Join the next generation of poetry producers and help shape the future of live poetry.

Application submissions for 2019 are now closed. Please check back here for news and updates about this year’s Producers. Applications for 2020 will open in Winter 19/20.

Poet in the City Producers is a group of talented 16-25 year olds producing live events, discussions and campaigns to ensure young people have a stake in the future of poetry.

We will provide you with leadership training, industry skills workshops, networking opportunities and creative experiences to progress your careers. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience and develop your career in the arts, working with some of the world’s leading poets, creative thinkers and arts organisations.

We’re looking for curious, creative and enthusiastic young people to welcome into the Producers.

What will you do?

  • Produce your own live poetry events
  • Become an ambassador for the live poetry sector, taking an active role in advising on our programming
  • Lead and take part in a series of informative roundtable discussions, exploring poetry’s relationship with wider society
  • Backstage access to world-class arts events and expert speakers and poets
  • Regular workshops on curating, managing and marketing public events
  • One-to-one meetings with Poet in the City’s prestigious partners, offering the chance to discuss future career choices
  • Welcome and graduation celebrations

What will you gain?

  • Hands-on knowledge of curating, managing and marketing successful events for large audiences
  • New skills for your CV, helping you stand out from the crowd
  • Unrivalled access to Poet in the City’s diverse and influential network of contacts
  • The chance to change the face of live poetry.

Who are we?

Poet in the City is a leading arts organisation challenging the boundaries of live poetry and curating imaginative events which bring poetry to life for new and diverse audiences.

We produce a range of events in partnership with some of the most prestigious names in the arts world, from Kings Place and the Southbank Centre, to the British Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal Opera House and RichMix. Through our work, we have fostered a genuine and growing appetite for accessible, challenging and inspiring poetry performances, positioning poetry as an engaging platform for ideas.

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The Poet in the City Producers programme is supported by our generous hosts Kings Place.

Click here to view our Poet in the City Producers 2017 Evaluation

 

Live Poetry for Young People: A Manifesto

  • I will work to make live poetry a space, refuge and a launch pad for ideas by taking people along to events who may need it
  • I will ensure live poetry provides a space for audiences to be in conversation with poets, poetry and each other by making sure I start conversations at events and welcome people into them
  • Live poetry will be a place to spark discussion, shift focus and deconstruct prejudice because I will use it to broach difficult issues and think critically
  • Live poetry will exist alongside and within all aspects of my daily life because I will make time to interact with it and share it with people around me
  • I will bring live poetry to unusual and every day spaces by finding it and sharing it at celebrations, on the bus maybe even in McDonalds
  • By being open to collaborating with anyone, live poetry will be expressed anywhere, in any tongue, any place, any voice and in any hand
  • By approaching unusual collaborators, live poetry will cross disciplines, generations and languages from science to dance
  • I will encourage artists to be daring with their performances so that poetry will lift off the page and flourish

2019 Producers

Class of 2019: Aatqa Arham, Amy Ann Kemp, Angela Okafor, Baljit Kaur (Rosie) Wassi, Chris Shapiro, Courtney Roberts, Edward Walker, Esther Kondo Heller, Ilisha Purcell, Jess Rahman-Gonzalez, Kate Murrant, Laura Furner, Oli Isaac Smith, Sally Ann Wood, Tasmia Salim, Valerie Kwan, Vanessa Martins
Class of 2019: Aatqa Arham, Amy Ann Kemp, Angela Okafor, Baljit Kaur (Rosie) Wassi, Chris Shapiro, Courtney Roberts, Edward Walker, Esther Kondo Heller, Ilisha Purcell, Jess Rahman-Gonzalez, Kate Murrant, Laura Furner, Oli Isaac Smith, Sally Ann Wood, Tasmia Salim, Valerie Kwan, Vanessa Martins

2018 Producers Autumn Season – Museums, Objects and Ownership

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Objects & Ownership collaboration with Wellcome RawMinds Ambassadors.

Between May-September 2018, PinC Producers worked with Wellcome RawMinds Ambassadors on a collaborative project exploring the role of poetry in shining a light on the lesser heard stories in museums. Both groups took part in a roundtable facilitated by Peju Oshin with poetic minutes by Momtaza Mehri.

Read Momtaza Mehri’s poetic minutes here.

Read the project evaluation here.

