We held a live poetry show-case on the 30th November putting a spotlight on our young people who have toiled over their creative writing skills before organising a live showcase at the Bush Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush.
The young poets undertook their training at the Poetry Café over three months with trainer Fahima Hersi, a young poet herself and former beneficiary of our Writer’s Realm poetry writing programme. Family, friends and members of the wider community joined us as poets graced the stage with themes on society, family and culture bringing on many laughs, cheers… and tears.
The Verse Club has allowed for young creative individuals to come to a welcoming space on a Thursday evening where they can assign time to explore ideas that they sometimes do not have the privilege to explore. As part of our work to Foster Tolerance, the Verse Club is a label free zone where young people can hone their voices as a poet, learn from their peers and speak back to society and… be heard.
Alongside our young poets, we were joined by some amazing performers: Oshanti Ahmed, Rakaya Fetuga and SHEZ.
Oshanti Ahmed is a Bengali poet by the way of South London. She is a co-parent of youth group Globe poets and the Bitter Fruit collective, as well as being an alumnus of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective 2018/19. Her work often explores the body navigates hostile environments of language, race, austerity and international trauma by suspending it from reality.
Rakaya Fetuga is a Roundhouse Resident Artist 2019-20 and the Roundhouse Poetry Slam Winner 2018. She has been commissioned by Bloomberg Philanthropies with Vanity Fair, English Touring Theatre and Kyra TV. Her work joins conversations on overlapping identities, faith and culture as self-affirmation.
SHEZ – London based singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, drawing upon influences from soul, blues, jazz, and hip hop.
About the Verse Club: The Verse Club is a poetry programme funded by AMAL, a Said Foundation programme, that aims to facilitate positive spaces for young Muslim Londoners to explore their identities and narratives in a safe and open environment. Spaces are available to join the final cohort for the verse club, just email firstname.lastname@example.org