces education, collaboration and participation at the heart of her practice. She is interested site-specific work as well as subverting the use of existing spaces.
Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian poet. She is the 2019/2020 Young People’s Laureate for London. She is an alumna of the Barbican Young Poets programme. Her debut poetry collection In Search of Equilibrium was published by Nine Arches Press In February 2019. She is leading on #MyMentalHealthJourney, a project run by Spread the Word and BUREAU. Find an interview with Theresa Lola on Young Poets Network.
Jasmine Simms is from West Yorkshire, in northern England. Formerly Vice Chancellor’s Scholar for the Arts at Durham University, she is currently a postgraduate student at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her first pamphlet, Like Horses, is forthcoming with Smith/Doorstep press as part of their 2019 New Poets series.Her writing explores themes including female adolescence, childhood, wildness and sexuality. Since being a commended Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2012, Jasmine received awards for her poetry including the Ted Hughes Young Poet Award, the Yorkshire New Poet Award and (most recently) being named New North Poet in the Northern Writers Awards – a joint project with The Poetry School. Her poetry has been published in magazines such as Magma and The North, as well as in anthologies by Bloodaxe, Smith/Doorstep and Tower Poetry. She has read at literature festivals across the UK including Manchester, Ledbury, Bridlington, and London Book Fair. Jasmine is a graduate of The Writing Squad – a professional development scheme in the north of England. In 2014 she was selected to attend the Tower Poetry Summer School at Christ Church, Oxford University. In 2015-16 she was Writer in Residence for the Knee Deep project at Tender Buttons Performance Company (Newcastle), the results of which she showcased as part of Durham Book Festival. Jasmine is co-founder of the Dead [Women] Poets Society collective. She will be Poet in Residence at the University of Tübingen in 2019.