Explore the history of Poet in the City Producers, alumni and projects produced by cohort.

2019 Cohort

Poet in the City Producers class of 2019 in workshop
Class of 2019: Aatqa Arham, Amy Ann Kemp, Angela Okafor, 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 Cohort

Class of 2018: Chima Itabor, Sam Hampson, Marika Joseph, Izzy Collie Cousins, Teige Maddison, Arran Olk, Omari Daniel, Morgan-Lucille Smith, Kayleigh Colbourn, Violaine Brunelin, Rosanna Hildyard, Chhaya Dabas, Tom Jousselin, Katka Krajciova, Billie Manning, Sarah Boadi, Natasha Mbwana

2018 Producers Spring Season – Community

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.

Otis Mensah, The Repeat Beat Poet, and Billie Manning on stage at Speak Your Truth

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 Producers Autumn Season – Museums, Objects and Ownership

Objects & Ownership

In 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.

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

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.

Nereid monument at the British MuseumObjects Can’t Speak

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
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 Auton, André Bright and Sarah Howe.

2017 Cohort

Poet in the City Producers class of 2017
Class of 2017: Ariel Silverman, Rhea Seedher, Olivia Amura, Chibeza Mumbi, Jessica Hayes, Lauryn Grant, Rakaya Fetuga, Axel Kacoutié, Victoria Bastable, Rachel Lewis, Faris Al Ali, Felix Fallon, Amica Sciortino Nowlan, Esmee West-Agboola, Najwa Umran, Louisa Danquah and Milica Cortanovacki

2017 Producers Spring Season

Chibeza Mumbi at Poetry & Lyrics FestivalStill I Rise: Hip Hop, Feminism & Poetry

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.

Meet the lyricists behind Still I Rise: The poetry event creating social change (gal-dem)

Rachel Lewis and Rasheeda Page-Muir interview on Soho Radio (34mins & 42 mins)

Video by Chelsea PG-Goodwin & Kevin Cordoba-Llanos at City Uni

Searching For Utopia

A 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.

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 Edwards to give insight into power and oppression within their respective fields of work. You can read the full write up of the day here. Read Zena's poetic minutes of the session here.

2017 Producers Autumn Season

Belinda Zhawi, Jolade Olusanya, JJ Bola, Kareem Samara, Emily Zaara and Basel Zaara at St Pancras stationIn Transit

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 and bi-lingual music from the Palestinian 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

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.

Poet in the City Producers at the Foundling MuseumTokens of Motherhood

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.

2016 Young Producers Events

  • SkinDEEP
  • Alternate Realities

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. After three successful years of mentoring, we relaunched our youth engagement programme as Poet in the City Producers in 2017.

If you are curious about the arts and want to see if this could be the career for you, do get in touch at [email protected]