BC/AD: Before Collection/After Disappearance at You Don’t Own Me

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In response to the Objects & Ownership Roundtable, PinC Producers and RawMinds Ambassadors collaborated on a special late event – You Don’t Own Me. The Producers presented an event with the intention of being bold, bright and loud in the museum space. Featuring poets Rachel Long, Dean Atta and Madi Maxwell-Libby, and a performance from Pecs Drag Kings. The Ambassadors presented Truth Be Told Tours, alternate history tours of the Medicine Man exhibition.

Objects Can’t Speak

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What does it mean to give ‘voice’ to an object / a cause / a movement? How might
we use poetry to dissent?

Following a viewing of Ian Hislop’s I Object exhibition at the British Museum, Producers curated a roundtable discussion interrogating the role of poetry and objects in dissent. Featuring poetic minutes by Belinda Zhawi.

Anti and Establishment

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Inspired by the British Museum’s I Object exhibition, the Producers created an event in objection to the perceived norms of the establishment within the heart of the establishment itself. Exploring dissent through comedy, choreography and criticism featuring Rob AutonAndré Bright and Sarah Howe.

 

2018 Producers Spring Season – Community

09th June 2018 19:00-Speak Your Truth: Subculture and the Mainstream Spoken word poetry, born from the spirit of the blues and hip-hop, was once seen as non-conforming and illegitimate; unworthy of the title of ‘poetry’ at all. In the music world, the same was once thought of hip-hop itself, jazz and many other now popular and established genres. How are subcultures reflected in mainstream music and poetry? What happens when subculture starts to become part of the mainstream? Where do we draw the line between the two? Where do we draw the line between poetry and lyrics? We will be joined by gal-dem's Music Editor Antonia Odunlami to explore the answers to all these questions and more. Featuring performances by The Repeat Beat Poet and story-teller rapper-poet Otis Mensah in an evening of the unconventional and extraordinary. Editor, writer, specialist radio producer and DJ, Antonia Odunlami is passionate about documenting and championing emerging artists bubbling from sub-cultures within her east London home and further afield, wide-ranging global sounds that drive the new wave of artists on the rise. Peter deGraft-Johnson is The Repeat Beat Poet, a London-based poet and emcee who fuses stream-of-consciousness writing and Hip Hop culture to capture and extend moments of time, thought, and feeling. The Repeat Beat Poet has performed at The Royal Albert Hall, the Edinburgh Fringe, represented the University of East London at UniSlam, and is the reigning Nozslam Champion. Peter also regularly produces and hosts the monthly nights Boomerang, and PenTing. His debut poetry show D.O.W.N will be performed in October 2018. Otis Mensah is "a young story-teller-rapper-poet with a talent for drawing the poetic from the everyday happenings in his life.” The alternative hip-hop artist has risen from a new wave; age and era, embodying a contemporary, poetic take on hip-hop music. The music he creates sheds light on existential commonalities discovered through introspe
Otis Mensah, The Repeat Beat Poet, Billie Manning (Producer)

Producers at Poetry & Lyrics Festival 2018, supported by Islington Council. Watch the festival video here.

What song makes you feel at home?

A roundtable discussion as part of Poetry & Lyrics Festival exploring the role of music in community cohesion featuring ICIE Music, brother portrait and Jonzi D.

Click here to read brother portrait’s poetic minutes of the session.

Speak Your Truth: Sub-Culture and the Mainstream

 

How are subcultures reflected in mainstream music and poetry? What happens when subculture starts to become part of the mainstream? Where do we draw the line between the two? Where do we draw the line between poetry and lyrics? Featuring gal-dem’s Music Editor Antonia Odunlami, The Repeat Beat Poet and story-teller rapper-poet Otis Mensah.

Sweet Solitude

In collaboration with Free Word.

A poetic exploration of silence, and how solitude, both inflicted and self-imposed, can manifest itself creatively. Featuring poets Jacob Sam-La Rose and Nick Makoha, Women in Prison’s Policy and Campaigns Manager Claire Cain and a silent performance from mime artist Ellie Cummings.

2018 PINC
Class of 2018 Top (left): Chima Itabor, Sam Hampson, Marika Joseph, Izzy Collie Cousins, Adem Holness (Facilitator), Teige Maddison, Arran Olk, Omari Daniel, Morgan-Lucille Smith. //Bottom (left): Kayleigh Colbourn, Violaine Brunelin, Rosanna Hildyard, Chhaya Dabas, Tom Jousselin, Katka Krajciova, Billie Manning, Sarah Boadi, Sarisha Kumar (Programme Coordinator), Natasha Mbwana.

