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Coming to a borough near you: poetry tour for young people

TOUR: The poetry project will bring a series of free workshops and events to six boroughs

SPREAD THE WORD’S Young People’s Laureate for London Tour 2018, led by the Young People’s Laureate for London, Momtaza Mehri, will visit six London boroughs across October half term, it has been announced.

The tour, entitled Be My Next Inspiration, aims to engage and inspire London’s young people (aged 13 -25) with poetry, rap, spoken word and beatbox through workshops, open mic and performances.

Throughout October half term (October 22-27), the tour will touchdown at Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Bromley, Kingston, Redbridge and Sutton.

Momtaza will be joined by some of London’s leading poets, rappers and beatboxers including: Anthony Anaxagorou, Bridget Minamore, Remi Graves, Dizraeli, Cecilia Knapp, Shay D, Raymond Antrobus, Deanna Rodger, Rob Bradley and Bellatrix.

At the workshops, young people will be able to create their own poems and rap lyrics, learn how to beatbox and develop their spoken word performances.

They will also get the chance to perform their own work alongside hearing the headline acts and local emerging talent. There will also be open mic opportunities.

Each event has been co-produced with young people who have worked with their library service to programme, plan and curate the events.

The entire programme is free to attend and participate in.

The Poetry Takeaway
To give audiences a flavour of the tour in the weeks beforehand, Momtaza and fellow poets will be visiting town squares, schools and youth centres in the Poetry Takeaway van.

The van will offer the public a chance to order up free and personalised poems - written to order.

A poem by Momtaza has been specially commissioned for the tour. No Name Club weaves unknown history with conversations held with 13 to 25 year olds in libraries in the campaign’s participating outer London boroughs. Watch a filmed version of the poem below.

The Young People’s Laureate for London said: “No Name Club was an amateur football club based in Kilburn, North West London, in the 19th century. The title is a nod to the histories behind street names, which are as mysterious, layered and diverse as the people who live on them. It was a collaborative effort and I relied on the voices of the young people I worked with to inspire me. I would hope my commissioned poem returns the favour and resonates with them too.”

Developed in collaboration with BUREAU, a creative agency, the campaign offers young people access to poetry as a craft that can inspire, the opportunity for their voices to be heard, to build their confidence, create youth-led collaborations and share their stories with creative industries.


Poetry Takeaway
Redbridge - Wednesday 10 October Barking and Dagenham - Thursday 11 October Kingston - Tuesday 16 October Brent - Wednesday 17 October Bromley - Thursday 18 October Sutton - Saturday 20 October.

Workshops and open mic
Kingston Monday 22 October Free workshops from 1pm - Open mic and performance (BSL interpreted) from 5:30pm Hook and Chessington Library, KT9 1EJ. Featuring: Momtaza Mehri, Anthony Anaxagorou, Bellatrix and Bridget Minamore.

Brent Tuesday 23 October Free workshops from 1pm - Open mic and performance (BSL interpreted) from 5:30pm Wembley Central Library, HA9 0FJ. Featuring: Momtaza Mehri, Anthony Anaxagorou, Bellatrix and Shay D.

Redbridge Wednesday 24 October Free workshops from 1pm - Open mic and performance (BSL interpreted) from 5:15pm Redbridge Central Library, IG1 1EA. Featuring: Momtaza Mehri, Dizraeli, Remi Graves and Bridget Minamore.

Barking and Dagenham Thursday 25 October Free workshops from 10am - Open mic and performance (BSL interpreted) from 3pm Barking Learning Centre, IG11 7NB. Featuring: Momtaza Mehri, Cecilia Knapp, Bridget Minamore and Shay D.

More information on the initiative, which is being run in partnership with the creative agency BUREAU and London Libraries, is available at

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