Young People’s Laureate
for London Tour

Are you aged 13-25? Do you want to help shape what happens for young people in your borough, and improve your skills in the process?

The Young People’s Laureate for London Tour offers young people in Outer London boroughs the chance to work with their local library to put on exciting poetry, spoken word and performance events.

To take part, or find out more, come and meet Young People’s Laureate for London, Momtaza Mehri, to discuss the issues that affect you, and see what’s happening in your area.

* Fri 18 May, 5.30-6.30pm, Redbridge Central Library
* Sat 19 May, 1-3pm, Sutton Central Library
* Thurs 24 May, 4-6pm, Willesden Green Library
* Thurs 31 May, 5-7pm, Bromley Central Library
* Weds 6 June, 4-6pm, Hook and Chessington Library
* Thurs 7 June, 5-6pm, Barking Learning Centre

The 2018 Young People’s Laureate Tour is being supported by the Be My Next Inspiration campaign, a new initiative and collaboration between Spread the Word and creative agency BUREAU, which aims to help young people new to poetry to understand the excitement and opportunities that words can offer them.

The Young People’s Laureate Tour helps young people develop their skills and talent, as well as broadening the reach of local libraries as hubs for creativity. It is led by Momtaza Mehri, the current Young People’s Laureate for London with and a host of fantastic and engaging poets, artists and producers.

The 2018 Tour will visit the London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Bromley, Kingston, Redbridge and Sutton. After a series of initial meetings with Young People’s Laureate Momtaza Mehri, a team of local young people will begin to plan their programme of activity; designing a day of workshops, performances and open mic sessions to be delivered in their libraries during October half term.

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The tour is about invigorating, reinvigorating, young people and saying: “Look. You have your life. Where do you want to go with it? Tell people where you want to go and how you want to go there.” It’s our role as facilitators, as organisations, as libraries, as people, to make that happen.

Caleb Femi, Poet, Tour Ambassador

Poets, Artists and Producers Involved

Momtaza Mehri

Young People's Laureate for London

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Momtaza is a poet, essayist and editor with a background in biochemical science. Her work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Vogue magazine, The Poetry Review, BBC Radio 4, Real Life Mag and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Open Space. She is a Complete Works Fellow and has been shortlisted for the Brunel African Poetry Prize and the Plough Prize. She won the 2017 Out-Spoken Page Poetry Prize and was third in the 2017 National Poetry Competition. Her chapbook sugah.lump.prayer was published as part of the New Generation African Poets series, edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani, in 2017. Her poems also feature in Ten: Poets of the New Generation, published by Bloodaxe Books in 2017.

Caleb Femi

Young People's Laureate 2016-2018, Tour Ambassador

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Caleb Femi was Spread the Word’s Young People’s Laureate for London 2016-2018 and an Ambassador for the Young People’s Laureate for London Tour.

He is also an English teacher, filmmaker and photographer.

Caleb is featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture. His commissions include the Tate Mordern, The Royal Society for Literature, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Guardian. Caleb has graced major stages such as the Roundhouse mainstage, Barbican, British Library, Royal Festival Hall. He has also opened up for Lianne La Havas and has performed at many festivals. Caleb has also won the Roundhouse Poetry Slam and Genesis Poetry Slam and is currently working on a debut pamphlet.

As a filmmaker, Caleb has released two documentaries ‘What Did Love Taste Like In The 70s?’ and ‘Heartbreak & Grime’, to good international reception, which has led him to give talks and panel discussions on the topic of Grime music, Road culture and masculinity.

Shaniqua Benjamin

Young People's Laureate for London Tour Facilitator

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Shaniqua is a youth leader and writer from Croydon.  She has used her passion for young people and making a difference to found a youth platform, Young People Insight, which empowers the voices of young people and encourages community engagement.   

Over the past few years, she’s lent her writing skills to The Croydon Citizen, Croydon Guardian, Live Mag, Limelight, Just Croydon and Huffington Post.  She has also had the opportunity to participate in an international youth project, The Complete Freedom of Truth, where she held the role of a blogger. 

The Young People’s Laureate for London Tour 2017-18 is a partnership project between Spread the Word and the Association of London Chief Librarians (ALCL). It is a two-year programme engaging young people with poetry to address the issues that affect them. Across the two years the project will work in Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Croydon, Merton, Newham, Brent, Bromley, Kingston, Redbridge and Sutton.

Funded by:

Project Partners:



Library Services / Tour Venues 2018:


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