Young People's Laureate for London
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.
Young People's Laureate 2016-2018, Tour Ambassador
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.
Young People's Laureate for London Tour Facilitator
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.
Hip hop/Grime artist
Raised on a diet of garage, grime and hip hop, North London Hip hop artist Shay D is one of the most well-known female MCs in the UK.
Her music reflects her experiences growing up in the city, and includes a passion for encouraging a positive mentality in her message to her listeners. Her content and delivery also reveal influences of Persian poetry through to 90s rap.
She is the founder of Lyrically Challenged, a hip hop and poetry event promoting Women’s voices.
In 2012, Shay D won the peoples vote for Best Female Rapper at the UK Unsigned Hype Awards and was recently featured as Top 5 UK Female Rapper by Hip Hop Connection. Shay D featured in BBC 1Xtra’s Radio Live lounge for Spoken Word Vs Grime and features in a Channel 4 documentary about females in rap ready to air next year.
Cecilia Knapp is a writer, performer, theatre maker and poet.
She has headlined at some of the UK’s top poetry nights and performed at festivals including Bestival, Secret Garden Party and Wilderness. Her poetry has been played on XFM, BBC Radio 1, Radio 4, 5 LIVE and 1Xtra, and she has featured in Vogue, Dazed and Jungle magazines.
She writes for theatre and is currently touring a devised theatre piece Rear View with Yorkshire based company I.O.U. Her second play Losing the Night will premier at the Roundhouse in June 2018.
Cecilia regularly facilitates creative writing and spoken word workshops in schools and youth centres in London. She is the current poet in residence at Great Ormond Street Hospital and is an ambassador for C.A.L.M (The Campaign Against Living Miserably).
Bridget Minamore is a writer from south-east London.
Having placed third in the Roundhouse Poetry Slam in 2009, Bridget is the youngest person, and first woman, to be the lead tutor for the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. In 2015 she was chosen as one of The Hospital Club’s Emerging Creatives, as well as one of Speaking Volumes’ 40 Stars of Black British Literature.
Bridget has worked with Write Here Write Now online global youth forum. She was also the creative coordinator for My Body Back, a charity that aims to empower survivors of sexual violence, and was involved in Plan UK’s Day of the Girl mentoring scheme.
As a journalist, Bridget has written for publications like the Guardian, Pitchfork, and The Stage, about theatre, music, pop culture, race, and feminism. She is a repeat guest on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour and BBC Radio 5Live’s Good Week Bad Week. Her 2017 BBC Radio 4 documentary Lines of Resistance on the poetic history of women of colour’s writing was a Radio Times pick of the week.
Deanna Rodger is an international writer, performer and facilitator.
She was the UK’s youngest slam champion in 2007/8. She co-curates two leading spoken word events: Chill Pill and Come Rhyme With Me, and is a member of poetry collectives Keats House Poetry Forum and Point Blank Poets.
She has written commissions for St Paul’s Cathedral, Young Vic, and the BBC. She teaches the Writing Poetry for Performance module with Benjamin Zephaniah at Brunel University and is a tutor at the School of Communication Arts.
Deanna was chosen as one of ELLE UK’s ’30 inspirational women under 30′ and one of The Female Lead’s ’20intheir20s’. In 2016 she was selected as Cosmopolitan’s ‘No.1 trailblazing woman’.
Poet / Publisher
Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and educator.
He has published nine volumes of poetry, a spoken-word EP and a collection of short stories.
His poetry and fiction have appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio 4, ITV, Vice UK, Channel 4 and Sky Arts as well as being published in The Feminist Review, Amnesty International’s Words That Burn and the Poetry Review.
He was commissioned by the Labour Party during the 2017 general election to write the poem for their campaign entitled ‘Mark it Red’.
In 2012 he founded Out-Spoken, London’s premier poetry and live music night, and Out-Spoken Press, an independent publisher of poetry and critical writing that aims to challenge the lack of diversity in British publishing. He has toured extensively both Europe and Australia.
Raymond Antrobus is an award winning British-Jamaican poet, performer editor and educator
He is born and bred in Hackney, East London, and is one of the world’s first recipients of an MA in Spoken Word education from Goldsmiths University.
Raymond has read and performed his poetry at festivals (Glastonbury, Latitude, BOCAS etc) to universities (Oxford, Goldsmiths, Warick etc). He has won numerous slams (Farrago International Slam Champion 2010, The Canterbury Slam 2013 and was joint winner at the Open Calabash Slam in 2016).
Raymond is co-curator of popular London poetry events Chill Pill (Soho Theatre and The Albany) and Keats House Poets. Raymond’s poetry has appeared on BBC 2, BBC Radio 4, The Big Issue, The Jamaica Gleaner, The Guardian and at TedxEastEnd.
Dizraeli is a rapper, multi-instrumentalist and singer
He has won both the Farrago UK Slam Championships and the BBC Radio 4 Poetry Slam,
With his band Dizraeli & The Small Gods, he won the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition, and was shortlisted for the Songlines Music Award.
Since then he composed the soundtrack for E4 comedy Tripped; spent time in the refugee camp at Calais, giving workshops and listening to the migrants there and travelled to Senegal to study West African music with an albino master
He’s currently working on a new album, theatre show and workshops which exploring madness, masculinity and mental health.
Rob Bradley is a poetic rapper and storytelling songwriter.
He has performed around the world, from basement clubs in New York to festivals throughout Europe, collaborating with international artists and songwriters.
He is a freestyle rap world champion, using improvisation to develop lyrics on the spot.
Under the name Jack Flash, Rob carved a named for himself in the UK rap scene, releasing 3 independent albums to critical acclaim as well as collaborating on a live band project, Extra Curricular.
Rob grew up writing poetry from the age of 8 but when he was 12 raided his brothers CD collection and, from that moment, was hooked on The Fugees, 2pac and The Notorious BIG. He has been writing rap lyrics ever since.
Bellatrix was the first professional female beatboxer in the UK. In 2009 she won the World Beatbox Championships and became the first British World Beatboxing Champion.
She continued as a judge for the UK and World beatbox championships, before returning to the competition in 2014 as ‘BURD’, the first British female tag-team to battle, making history and becoming the first female team in the world to win the national title, which they did two years running. Bellatrix is also a member of 2015 World Beatboxing Team-Champions ‘The Beatbox Collective’.
Bellatrix has toured internationally, performing across Europe, Asia and The Americas.
She has also collaborated on high profile educational projects with The Barbican, Roundhouse, and BAC.
As well as beatboxing, Bellatrix is a bass player, singer and songwriter. As a recording artist she has released two EPs entitled “Real Stuffed Owls” and “Bad Dancing”. Both have been played on BBCR1 and BBCR6MUSIC.
Remi Graves is a London based poet, facilitator and drummer.
A former Barbican Young Poet, her work has been commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral and Visit England.
Her past projects include a residency at Croydon Library with Spine Festival and she held the role of Digital Poet in Residence with 1215.today and The Poetry School. Remi’s poems can be found in publications such as Skin Deep, Orlando Zine and NON Quarterly.
Remi was a 2017 National Poetry Day Ambassador and is a 2018 Toast poet, she has performed at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Tate Modern, St Paul’s and more.