As part of Poetry & Lyrics Festival 2019, Poet in the City Producers present this special edition podcast episode.

Defining moments in undefined lives. This episode celebrates the stories of people in grey areas, between binaries who occupy and live in multiple worlds. Featuring Travis Alabanza, Poppy Noor and Sophia Thakur, in their own words, and the poetry and music that has defined them in an otherwise undefined life.

This special edition episode is brought to you by Poet in the City Producers Amy Ann Kemp, Chris Shapiro, Jess Rahman-Gonzalez, Kate Murrant and Rosie Wassi. With special thanks to Axel Kacoutié and the Guardian.

Extract from CITIZEN by Claudia Rankine used with permission from Graywolf Press (US) and Penguin (UK).

Listen to the UN/DEFINED MIXTAPE featuring music from the podcast


Travis Alabanza is a performer, writer and theatre maker, who has been described as one of the most prominent emerging queer artistic voices by various publications. Their work combines a unique mixture of theatre, poetry, style, political views and risk-taking, which appeals to an international audience. Known as a driving force in the UK conversation around trans politics, Alabanza has become a staple of the London queer scene and beyond. In 2016/17 they became the youngest artist in residence at the Tate. They also starred in Scottee’s theatre production Putting Words in Your Mouth at the Roundhouse and in the Royal Exchange adaptation of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee. Their performances have taken place in venues such as V&A, Tate, ICA, and Barbican – and their work has featured in the Guardian, BBC, Huck magazine and more. 

Poppy Noor is a Guardian journalist who has spoken passionately about a range of social issues. Her personal experience of homelessness and prejudice towards the working class make her a unique voice in the journalism industry. Poppy has appeared on Channel 4 News and Newsnight, and her writing has featured in; VICE, The Independent, The Times, The Telegraph, and The Evening Standard. She has covered class, education, politics and housing, and continues to champion issues facing young people and women across the UK and further afield.

Sophia Thakur is one of the most recognisable figures in UK performance poetry today, and has been described as “our generation's first poetry influencer”. She combines honest and provocative lyrics, with contemporary music to create truly moving and unique performances, which have touched millions of lives both on and offline. She has collaborated with the likes of MTV, NIKE, TEDx, BET and performed her work at some of the UK’s biggest music festivals and venues, including; Glastonbury, Lovebox, Roundhouse, and Tate Britain. She has also introduced her unique, wisdom-filled poetry style to countless industries across the globe. ​