Freedom Across the Globe

In 2021, The Poetry Society (UK) and Urban Word NYC (USA) ran Freedom Across the Globe – an exciting programme bringing together young poets from around the world, transcending borders and showcasing young voices on a global stage. Watch the Showcase below:

This event took place over Zoom on 22 May 2021. It featured US National Youth Poet Laureates Alexandra Huynh and Serena Yang, ten poems chosen by submission and dozens of young people collaborating on group poems from around the world, from two writing workshops.

The workshops have now passed and submissions are now closed. The information below is for reference only.

How to get involved:

Aged 14-25? Submit a video of you performing a poem about freedom in any language – we’ll share our favourite submissions at our Freedom Across the Globe Showcase.

Submission deadline: Sunday 16 May 2021, via this Google Form.

  • Your poem must not exceed three minutes.
  • You can interpret ‘freedom’ in any way you like, but we’d love to hear the specificities of your context and perspective. What do you have to say on a global stage?
  • Please send a video and a written version of your poem, to help us caption the event, by midnight EST on 16 May 2021. If you have any problems or questions about your entry, get in touch at [email protected]
  • You can send a poem in any language, but if your poem is not in English, please send us a written English translation which we will use as subtitles.
  • Before you record your poem, read through these tips on how to record your poem like a pro.
Aged 14-25? Sign up for one of our free World Wide Workshops on Saturday 15 May.

Young people in each workshop will write about freedom, and then each contribute a line to create a global collaborative poem. By the end of the workshop, you’ll perform your group poem together, and the recording will be shown at the Freedom Across the Globe Showcase.

We’re running two workshops in two different time zones, which will cover the same material. Please only sign up to one workshop. They will last 2 hours, on Saturday 15 May, starting at the following times:

2pm BST / 5.30pm IST / 9pm AWST – run by Yomi Ṣode and The Poetry Society

2pm PST / 5pm EST / 8am AEDT (Sunday morning) – run by Urban Word NYC

There are only 30 spaces in each workshop so sign up quick!

These workshops are for all levels – you may be an experienced writer, or this may be your first ever workshop. All we ask is that you’re happy to play an active role in creating a group poem, and that you are comfortable being recorded. Let us know if you have any questions at [email protected] for Yomi Ṣode’s workshop and [email protected] for Urban Word’s.

Freedom Across the Globe Showcase

On Saturday 22 May, 10 young poets from around the world will speak about freedom in their country, and we’ll premiere our global group poems.

From the submissions we receive, we’ll select 10 young writers from around the world to platform their perspectives on freedom. Two young poets will be hosting this event: Foyle Young Poet and Young Poets Networker Fiyinfoluwa Oladipo and Iranian American poet and activist Hasna Ghalib.

Book your free ticket here.

This event will start at 9am PST / 12pm EST / 5pm BST / 9.30pm IST and run for about an hour.

We are working towards a programme that is more inclusive to non-native English speakers. Get in touch if there is anything we can do to enable your participation in this programme at [email protected].