Silé Sibanda is a spoken word performer, radio and stage presenter. In 2019 she won the BBC Radio Sheffield This is Me competition and subsequently became the host of the evening show on BBC Radio Sheffield.


Rachel Bower is a Poet and Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Leeds, and Sheffield resident. She’s the award-winning author of 2 books including Moon Milk, her collection of poetry, and has been published widely in literary journals and magazines. Rachel is a lynchpin of the Yorkshire poetry scene, running workshops across the region, and with a passion for all things wild, women and community. Rachel has played a huge role in shaping our Collections in Verse work in Sheffield, sharing knowledge about the area and its people, and her incredible new commission has collected stories from local women to create an epic song telling the story of what is loved, treasured and lost.

Kayo Chingonyi is an incredible poet and former Sheffield resident, who’s work spans coming of age, grime, roots and origins of language, and identity in all of its forms. His debut collection was Kumukanda, and he’s an educator, prize-winner, emcee, DJ, and regularly collaborates across art forms to find new sounds for his work. It is this approach which has informed his astounding new commissions in Sheffield, which investigate local dialect with the people of Firth Park and its historic connections. 

Joe Kriss is a poet and the director of literature organisation 'Wordlife' in Sheffield who has performed and been published across the UK. Joe is widely known to gather the biggest crowds for poetry in the region. At a crucial moment in our history as UK people, Joe’s commission explores how the formation of kingdoms in the early medieval period prompts us to consider the notion of national identity today.


Eelyn Lee is an award-winning artist and filmmaker who has exhibited across the UK and internationally. Eelyn’s socially engaged practice combines collective research, devised theatre, screen writing and filmmaking to create frameworks for ensembles of collaborators to work together. Her Chinese/English heritage motivates her interest in race, identity and ’othering’. 

Film Narrator

Johny Pitts is a writer, photographer, and broadcast journalist. He has received various awards for his work exploring Afro-European identity, including a Decibel Penguin Prize and an ENAR (European Network Against Racism) award. Afropean was published in 2019 by Allen Lane.


BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated Rosie Hood is a folk singer/songwriter from Wiltshire but based in Sheffield, known for her strong, pure voice and captivating performances. Immersed in traditional music you’ll hear, is from Rosie’s critically acclaimed debut album “The Beautiful & The Actual”. 


Johanna Blakey was born and raised in South East Sheffield and is currently undertaking a PhD in linguistics at the University of Sheffield, in which she explores how social change in Sheffield within recent history (the last century) has impacted linguistic variation in the city and the use of local dialect features.

Claire Breay is Head of Medieval Manuscripts at the British Library and curator of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War exhibition.

Theatrical Partner

The Bare Project is a theatre and interactive arts company, happily based in Sheffield. We have been making work together since 2012. Our form changes: sometimes it’s a script and a stage, other times an installation and, at other times, a conversation. We create surreal and strange work that is rooted in a desire to both understand and change the world around us. We believe that by entering other worlds we are better able to make sense of, and challenge the world we normally live in- and that we urgently need to challenge and change the world right now.

Charity Partner

Open Kitchen Social Club is a community programme that provides food and support for destitute asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and those in need.

In preparing this project, Digesting History we have, as is common, called this period of history Anglo Saxon. However, on the point of presentation we have become aware of a conversation that challenges that terminology as racist and prefers Early Medieval. We used the term Anglo Saxon in good faith and welcome further conversations and discussions for future projects. The continual need to re-examine history and language is at the core of Poet in the City's collaborations.

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