 

 

2017 Producers Autumn Season

In Transit

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Producers Ariel Silverman, Rhea Seedher, Olivia Amura and Chibeza Mumbi kicked off Autumn with a live poetry and music event for National Poetry Day exploring the freedom of travel and its challenges.

Featuring performances by poets Belinda Zhawi, Jolade Olusanya and JJ Bola and bi-lingual music from the Palistinian Trio, the event used the backdrop of St Pancras International Station to showcase stories of those who travel to seek refuge, interrogating present day struggles for freedom around the world.

Click here to read a review of the performance on writeoutloud.net

 The Space Between Us (and day trip to Oxford)

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In November, we embarked on a journey to St Hugh’s College in Oxford for a tour of the historic Bodleain Library, a networking lunch with industry professionals and poets, followed by an event curated by Jessica Hayes, Lauryn Grant and Rakaya Fetuga in the evening. The Space Between us invited three contemporary female poets, Patience Agbabi, Jay Bernard and Victoria Adukwei Bulley, to take a trip back in time and read the works of historic female poets that inspire them alongside works of their own.

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Tokens of Motherhood

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In the finale event of the year, Axel Kacoutié, Victoria Bastable and Rachel Lewis produced an event in response to the Basic Instincts exhibition at the Foundling Museum. Focusing on themes of motherhood, shame and social attitudes from the 18th Century until now, the event featured Liz Berry, Rebecca Goss and Amina Jama performing their own work and an audio installation which you can hear here.

2017 Producers Spring Season

Still I Rise: Hip Hop, Feminism & PoetryFeminism & Poetry-41 v2

As part of Poetry & Lyrics Festival 2017, Producers Rakaya Fetuga, Rhea Seedher, Chibeza Mumbi, Rachel Lewis, Faris Al Ali and Felix Fallon programmed Still I Rise, an event exploring the changing debate around feminism through the overlapping lenses of poetry and rap. The event featured three phenomenal female artists, Shay D, Floetic Lara and Rasheeda Page-Muir. Click the links below to explore additional event content.

Searching For Utopia (podcast)

Curated and produced as part of Poetry & Lyrics Festival 2017 by Axel Kacoutié, Amica Sciortino Nowlan, Ariel Silverman, Louisa Danquah, Milica Cortanovacki and Olivia Amura

A unique arrangement of performances, reflection and debate with Dr Ruth Padel, the Reverend Lucy Winkett, James Massiah and Niles Hailstones from Asheber & The Afrikan Revolution.

Together we explore how the realms of poetic language and music have helped map the search for a perfect world – be it personal, political, or spiritual. We examine the potential for Utopia, and its flaws, taking the listener on a creative journey to imagine the impossible.

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Language, Power and Oppression: What can the role of poetry and creative language be to shift power dynamics in the media? 

Producers Jessica Hayes, Victoria Bastable, Lauryn Grant, Najwa Umran, Esmee West-Agboola and Jasmine White programmed a special roundtable event at Unusual Suspects Festival exploring power dynamics within the media and how poetry has the power to create an alternative, more human, narrative to the mainstream media. We were joined by speakers Maurice Mcleod (Media Diversified), Georgia Bowen-Evans (gal-dem) and poet Zena Edwarda to give insight into power and oppression within their respective fields of work.

You can read the full write up of the day here.

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2016 Young Producers Events

 

Interview with the Poet in the City Producers 2016:

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The 2016 scheme was delivered with generous support from the friends of Angela Inglis.

History of Poet in the City Producers

Since 2013 Poet in the City has been running mentoring schemes to engage young people with what we do and encourage access into the arts for everyone. Previous years have seen us work in collaboration with Maria Fidelis School, UCL Academy and Mulberry School for Girls.

Now, after three successful years of mentoring, we relaunched our youth engagement programme as Poet in the City Producers now in its second year.

 

If you are curious about the arts and want to see if this could be the career for you, do get in touch. All applications need to be sent to info@poetinthecity.co.uk.

Please contact info@poetinthecity.co.uk or call 0207 014 2812 for more information.