Firstly, if you haven’t read the blog about our new series of ‘LIVEwire’ events, check it out here. This is our biggest series of events yet and we’re absolutely buzzing that they’re finally out there in the world.
We return to Byline Festival in Sussex for the third year running. Our ‘LIVEwire’ Salon is a proven hit at the festival, and this year we have no fewer than twelve renegade poets performing for you at some point over the weekend. We’re on late on the Friday and Sunday nights.
Byline is a unique and dynamic festival which celebrates independent journalism and freedom of speech, whilst also targeting corruption and bias in the media, as well as prejudice in wider society.
This year’s festival sees Pussy Riot return for another headline set, as well as a huge range of talks, workshops, screenings, performances and more. Click here for more info and tickets.
One of the UK’s foremost poets, Salena is also Byline’s Poet Laureate. After gracing global stages for 25 years, her rebellious livewire spirit unparalleled. Her ‘Pessimism Is For Lightweights’ pamphlet took UK poetry by storm last summer, and her ‘LIVEwire’ album was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award in 2016.
A poet, educator and activist from Wakefield, Matt formed spoken word label Nymphs & Thugs in 2015 and fronts alternative act Skint & Demoralised. His ‘Two Little Ducks’ show explores the working-class Leave vote and the refugee crisis.
A writer and performer from Glasgow, Michelle was a resident artist at Roundhouse from 2017-18 and has been commissioned by the likes of BBC and Huffington Post. Her work explores wider societal issues, including class and poverty, and how they impact on our daily lives. She’ll host our Friday show.
An award-winning poet, playwright, author and editor who has recently completed a world tour with her latest collection ‘Songs My Enemy Taught Me’. Joelle is widely anthologised, the author of 3 full poetry collections and 3 plays and is currently completing her début book of short stories ‘The Night Alphabet’.
A multi award-winning theatre maker from Essex, Maria is also a highly acclaimed poet. Her début one-woman show ‘Fat Girls Don’t Dance’ won Best Spoken Word Show at the 2017 Saboteur Awards, and follow-up ‘Essex Girl’ won Show Of The Week at VAULT 2019. It tours from September to November.
In 2018 as a tribute to his recently deceased father, Oli recorded his second solo album ‘Gaslight Illuminations’. It was also inspired by the emotional fallout of a toxic relationship. It’s been described as “a gloriously dark and haunting work” and “a mesmerising work from an artist who has embraced his maturity”.
The Repeat Beat Poet
A broadcaster and hip hop poet, PJ fuses traditional poetics with hip hop culture to capture and extend moments of time, thought, and feeling. He produces and hosts monthly poetry events Boomerang and Pen-Ting and his radio show #TheRepeatBeatBroadcast, and is a house emcee with hip hop label Imaginary Millions.
A London-based poet, and part of the exciting and much spoken about collective 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE. Sheena’s writing is a surrealist interweaving of sex and myth, and she can be a little bit rude sometimes.
A writer and performer originally from the West Midlands, they’ve received playwright development from Birmingham REP and gained a place on Royal Court’s playwrights programme. Oakley has performed nationwide, has been published by #Queer in the US and has a forthcoming collection ‘The Rainbow as a Bleeding Sky’ on Verve.
A Scottish Pakistani poet living in London, Sunnah writes poems of belonging and displacement. When she’s not producing documentaries, she’s either standing on her head or performing with her poetry collective 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE.
Connor Byrne is a poet and performer from Brighton, now living in London. Their work explores gender and the relationships we have with others and the world. They have performed nationally and internationally, at festivals, competed in slams and self published two pamphlets.
Logan & Manley
Hailing from the creative northern town of Hebden Bridge, Logan & Manley are full of irie beats, soulful vibes and lyrics that have a message for us all. Live, they loop a sonic landscape of dynamic vocals, keys, guitars and electric drums creating a space for everyone to get lost in the magic of their music. Expect to feel the love from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.