‘Writing from Silence’

A film and poetry resource produced by the Young Writers team at the National Literacy Trust. The film takes pupils on a journey into the past, through an interactive tour of the National Justice Museum led by poet Panya Banjoko. It is an emotive experience that encourages the viewer to consider notions of crime, punishment, redemption and justice. It asks pupils to pay attention to their senses and feelings, and describes how to use these to write poetry. The film contains five writing exercises based on the viewer’s reactions to different parts of the museum: outside the museum, the courtroom, the cells, the dark cell, and the yard. It can be used as a free-standing resource to help pupils explore their own responses to issues of justice, and to inspire writing. The film is available here and accessible to all.

‘Let Us Dream’ is an Inspire Library Services commissioned poem that reflects the ways in which libraries enhance the lives of those who let themselves wander inside. Readers, Story Explorers, Learners, Information Seekers, Book Lovers, and Inspire Libraries Members all shared a word or two about what makes their libraries special and from their words I crafted a poem during lockdown, view it here.

‘The Art of Love’ features in my debut poetry collection Some Things published by Burning Eye Books in June 2018. The film of the poem was commissioned by City Arts in 2019 and features artist Keith Piper. View The Art of Love’ here:

‘One of a Kind’ features in my debut collection Some Things published by Burning Eye Books, available here: The film was commissioned by City Arts in 2019. View ‘One of a Kind’ here.

They and Them’ In 2017 I visited ‘The Place is Here’ exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery. The exhibition traced the urgent and wide-ranging conversations taking place between Black artists, writers and thinkers in Britain during the 1980s and brought together over 100 works by 40 artists and collectives, spanning painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video and expanded archival displays. It was here that I saw the work of artist, academic and critic Keith Piper.

So inspired was I by Piper’s the artwork ‘Black Assassin Saints’ that I penned a response to it – a poem titled ‘They and Them’. When Piper became aware of my poem which debuted at Nottingham Contemporary he invited me to work with him. ‘Mic Drop’ exhibited at the Beaconsfield Gallery, London (2017), the BFI Film Festival and the International Film Festival in Rotterdam (2018). ‘They and Them’ was also selected by Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature to feature at the Québec en toutes lettres literary festival ‘Mega Poetry Happening’, featuring poets from cities around the world in October 2020. View ‘They and Them’ here:

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