Poetry performers embark on Inspiration tour of south London

The right lines: poet Momtaza Mehri

Momtaza Mehri, the Young People’s Laureate for London, is calling on 13- to 25-year-olds in Kingston, Sutton and Bromley to be part of her Be My Next Inspiration campaign.

During the school half-term week, Mehri will headline Spread the Word’s tour of libraries in outer London to motivate young people to write and connect with poetry. She has also produced a specially commissioned poem in collaboration with young Londoners called “No Name Club”, which explores the impact of gentrification on their lives.

The tour begins at Kingston’s Hook and Chessington Library on Monday, October 22, takes in Bromley Central Library on Friday, October 26, and the following day it arrives at Sutton Central Library. There, Mehri will be hosting free workshops for young people with leading poet Deanna Rodger, rapper Rob Bradley and champion beatboxer Bellatrix.

The workshops will be followed by performances from Mehri and Bradley, with an open mic session, which will give those who attend the workshops and other local young people the chance to create, perform and enjoy emerging talent.

“I’m excited by the forthcoming tour. I’m looking forward to seeing the different flavours the young poets and producers will bring to workshops and events,” Mehri said.

“It’s important for young Londoners to recognise that they, too, shape this city and their boroughs. The tour is a way for them to create a thriving poetry culture wherever they live. All it takes is some inspiration, a few friends and passion. Poetry needs young people.”

The Be My Next Inspiration campaign, developed in collaboration with Bureau, a creative agency, offers young people access to poetry as a craft that can inspire, the opportunity for their voices to be heard, to build their confidence, create youth-led collaborations and share their stories with creative industries.

Deanna Rodger: one of the poets performing on the tour

Ruth Harrison, the director of Spread the Word, said: “We have teamed up with Bureau for this year’s Young People’s Laureate for London Tour under the theme Be My Next Inspiration to support, develop and profile young poetic talent and to inspire young people to read, watch and listen to poetry – and to create their own. The campaign is inviting everyone to be part of a conversation by showcasing the value of words, how to get your voices heard and how to make a difference.”

The free workshops at Sutton Central Library start at 11.30am, with the open mic and performance, which is BSL interpreted, from 5.30pm.

For details of the rest of the tour, click here to visit the website

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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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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