The Africa Utopia RAP Party...
“The most formalist poetry I have been exposed to is rap lyrics... they are hyper-metrical, the rhyme schemes are intricate and the levels of allusion, and allusive play, in the average rap song is staggering. When you put that against the work of more canonical poets I think there is a lot of kinship between people driven by an affinity with, and flair for, language.” - Kayo Chingonyi
Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a poet, writer and filmmaker. An alumna of the Barbican Young Poets, her work has featured in The Poetry Review, Ambit and tonguejournal.org, in addition to being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, her debut pamphlet, Girl B, is part of the 2017 New-Generation African Poets series. Victoria is the director of MOTHER TONGUES, an intergenerational poetry, film and translation project supported by Arts Council England and Autograph ABP.
JJ BOLA is an established writer and poet of three collections; Elevate (2012), Daughter of the Sun (2014), and WORD (2015). His debut novel, No Place to Call Home, was first published in the UK in 2017. He was one of Spread the Word's Flight Associates 2017, and a Kit de Waal Scholar for the Birkbeck, University MA in Creative Writing. JJ reads, speaks, workshops and performs all over London/the UK at various universities & festivals such as SOAS, Oxford, Kings College, Glastonbury festival, WOMAD, Cheltenham Literature festival, Africa writes and more.
Salma El-Wardany isa half Eqyptian, half Irish writer, passionate about the female experience and how feminine identities are played out in today’s world. She’s currently working on her debut novel Burkas & Bikinis, and writing and performing spoken word poetry across the US and UK.
Kayo Chingonyi won the Dylan Thomas prize in 2018. He is a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry and the author of two pamphlets. His first full-length collection, Kumukanda, was published in June 2017 by Chatto & Windus. As well as being widely published in journals and anthologies.
Sumia Jaama is a Barbican Young Poet Alumni (2017-18), she often runs workshops in secondary schools, festivals and as part of Keats house's Creative Writing Summer School. She is a linguist and programmer having completed her BA in Arabic and English literature. Sumia often writes about exploring absence and what there is to discover about blank spaces in relation to ourselves.
Joshua Idehen is a poet, teacher and musician. A British born Nigerian, his poetry has been published alongside Linton Kwesi Johnson and Anthony Joseph and he has performed at festivals and respected venues across the UK and Europe. He collaborated with The Comet Is Coming on their 2016 Mercury nominated debut album 'Channel The Spirits'. He will be touring with Mobo-winning jazz band Sons of Kemet. He is working on his debut pamphlet and a one man show.
Alim Kamara returned from performing at the Sierra Leone inauguration and performing at the presidents birthday dinners. He graduated with a first class degree in Creative and Media Writing, and the Edna Fuller Prize for community. He has performed in Dubai, Holland, Canada, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Peru, Argentina and the USA. Like the Griots from his past, Alim captivates his audiences and leaves them craving to learn, relate and elevate.
Wana Udobang is a journalist, poet and filmmaker who works at the intersection of women’s rights, social justice, personal narratives and culture. Her work as a poet has been featured at the British Library’s Word, Symbol and Song exhibition. Her poem 'home' was published in the John Berger anthology. She has two poetry albums. The first titled Dirty Laundry and her current sophomore album In memory of forgetting. The themes in her poetry explore trauma, feminism, familial relationships, love and self-renewal. Wana has performed in festivals across Nigeria and the African continent.
Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian Poet. She was one of the winners of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. She was shortlisted for the 2017 Bridport Poetry Prize. She is an alumni of the Barbican Young Poets programme.
Inua Ellams is himself.
Venue: Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
Address: Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
Tickets: £10 / buy Here