Speaking Up Poetry as Activism In-Person

Speaking up: Poetry as Activism with Inua Ellams, Fran Lock and Stephen Lightbown

Saturday 27th May
Theatre Deli, Arley St, S2 4QP
18:00 – 19:30
£3 – £12

[Captioned & Wheelchair Accessible] 

Event Description 

Can art change the way society behaves? What can happen when we write through rage, and speak out against injustice? This event brings together three poets who have all written in response to socio-political inequalities. Globally celebrated Inua Ellams’s most recent collection, The Actual, tackles empire and its legacies of racism, injustice and toxic masculinity. Fran Lock is a member of Culture Matters, who fight for ‘our cultural struggle or ‘mental fight’ against class divisions’, and her most recent book White / Other grapples with the complexities of writing and living from the white working-class “other” within neo-liberal culture. Stephen Lightbown’s The Last Custodian puts a paraplegic centre-stage in the fallout of an apocalypse. 

Featuring readings and a panel discussion.

About the Poets

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer and founder of: The Midnight Run (an arts-filled, night-time, urban walking experience.), The Rhythm and Poetry Party (The R.A.P Party) which celebrates poetry & hip hop, and Poetry + Film / Hack (P+F/H) which celebrates Poetry and Film. Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in his work, where he tries to mix the old with the new: traditional African oral storytelling with contemporary poetics, paint with pixel, texture with vector. His books are published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches, Penned In The Margins, Oberon & Methuen. 

Fran Lock is the author of numerous chapbooks and ten poetry collections. Her most recent chapbook is Forever Alive (Dare-Gale Press, 2022), and her most recent collections are Hyena! (Poetry Bus Press, 2021), Hyena! Jackal! Dog! (Pamenar Press, 2021) and White/ Other (87 Press, 2022). Fran is the current Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellow at Cambridge University. She is an Associate Editor at Culture Matters, and member of the new Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry. She is a proud pit bull parent, and she edits the Soul Food column for Communist Review. 

Stephen Lightbown is a poet, yoga teacher and surfer who writes extensively but not exclusively about life as a wheelchair user. Stephen has been widely published, has spoken at events from Shambala to San Antonio, and is the author of two poetry collections for adults Only Air and The Last Custodian (both from Burning Eye Books). In May 2023 he will publish his first poetry book for children, And I climbed, And I Climbed, through Troika Books. He lives in Bristol in the UK and can be found on social media via @spokeandpencil.

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