National Poetry Day: Sounds of the Underground

28th September 2017 10:00
Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross, Tottenham Court Rd and Leicester Square stations
In celebration of National Poetry Day on Thursday 28th September 2017, Poet in the City presents Sounds of the Underground. 9 poets across 4 London Underground stations will be reading poetry exploring this year’s theme of ‘freedom’ and global travel. Add some magic to your commute and listen out for travel announcements with a twist.

Here’s where you can hear them:


Poets: Sabrina Mahfouz, Laila Sumpton


Poets: JJ Bola


Poets: Rachel Long, Rachel Peircey, Jolade Olusanya


Poets: Vahni Capildeo, Madi Maxwell-Libby, Dean Atta

All poets can be seen at Poet in the City events throughout the day at L’Escargot Restaurant and St Pancras International Station.

Meet the poets

Jolade Olusanya is a frequently travelling poet, photographer and filmmaker. He was a candidate for Spread The Word’s Young People’s Laureate and winner of the 2017 Outspoken Prize for Poetry. He is “passionate about people, the world and sharing the stories within”. @JoladeO_

JJ Bola is a Kinshasa-born, London-raised writer, poet and educator. He has released three poetry collections: Elevate, Daughter of The Sun and Word and published his debut novel No Place To Call Home earlier this year. Bola has performed at The Roundhouse, at Glastonbury and abroad in The US where he won the Oakland Poetry Slam. @JJ_Bola

Rachel Long is a poet, curator and facilitator. She was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Mentorship in 2015. Her poems have featured in Magma, The London Magazine and The Honest Ulsterman. She Assistant Tutor on the Barbican Young Poets programme, and is the leader of Octavia – poetry collective for women of colour at Southbank Centre, London. @rachelnalong

Vahni Capildeo is a British Trinidadian writer. Her published books are No Traveller Returns (2003), Person Animal Figure (2005), Undraining Sea (2009) (shortlisted for the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award), All Your Houses (2010) (a limited-edition artist’s book with photometry by Andre Bagoo), Dark & Unaccustomed Words (2012) (longlisted for the 2013 OCM Bocas Poetry Prize), Utter (2013), Simple Complex Shapes (2015), and Measures of Expatriation (2016) (winner of the Forward Best Collection Prize).

Dean Atta is a writer and performance poet. He has been commissioned to write poems for the Damilola Taylor Trust, Keats House Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Dean won the 2012 London Poetry Award and was named as one of the most influential LGBT people by the Independent on Sunday Pink List 2012. @DeanAtta

Laila Sumpton is a London based poet and facilitator- who works with a wide range of learners and performs her work across the country. She is an Associate Writer at Spread the Word and co-directs refugee and migrant poetry collective Bards Without Borders. She runs poetry projects in hospitals, schools, museums, libraries, parks and charities, and has been commissioned by the National Trust, British Library and Tower of London.  @lailanadia

Madi Maxwell-Libby is a Resident Artist at the Roundhouse. Her piece Kids, Coins, Cuts, about childhood and austerity was featured on BBC iPlayer for National Poetry Day 2016 and she was commissioned to write a piece on Brexit for BBC One. She has also performed for The Southbank Centre, Lovebox Festival, Rich Mix, Soho Theatre's Soho Rising Comedy Gala, the Evening Standard Young Progress Makers awards and was a finalist in Hammer & Tongue's UK National Final Slam at the Royal Albert Hall. Madi has been commissioned for Nationwide's TV campaign for ITV Documentaries and am a guest artist for Huffington Post's UK Politics blog. @Madi_ML

Rachel Piercey is a former editor at The Cadaverine magazine and a current editor at the Emma Press. She studied English Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, where she won the Newdigate Prize in 2008. Her poems have appeared in various journals and magazines including The Poetry Review, Magma, Butcher’s Dog and The Rialto. Her pamphlets, The Flower and the Plough (2013) and Rivers Wanted (2014), are published by the Emma Press. @RachelPoet

Sabrina Mahfouz was raised in London and Cairo. Her work includes the plays Chef, With a Little Bit of Luck, Clean, Battleface and the love i feel is red; the poetry collection How You Might Know Me; the literary anthology The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write and the BBC shows Breaking the Code, Railway Nation: A Journey In Verse and We Are Here. She received a Fringe First Award for Chef and won a Sky Arts Academy Poetry Award. @SabrinaMahfouz

National Poetry Day is an annual celebration that inspires people throughout the UK to enjoy, discover and share poems. Everyone is invited to join in, whether by organising events, displays, competitions or by simply posting favourite lines of poetry on social media using #nationalpoetryday.

National Poetry Day will take place on Thursday 28 September 2017 and this year’s theme is “Freedom”.
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