London’s Young Laureate is inspired by his visit to Croydon

Young Laureate Caleb Femi drew a good number of Croydon locals for this week’s workshop at the Central Library. Photo: LEE TOWNSEND

Young People’s Laureate for London Caleb Femi this week came to Croydon to end the first phase of his 2017 Spread the Word tour of outer London boroughs and said he felt inspired by the young people of Croydon.

Femi hosted a creative focus group to discover what Croydon youngsters love about their town, what arts-based activities they were participating in, how they felt about poetry and what could be improved to enable more young people to express themselves creatively.

“The young people of Croydon were insightful and outspoken about many issues they face as residents of Croydon,” Femi said.

“I was impressed with how they were all actively tackling the challenges of art engagement by putting on their own youth-led activities, including festivals and poetry nights. The information they gave me will be compiled with that of the other young people from the other outer London boroughs I visited, and will be used to inspire some poems from me.”

Inspired: Caleb Femi in Croydon this week. Photo: LEE TOWNSEND

Femi will be engaging young people through The Poetry Take Away in October, when poetry will be delivered across five outer London boroughs (Croydon, Bexley, Merton, Newham and Barking and Dagenham). This will be followed by workshops and a major spoken word showcase, organised with the young people and libraries.

Young people who attended the creative focus group, as well as other Croydon youngsters, will have the opportunity to work with Croydon poet Laila Sumpton. Sumpton is a member of the Keats House Poets and works in both the poetry and human rights and runs creative writing workshops at museums, charities, hospitals and universities.

To find out how to take part, email Anita Cottle, Teen Co-ordinator for Croydon, Hounslow, Ealing and Harrow at:

Find out more about the Spread the Word Young People’s Laureate tour here.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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