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Poet Naomi Minto’s radio show is a platform for positivity

POETIC TRUTH: Naomi Minto, on air at Big City Radio

NEW MEDIA, so often the successor to traditional forms of media, has turned precursor in the case of Birmingham poet Naomi Minto.

A performance on social media landed her a weekly programme on a licensed radio station in the second city.

Her spoken word video, Dear Theresa May, in which she calls on the Prime Minister to look at the effects her party’s policies and actions are having on the communities of the UK – has been viewed over 30,000 times.

The traction this and other performance pieces gained for Minto led to her gig on Big City Radio after she was approached by an existing presenter with the opportunity.

“I jumped at the chance,” she told The Voice. “I was thinking of doing a podcast, so this came just at the right time.” Broadcast on Sundays, 2-4pm on 89.1FM in the West Midlands and online, her The Poetic Truth programme serves as a broadcast platform for black people to shout about their successes and to showcase positive things. The aim is to inform and inspire and have open and honest discussions about important issues.

Since its debut earlier this year, the programme has featured a host of similarly rising stars in the worlds of literature and business. Now living in the Bordesley Green area of Birmingham, Minto, 33, is positioned to bring an interesting dimension to the show.

A second generation Briton, with Jamaican grandparents, she dovetails her poetry and radio work with a full-time career in events organising.

“I get to meet a wide range of people and hear all about their lives and experiences, which fit with my passions – writing and communicating with people.”

Minto has been a prolific writer since her childhood, but has only in the last few years begun sharing her creations with the world. Last year, she won the Birmingham Live Poetry competition.

It is possible that her high level of social interaction has fuelled her development into social commentary: “I would not have seen myself as a political person, but over the last few years, I have seen changes in society, things outside of my own reality and how they affect others, which have forced me to become more political. Many of those changes people are feeling can be attributed to the Tory government – like homelessness. I feel that more people feel lost.”

STRONGER
Minto’s evolution, from writer to performance poet to broadcaster and social commentator, could yet have further stages to go through: “In about five years’ time, I hope to be in a position to be a stronger voice for the people, to be a representative, a voice people want to hear, helping people through the work I do.

“Just a year ago, I would never have dreamed I would be doing a radio show,” she concluded, describing her access to the airwaves as liberating as abandoning the weaves and wigs she used to don. “Inspiring others inspires me!”

The Poetic Truth can be heard live on Sundays. Visit bigcityradio.org.uk. Clips of the show and Minto’s poetry can be found on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

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